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Christmas In The Cotswolds

Posted on October 23, 2015 by David

With its picture postcard towns and villages festooned with seasonal decorations, there can be few places more beautiful at Christmas than the Cotswolds. In this article Cotswolds-based lifestyle bloggers Millie and Meg share with us some of their favourite festive haunts.

Places to visit

Chipping Campden Enchanted Christmas

Photo supplied by Enchanted Christmas

Chipping Campden has a very special place in our hearts. It's the most beautiful town & at Christmas, it is made even more beautiful. That is because every year you will find a cute Enchanted Enchanted Christmas event, set under the iconic market place and in various places up and down the high street. You'll find lots of festive food stalls serving mulled cider from the schools orchard, local cakes and pies among other lovely bites.

The Christmas tree of light will be turned on and you'll enjoy live performances from local choir talents. You could easily get all your Christmas shopping done in one night in Chipping Campden with lots of lovely independent and quirky shops. We recommend Molemi Shoes, Frankie Doodle, and Cherry Press.

If you cant get to Chipping Campden, some of our other favourite towns have some fab late night shopping events on at Christmas. Try Cheltenham, Burford, Broadway or Cirencester. We think it's so important to shop local and support the fantastic shops we're lucky enough to have in The Cotswolds.

Cotswold Farm Park

Photo supplied by Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm & Park

Christmas at Cotswold Farm Park looks like the most festive event for the whole family to enjoy this Christmas. Nestled in the middle of agricultural Cotswolds, Adam Henson and his team are inviting you for a shopping event where Adam himself will be signing books. There will be lots of local food stalls, discounts when shopping and free mulled wine on arrival. Not only will Adam be there but Santa too, Cotswold Farm Park will have a grotto for the kids every weekend from 21st November until 20th December, all included in the parks admission price.

Cheltenham

Photo supplied by Central Hotel Cheltenham

Cheltenham for us is our closest town and we both used to live there so we both head to Cheltenham for our Christmas shopping. Cheltenham has the perfect mix of high street favourites and unique independent shops so you'll easily find something for everyone. Head to Montpellier and The Suffolks' for great boutique shops for all those unique gifts that you won't find anywhere else. The Promenade is the place to be for luxury high street chains such as Hotel Chocolat, Jo Malone and Jack Wills. If you time it right it, it is the perfect treat to pop to the annual German Christmas market, again on the festive prom, for a hot glass of a mulled wine or a delicious hot chocolate. Nothing makes you feel more festive! We'd love to visit Bath's Christmas Market too this year, the same traditional wooden chalets on a bigger scale. Great for gift shopping & getting into the Christmas spirit.

Burford Garden Company

Chrismas Present ideas from Burford Garden Company

Every year we head to Burford Garden Company to stock up on their amazing range of gorgeous Christmas decorations. The choice is incredible! You will certainly find the exact colour or style you're looking for and they make lovely gifts too. Burford Garden Company's late night Christmas shopping event has now become a bit of a tradition for us. It's the perfect festive mix of foodie stalls, carols, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and some serious shopping. Expect delicious artisan delights in the food hall, wreath making and the largest selection of Christmas decorations in The Cotswolds.

Sudeley Castle

Photo supplied by Sudeley Castle

After visiting for walks, scones and Gifford's Circus we have yet another excuse to visit the stunning Sudeley Castle this Christmas. On the 18th of December this Cotswold stone beauty will be joined by the Cheltenham Salvation Army Band and Winchcombe Community Choir for a "Magical evening of Christmas songs and carols".

You can pay on the gate but ensure you wrap up warm as a lot of the event takes place under the canopy of the stars, made more magical with the backdrop of the banqueting hall ruins, lit up in all their glory. I think this is Christmas summed up for us. Hats and Scarves, Christmas carols, mulled wine and the beautiful Cotswolds. To make this even better, your £5 entry fee in donated in full to the Salvation Army.

The Shopping

Batsford Arboretum

The Santa Grotto at Batsford Arboretum

We both get our Christmas trees from Batsford Arboretum - where else? They have an amazing range at the Garden Centre and sell outside Tesco in Stow-on-the-Wold during December too. The quality of the tress are always amazing and great value for money. Batsford Arboretum is open ever day except Christmas Day but makes the perfect post Christmas day out on Boxing day - stroll around the stunning Arboretum and walk off all that Xmas pud!

Broadway

Photo supplied by Cotswold Broadway

Broadway has late night shopping on the first Friday night in Decemeber. With so many fantastic shops like Cotswold Trading and Sue Parkinson's, it's so easy and relaxed to shop local this Christmas. Make sure you pop to Prego after a night of shopping for a delicious Italian feast.

Orchard Layne

Bomb Cosmetics at Orchard Layne

Orchard Layne in Chipping Campden is a favourite of ours, so much choice, great for stocking fillers and unique pieces for the home. Make sure you pay them a visit if you head to Campden's Enchanted Christmas event.

