Christmas lights switch-on and markets in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Waterlooville, Hayling Island and surround area in Hampshire

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The festive season is almost upon us – and a whole host of events are planned across the area including the traditional Christmas lights ‘switch-on’ as well as festive markets.


Light switch on parties: Three fantastic events are planned in different areas of the city. Hosted by Wave 105’s Mark Collins, the line-up for 2023 features stars of panto, a cast of local performers and a special visit from Father Christmas.

  • City centre (Commercial Road) on Thursday, November 16 from 5pm to 7pm with Portsmouth Christmas Market. Guests include stars from the Kings Theatre’s Hook – The Further Adventures of Peter Pan including Shaun Williamson, better known as “Barry” from Eastenders and TOWIE favourite James ‘Arg’ Argent.
  • Palmerston Road, Southsea on Thursday, November 23 from 5pm to 5pm to 7pm at the same time as the With Love Southsea Christmas Market. Guests include stars from the New Theatre Royal’s Aladdin.
  • Cosham High Street on Thursday, November 30 from 5pm to 7pm. Guests include stars from The Guildhall’s Rapunzel.
Christmas light switch on at Cosham in  2022
Picture: Habibur RahmanChristmas light switch on at Cosham in  2022
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Christmas light switch on at Cosham in 2022 Picture: Habibur Rahman

Ice-skating: Portsmouth on Ice in Guildhall Square will be open from Saturday, November 25 until Sunday, January 7.

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Portsmouth Christmas Market: The Portsmouth Christmas Market in Commercial Road takes place between November 16 and December 30 and features festive treats such as German sausages and glühwein, Christmas stockings and tree decorations. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays the market offers even more including fresh produce, gift ideas, clothing and seasonal products for a great Christmas.

Small Business Saturday Taster Market: Taking place in Commercial Road on December 2, local makers and e-tailers will join the Portsmouth Christmas market with a range of goods either brand new or only available online. It is part of the national Small Business Saturday campaign.

We Create Market: Taking place in the Cascades Shopping Centre in the city centre on December 9 and 10 from 10am to 5pm, the We Create Market features artists, crafters, and creators from the Portsmouth area as they showcase and sell a wide range of gifts and products. The pop-up market will be in the old Dorothy Perkins shop in Cascades and transformed into a festive wonderland filled with locally crafted gifts and unique items.

‘Christmas Village’ at Gunwharf Quays for 2023: Opening on November 11 until December 31 the festive village makes a return and promised to be better than ever. New attractions include an ‘Igloo-inspired’ seating area and Alpine Curling Lanes, the ‘Giant Observation Wheel’ is back for 2023 and the popular ‘Christmas Tree Swing Grill’ returns serving seasonal food. There will also be stalls and the popular ‘Alpine Lodge Bar’.

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Festival of Christmas at Port Solent: Taking place on December 9 from 10am to 5pm and December 10 from 10am to 4pm, more than 100 market stalls will be at the popular event as well as live music from local bands and choirs, street entertainment and delicious food and drink. It's the perfect festive day out to get you in the Christmas spirit.


The town’s fantastic festive event and lights switch-on takes place on Friday, December 1 from 5pm and includes carols, Father Christmas and a community get together.


Fareham Christmas Lights switch on! is taking place on the pedestrianised area of West Street on Saturday, November 18. As always, there will be something for everyone at this free event, with face painting, fun fair rides, festive gift stalls, delicious food and drink and lots of activities for children. There will also be performers throughout the day, both on the main stage and entertaining the crowds along West Street.

Father Christmas would not miss this event and the Christmas lights will be switched on at 5.30pm by the winner of the council’s summer colouring competition, supported by the Mayor of Fareham, Cllr Fred Birkett and Mayoress Lisa Birkett.

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Gosport High Street will host a full-on day of free festive fun on Saturday, November 25 which will include a special seasonal market, a Christmas lights switch-on show, street entertainment and family activities. The new Anchored in Gosport festive heritage market will run from 10am to 8pm and will include around 40 visiting traders, local market favourites, food and drink stalls, a balloon artist and a pop-up spray-painting studio. Throughout the day there will be free activities and entertainment presented on behalf of the council by Hampshire Cultural Trust.

From 11am to 2pm, visitors can get creative with the Give it a Go festival at Gosport Museum and Art Gallery and the Imagination Refinery, with free festive-themed activities, games and workshops and there will also be street entertainers who will mingle with the crowd, including angels with lit-up wings and characters from the ballet The Nutcracker.

People will be able to take part in a spectacular community sensory experience called Congregation. It will run at 12pm, 1.40pm and 2.55pm, and will culminate in a parade of illuminated umbrellas. The lights will be switched on at 6pm. The main stage, sponsored by local full-fibre broadband provider toob, will host a variety of live entertainment, including a closing show at 6.05pm by local band The Spoils.

Hayling Island

The Hayling Island Christmas Street Party returns on Saturday, December 2 in Mengham Road between midday and 4pm. It includes a Santa’s Grotto, fairground, stalls and live entertainment.

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Lee on the Solent

The Lee-on-the-Solent switch-on will be held during a "Christmas in Lee" community day on Friday, November 24 in the High Street. Entertainment will include a street market, a raffle and singing around a Christmas tree from 5pm.

Locks Heath

The Christmas lights will be switched on in the village shopping centre on November 25 in a day of festive fun, live music, a craft market and stalls from 10am to 7pm.

Waterlooville Christmas market is due to return on Saturday, December 2 in the town centre between 10am and 4pm. It will feature stalls, fun fair rides, food and drink, caroling and live music.


Wickham Christmas fair is taking place on Sunday, December 3 in the community centre featuring stalls, games, activities and a Father Christmas.