Christmas events in Portsmouth and Hampshire 2021: Full updating list of festive activities including a Victorian Christmas tour at Fort Nelson and breakfast with Santa at Spinnaker Tower

THERE are plenty of festive events taking place in Portsmouth in the run up to Christmas this year.
Celebrate a Victorian Christmas this year at Fort Nelson.Celebrate a Victorian Christmas this year at Fort Nelson.
Celebrate a Victorian Christmas this year at Fort Nelson.

With not long to go until the big day, the festive season is in full swing in Portsmouth and Hampshire this year.

Whether you want to attend the Portsmouth Christmas lights switch-on or if you want to celebrate a traditional Victorian Christmas, there are many of festive events for you to attend this year.

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Here's a list of Christmas events that will be taking place in Portsmouth and Hampshire in 2021:

Celebrate a Victorian Christmas at Fort Nelson

This year, you can step back in time and experience a Victorian Christmas in Fort Nelson's garrison kitchen.

This tour will teach you all about past festivities and how the military used to spend their Christmas.

Head Cook Private Dobson and Chief Baker Mrs Blenkinsopp will prepare a festive feast on their original range that dates back 150 years.

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The barrack rooms celebration will be a part of the special tours that are taking place from December 18 until December 23.

Attendees will be able to learn about the life of a soldier during the Victorian era as they enjoy a glass of mulled wine and mince pies.

Tickets cost £3.50 per person and under five's can go for free.

Event tickets will also include entrance to Royal Armouries’ national collection of artillery and historic cannon.

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Fort Nelson can be found on Portsdown Hill Road, Portchester, Fareham, PO17 6AN.

To book a ticket, please see here.

Visit a Christmas fayre and market at Highbury Community Centre

The Highbury Community Centre are holding a Christmas fayre and market on Saturday November 30.

The event will have plenty of Christmas gifts for those who have already written their Christmas lists and there will also be a raffle and tombola so you can win something for yourself!

3D cards will also be sold at the event if you want to start writing out your Christmas cards.

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Refreshments will be sold at the event including sweets, cakes and much more.

Admission is free for the fayre but donations for the scouts hut on Hawthorn Crescent will be gratefully received.

You can find the community centre at Highbury Community Centre, Hawthorn Crescent, Cosham, PO6 2TL.

Take a look around the Hotwalls Christmas market

You can start to celebrate Christmas at the Hotwalls Studios this year.

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The studios will be open with market traders selling Christmas gifts for shoppers.

This will be accompanied by live music and festive refreshments.

Admission will also be free.

The market will take place on December 4 and December 5 between 10am and 4pm.

You can find the Hotwalls on Broad Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2FS.

Explore a Festival of Christmas at Port Solent

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The Port Solent Festival of Christmas will see over 90 market stall holders on the boardwalk selling handcrafted gifts.

This will be a unique shopping experience which will be complete with festive food and drink, entertainment and live music.

This event will take place on Saturday, December 4 from 10am to 6pm and on Sunday, December 5 from 10am to 4pm.

On Saturday, the live music will be provided by Spinnaker Chorus, the Cowplain Ukulele Players, Pitch Pipers and the Fine Voice Choir.

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On Sunday, the Warsash Band, the Igloo Band and Choir and Portsmouth-based Pompey Pluckers will be supplying the festive tunes.

There will be free parking at Port Solent over the weekend and you can find the market on The Boardwalk, Portsmouth, PO6 4TP.

For more information, please see here.

Wander around the Gunwharf Quays Christmas Village

Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays will be holding their own Christmas Village this year.

The event, which is the first of its kind at the shopping outlet, will include a giant observation wheel, carnival rides and more.

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The Christmas Village will be set in the plaza of Gunwharf Quays and will run from Saturday, November 13 to Sunday, January 2.

For more information on the Christmas Village, please see here.

See the festive lights turn on in Portsmouth

There are plenty of Christmas light switch-on events in the Portsmouth area this year.

With the events promising an evening of festive entertainment, visitors will have the choice of what local event to visit.

Here are the dates for events in 2021:

Commercial Road- Thursday, November 18 between 4pm and 6pm.

Palmerston Road- Thursday, November 25 between 4pm and 6pm

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Lee-on-the-Solent High Street- Friday, November 26 at 6:30pm

The Square, Petersfield- Friday, November 26 at 6pm

Gosport High Street- Saturday, November 27 between 2:30pm and 6:30pm

Cosham High Street- Thursday, December 2 between 4pm and 6pm

For more information, please see here.

Visit the Winchester Christmas Market

The Winchester Christmas market is widely known as being one of the best traditional markets in Hampshire.

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The event was cancelled last year due to Covid:19 restrictions but it is back this year, promising to bring all the festive cheer to Winchester.

The market attracts over 400,000 people every year and it will take place next Friday (November 19) up until Wednesday, December 22.

You can find the market, which will have handcrafted gifts and festive refreshments, in the the Inner Close of Winchester Cathedral.

The full address for the market is Winchester Cathedral, Inner Close, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LS.

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Have breakfast with Santa at Spinnaker Tower

Portsmouth's Spinnaker tower are holding a breakfast with Santa event this year where your little ones can tuck in to a continental style breakfast as they tell him what they would like for Christmas.

Santa will be available for pictures with your little ones and there will even be a gift for them so they can pop their first present underneath their Christmas tree.

This event will take place between December 4 up until Christmas Eve.

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Tickets for those two years and over are £20, which includes breakfast, a gift, Santa meet and greet and all day admission to the tower.

Those under the age of two will be able to meet Santa and receive a gift with admission to the tower for £8.50.

Adult tickets are priced at £17 which does not include a gift but does include admission and breakfast.

You can book online to have breakfast with Santa now on

Go for a festive canoe paddle to find Santa in the New Forest

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This year, you can join New Forest Activities for a canoe paddle along the Beaulieu River as you attempt to find Santa.

The 90-minute guided tour will let you explore the beautiful nature reserve in a Canadian style canoe.

All children will receive a Christmas gift from Santa and there will be plenty of hot chocolate to keep you warm along the tour.

Hot drinks and mince pies are included on arrival.

This event is great for all ages from 18 months and upwards and all equipment will be provided.

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You can find this event at Bailey's Hard, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7YF

Adult tickets cost £34 each for those 17 and over, whilst child tickets for those between 18 months and 16 years are £25.

This is an updating list – so keep checking back for the latest Christmas activities over the coming weeks!

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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