Record numbers of people flocked to the now renowned Victorian Christmas Market at Gloucester Quays at the weekend with a massive 295,000 visitors, a huge 18 per cent increase on 2015 figures.
This year the atmospheric event was enjoyed by people from far and wide, with visiting coach numbers up by 50 per cent on last year’s event, bringing crowds from as far as Scotland and Plymouth.
Matt Bird, centre manager at Gloucester Quays, said: “We’re thrilled with the ongoing growth of our Victorian Christmas Market, which has become one of the go-to events in the South West and is now attracting visitors from further than ever before.
“Visit England picked us as one of their top five festive attractions in the UK this year, and the feedback from visitors has been fantastic. This is the first year we’ve had an open air ice rink and it’s great to see so many people enjoying it with their families.”
The Victorian Christmas Market is now firmly established as the biggest free-entry event of its kind in the South West and this year featured more than 250 stalls and producers selling a wide range of delicious food and drink together with unique handmade gifts, jewellery and much more.
For the first time it also featured a new open air skating rink in Orchard Square which will continue to provide enjoyment for thrill seekers until the New Year. Anyone who missed the markets has another chance to browse some beautiful traditional chalet style stalls as Gloucester Quays opens its Christmas Market today.
Matt said: “The festivities continue with our Christmas Markets launching today. The markets are spread across our Leisure Quarter and around the ice rink. They are open from now until Christmas Eve selling high quality seasonal food, drink, art, jewellery, accessories and festive gifts that you won’t find on the high street.
“With so many leading retailer brands and great restaurants and eateries to enjoy, plus the chance to snap up those Christmas bargains at prices up to 70 per cent lower than those on the high street, we believe visitors will experience the magic of Christmas here at Gloucester Quays.”
Gloucester Quays magical Christmas Market will be open every day until Christmas Eve, and includes an M&S Outlet Christmas Pop Up Shop, a winter bandstand with live seasonal entertainment, live music and street acts during the evenings and at weekends, and a magnificent traditional ferris wheel. Open seven days a week the Christmas Markets are open 12noon – 7pm weekdays, 10am – 7pm Saturday and 11am – 5pm Sunday.
An army of giant Nutcracker dolls are also providing festive fun for all the family and the chance to take some delightful selfies until December 24. The six foot five inch tall individually painted characters are located around Gloucester Quays and visitors are invited to track down all ten with a Trail Map available from the Customer Service Desk.
Family prizes will be up for grabs including a star prize of an annual pass to all Merlin attractions. All the children who participate in the trail will also receive a ‘sweet Christmas treat bag’. (bag of chocolate coins or candy cane).
For more details visit www.gloucesterquays.co.uk