Malt House Emporium

Stylish Christmas present ideas at Malt House Emporium

A new addition to The Cotswolds, is the Malt House Emporium outside Stroud. An antique emporium jam packed with unique pieces for the home, one off antiques and lots and lots of beautiful pieces, definitely present worthy. We love it there, you can spend hours strolling around, searching out that perfect gift for someone special... and trust us, you'll never leave empty handed!

Meggie's

Photo supplied by Meggie's

Just down the road is Meggie's in beautiful Painswick. A little gift shop stocking lovely local things. Here you'll certainly pick up a present of two, all handmade in The Cotswolds of course. We love the La De Da Living hand stamped vintage spoons, made in Cheltenham. Vintage spoons with witty quotes such as "Sprouts just want to be loved" or "Coffee now, wine later". Meggie's will also be selling handmade Christmas wreaths by The Bespoke Flower Company this year or keep an eye out for one of their Christmas Wreath making workshops this Decemeber in lovely Painswick.

Olive and Earls & Co

Photo supplied by Earls and Co

In Cheltenham, if you're stuck for gift ideas for ladies with fabulous fashion taste, head straight to Olive. We absolutely love everything from this stylish shop. Or for both ladies and gents, pamper vouchers from the fabulous Earl's & Co always go down well. The chaps can enjoy a traditional hot towel wet shave and facial treatments followed by a whiskey from their in house whiskey bar for just £31 and for the ladies, a pamper upstairs in the nail and champagne bar.

Ross & Ross's and The Cotswold Hamper Company

Home Curing Kits from Ross and Ross

If you're buying for a foodie this Christmas, we have a whole host of fabulous deli's and local produce that make brilliant and unique gift ideas. How about one of Ross & Ross's home curing kits? It contains everything you need to make your own original, sweet and smokey bacon at home, just add the pork! Or a hamper full of yummy Cotswold goodies from The Cotswold Hamper Company would make the perfect gift to feast on this festive season. A gorgeous hamper filled to the brim with, Cotswold chutneys, Lawn Tea, Cotswold Fudge and much more. What a treat!

Food and drink

Every year we plan a big Christmas dinner with all our friends at one our favourite Cotswold pubs, last year we went to The Bell at Sapperton, the year before, The Falcon Inn in Painswick and this year we're thinking The Wild Rabbit in Kingham will be the best festive venue. One of all time favourite places to eat and drink in The Cotswolds. Mainly due to it's uber stylish interior, glamorous but also cosy with a fabulous fire place which we're sure will be roaring. We just can't wait to see what they have in store for us on their Christmas menu.

Seasonal gingerbreads from The Falcon Inn

Being a foodie county, The Cotswolds hosts the most amazing Christmas food festival with most events have stalls filled with yummy goodies. Not forgetting your home grown ingredients to make a delicious Christmas lunch this year. There are SO many gorgeous places in The Cotswolds with a passion for good food, we're so lucky. We love The Cotswolds Food Store outside Longbrough for an amazing range of meat and veg, and The Cotswold Cheese Company for cheese (obviously!) who are based in Moreton-in-Marsh, Burford and have a new shop in Stow-on-the-Wold now too. What is Christmas without good cheese? We also love Gibson's Organic Liqueurs. They are so yummy, organic and locally made. Perfect for festive cocktails, drizzled on desserts or just to sip and enjoy.

The Cotswolds is a magical place to spend the festive season - if you and your family are visiting this Christmas or better still are spending it with us in The Cotswolds, we wish you a very Merry Christmas! Fingers crossed for a white one, hey!

Want to Stay a While?

Browse our Cotswolds and Country Collection for our hand-picked selection of Cotswolds deals, all with added extras. Take, for, example, our 2 night Sudeley Castle break based at Cotswold House & Spa. The exclusive break includes two free tickets to Sudeley Castle & Gardens, cream tea on arrival at the hotel, breakfast and an evening meal for two on one of the nights.

About the Authors

Millie and Meg have been friends since they were 14 years old. Both grew up and lived in various different areas of The Cotswolds and are really passionate about where they live. Their Cotswold lifestyle blog is their way of celebrating and sharing all The Cotswold's has to offer.

Millie has lived in The Cotswolds from Chipping Campden to Cheltenham and now lives in a teeny tiny chocolate box cottage in a Cotswold village with her fiancee James. Millie and James love nothing more than baking, cooking, walking and entertaining friends.

Meg owns Meggie's - a gift & lifestyle shop selling lots of lovely local things at The Falcon Inn. Megan and her family own The Falcon Inn in the picturesque town of Painswick. Meg lives in a Cotswold cottage with her fiancee Harry and puppy, Pepper.

As well as their blog, you can follow Millie & Meg on Twitter and Instagram.

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