For many, the opening of the Christmas markets is the first sign of the holiday approaching. Visiting the markets offers the perfect opportunity to fully embrace the festive season. With a variety of stalls offering food, drink and gifts, they can be ideal for a full day out with the family, as well as doubling up as somewhere you can get your Christmas shopping done.
To find out more about some of the best South Devon Christmas markets near Salcombe, keep reading.
Exeter Christmas Market
Exeter Cathedral, Cathedral Yard, Exeter, EX1 1HB
Thursday 18th November – Saturday 18th December 2021
This year, Exeter’s Christmas market is once again set in the beautiful grounds of Exeter Cathedral. Just over an hour’s drive from Salcombe, Exeter offers the perfect venue for a day out. As well as its famous Christmas market, the vibrant and historic city boasts a variety of attractions for you to enjoy. From the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery to Exeter Quay, and the medieval Underground Passages, the city isn’t short of things to explore. There is no charge to go to this market, and no pre-booking is required, so you can turn up whenever you fancy and even return for multiple visits!
Newton Abbot Christmas Fayre
Newton Abbot Racecourse, Newton Rd, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, TQ12 3AF
Saturday 4th November 2021 (open 10:00 – 16:00)
Unlike many Christmas markets that run for a good month, the Newton Abbot Christmas Fayre is one day of festive fun. With over 120 stalls offering handmade crafts, Christmas cards, and jewellery, the fayre offers a chance to pick up gifts for your loved ones. If you are looking for unique presents from independent businesses this year, Newton Abbot Fayre is not one to miss.
Newton Abbot sits just over halfway between Salcombe and Exeter in South Devon, so could be the perfect stop off if you are willing to explore two Christmas markets in one day! Set in the historic racecourse, the market will also host Shetland pony rides around the Parade Ring for a small fee. Perfect for families with children, under 16s go free, with adults paying £3. There is lots of free parking available at the racecourse.
Plymouth Christmas Market
The Piazza, Plymouth City Centre, Plymouth, PL1 1HH
Thursday 2nd December – Tuesday 24th December 2021
Set in the centre of Plymouth, this free Christmas market will host over 60 stalls. With artists and sellers from around South Devon coming together to offer a range of products and gifts, the market is not only an opportunity to get in the festive spirit but a chance to support local businesses.
Plymouth is just over a 50-minute drive from Salcombe, so is really accessible. There are also bus routes between the two. The city has lots to offer apart from the Christmas market. The Barbican is the most historic part of Plymouth to enjoy, and there are a wide variety of restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from in the marina.
Ivybridge Christmas Market
Glanvilles Mill, Fore Street, Ivybridge, PL21 9PS
Friday 26th November 2021 (open 15:00 – 20:00)
The Ivybridge Christmas market will host over 40 stalls with a range of gifts, street food and mulled wine, a local choir and even an award-winning comedy juggler! Offering rides and children’s entertainment, it is especially suitable for families with young children.
Ivybridge is surrounded by countryside and has a rich South Devon heritage. With the beautiful River Erme running through the centre of the town (right where the Christmas market is located) it is an idyllic setting for a winter day out. Ivybridge is just a 30-minute drive out of Salcombe.
Kingsbridge Christmas Market
Fore Street, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1HS
Saturday 4th December 2021
Kingsbridge Christmas market is a great place to start your festive season. For one day, the streets will be lined with stalls from a range of South Devon sellers and it is even rumoured that Father Christmas will be present! Live entertainment will take place throughout the day and a range of food options boasting local produce will be available.
However, the setting for this market is what makes it really special. In the South Hams area of Devon, Kingsbridge is a beautiful small market town sat on the estuary and surrounded by countryside. Kingsbridge is under a 15-minute drive from Salcombe, so is really close by. You can even take the unique scenic 35-minute ferry up the estuary if you fancy taking in some of South Devon’s greatest views, birdlife, and rich history during your travels. If you opt for the ferry, make sure you wrap up warm!
Brixham Christmas Market
Saturday 27th November 2021 (10:00 – 19:00)
Brixham offers a bit of a twist on the traditional Christmas market with its ‘Lanterns, Lights and ‘luminations’ event at the end of November. With some market stalls and plenty of food and drink, the real treat of this day is the free lantern-making workshop in the town hall and the following evening lantern parade. There is even a fireworks display scheduled for just after the Christmas lights switch-on. The whole town gets involved, with various venues across Brixham offering festive entertainment and hosting events.
Brixham is just over an hour’s drive away from Salcombe. Located at the southern end of the English Riviera, it has a seafront with stunning views. There are lots to see and do around the town if you want to make a day of it. The walk to Berry Head is particularly beautiful.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay during your visit to any of the Christmas markets mentioned, let us know.