WINCHESTER'S famous Christmas market started on November 19 with a wide variety of stalls and hundreds of people around the cathedral grounds.

Winchester Cathedral's Christmas Market is back after being cancelled last year because of the lockdown restrictions.

It marked the start of the market which runs until December 22 and attracts thousands of tourists to Winchester.

On the first morning of the event, lots of people were looking around at the large number of products on offer.

The wide range of stalls include food, drink, jewellery, crafts and art work.

The ice rink is not part of the market this year and has been replaced by a performance stage for local groups.

Local liqueur company, Dampney's Remarkable Drinks, have a stall at the market.

Richard Dampney said: “We came two years ago, we did it through Hampshire Fare, so we were just here for a couple of days. We're doing half of it this time.

“We're a small business so we were a bit worried if we would have enough stock as it does seem to go quite quickly. We're only at East Meon, so it's very easy to get here in the morning and we can top up every day if needed.”

Chris Miller from Downton Brewery said: “We've been here for three or four years now. The beer is from the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, just south of Salisbury. We were signed up to come last year, but were told last minute that we couldn't.”

Jessica Wright from Accessories of Old Vintage has a stall for the first time at the market, selling high-end costume jewellery.

David from Buckinghamshire had driven one hour to get to the market. He said: “It's our first time at the Christmas market. We came to Winchester in September for the first time and we liked it so much that we've come back for the market.”

On Friday evening, the official ‘opening ceremony’ took place in the Inner Close, and was centred around the new community stage which has been constructed at the heart of the market.

Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester and Cllr Vivian Achwal, Mayor of Winchester officially announced the opening of the market, which was followed by a choral performance from the Girl Choristers.