Top festive places to visit in Cheshire

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Find the festive magic

The festive season is upon us, and Cheshire has some delightful spots to embrace the joyful holiday spirit

Cheshire is a county that transforms into a winter wonderland filled with enchanting lights, festive markets, and heartwarming events. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, there’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by exploring the seasonal offerings. 

Manchester Christmas Markets

When: 10 November- 3 January 24

Where: Manchester city centre

The Manchester Christmas Markets are an absolute must-visit during the holiday season. These internationally renowned markets are set up in various locations across the city, each with its own offerings. Stroll through the beautifully decorated stalls, savouring the aroma of roasting chestnuts and spiced mulled wine. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the many food options; you’ll find everything from hog roast sandwiches and bratwurst to Christmas dinner inspired grilled cheese sandwiches. Wander around the many stalls and shop for handmade gifts, crafts, and delectable take-home treats. The décor, bustling atmosphere and delectable treasure make it the perfect place for getting into the holiday spirit.

Chester Christmas Markets

When: 7 November21 December

Where: Chester city centre

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Chester, with its rich history and picturesque architecture, offers a truly magical setting for its Christmas markets. The markets are nestled in the heart of the city and are known for their traditional charm, a perfect spot for getting you in the Christmas mood. You’ll find an array of handcrafted gifts, seasonal foods, and delicious mulled wine, all while surrounded by the city’s ancient Roman walls and medieval buildings. The Chester Christmas Markets feature over 70 traditional wooden chalets wrapped around the iconic, sparkling Christmas tree in the heart of the city centre. Take your time to browse the unique, locally produced treats and gifts for the perfect Christmas presents.

Lanterns and Lights

When: 17 November–31 December

Where: Chester Zoo 

For a Christmas experience like no other, Chester Zoo gets transformed into a magical winter wonderland filled with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and enchanting animal encounters, making it perfect for a family trip. Marvel at captivating light installations and be transported into enchanting lands, where you can meet orangutans, lions, dolphins and even a woolly mammoth as you make your way along the trail. Take a walk through the spectacular Winter Cathedral tunnel of lights and winding paths and you might even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas. Christmas at Chester Zoo is a truly unique and heartwarming way to celebrate the holidays.

Christmas at Dunham Massey

When: 17 November-31 December

Where: Dunham Massey, Altrincham

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Dunham Massey undergoes a stunning transformation during the festive season. The historic gardens are brought to life with a dazzling light show that takes you on a captivating journey. Stroll along paths adorned with beautifully lit trees, and marvel at the stunning colour-changing light displays that transport you to a world of festive magic. This Christmas experience is an unforgettable way to enjoy the beauty of the season with friends and family.

Yuletide: A Glittering Winter Garden Adventure at Tatton Park

When: 24 November–23 December

Where: Tatton Park, Knutsford

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Tatton Park offers a festive experience that combines both history and tradition and a little bit of magic. Step into a world of folklore as the characters and creatures from winter myths and stories come to life and tell enchanting stories. Enjoy performances, live music, and even roast a marshmallow or two around a campfire during this captivating winter adventure. The estate has a full Christmas calendar of events and workshops for all the family, making it a captivating Christmas destination

Luminate Cheshire

When: 30 November-24 December

Where: Walton Gardens, Warrington

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Luminate Cheshire is a breathtaking light display that turns Walton Gardens into a magical world of enchantment during the Christmas season. This immersive experience features illuminated sculptures, stunning light installations, and interactive displays that create a mesmerising spectacle for all to enjoy. Take a peaceful walk through the dazzling trails and be transported to a realm of wonder and joy. Luminate is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends.

Christmas at Bolesworth

When: 24 November-31 December

Where: Bolesworth Castle, Tattenhall 

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The perfect place for getting into the Christmas spirit is Bolesworth Castle, which transforms into a winter wonderland. The grounds come alive with a spectacular light trail with projections and interactive installations that help create an unforgettable seasonal experience. There’s a festive village perfect to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and roasted marshmallows, and you can even visit Rudolph and the rest of Santa’s reindeers as they get ready for the big day. A seasonal experience for all the family.


When: 24 November-16 December

Where: The Swan, Tarporley 

Swanderland is a dazzling community Christmas extravaganza that promises to capture the spirit of the season in a festive celebration like no other. Across the three weeks, The Swan will host an eclectic mix of festive events including live music such as a ‘Soul and Motown Christmas’, and even an elegant ‘Jazz and Christmas Cabaret’ as well as a Christmas party spectacular.

The Magical Woodland

When: 24 November-24 December 

Where: Blakemere

Fifteen acres of enchanted woodland are transformed into a Christmas spectacular with dazzling canopies of fairy lights, interactive light features, floating umbrellas, and clouds of flying lanterns. Rumour has it, Mr and Mrs Claus will be making an appearance. The woodland walk is an ideal activity for all the family to embrace the festive atmosphere.

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