A sparkling line up for Christmas in Portsmouth


The countdown to Christmas in Portsmouth’s main shopping areas will be officially marked this month with a range of sparkling events from Christmas Lights Switch On Parties, the We Shine Art and Light FestivalChristmas markets and the return of Portsmouth on Ice.

The countdown begins on Thursday 17 November with the Commercial Road Christmas Lights Switch On Party and the opening of the We Shine Art and Light Festival where the streets and buildings of Portsmouth will be transformed into a night-time gallery. The Portsmouth Christmas Market and the festive edition of the We Create Market will also open for late night shopping. In Southsea, the Christmas Lights Switch On Party is taking place on 24 November and in Cosham on 1 December.

The Christmas Lights Switch On Parties are sponsored this year by local business Nexus Independent Financial Advisers and hosted by Wave 105’s Mark Collins. The line-up features stars of panto such as Channel 4’s First Dates Grant Urquhart, who is starring in Cinderella at the Kings Theatre, along with a cast of local performers and the big switch on finale.

Councillor Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development said:

” I am delighted that we can countdown to Christmas with such a great programme of high street events. My thanks go to our sponsor and supporters from our business community who contribute so much to make these events happen. I urge residents to join in the sparkling festive fun and start your Christmas shopping by rediscovering Portsmouth’s shops, businesses and local makers.”

Kerry Nelson, CEO of Nexus Independent Financial Advisers, said:

“We’re passionate about Portsmouth and supporting the local community at Nexus, which is why we’re so delighted to sponsor this year’s Christmas Light Switch On Parties. It’s been a tough year for everyone so we hope the lights will bring some much-needed cheer and that everyone will enjoy all the festive activities Portsmouth has to offer.”

For Christmas shopping, the Portsmouth Christmas Market in Commercial Road will be selling festive treats such as German sausages, glühwein, Christmas stockings and tree decorations. The We Create Market will be in the old Sainsbury’s and be brimming with local makers, designers, and artists. There will be more markets in Southsea with the Love Southsea Market every weekend in December.

Portsmouth on Ice, the real rink in Guildhall Square, which guarantees skating whatever the weather, will be open from Saturday 26 November until Sunday 8 January 2023.

For the full programme and local shopping ideas visit rediscoverportsmouth.co.uk