Winter festivals, Christmas lights and festive markets – communities across Argyll & the Isles are getting ready to celebrate the festive season with an array of seasonal events. Here are eight that you can’t miss. Why not combine your visit with a ramble followed by a hearty lunch and enjoy Argyll’s stunning winter scenery as you explore the area?
Brighten the dark winter days with one of Argyll’s winter festivals. There’s so much to celebrate, with great seasonal food and drink, music, entertainment and more.
Oban Winter Festival - 16th to 25th November
Oban’s award-winning Winter Festival is a cracker. It’s jam-packed with seasonal fun, from whisky tasting to festive markets, ceilidhs to ice skating. It’s a ten day celebration of Oban's unique culture and community with street parades, reindeer, international and local performing acts, fire art, pipers, lantern parades and family fun. The festival also celebrates St Andrew’s Day with a Scottish Food & Craft Market, Haggis Festival, Whisky Festival, Clootie dumpling competition, ceilidh, and St Andrew’s Day Tartan Dash.
Helensburgh Winter Festival – 1st and 2nd December
The lovely town of Helensburgh hosts one of the best winter festivals in Scotland, with a fabulous festive market, outdoor skating rink, live music, Santa's Grotto, Santa Dash, reindeer and more.
Many Argyll communities herald the start of the festive season by switching on their Christmas lights. The events range from big, all-day celebrations to small, intimate affairs. Wrap up warm, sip a glass of mulled wine and light up for Christmas!
Dunoon Dazzles – 24th November
Head to Dunoon on the Cowal peninsula for a fun-filled day of family events leading up to the annual Christmas lights switch-on. The action takes place in the town’s Main Street with reindeers, Santas, pipe bands, a festive market and all-day entertainment.
Helensburgh Christmas Lights – 24th November
This spectacular event takes places in the heart of Helensburgh in Colquhoun Square. The fun starts at 2pm with live music and entertainment throughout the afternoon.
Campbeltown's Christmas Lights – 30th November
On Kintyre, Campbeltown’s lights switch-on is on St Andrew’s Night, so it’s a double celebration. Enjoy a ceilidh in Burnside Square, late night shopping, live bands, singing, dancing, street entertainment, Santa's Grotto and more.
Tobermory Christmas Lights – 30th November
Out on the island of Mull, the Tobermory Christmas Lights is a real community affair. Tobermory's Main Street shops will be open from 6pm offering mulled wine and festive treats. Gather at the clock tower at 7pm to see the magical Christmas lights being switched on.
Nothing gets you in the festive mood like a Christmas Market, and in Argyll there are plenty to choose from! They’re a great way to pick up unique Christmas gifts as well as artisan products, local meats and seasonal goodies for your Christmas table!
Kames Christmas Market – 1st December
Head deep into Argyll’s Secret Coast for the Kames Christmas Market. 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.
Portavadie Festive Market – 1st December
This lovely market takes place at Portavadie, which is just up the road from Kames. Browse the stalls selling locally made Christmas cards, arts, crafts, baking, jewellery and more. Why not combine it with a visit to the Kames market?
Mount Stuart Christmas Fair – 1st and 2nd December
Don’t miss this two-day event, held in the stunning Marble Hall in Mount Stuart on the island of Bute. There’s a fantastic selection of artisan food and local crafts on offer, as well as entertainment and activities for children.
Campbeltown Christmas Market – 2nd December
Over on Kintyre the Malt Barns at Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown play host to the Explore Campbeltown Christmas Market with over 60 local craft and food stalls. There will be plenty to keep kids occupied too.
Take a look at our events diary for more festive events.