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Return of Victorian Christmas Market providing an early present to town’s tourism

A decision to return Stratford’s Victorian Christmas Market bigger and better has been praised for giving the town’s tourism sector a much-needed shot in the arm.

The popular market is returning for the first time since 2019 next month after last year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Return of Victorian Christmas Market providing an early present to town’s tourism

For the first time ever, this year’s market will be held as a four-day event after Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council included an extra day to the festivities. 

General Manager at the town’s Arden Hotel, Josefine Blomqvist, said the decision has already proved a hit, with the hotel now fully booked over that weekend thanks to market visitors.

Ms Blomqvist said: "The market has grown in popularity every year and we have seen a rise in demand for it this year, as reflected in our bookings. 

“We’ve got market visitors booked in from Bournemouth to Brighton and they’ve told us they can’t wait to come back to Stratford-upon-Avon and soak in the market atmosphere again. 

“It’s always an event that gives the town a real buzz but it is a real testament to the Town Council to bring it back bigger and better this year. 

“With the market returning, December is looking like an exciting month and we are very much still taking bookings every day with people looking to stay, celebrate Christmas or just have a bite to eat while in town.”

The 45-bed hotel, equipped with an all-weather terrace, cosy afternoon tea lounge and 2 Rosette No. 44 Brasserie restaurant, is part of the Eden Hotel Collection and is located in the heart of historic Stratford-upon-Avon, providing a perfectly-located stay for market visitors.

Stratford’s award-winning Christmas Market was first held in 2017, attracting around 58,000 visitors, but it has grown in popularity with some 125,000 market-goers flocking to the town in 2019. 

This year’s event is held from Thursday, December 9 to Sunday, December 12, promising around 300 stalls for Christmas shopping, food and drink, entertainment, and a traditional funfair. 

Matt Jennings, Culture, Tourism & Leisure Portfolio Holder Stratford on Avon District Council, said: “We are delighted that the Victorian Market is back not only as it brings so many people into the town but it is also a sign that things have progressed since last year.

“It has become a major success in a short space of time thanks to the efforts of the Town Council, and the fact that our hospitality and tourism businesses are feeling the positive impact is great news after they have endured such a testing time.”

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