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Christmas in the Cotswolds is an exciting time, with many towns and villages having their own lighting ceremonies, festive evenings and Christmas fayres, all complete with mulled wine of course! Here are some other events worth visiting to brighten up your stay in the spectacular Cotswolds, and beyond.

‘The Perfect Christmas Tree’ at Clearwell Caves, The Royal Forest of Dean

Saturday 29 November – Sunday 4 January 2015

Experience this charming story about a Christmas tree that just doesn’t want to be uprooted by a family who have chosen it for their festive decorations.

From Saturday 29th November until Christmas Eve, Children can see Santa in his underground grotto, choose a present, then follow delightful displays telling the enchanting story of ‘The Perfect Christmas Tree’ created through nine impressive caverns. The displays are the creation of children’s book illustrator Heather Holland, who has worked with Clearwell Caves staff to create spectacular festive displays.

100ft underground in the main cavern there is a Christmas market selling seasonal gifts and decorations. There is also a special underground Café, operating for groups only during weekdays and generally throughout weekends.No booking isrequired, except groups of 15 or more; just pay and go in! For further information see: http://www.clearwellcaves.com/

For Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Cottages Forest of Dean Cottages click here.

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings from Friday 28 November – Sunday 21 December 2014

Situated approximately 5 miles to the south of the Market town of Tetbury you can visit and enjoy Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas, featuring a spectacular one mile illuminated trail, highlighting the striking structures of Westonbirt’s magnificent trees as they are lit up against the winter night sky. Manor Cottages has a selection of cottages in the Tetbury region.

A new route is created each year to take in different specimens, paths and vistas in the tree collection. The trail lasts around 45 minutes and is definitely a welly affair. The evening also includes a green Father Christmas, festive crafts, carols from local choirs and bands, roast chestnuts and mulled wine. Well worth a visit for a special Cotswold Christmas experience.

Visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt for information on the trail and lots of other ways to enjoy the Arboretum. You can even buy your Christmas tree there!

Bampton Christmas Arts and Crafts

22nd November until 21st December

Bampton-based West Ox Arts will be giving over its gallery to a wonderful range of Christmas Arts and Crafts once again this year. The works, all of which are for sale, include original paintings, prints, cards, photography, textiles, ceramics and jewellery. The Gift Fair opens with mulled wine and mince pies for its late night opening from 6.00 to 9.00 pm on Saturday 22nd November. Admission is free.

West Ox Arts’ gallery is upstairs in the Town Hall at Bampton, Oxfordshire. Gallery hours are 10.30 to 4.30 Tuesday to Saturday and 2-4 on Sundays. Visit www.westoxarts.com for more details.

And after all that, given that you will be rather partial to mulled wine by the end of your visit to the Cotswolds, why not go ahead and make your own?! And what better chef for a pukka recipe than Jamie! Visit: www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/recipe/jamie-s-mulled-wine

For more information about staying in the Cotswolds and to view our large selection of self-catering holiday properties visit www.manorcottages.co.uk or call our knowledgeable team on 01993 82 42 52