Every year in early December the town of Dartmouth runs a pre-Christmas event called Candlelit Dartmouth. Aiming to stimulate local trade and Christmas shopping, in the face of competition from the larger shopping centres of Plymouth and Exeter, which are both less than an hour’s drive away.
Candlelit Dartmouth runs on the first or second weekend of December. Activities are based around the bandstand in the Royal Avenue Gardens where live music, stands selling local crafts, mulled wine and food combine to create a festive atmosphere.
Can I do my Christmas Shopping there?
Dartmouth already has a good range of gift shops, especially for home decor, clothes and art galleries. The addition of the stalls around the centre adds variety and some unique and unusual handmade products. Hand-painted toys, jewellery and handmade cupcakes are on offer, though the latter may not make it to Christmas Day – they looked delicious.
So the answer would be an emphatic yes. And when the light fades, all the stalls are lit, though not by candles…) adding to the Christmassy feel.
What else happens?
Santa arrives by boat to switch the lights on, while entertainers perform around the town. Musical acts perform on the bandstand throughout the event, including a brass band, drum group, jazz band with the culmination being the lantern procession through the town and carol singing.
For more information about Candlelit Dartmouth visit their website.