Christmas events are fast approaching with the cathedral organising the famous market and festive services.

The market is returning along with carol services in the cathedral, a service to celebrate the start of Advent and The Big Dress Up Nativity.

Opening on November 19, the Christmas Market is renowned for its unique location and bustling atmosphere.

As reported, this year, it will be without its ice rink, which has been replaced by a performance stage, to allow easier social distancing.

A range of festive food and drink will be on offer including mulled wine, churros and roasted chestnuts, and visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy live, local music.

Acts from across Hampshire, including choir groups, community bands, school choirs, city buskers and jazz groups will come together to perform on the stage to entertain festive visitors.

The first Christmas service this year is the Advent Procession, a spectacular service of darkness and light to celebrate the start of Advent at 6.30pm on November 27.

The cathedral carol services with music sung by the Cathedral Choir and traditional Christmas readings, will be on December 20, 21 and 23. The Big Dress Up Nativity will be on Christmas Eve at 11am and 3pm.

Alison Evans, chief operating officer at the cathedral, said: “We are delighted to announce the return of the Christmas Market to Winchester Cathedral this year.

“The market is a huge attraction, which many visitors look forward to, so we have made a few changes in order to keep all traders and the public safe.

“The Christmas Market will have something for everyone with the many unique gifts and treats on offer from the wide variety of chalets, along with live performances and additional space for visitors to safely relax with delicious food and drinks in the historic grounds of the cathedral. The return of the market is also an opportunity to put the difficulties and challenges of last year behind us and to be able to look forward to a wonderful and hopeful Christmas.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back this year, with a programme of events and services that will bring festive cheer to all.”