24th November, 2023

Christmas shopping by train

This article is more than 7 months 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

Plymouth’s Christmas market on Armada Way is open from Thursday 30th November to Sunday 17th December. Come and enjoy the stalls selling arts, crafts, jewellery, clothing and more, plus street food and Bavarian bar. There’s also a whole host of live music from school choirs to steel bands.

It’s open every day from 11:30am to 5pm and Thursday 21 December from 11:30am to 8pm. The final day will be on 23 December, open from 11:30am to 5pm. Meanwhile Drake Circus shopping centre is also open until 9pm every Thursday in the run-up to Christmas.

Plan your trip to Plymouth.


DRAKEWALLS

Catch the scenic Tamar Valley line from Plymouth and hop off at Gunnislake station for a Christmas & Art Fair at The Tamar Valley Line Centre in Drakewells (7-min walk from the station).

From the 1st – 3rd of December (Friday 1pm – 4:30 and Sat/Sun 10:30 – 4:30) shop for the perfect Christmas gift made by local artists and jewellers, and enjoy nibbles and mulled wine.


EXETER

The city’s atmospheric Christmas market nestled alongside the Cathedral is open from Friday 17th November to Sunday 17th 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 now until 17th December 10am – 7pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am – 9pm Thursday to Saturday and 11am – 5pm on Sundays. Princesshay shopping centre also stays open late until 9pm each Thursday, as do many other city centre shops.

Plan your trip to Exeter.


TRURO

One of Cornwall’s biggest Christmas markets is back for 2023 in Truro, open every Wednesday to Sunday from the 29 of November to the 24th of 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.


LOOE

Head to Looe on Friday 1st December for the annual Christmas lights switch-on and lantern parade. The parade will leave from East Looe seafront at 6:30pm and from the millpool at 6:45pm, meeting on Looe Bridge to arrive at the Quayside Centre for 7pm.

Plan your trip to Looe.


FALMOUTH

Falmouth is buzzing with Christmas events across its Festive Weekend (9th – 10th December) such as a Santa’s Grotto, an artificial ice rink and plenty of live music! Head to the Falmouth Christmas market and stock up on locally produced gifts for your friends and family.

Plan your trip to Falmouth.


BARNSTAPLE

Barnstaple’s iconic Pannier Market (just a 13-minute walk from the station) has recently reopened following a £2.5m refurbishment. It’s open every Tuesday to Saturday, from 9am to 4pm, offering a fantastic opportunity to support local traders and find special gifts for your friends and family.

As well as this, the Barnstaple Christmas Fayre is being held on Thursday 30th November. 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, festive crafts for the little ones, hot mulled wine and even the chance to meet the Grinch!

Plan your trip to Barnstaple.


AND LOTS MORE…

There’s lots more happening too, from Crediton’s Christmas Tree Festival (7th – 10th Dec), add Okehamptons Edwardian Evening (30th Nov) and Paignton’s Train of Lights (24th – 30th Dec).

Save a third off the adult fare for you and a friend (with kids travelling for just £1) with a Devon & Cornwall Railcard – just £12 a year for local residents. Now available to buy online.

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

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