As the year winds down, the Wye Valley is warming up with a host of enchanting events to bring a sparkle to your December. Whether you’re looking for fun-filled family activities, artisanal markets for that perfect Christmas gift, or moments of cultural immersion, our beloved region has something for everyone. We’ve done the groundwork and shortlisted some of the most exciting happenings from December 11-17, 2023. Remember to book in advance and always check with the hosts for any changes, especially given the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Christmas at Goodrich Castle – Dec 11 – Dec 15
Goodrich Castle transforms into a Yuletide wonderland from December 11th to 15th. Embrace the festive season amidst historical grandeur, with ancient tales and Christmas carols echoing in the stone halls. The highlight is certainly the beautifully lit tree standing regal in the castle grounds. For more information, visit their website.
Hay Winter Festival – Dec 11 – Dec 12
Head over to Hay-on-Wye for their popular Holiday Festival on December 11th and 12th. This spirited community gathering includes a Christmas Market featuring local crafts, festive food, and live music. Additionally, renowned authors and speakers will grace proceedings with talks and discussions. Find further details here.
Special Event: Santa’s Grotto at Hampton Court Castle – Dec 11 – Dec 17
Bring the little ones to meet Santa Claus in his magical grotto at the Hampton Court Castle from December 11th to 17th. Kids can share their wish lists with Santa, receive a special gift, and even get a chance to feed Rudolph and his friends. Please note tickets must be pre-booked, which you can do here.
Herefordshire Carol Service – Dec 12
Join in the traditional Herefordshire Carol Service on December 12th in Hereford Cathedral. Experience the warm echoes of carols in this beautiful historical building, followed by mince pies and mulled wine. Find more information on the cathedral’s website.
Special Event: The Gruffalo Winter Adventure at The Dean Heritage – Dec 13 – Dec 17
From 13th to 17th December, join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep and dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book, The Gruffalo. Explore interactive exhibits at The Dean Heritage Centre and participate in fun, festive-themed activities that will delight the whole family. More details can be found here.
Winter Farmers Market and Craft Fair – Dec 14
On December 14th, the Winter Farmers Market and Craft Fair in Ross-on-Wye’s Market Square promises an excellent opportunity to shop local and find some unique last-minute Christmas gifts. Enjoy local food products, handmade crafts, and more. Check out more information via this link.
Candlelit Tales at Eastnor Castle – Dec 15 – Dec 17
Prepare yourself for an evening of enchanting storytelling in the atmospheric setting of Eastnor Castle from December 15th to 17th. Immerse yourself in beautiful, candlelit narratives told by skilled storytellers; a perfect lead up to the holiday period. Find out more here.
The Wye Valley is positively brimming with festive events this December. From enchanting historical settings to delightful local markets, these curated events will provide priceless memories and pure joy to you and your loved ones. Indeed, December is the most wonderful time of the year in our beloved Wye Valley!