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Food, fun and festive fayre! Christmas markets in Argyll & The Isles

Food, fun and festive fayre! Christmas markets in Argyll & The Isles
Nothing gets you in the festive mood like a Christmas market, and in Argyll & The Isles there are plenty to choose from! Often organised by local producers, these markets are a great way to pick up unique Christmas gifts as well as delicious artisan products, local meats and seasonal goodies for your Christmas table. From hand-crafted candles to stunning jewellery, locally made cheese to lamb from the hill farms, there’s something for all tastes. You’ll get to meet the producers and have a chat. So for a different shopping experience this Christmas, why not check out the festive markets in Argyll & the Isles?

You could start this weekend at the Tighnabruaich Christmas Lights Switch-On & Festive Market on 24th November. As well as mulled wine, mince pies and carol singing, there will be an outdoor street market selling lots of local goodies.

The Oban Winter Festival comes to a close this weekend, but the best has been saved till last! Head to Oban Distillery for the Distillery Market on 25th November, a fabulously festive market with live music, local crafts, seasonal treats and more.

Dunoon Dazzles, a fun-filled day leading up to Dunoon's annual Christmas lights switch on, also takes place on 25th November. In addition to the festivities on the street, the newly refurbished Dunoon Burgh Hall is hosting Cowal Craft Forum's Christmas Craft Fair from 11am-4pm.

The Creggans Christmas Cracker on 26th November is another lovely market. The Creggans sits on the shore of Loch Fyne in Cowal, just an hour and a half from Glasgow. With carol singing, festive lunches, stalls selling artisan produce and gifts, Santa's Grotto, afternoon teas and Christmas cocktails, it really is a cracking way to kick start Christmas.

Over on Kintyre, the Malt Barns at Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown on 26th November play host to the Campbeltown Christmas Market with over 60 local craft and food stalls. There will be plenty to keep kids occupied, with a Santa's Grotto from 12 to 3pm.

Out on the island of Mull, the Craignure Christmas Producers' Market on 26th November features a wide range of island produce including Mull cheese, local pork, beef, venison and lamb, as well as a variety of handmade breads, jams, vegetables, cards and crafts.

Head deep into Argyll’s Secret Coast for the Kames Christmas Market on 2nd December. Organised by the local allotment group, this annual event is renowned for tables groaning with gorgeous crafts and gifts, artisan breads, local lamb and venison, chutneys, jams, sweet treats and more. The Portavadie Festive Market is on the same day from 10am to 4pm. It’s just a few miles from Kames, so why not visit both? Portavadie is a stunning setting on the banks of Loch Fyne. Browse the stalls selling locally made Christmas cards, arts, crafts, baking, jewellery and more and then enjoy a swim in the infinity pool.

On the Sunday it’s over to Bute for the Mount Stuart Christmas Market on 3rd December. Held in the beautiful Marble Hall, there will be stalls, festive entertainment, Santa's grotto, delicious food and more. Pick up some extra special decorations or gifts before heading to the Bute Kitchen for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

The Helensburgh Festive Market on 2nd & 3rd December is the beating heart of the Helensburgh Winter Festival, filling Colquhoun Square with a wonderful range of seasonal goodies and International street food to tempt your taste buds! Make a day of it and visit Hill House while you’re in town. Or for something a bit different, cross the ‘bridge over the Atlantic’ to the island of Seil near Oban for the Seil Island Hall Christmas Craft Fair on 3rd December. Expect lots of stalls selling a variety of crafts, as well as carol singing and home baking.

There are Christmas markets on the ‘Bonnie, bonnie banks’ too. Farmers markets are held every weekend at Loch Lomond Shores, and December’s markets have a distinctly festive feel! Head along from 10am on Saturday and Sunday for fresh, local produce, homemade treats and arts and crafts. The Christmas Market at Loch Lomond Shores runs from 19th November right through until until Christmas Eve. Browse the wooden cabins, pick up seasonal treats and stocking fillers and soak up the festive atmosphere. Indulge in hot roasted chestnuts and gingerbread hearts and choose your real Christmas tree (from 1st December). Or how about the Christmas Market at Cameron House from 15th to 17th December? The market will feature a range of local suppliers selling a variety of handmade goods including jewellery, art, homeware and clothing as well as food and drink.

And finally, brighten the dark winter days with the Isle of Gigha Winter Festival on 16th & 17th December. On Saturday there will be a craft fair from 11am to 4pm featuring locally made gifts. You can also join a guided walk in Achamore gardens and visit Grandfather Frost's grotto.

Travel and accommodation
If you’re planning to spend Christmas in Argyll, then you’ll be pleased to hear that many hotels in the region offer special seasonal rates and packages. You’ll need to check ferry timetables if you’re planning to travel on or around Christmas Day.

Take a look at our Events Diary for more festive events in Argyll & The Isles.
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