25th Nov 2019
Visitors to Royal William Yard can get into the spirit of the season, with much to see and do for all ages, as the popular Plymouth destination launches a vibrant series of events for December. From an array of merry shopping sessions and seasonal night markets, to Christmas crafts, a winter wine tasting and a special visit from Santa, the Yard’s packed winter event calendar will bring full-on festive fun to the city.
The ever-popular Festive Good Food and Craft Market will provide everything visitors need to eat, shop and be merry. Returning to its winter home in the Yard’s historic Melville building, the markets are set to fill the Yard with cheer on Sunday 1st, 8th and 15th December, from 10am–3pm. Not to be missed, visitors can expect an abundance of festive food, treats and unique handcrafted gifts from some of the region’s top traders and artisan makers.
Set to be a memorable part of any young visitors’ Christmas, the Festive Good Food and Craft Market will have a special visit from Santa. Making an appearance on the 8th and 1th December, Santa will make a trip from the North Pole to greet children by the Yard’s Christmas tree at Firestone Arches from 12:30pm.
Children can also write a letter to Santa as part of a range of Christmas craft activities set to be held in the Melville Building on the 1st, 8th and 15th December from 11am - 3pm. If that isn’t enough, shoppers on the 8th will also be treated to a performance from barbershop choir, Kingsman Barbershop Chorus, from 1:30pm. Plus, visitors to the market on the 15th will get to enjoy seasonal songs from St George’s Primary School Choir at 2pm and a pop-up pantomime by Plymouth University students.
Visitors can also experience the Yard’s Late Night Shopping Market, from 5–9pm, on the 11th and 18th December. As the evenings draw in, the Yard will be abuzz with local food, drink and craft stalls, offering shoppers a retail experience like no other. On the 11th December, shoppers can mooch the evening market aided by seasonal songs from the returning barbershop choir.
Unique gift seekers will be spoilt for choice as the Native Makers Market makes its return on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December, from 10am-5pm. Offering incredible handcrafted, bespoke wares by independent South West makers, it’s a chance to meet the creators and choose a gift with a distinctive story.
There are plenty of seasonal activities on offer for adults too, from winter wine tastings to Christmas crafts. Held on Thursday 28th November, from 6–11:30pm, discover Le Vignoble’s Mega Christmas Wine Tasting for plenty of festive spirit. With over 100 wines to taste, tickets are available at £15 per person, find out more at www.levignoble.co.uk. Alternatively, if you’re looking to get creative this festive season, Ocean Studios is offering a variety of craft workshops, from making a fabric wreath and decorations, to creating your own festive jumper. To find out more, visit www.oceanstudios.org.uk
To celebrate the Yard’s winter events calendar, from Wednesday 4th December visitors are being offered the chance to win a luxury hamper packed with delights from its very own markets. Just some of the treats include a Riverford cookbook, festive chocolates from Domea Favour and a Neal’s Yard mini facial for the lucky winner and friends, as well as a selection of food and drink vouchers. To enter, visit the Yard’s Facebook page @RoyalWilliamYd before the deadline on Wednesday 11th December.
Hailey Cattle, Regional Marketing Manager for Urban Splash, said: “The Yard has a bustling array of things to see and do this season, to make a truly merry atmosphere. There are a range of winter activities available, including Christmas wreath making and wine tasting evenings – something to keep everyone in good spirits.
"We really are pulling out all of the stops this December with plenty of opportunities to find the perfect gift at the various Christmas markets. From festive feasts to handmade wares, an abundance of seasonal favourites will be on offer… we’ve even heard that Santa himself will be making an appearance!
"Home to over 70 diverse businesses, there is sure to be something for everyone at the Yard this Christmas, including gifts that don’t fit under the tree, like a pampering session at YOKE salon, paddle boarding experience with South West SUP, a group jewellery making session at Identity Fashion, or a creative crafting course with Make at 140. When you’ve successfully nailed the Christmas shopping, stay and relax at one of our resident restaurants or wine bar!"