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2015 UK Christmas Fairs and Markets

2015 UK Christmas Fairs and Markets

The end of November into the beginning of December brings the start of a wide array of enchanting Christmas Fairs and Markets, that are a wonderful opportunity to sample and buy local produce, craft work, Christmas Gifts and to take lunch.

The best way to source these are by official tourists links and here are some suggestions:

Visit England Christmas Markets

Visit London Christmas Markets

Visit Scotland Christmas Markets

Visit Wales Christmas Markets

We are also offend asked if there are tours that include a visit to Christmas Markets and local attractions and indeed there are some excellent options and this is a great way to combine a sightseeing day out with a Christmas Market.

Here is a great suggestion and more details:

This exclusive tour can be booked here

Children's store with antique toys, Santa Claus and snowman

Highlights
Luxury Air-conditioned mini-coach
Expert Blue Badge Guide
Stonehenge
Panoramic tour of Salisbury
Lunch stop at Newbury
Highclere Castle (fictional Downton Abbey)
Highclere Christmas Fair

Stonehenge
You’ll never forget your first glimpse of spectacular Stonehenge, its monolithic rocks rising up against the skyline on Salisbury Plain. Theories abound about the mysterious rock formation. Was it intended as a religious temple? An astronomical clock? A Bronze Age burial ground? Make up your own mind as you explore the unique landmark that has had the world stumped for 5,000 years
Panoramic Tour of Salisbury
Soaring into the skyline, the spire of Salisbury Cathedral stands at a whopping 123m (404ft)! Erected 800 years ago, the revolutionary spire is considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. Ancient meets modern at the cathedral’s newest addition: a beautifully sculpted font designed by William Pye

Lunch stop at Newbury
This wonderful 11th century town of Newbury is our lunch stop, where there are a variety of pubs, restaurants and take away’s to choose from or you can bring a packed lunch
Highclere Castle (fictional Downton Abbey)
Highclere Castle is one of England’s most beautiful Victorian Castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland
The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current Castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years

Highclere Christmas Fair
The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will transform the State Rooms of Highclere Castle to provide a unique shopping experience in aid of Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance and St Michaels & All Angels Church. This will be a festive occasion with our spectacular Christmas tree, carol singers, Christmas decorations and a variety of exciting stalls at which you can complete your Christmas shopping
For those who wish to see a little more of the Castle, there is the option to upgrade your tickets on the day. A suggested donation of £3 to the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance will allow you to view the magnificent Galleried Bedrooms. You may also upgrade your ticket for an additional £5 to explore the ‘Wonderful Things’ Egyptian Exhibition housed in the cellars of the Castle

Private Tours
This tour is also available (subject to availability) as a private tour

Other London Christmas Tours

Other Christmas Tours

Regular London Tours

Other Regular Tours

How can I get Highclere (Downton Abbey) tickets for this summer?

All pre-booked Highclere Castle (fictional Downton Abbey) tickets for this summer and most scheduled tours from London sold out some time ago, but good news there is an easy way to get there from London and get tickets on the day

Getting to Highclere and Daily Tickets

You take a train to Newbury and from there a taxi for the 7 miles to the Castle (taxis will be waiting when you arrive at Newbury station and you can pre-book the same cab to pick you back up at Highclere later)

National Train Information

If you turn up at Highclere in good time (about 9.15/9.30am) before the start of the morning opening you will be able to buy tickets from the generous daily allocation

Arriving at that time you will likely be first in the queue when the ticket office opens

Overall this is a very straightforward way to reach Highclere and a lot cheaper than taking a fixed tour

Alternative out of London Coach Tours

Downton Abbey Tour with Highclere Castle & Filming Locations

Downton Abbey Filming Location, Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

London Tours

The Real Downton Abbey Tour with Best Value Tours

Depending on your starting location your day begins about 7am and heads out towards the stunning Oxfordshire countryside ready to visit Highclere Castle (famed as ‘Downton Abbey’)

We allow plenty of time to try and reach Highclere nice and early which is the best time to visit before the large coach groups arrive there, giving you maximum enjoyment and comfort to be able to explore this magnificent house relaxed and without crowds

If traffic has been kind to us, there maybe time for a quick Tea or Coffee stop before going in at Highclere

Next is an amazing scenic journey to the stunning ‘stopped in time’ village of Bampton which you will immediately recognise as ‘Downton Village’. From the famous green to streets and shops it is like stepping back in time straight into the world of ‘Downton Abbey’

Downton Abbey

Winner of best mini-series at the 2012 Golden Globes, Downton Abbey is the most successful British period drama since Brideshead Revisited, with ratings exceeding 10 million viewers

Longstanding friend of the Carnarvon family, Julian Fellowes had Highclere Castle in mind as he wrote Downton Abbey, and you can visit the stately home in style on the Real Downton Abbey Tour

Downton Abbey follows the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them, whose lives were changed forever during the First World War. The world of Highclere Castle and Downton Abbey were changed irrevocably by the First World War

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle is one of England’s most beautiful Victorian Castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland

The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current Castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years

For more information see link – Highclere Castle

Bampton

Will be better known to avid Downton Abbey watchers as ‘Downton Village’ the famous film location of the fictional ‘Village’ regularly seen in most episodes

Whilst this makes it all the more interesting a place to visit, it is in addition to its ‘Downton’ fame a wonderful, quaint and unspoiled village where time has stood still

It is one of the oldest villages in England, mentioned in the Doomsday book, and perfectly preserved in all its ancient magnificence A must see rural splendour, a beautiful English Village at its best Whilst there you will see numerous settings which feature in Downton Abbey, from the picturess streets to the village green – other highlights are

Bampton Library, Church View

Downton Cottage Hospital seen in Series 2

St Mary’s the Virgin Parish Church

This was the ‘Downton Village Church’ and featured regularly throughout the series

For more information – see link

Lunch

We keep up the ‘Downton’ theme with a visit next to the equally spectacular village of Swinbrook, set in the beautifully stunning, Oxfordshire country side where it is time for lunch at the delightful, traditional village pub

The Swan Inn

Once settled in side. Perhaps trying one of the locally brewed ale, you will soon notice this is no ordinary pub and you are dinning in the familiar setting, treading in the footsteps of ‘Branson and Lady Sybil’ and this is where they eloped to in the second series

There is a fantastic choice of excellent meals for lunch, at great value and topped with superb and warm local hospitality of a local English Pub known locally as; “A boutique Cotswolds Inn on the banks of the River Windrush.”

Famed as stock local beers and lagers from the Cotswold Brewing Company, real ales, such as Hook Norton Best which you’ll find have consistently featured in the Good Beer Guide

For more information see link – The Swan Inn

West Wycombe Park and Village

Next we head through beautiful Cotswolds and Buckinghamshire countryside to visit the Country House, which is West Wycombe Park and Village Chilterns countryside

West Wycombe Park is one of the most theatrical and Italianate of all English country houses and the Dashwood family home for over 300 years. Set in 45 acres of landscaped park, the house as we see it today is the creation of the 2nd Baronet in the 18th century

This Palladian gem is frequently featured in screen adaptations of literary classics such as Cranford and Little Dorrit and more recently in the television series, Downton Abbey

West Wycombe is a historic village with bags of charm. Its streets are lined with cottages and inns of varying architectural styles, dating from the 16th century through to the 18th century

For more information see link – West Wycombe Park and Village

mire tour information here:  http://bestvaluetours.co.uk/search-highclere-castle-downton-abbey-special-private-tour-282

Travel Editor
Best Value Tours