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Last updated: 19:56
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A Very Portsmouth Christmas: What's on and where to go

With an impressive programme of events for people of all ages, visiting Portsmouth just before Christmas could make an exciting trip for the whole family. Choose from markets showcasing local produce and artisan homemade goods or head to the storied Dockyard to discover some of the port city’s heritage and history. In our guide below, we’ll cover everything that you need to know about visiting Portsmouth this Christmas, regardless of with whom you’re going.

a person holding a glass of wine

What’s on in Portsmouth this Christmas? 

If you’re looking for things to do in Portsmouth at Christmas, you won’t be disappointed by the activities and events lined up for visitors. Check the Visit Portsmouth website to be the first to know about all the latest events lined up for Christmas in Portsmouth and Southsea this year.

For fans of theatre and live entertainment, there’s always something to discover in Portsmouth in the lead-up to Christmas Day. The Robin Hood Christmas Pantomime runs from 8-31 December 2022, showcasing the very best emerging local talent and promising a great atmosphere.

a person standing in front of a crowd

When is Portsmouth Christmas Market?

It’s always worth attending the monthly Hampshire Farmers’ Market in Southsea, which falls on the third Sunday of every month. If you pass by between 10am and 2pm on the 18th of December, you’ll be able to secure some of the finest local produce just in time to celebrate with friends and family. You can browse through the traders attending here.

If you’re looking for clothes, textiles, and jewellery, the Port Solent Waterside Market will feature at the annual Festival of Christmas. On the weekend of 3-4 December, residents and visitors in Portsmouth can enjoy an outstanding collection of over 40 market stalls in picturesque surroundings next to the marina.

a large ship in the background with HMS Victory in the background

What’s on at the Portsmouth Dockyard this Christmas?

Featured on the line-up for Christmas festivities in Portsmouth is the exceptional programme of events at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – plus, the hugely anticipated Victorian Christmas Festival is set to return once more. Whether you’ve been wanting to explore onboard one of the city’s historic ships or step into a new museum, the Christmas holidays could be the perfect time to plan your visit. The Historic Dockyard is just a short stroll from Portsmouth Harbour railway station, too.

Explore the magnificent HMS Victory before getting stuck into one of the dockyard’s immersive child-friendly trails or interactive activities to get Christmas off to a great start this year. Alternatively, for another fascinating step back in time, visit the Mary Rose Museum to see a unique ship used by Henry VIII’s own troops.

When do the Portsmouth Christmas lights get switched on?

Over previous years, the official Christmas light switch-on events have included performances from local artists, plus visits from Santa Claus in his grotto. With free entertainment and an opportunity to visit the Portsmouth Christmas markets while you’re there, this won’t be one to miss. Make sure to follow the latest news and coverage from local supporters including Heart Radio to get in the know when more details are announced.

Can I do any late-night Christmas shopping in Portsmouth?

In 2021, Cascades Shopping Centre held late-night shopping every Thursday from the end of November until just before Christmas, so last-minute shoppers should expect to see a similar offering this year, too. You can keep up to date with the latest opening times online.

a large body of water with a city in the background

How to get to Portsmouth in time for Christmas

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a tailback during the Christmas holidays, so why not leave the driving to us? Book train tickets to Portsmouth today to get set on your coastal adventure and get the season off to a strong start. Wherever you choose to celebrate this year, we’re with you for the journey.



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