Shoppers at Chester Christmas Markets

Let’s be honest. Christmas shopping can sometimes be a chore, especially when you have a huge to do list, challenging family logistics or that difficult relative to buy for.

If it is all feeling a bit much why not make some time for yourself and take a trip to one of the region’s increasingly popular Christmas markets and festive shopping events.

In recent years, German-style Christmas markets have become a big attraction in towns and cities across the UK. The wide variety of stalls, combined with plenty of food and drink on hand for when your energy levels are running low, ensures they appeal to visitors young and old.

Here’s our pick of some of the best around:

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market – Already well established in the heart of the city, the running of Exeter’s Christmas market has this year been taken over by the cathedral, with a new layout and the promise of more opportunities for local businesses and performers, while retaining its continental feel. Expect entertainment from carol singers and choirs on the new bandstand, alongside the familiar mix of festive fare from both local and visiting traders. The market is open from Thursday, November 16, until Sunday, December 17. While you’re at it, check out the city’s other Christmas street markets in nearby Castle Street and Fore Street. For more information, visit:

Newton Abbot’s Victorian evening ­­– There’s much more than late night shopping to tempt you to visit the town on Wednesday, December 6. Children’s entertainment, balloon modelling and fire juggling are just some of the attractions, not to mention street food and a chance for youngsters to meet Santa in his grotto. Find full details here:

Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre – The attraction, near the Devon-Cornwall border just outside Lifton, is holding its popular Christmas market over two weekends this year, on December 9-10 and 16-17. Alongside all the fun of the vintage funfair, you’ll find a variety of food and craft stalls selling seasonal gifts, glassware, candles and more. Father Christmas is also expected to put in an appearance. Entry costs £3 for adults and is free for accompanied children. See more here:

Candlelit Dartmouth – Featuring a lantern procession and even a ‘best dressed Christmas dog’ competition, this festive weekend has plenty to offer for visitors. Taking place on Friday, November 24, and Saturday, November 25, Candlelit Dartmouth brings together Christmas markets, entertainers and musicians, as well as seasonal craft workshops for children and another opportunity to meet Santa. Find out more at:

North Devon Christmas market – The centre of Braunton will be packed with more than 150 stalls selling local arts and crafts, gifts and plenty of food and drink from 3pm until late on Saturday, December 2. Other attractions include rides and games for kids, music, dancing and, of course, Santa. More information can be found here: