28th November, 2019

Christmas shopping by train

This article is more than 4 years old.

Forget the hassle of traffic and car parking – head Christmas shopping by train. Here’s our guide to what’s on in Devon and Cornwall’s cities and branch line destinations. Glass of mulled wine anyone?

Bavarian bar at Plymouth Christmas market


Plymouth’s Christmas market on Armada Way is open from now until Thursday 19th December. Come and enjoy the stalls selling arts, crafts, jewellery, clothing and more, plus street food and Bavarian bar. There’s also live music Thursday-Sunday.

It’s open until 9pm on Thursdays (6pm all other days, except Sundays 5pm). Meanwhile Drake Circus shopping centre is also open until 9pm every Thursday in the run-up to Christmas.

Exeter Christmas Market in front of the cathedral


The city’s atmospheric Christmas market nestled alongside the Cathedral is on from now until Thursday 19th December. There’s an exciting mix of continental and local independent traders, showcasing the best of festive food, crafts and gifts.

It’s open until 9pm Thursday-Saturday (7pm other days, except Sundays 5pm). Princesshay shopping centre also stays open late til 9pm each Thursday, as do many other city centre shops.

Trader at Truro Winter Gift Fayre


Explore Truro’s Winter Gift Fayre on Lemon Quay for a wonderful selection of craft, jewellery, art, food, drink and more. It’s open until 9pm each Wednesday (and standard shopping hours the rest of the week).

And on Boscawen Street, the Truro Christmas Street Markets sell quality gifts, food, drink and street food every Wednesday (open til 9pm) and Saturday until 21st December.

Santa in lifeboat


Head to Looe this Saturday (7th December) and see Father Christmas arrive by boat (1.45pm) courtesy of Looe’s lifeboat crew! There’s also a Santa Fun Run, lantern parade and Christmas Craft Market (midday onwards). See event times or read more.

Falmouth's live nativity


Falmouth is buzzing with Christmas events including its live nativity, Festive weekend (14-15 December) and Christmas Tree Festival. Find out more on the official Falmouth Christmas webpage.

St Ives lantern parade


Enjoy St Ives’ magical Lantern Parade at 6pm on Saturday 7th December. The town’s award-winning Farmers’ Market is on Thursdays 5th, 12th and 19th December (10-2), plus a Christmas special on Monday 23rd.

There’s also a festive treasure hunt to do through the town.

Barnstaple Pannier Market at Christmas


There are evening street food parties at Barnstaple’s Pannier Market on Thursday 12th and 19th December (6 to 9.30pm), with international street food, music, bars and entertainment. There’s late night shopping in the town centre on both nights, plus Thursday 5th December.

Exmouth Christmas Fayre - The Strand, Friday 6th December


Exmouth’s Christmas Fayre is this Friday (6th December) from 3-8pm at The Strand. Come along for late-night shopping, craft marquees, Christmas tree lights switch-on, Santa’s grotto, fireworks, live music, carols and a lantern parade.

And this Sunday (8th December) head to Exmouth’s Ocean bar for the Christmas Market with crafts, gifts and live music.

Stained glass lantern artwork


Christmas events on the English Riviera include stained glass lantern-making workshops at Torre Abbey and carols by candlelight in the underground world of Kents Cavern. Explore other Christmas events on the English Riviera website.

Look up train times

PS It’s worth remembering that part way through the Christmas build-up (15th December 2019 to be precise) is the biggest timetable change on the Great Western Railway network since 1976, bringing faster, more frequent services with thousands more seats across the region. Around three quarters of journey times will be different from how they are today – so do check before you travel. Find out more.

Share this post: