CHRISTMAS is coming!

Halloween seems an age ago already, and with December just around the corner, it can only mean one thing for the city. Christmas is upon us.


Southampton's city centre market returns tomorrow, with a launch event to commemorate the yearly tradition.

Shoppers will be able to enjoy an alcoholic drink, as well as Bratwurst and waffles, and over 40 stalls full of traditional and handmade gifts.

The event, organised by GO! Southampton Business Improvement District in collaboration with the Marlands Shopping Centre and Southampton City Council, will begin with live entertainment at 4pm, hosted by Wave 105's Mark Collins, with music, show performances and stars from the Mayflower Theatre's pantomime, Dick Whittington, and Nuffield Southampton Theatre's Billionaire Boy.

The countdown to the lights switch-on, which will feature more than 250,000 LEDs, will begin at 6.30pm, and the flying Santa’s first flight will take place at 7pm. There will be two flying Santa shows Monday to Saturday at 5pm and 7pm, and on Sundays at 4pm and 6pm. Each show lasts 15 minutes and is weather dependant.

At the opening, local band Galaxy Thieves will take to stage at 4pm followed by Ryan Heenan from David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy show, which will be performed at Nuffield Southampton Theatre from November 20 to January 6.

Pop and television star Suzanne Shaw, best known from her time in Hear’Say, and ITV's talent search Popstars, will be joined by fellow star of Mayflower Theatre’s Dick Wittington star Andrew Ryan. They will lead the crowd for the switch-on countdown.

After a shaky start, Skate Southampton's ice rink is now in place at the West Quay esplanade. It has been labelled bigger and better than last year by organisers. A bigger bar and a VIP section has been added.

Southampton Christmas Market is among the events being protected with additional security measures this year.Southampton Christmas Market is among the events being protected with additional security measures this year.


Tomorrow also marks the switch on of Winchesters Christmas lights. Heart Radio’s Rich Clarke will be hosting an evening of live entertainment and fun, with the city’s Christmas lights being switched on by local Winchester heroes nominated by members of the public.

This starts at 4pm, with the lights being switched on at 6pm. Entertainment comes in the form of school choirs and karaoke's , among more.

Winchester Christmas Market will returns for its 13th year on Saturday, in its traditional cathedral plot, around the ice rink. The traditional chalets will be filled with festive food and Christmas gifts. Mulled wine, bratwurst, mince pies and stollen will all be served, or, the Cathedral Refectory and Ice Rink Café Bar & Kitchen will provide a warm and comfortable setting with plenty of seating and great menus.



The festive season gets underway in Eastleigh on Saturday. Father Christmas will be turning on the Yuletide lights display, which is inspired by snowflakes and stars, following a day full of fun and festivities.

The free family day out features Santa’s Grotto, entertainment, live music and a variety of specially selected market stalls, with a chance to buy unique gift items.

The climax of the event is the spectacular torchlight parade and a dazzling firework display in the Leigh Road Recreation Ground. The day starts at 11am, with a 7pm finish time.



Over Saturday and Sunday November 24 and 25 Fareham's Victorian Christmas weekend will be in full flow. The grand finale will take place on the Sunday when special guests will turn on the lights. Between 10am and 8pm on Saturday guests will be able to visit the market stalls and pick up some unique Christmas gifts, sample yummy food stalls and enjoy a festive tipple. There will be pop-up musical performances throughout the day along West Street, funfair rides for the children, plus Westbury Manor will be open with their 'Putting on a Show' exhibition.

Following on from the Saturday, the Sunday will have all the same plus street performers, reindeer, face painting, music performances, character walkabouts, a visit from Santa, fun fair rides and activities at Westbury Manor. The lights will be on at 4.30pm with some special guests from the Victorian times.


The festive season will get into full swing in Romsey with the Romsey Winter Carnival and the Christmas light switch on on November 24. The carnival procession on November 24 will start at the Crossfield Hall car park at 6.18pm. It will go through Broadwater Road, Palmerston Street and The Hundred and will stand by boots to await the lights switch-on at 6.30pm.


Festive market stalls will be selling Christmas ware and treats on Lymington High Street, starting November 23. St Thomas Church will hold a Crib Blessing service at 6:00pm. The 2018 Lymington Christmas lights will then be switched on by the Mayor at 6:15pm, followed by Santa's arrival in Lymington.



This year's Christmas Festival in New Milton will feature entertainment from many local artists, with singers, bands and entertainers on the stage and in the street, on November 24. There will be scores of stalls in Station Road, selling crafts and gifts as well as local food and drink.

The event will also incorporate a Disney themed Lantern Parade organised by The Lions Club and the town's Christmas lighting will be switched on for the festive season.


Enjoy entertainment outside The Mailmans Arms from 5pm, followed by the Lyndhurst Christmas Lights switch-on at 6pm, on November 24. There will also be a small fireworks display and shops will stay open until 7pm.