One of our favourite things to do around this time of year is to visit Christmas markets in the local area. You can take a trip to Birmingham or into London for the world class light displays and hundreds of food and craft stalls, but there’s so much quality right on our doorstep there’s really no need to travel very far at all!
Our favourite of course is right here in Thame. On Friday December 6 the big Christmas light switch on is accompanied by an array of local stalls (including a gin & prosecco stall this year I’m told!). There’s no parking in the town centre on the day, so head to one of the several other car parks around the town and then stroll in. Here's a recent blog about best places to park in Thame. One of the things I most love about this market and event is the real community feel to it. If you’re local to the area you’re guaranteed to bump into friends and acquaintances.
Oxford has been known to put on a half decent market too, and I highly recommend the Thornhill park & ride option to get to it. You’ll be dropped off right by Broad Street, which is where the action takes place between December 5 and 21.
Head a few miles in the opposite direction, and you'll get to Waddesdon which has been on the Allen Family Christmas Market Trail for a number of years. If you’re a National Trust member it’s free to get in (there’s a bus that takes you from the car park to the house & grounds), otherwise expect to pay £27.50 for a family pass with 2-3 children. They always manage to outdo themselves with their displays of lights and winter wonderland vignettes and their market is running from now right up to December 22.
A little further up the road on the other side of Oxford we’ve got the magical Blenheim Palace. Their Christmas market runs until December 15 and although it’s free to get in and browse, if you park after midday it’s a tenner. Blenheim also has an amazing Christmas lights trail and plenty for the kids to get stuck into, so there’s something for everyone.