It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
We are fast approaching the festive season, which is our favourite time of year here at The Duke!
Plymouth has pulled out all the stops to ensure that this is a Christmas to remember! And the magic begins tomorrow…
Plymouth City Centre
The Christmas Light switch on is one of the most highly anticipated events in Plymouth’s calendar taking place tomorrow (Thursday 17th November). Crowds gather to witness the moment when the button is pressed and Plymouth is lit up in a spectacular fashion, this year that privilege will fall to a member of the community who has made a difference, this seems in perfect keeping with the true meaning of the season! There will be live music to entertain the crowds as well as a visit from some special guests including Captain America, The Little Mermaid and Spiderman! This is an evening not to be missed.
The switching on of the Christmas lights also signals the start of the Nutcracker trail and in turn the Snowflake Trail. The Nutcracker Trail will take children (and their parents of course) on a journey around Plymouth City Centre where they will be on the lookout for 20 giant Nutcrackers! Once you have found them, simply write down the name of the Nutcracker and submit in one of the three post boxes around Plymouth to be in with a chance of winning one of 20 iPad minis’!
Armada Way Gardens will be lit up not only by the twinkling Christmas lights, but also by the fabulous Snow Globe! This is a favourite with children year after year as they can step inside their own winter wonderland. You can have your photo taken so that the memory will last forever and could even have a group shot which would make the perfect Christmas Card!
The Plymouth Christmas Market will be situated in the City Centre from the 1st – 18th December and will boast over seventy log cabins selling amazing products from all over the South West! The market is set in the centre of all of the activity, creating a great atmosphere for everyone! New for this year is a marquee where you can purchase your own Christmas tree which can be delivered to your car with a donation to charity.
There will of course be fabulous entertainment including performances from local choirs and singers as well as a Bavarian bar with a heated seating area so that you can sit and soak up the atmosphere surrounded by the festivities.
The Plymouth Land Train launched this year and has been embraced by the whole community, we love seeing the Mayflower Express make her way around the city with residents and visitors! For Christmas, they will be offering a special route where Father Christmas himself will take visitors from the West End across the city to Drake Circus and back. Sit back and relax as you are taken on a magical journey past twinkling lights, Nutcrackers and shop window displays, all aboard! We can’t think of a better way to get around the city whilst doing a spot of Christmas shopping!
The City Centre will sparkle this season and we hope you are able to enjoy some of what is on offer!
Adding a little extra sparkle to the light switch on, Drake Circus will be opening their fabulous Grotto on Thursday 17th November which will remain open until Christmas Eve, when Father Christmas will be heading off to deliver presents! Children will be able to go along and meet the man himself and receive a special gift from him and his helpers. Great for parents encouraging their children to shop a little longer!! Drake Circus will also be making it snow everyday at 4pm between 17th November and Christmas Eve. The shopping centre will also be open until 9pm every Thursday in the run up to Christmas (from 1st December) with festive performances from local choirs. There will be a 12 Days of Christmas competition with lots of fabulous prizes on offer. With over 60 shops and restaurants and 1,200 parking spaces, Drake Circus is a shopping venue for the whole family! We have seen their new decorations going up ahead of Thursday and we are feeling excited! For more details, please click here.
Royal William Yard
For those of you who love shopping, The Royal William Christmas Market is the perfect place to be on 4th December! This fantastic event is packed to the brim with lots of festive activities that the whole family will love, Father Christmas will even arrive on an RNLI lifeboat! The Good Food Market is run by the organisers of Totnes Good Food Sunday and is sure to have a wealth of locally sourced treats in time for Christmas (or before if you can’t wait!). Opera singers Amelia Whiteman and Annalise Gladstone will be performing along with an electric violinist which is sure to wow the crowds. There will also be a lantern making workshop and children’s entertainment throughout the day. This event is sure to get you in the Christmas Spirit if you are not already!
Other festive activities happening at the Yard:
The Yard will also offer a range of opportunities to buy gifts and treats this year.
Nov 24 & Dec 8 – Cornish Interiors – Christmas shopping nights
Dec 7 – Cornish Interiors – wreath making workshops
Dec 2-4 – Martin Bush Gallery – pre-Christmas art exhibition
Dec 4 – Envy – Christmas open day packed with hair and beauty ideas.
NOv 25- Dec 18 – Ocean Studios – Teresa Pemberton Exhibition – ‘Painting The Earth with Granite and Amber’
Dec 15 – Le Vignoble – speed wine tasting event.
“Christmas at The Yard promises to be truly spectacular this year offering something for everything. It’s really exciting,” said Urban Splash Director, Emily Handslip. “I hope everyone will bring friends and family down and join in the magic and fun!”
The Plymouth Waterfront Partnership are putting on a wonderful array of entertainment this weekend (19th and 20th November). There will be real snow to play in, live entertainment from local groups and choirs including Starlines Theatre School, Ocean City Sound Choir and the Estover Brass Band. They will also be offering a tour around the historic Barbican where you can experience the classic tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ as the Barbican Theatre bring the story to life! For more information, click here.
The Snowflake Trail is another fabulous activity for the family, where children can search for 20 large snowflakes located around the Royal William Yard, Millbay, the Barbican and Sutton Harbour. Upon submitting your entry, you will be entered into a competition to win lots of amazing prices including an iPad mini, family tickets to the National Marine Aquarium, a high-speed rib ride around Plymouth Sound and a VIP lunch at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel (the best prize we think you’ll agree)!
The Waterfront is set to sparkle with so many activities, we hope you can join the fun!
Illuminate and Thanksgiving
Join the community at the Mayflower Steps on Thursday 24th November for a special ceremony at 4.45pm marking Thanksgiving. There will be performances from the Mayflower 400 Legacy Choir, along with the Navy Volunteer Band and the Young City Laureate. Follow the magical community light parade with theatre and performers, along the route to the Plymouth Guildhall. For more information, please click here.
More Festive Fun Across the City
Mount Edgecombe Christmas Fair is held over the weekend of 10th and 11th December and will feature Christmas Carolling, stalls with lots of gifts and culinary delights. There will even be inspirational cookery demonstrations from leading West Country chefs and visits from Father Christmas himself!
Following a successful 2015, the Radiant Christmas Grotto will be opening its doors on 3rd December with a series of 15 minute Christmas performances followed by a chance to get creative and take something away which you can treasure. Rumpus Cosy, the on-site café will be offering Scrumptious Christmas Afternoon Tea to finish off a fabulous visit.
With such a fabulous array of events we are all spoilt! If you are a resident make the most of the sparkling calendar of entertainment and if you live further afield then make Plymouth your one stop destination to get you in the Christmas spirit.
If you are looking to treat yourself then why not stay at the Duke? Traditional decorations will fill the hotel (they’re going up this week!), with the deep reds and greens in keeping with our classic period charm. We love Christmas as the corridors are filled with laughter as family and friends catch up, we have several indulgent Christmas menus and after a fun filled evening guests can head to our cosy lounge where they can enjoy a Baileys coffee or mulled wine next to the roaring fire place before heading up to one of our luxurious bedrooms.
Christmas in Plymouth will be truly magical in 2016! Enjoy every moment…