The Gloucester Victorian Christmas Market

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Every year around the end of November the Victorian Christmas market takes place in Gloucester Quays. The market features a variety of 150 different stalls, all of which range from locally made food and drink to handmade gifts such as glass decorations, artisan jewellery, knitted hats and scarves and also homeware such as multi use brushes, wooden bowls and stools, as well as many other things. All of the stall holders were dressed up in Victorian costumes, and to carry the theme further, there was a wooden Victorian cart placed in the middle of the stalls and also wooden crates placed to the side. Additonally, other Victorian characters were wandering around the market dressed in costume as well, they were interacting with many people and were said to "surprise, amuse and entertain vistitors with their exploits."

The quays is the perfect location for a christmas market - its surrounded by restaurants ranging from Nandos to Ed's Diner to Pizza Express, and variety of Cafés such as café nero, caffè corretto, costa and Cafe Tucci. This means you can pop into a café for a cup of coffee to warm up before making the journey home, or you can plan your visit around dinner, and pop into a restaurant before or after visting the market. Additionally, the docks which surround the quays are historically picturesque and are therefore the perfect background for this sort of event.

The market is very family orientated, most years they have a horse carousel which is placed in-between the two main stall areas. And this year in addition to the carousel they had a Ferris Wheel and a Helter Skelter - all of which were very popular with the children. There were also Victorian Games taking place - none of which happened whilst I was there - but I'm sure the old Victorian toys and games entertained many children. There were also stalls that sold wooden toys, make-your-name bunting, childrens wooden tables and chairs and child friendly christmas decorations such as reindeer's and a snowmen made from felt - as well as many other things.

However, the market isn't just aimed at families, there were a lot of adults and couples wandering around and the live music which ranged from brass bands and choirs to upbeat pop/rock music attracted a lot of adults to the event. Alcohol such as locally made wine, beer and cider was sold at a variety of different stalls, and so was locally produced food such as sausages and cheese - however, a lot of the stalls that sold these items were very popular and most of them were quite overcrowded when we passed by. Additionally, there was also a real ale tavern which was perfectly placed next to the stage, this meant a lot of people were stood around eating hot food, drinking good beer and listening to music. Of course you could also purchase mulled wine - the festive drink which on the cold evening was a perfect warmer. Food and drink wasn't the only attraction to adults though, the many different craft stores meant the market was the perfect place to visit to find original, handmade Christmas gifts or decorations, the bakery stalls were also great for treating yourself or your loved ones.

The Victorian Christmas market is a completely free event (except of course if you find something that catches your eye - if you get away without buying anything be sure to tell me your secret to resisting). Unfortunately, the Victorian Christmas market has finished this year, however, keep an eye out for it next year, you won't regret taking a couple of hours out of your weekend to visit.

If you're still wanting to visit a Christmas market in Gloucester Quays this year - the Enchanted Christmas Market is taking place between the 11th and 13th of December click here for more information. Although this market is slightly smaller than the Victorian market the festive spirit ensures its just as magical.

"It is Christmas in the heart, that put's Christmas in the air"

Until Next Time,

Alice x

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