Dartmoor offers a magical backdrop for Christmas celebrations. As the festive season unfolds, the rugged landscapes of Dartmoor transform into a winter wonderland, inviting locals and visitors alike to partake in a myriad of heartwarming activities. Join us as we delve into the festive spirit, discovering the best activities and experiences you can enjoy near this picturesque place during the most wonderful time of the year.

Zooluminate at Dartmoor Zoo

To celebrate the festive season, Dartmoor Zoo puts on a bright and brilliant display of lights at Zooluminate. The beautiful light installations bring the zoo to life after dark, so you can enjoy a wintery walk around the site and experience magical lighting and even the chance to see some of the animals snuggled up for the night.

The lights have been specially researched and chosen to illuminate animals’ enclosures without causing disruption or harm.

Zooluminate is open from the 8th of December 2023 to the 1st of January 2024. Get your night ticket for the illuminations (17:00 – 19:30) or go for a general admission ticket, including Zooluminate, on certain days for the full zoo experience (12 – 19:30).


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Christmas Dinner on Dartmoor

One of the most magical parts of the festive season is the delicious food we enjoy at Christmas time. Here at Mill End Hotel, we are offering special Christmas roasts on Sunday the 3rd and 17th of December 2023, so you can enjoy a delicious festive feast in our award-winning restaurant. We make all of our meals with delicious seasonal produce from local suppliers, so you can enjoy the best Dartmoor has to offer! Give us a call on 01647 432282 to book.

Christmas Train of Lights

A multi-award-winning festive experience, the Christmas Train of Lights from the Dartmouth Steam Railway is an illuminated steam train that offers a magical journey. From the 24th of November 2023 to 30th of December 2023, you can ride the train from Paignton to Kingswear and enjoy an exceptional light display in an enchanted forest from the comfort of the vintage steam train carriages.

House of Marbles at Christmas

The House of Marbles becomes a Winter Wonderland over the festive period. Families will love the enchanting Santa’s Grotto, where children can meet Father Christmas and the elves, and receive a festive goody bag filled with holiday treats. Santa will be visiting between the 25th of November to the 22nd of December 2023 – booking essential. House of Marbles also offers festive craft sessions, including wreath-making workshops and Christmas bauble-making workshops, with help from the Teign Valley Glass Studio. There are also plenty of fantastic, unique gifts to be discovered in the shop here too.



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Christmas at Castle Drogo

At Castle Drogo this Christmas, you’ll find each of the rooms decorated with sparkling trees, local musicians performing festive tunes, and plenty of mulled wine to stay warm on these cold winter days. Father Christmas will be paying visits to Castle Drogo, so visiting children can share their Christmas wishes with him, as well as enjoy a story session by the fireplace in the library with one of his elves – this must be booked in advance.

From Friday 1st December, you can also follow the winter snowman trail through the grounds. There are ten snowmen to find on this wintery walk, so keep an eye out while you explore!

The Castle will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from December 1st until 15th, then daily from 15th to 23rd December.



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Christmas Markets

This is the time of year for perusing the Christmas Markets, and there are plenty to choose from near Dartmoor, including the Exeter Christmas Market, Totnes Christmas Market and Buckfast Abbey Market. Here you’ll be able discover a wide range of local crafts and produce that will make excellent gifts for your loved ones. You can find out more about these events in our guide to Christmas Markets near Dartmoor: