SOUTHAMPTON residents can expect festive cheer with the return of the Christmas market.

Each year thousands of people flock to Above Bar Street to enjoy the German-themed Christmas market.

It features wooden ‘chalets’ selling handmade gifts and food.

Visitors have a choice of two bar areas offering German draught beer, mulled wine and winter warmers like hot chocolate.

One of the main features of the market are the twice-daily ‘flying Santa’ shows, which draw large


The crowd-drawing event is expected to run from Thursday, November 18 until Thursday, December 23.

Another major Christmas attraction is the ice rink outside the Westquay Shopping Centre.

The Daily Echo has approached the retail complex for details of this year’s winter calendar.

However, it has been confirmed there is currently no information to share.

Giles Semper, the executive director for the city BID said: “It’s so pleasing to us that Christmas 2021 will look something like we remember in Southampton. Last year we had to write off almost everything that was planned, and it hurt.

“Business is strong at the moment and we are optimistic now that this will continue right through to Christmas. It’s vital that we keep the buzz going on the high street. We are certainly planning to do our bit with a Christmas marketing campaign and the lights switch-on on 18th November.’

Speaking about the return of the market, Councillor Spiros Vassiliou, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Heritage, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming back the Southampton Christmas Market this year in the city centre between Thursday 18th November and Thursday 23rd December 2021.

“We’re working with the organisers, Wela Markets, to ensure that the market stalls and activities will be COVID safe and will be making an announcement of the full plans and festivities on offer soon.”

Last year Southampton city councillors made the “very difficult decision” to scrap large events amid rising covid infection rates.