17th November, 2022

Christmas shopping by train

This article is more than 1 year old.

Forget the hassle of traffic and parking the car – why not give Christmas shopping by train a go! Here’s our guide to what’s on in Devon and Cornwall’s cities and branch line destinations. Glass of mulled wine anyone?


Plymouth’s Christmas market on Armada Way is open from Thursday 1st to Sunday 18th 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.

Plan your trip to Plymouth.


Calstock’s Christmas Fayre is back by popular demand this year! Hop on the scenic Tamar Valley Line (pictured above), and head down to the village hall for some festive fun.

Expect local crafts and produce, Santa’s grotto, craft making and more! The event is on Friday 2nd December, 5pm – 9pm. The annual lights switch-on will be at 7pm.

Plan your trip to Calstock.


The city’s atmospheric Christmas market nestled alongside the Cathedral is open from Friday 18th November to Sunday 18th December. It’s Devon’s biggest Christmas market – so expect an exciting mix of continental and local independent traders, showcasing the best 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 until 9pm each Thursday, as do many other city centre shops.

Plan your trip to Exeter.


One of Cornwall’s biggest Christmas markets is back for 2022 in Truro, open every Wednesday to Sunday from the 2nd to the 24th December. (Please note – there are rail engineering works between Penzance and Truro, 5-8 December).

Find some of the best gifts around from over 100 traders while you enjoy festive food and mulled wine. Open 9am – 5pm most days (Wednesday night is late night shopping, open until 9pm). Find out more

Plan your trip to Truro.


Head to Looe on Friday 2nd December for the annual Christmas lights switch-on and lantern parade! This will be accompanied with the St Pinnock Brass Band walking from East and West Looe to the Quayside Centre, West Looe, where the lights will be switched on – followed by festive carols and Christmas songs.

Plan your trip to Looe.


Falmouth is buzzing with Christmas events across its Festive Weekend (10th – 11th December) such as Falmouth’s live nativity, choir singing and Christmas Grotto. Head to the Falmouth Christmas market and stock up on locally produced gifts for your friends and family.

Plan your trip to Falmouth.


The Guildhall will be hosting St Ives’ annual Christmas market between Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th December, the perfect place to pick up unique gifts. This is followed by the town’s lantern parade on Saturday 10th December. (Please note the St Ives Bay Line is closed for engineering works Mon 5th to Thurs 8th December).

Plan your trip to St Ives.


The Barnstaple Christmas Fayre is being held on Thursday 1st December. The event will coincide with the Christmas lights switch-on, the carol concert and late-night shopping. The Strand will be filled with local craft stalls, showcasing some of the best crafts around, the perfect opportunity to grab some extra special presents. There will be street food stalls, bouncy castles for the little ones, hot mulled wine and even Santa Claus at The Guildhall!

Plan your trip to Barnstaple.


There’s lots more happening too, from Crediton’s Christmas Tree Festival (1-4 Dec) to Okehampton’s Edwardian evening (1 Dec), Topsham’s festive market (25 Nov) and Paignton’s Train of Lights.

Train times and tickets
Look up train times and buy rail tickets on the GWR website or app.

Save a third off the above adult fares for you and a friend (with kids travelling for just £1) with a Devon & Cornwall Railcard – just £12 a year for local residents.

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