December – Feeling Festive

Christmas Markets and days out the whole family will love!

As that familiar chill returns to the air, it’s undeniable: winter is approaching and it’s bringing Christmas with it!

You might not have begun your Christmas shopping yet, but now is the perfect time to embrace the holiday spirit and plan an enjoyable day out. Throughout November and December, you don’t have to endure endless car rides into crowded city centres to experience the magic of Christmas. North Wales boasts its own splendid selection of Christmas fairs and markets!

Browse unique gifts for your loved ones, discover exquisite handmade decorations for your home, or stock up on seasonal food and drinks. Christmas markets provide a delightful outing for the entire family, and here’s our roundup of the finest along the North Wales coast.

Remember, when planning your festive day out by train, we recommend you check with Traveline Cymru for the most up-to-date public transport and travel information before you go. 

Llandudno Christmas Extravaganza, Llandudno – November 16-19

Your nearest station: Llandudno

Visit North Wales’ renowned seaside resort for the annual Christmas Extravaganza, a major event in the town’s calendar. Enjoy traditional festive entertainment, including carol singing and a visit to Santa’s grotto, while perusing numerous food, craft and gift stalls. The choice of stalls here rivals many of the bigger markets across the border – there’s everything from homemade treats to one-off gifts and homewares – and with free entry it’s a great value family day out too. 

As usual, Mr and Mrs Claus will be on hand to meet your little ones and assess their Naughty or Nice status, but booking is essential! And if the unpredictable Welsh weather threatens your festivities, why not rent an igloo? Yes, you read that correctly! 

For the full list of vendors, to book Santa or an Igloo, and to find out what’s on each day, click here.

All Photos Credit © Hawlfraint y Goron © Crown Copyright (2024) Cymru Wales

St. David’s Hospice Christmas Fair, Llandudno – November 25

Your nearest station: Llandudno

This year, the event takes place within The Arena at Venue Cymru and promises to be bigger and better than ever before. With over 75 local stallholders showcasing the finest food, beverages, gifts, and handmade goods, along with beloved hospice games and stalls, it’s the ideal opportunity to complete your Christmas shopping.

After your shopping spree, sit back and enjoy live festive performances by local bands, choirs, and singers.

Father Christmas will also be in attendance at his grotto, along with some special guests throughout the day. The grotto will be open from 12pm – 3pm and costs just £2 per child. Children will receive a small gift and have the chance to chat and take a photo with the Man In Red.

Fancy supporting this amazing charity at Christmas? Find out more here.  

Traditional Christmas at Penrhyn Castle, Bangor – November 25 to January 1

Your nearest station: Bangor 

This year, Penrhyn Castle, a National Trust property, celebrates the activities and pastimes that bring families together during the holiday season. Whether it’s playing board games or baking seasonal treats, the castle invites you to share quality time.

The stunning Victorian kitchens are busy preparing for Christmas, and the castle’s public spaces are adorned with beautiful trees and decorations. After exploring the house, venture into the castle gardens for a brisk winter walk, where you’ll feel at one with nature on the trail to the bird hide at Afon Ogwen, offering breathtaking views.

Of course, no festive visit to Penrhyn is complete without a group photo in front of the massive Christmas tree which takes pride of place in the Great Hall! 

For more information, visit the Penrhyn Castle webpage on the National Trust website.

Christmas at Plas Newydd, Anglesey – December 2 to January 1

Your nearest station: Llanfair PG

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit at Plas Newydd this Christmas. Twinkling lights and decked-out halls bring warmth to Plas Newydd during the Christmas period, with plenty of festive cheer.

The lavish interiors provide an excellent spot for a silent disco! Follow in the footsteps of the 5th Marquess, who hosted many lavish parties here. Put on your dancing shoes and dance the day away your way in the Music Room!

If you head to the Old Dairy Café, grab a festive hot drink to keep warm or treat yourself to a 3-course festive lunch (booking essential). Alternatively, embark on a wintery walk around the garden and explore the 150 acres of gardens, woods, and parkland.

To learn more about Plas Newydd at Christmas, click here.

Colwyn Bay Christmas Artisan Market, Colwyn Bay – December 9

Your nearest station: Colwyn Bay

Kickstart your Christmas shopping with a visit to Colwyn Bay’s annual Christmas Artisan Market. Featuring a diverse range of stalls offering everything from continental deli treats and craft beers, to beautiful handmade jewellery and crafts, it’s a wonderful opportunity to find unique gifts for friends and family.

Enjoy a drink from the pop-up bar as you browse the traditional stalls, where you can explore the arts and crafts, handmade gifts and delectable treats at your leisure. Additionally, enjoy live music and festive street entertainment, suitable for all ages.  Keep an eye out for the Man In Red, known to make appearances for photos.

Conwy Winterfest, Conwy – December 9

Your nearest station: Conwy 

Immerse yourself in a medieval atmosphere and celebrate Christmas as it was seven hundred years ago. Conwy Winterfest features historical street performers, hot chestnut vendors, minstrels, Morris Dancers, jousting knights and late-night shopping. The culmination of this fabulous evening? A grand torchlit parade through the town – truly magical!

Father Christmas will be in residence at the Jester’s Tower during the Winterfest (as well as on several dates throughout the Christmas period) but booking is essential as he’s naturally a very popular chap! Book your visit here

For full details on the Winterfest, including the torchlit parade start time click here

Bangor ‘Christmas Cracker’ Market, Bangor – December 10 

Your nearest station: Bangor

Experience Bangor in a whole new light with its special Christmas Artisan Market, transforming the city into a winter wonderland. There’s so much to enjoy here: glide across the ice rink, jump aboard the Santa Express, visit Father Christmas and meet his reindeer, and enjoy a ride on the festive fairground. 

And if that isn’t enough, Christmas carols, seasonal fayre and a fireworks display will provide a festive atmosphere as you explore a variety of stalls with a festive drink in hand from the holiday bar.

There’s something for everyone this Christmas 

Whether you plan to visit Santa to ensure your place on the Nice List or simply need to complete some last-minute Christmas shopping, there’s something for everyone, young and old, to enjoy along the North Wales coast in the coming weeks. 

With quaint villages boasting boutique shops and eateries, towns hosting all the big name stores and shops, and garden centres bursting with sparkling lights and decorations, it’s a great destination for a festive trip this winter. What are you waiting for? Get your (ice) skates on and climb aboard the North West Wales Coast and Conwy Valley Railway for a very merry Christmas visit!