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Christmas Starts in Stratford on November 18th

Father Christmas makes his first appearance in Stratford-upon-Avon – win the chance to be one of three lucky winners to join him in a carriage ride around the town centre.  Click here for more details.

Christmas Lights Switch On - November 23rd

The lights display in Stratford over the Christmas period is considered to be one of the finest in the UK, presided over by a team of volunteers and funded by generous grants from the Town Trust and the Town Council and by individual donations from Businesses, the residents and the general public of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The ligths will be switched on from the Town Hall balcony at TBC and there’s a whole host of entertainment & activities around the town too.  

The first of Stratford’s five Thursday Christmas Markets takes place on Waterside on the 23rd as well. 

Christmas shopping

As well as a whole host of independent, boutique stores and national retailers, Stratford’s great mix of coffee shops, tea rooms, eateries and restaurants mean that Christmas shopping is more than just a shopping trip – it’s an experience.

The fabulous Christmas markets will be held on Waterside on the last five Thursdays in the run up to Christmas - 23rd & 30th  November, 7th,14th & 21st December 2017 open between 11am and 8pm.

A new 3-Day traditional *Victorian Christmas market opens in Stratford-upon-Avon this festive season, is taking place on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December located in the main shopping streets, throughout the town centre. Trading hours are Friday and Saturday 10am – 9pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

Well, Father Christmas will be in residence at his Magic Alley grotto on Henley Street from November 23th until Christmas Eve (before he starts his rounds).  For more information


The Royal Shakespeare Company will conclude the year with a production of A Christmas Carol, which will run from 27th November until 4th February 2018. Groups can combine seeing this play with a festive dining experience at the Rooftop Restaurant.

For something also traditional, head to the Stratford Artshouse where the pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk will be running from 20th to 30th December.

A Christmas Carol is being performed at the Bear Pit Theatre between 2nd and 7th December


For a historical perspective on Christmas, you can visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace to see how the Tudor’s decorated their homes, plus listen to a talk about Christmas in the Tudor period. 

From 16th September to 29th December you can visit the Saving Shakespeare's Birthplace exhibition at  Shakespeare's Birthplace on Henley Street.

Alternatively, discover how the Tudor's celebrated Christmas at Hall’s Croft, Old Town on 16th December, booking essential.

Guided walking tours of the Town are given by Stratford Town Walk almost every day visit for more infomation on dates and times. They even hold a walk on Christmas Day!!  It leaves at 10.30am from the Swan Fountain on Waterside.  No need to book!