Christmas is the season to be jolly – and you’ll find no shortage of festive fun in Totnes, Devon. From fabulous light shows and festive markets to a magical Santa’s Grotto, see our top pick of things to do to help you and your family make some magical Christmas memories.
The Best Christmas Markets in Devon
One of Devon’s most loved festive markets, the Totnes Christmas Market and Late Night Shopping evenings take place on Tuesday 5, 12 and 19 December 3pm-9pm. Spread throughout the town, this family-friendly night out will get you in the festive mood, promising over 80+ gift stalls, two dedicated food courts with your favourite street food, and brilliant free street performances from a pick of local singers, dancers and entertainers. Totnes Museum will also be open from 2pm-8pm with free family activities 3pm-6pm.
On 19 December, don’t miss the magical lantern parade organised by Totnes Carnival, which will set off on a route from the top of town to the bottom at 4pm. Join in or watch – click here to find out more.
If you’re on the hunt for unique handcrafted presents, don’t miss The Dartington Great Hall Craft Fair 1-3 December. Find stands showcasing high quality contemporary craft and design including ceramics, printmaking, jewellery, textiles and more alongside music, workshops, food and merriment throughout the weekend.
A little bird has told us that Santa himself is set to pay Dartington Estate a visit each weekend and during the school holidays this December!
Father Christmas will be parking his sleigh and settling into a magical Grotto in Dartington’s historic Courtyard. He cannot wait to meet little ones and tell them all about life in the North Pole and how Rudolph and friends are. He’ll also have news about all the hard work his helper elves are doing to get ready for the “big night”. Santa will of course be giving out little gifts too! Plan your visit.
All Aboard For Some Festive Fun
The mesmerising Train of Lights from Dartmouth Steam Railway will be getting your magical Christmas on track from 24 November to 30 December. This multi award-winning Christmas experience was the UK’s first ever steam train of lights and it is now the must-see event in the South West festive calendar. The 2023 show will capture the magic of our previous shows and will also have new displays and surprises.
Find out more: https://visittotnes.co.uk/whats-on/train-of-lights/
Another way to steam into Christmas is with tickets to ride South Devon Railway’s Polar Express. Running on selected dates from 24 November – 23 December, throughout your train ride you’ll be entertained, meeting the Conductor and his crew. All the while the train steams towards the ‘North Pole!’ Here you’ll meet Santa and one of his friendly elves. He will climb on board the train to meet you all. The Conductor will even clip your Polar Express tickets just like in the film.
The South Devon Railway also have just the ticket for keeping all ages entertained between Christmas and New Year. Their Heritage Steam Railway service will be running every day between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – the ideal way to get everyone out and about during the holidays.
Light Up Your Xmas
Get set to GloWild at Paignton Zoo until 2 January. Head into the zoo after dark for an immersive light experience featuring a variety of beautiful, interactive light installations, entertainers, and a silent disco. Get your tickets now
Prepare yourself for an innovative and exhilarating winter journey! Ignite your inner adventurer with neon bows and arrows, and ascend neon-splashed walls for an unparalleled rock-climbing experience on the quarry wall. Then, soar through the forest on a Zip Line illuminated by UV light with Dynamic Adventures. 7, 14, 21 December 2023. Find out more
Getting To Totnes
Travel by bus: Don’t forget, bus tickets are just £2 per single journey. Trains run regularly (Totnes on the mainline between Exeter and Plymouth) Click here for more travel information.