Princesshay is illuminated with ambiguous bright lights and a homogenous and PC-friendly sign decrying “Festive joy”. The Christmas tree at the top of the architectural monstrosity which is the physics building once again provides some – or any – reason to look at it.
However, to the disappointment of all concerned, the Winter Wonderland won’t have the chance to grace us with its presence to distract students during essay season. Our southern neighbours in Plymouth instead have stolen the opportunity to ride some generic fairground attractions (fit with a winter-themed paint job) and enjoy the cold, soulless landscape (a sight probably familiar to most Plymouthians) of waiting for an £8 pint. I’ve also been told there’s an ice rink somewhere, though I’m afraid I can’t source this to be sure.
Fear not, however! The Exeter Cathedral Christmas market returns for its seventh straight year of spreading joy amongst students and locals alike – at least for those who aren’t a victim of a stampede. Guests can enjoy purchasing a plethora of what can charitably be called trinkets, and less pleasantly paperweights, such as homemade salt lamps, personalised key rings and used, stylised wine bottles. All at a minimum price of £20.
For those needing a stiff drink after checking your bank account, Plymouth haven’t hogged the entire experience of buying overpriced booze. Barnova bar stands ready and firm to satiate its clients with £6 pints and £10 cocktails. Only want a water, no worries! That will only be £2. Speaking of alcohol, there is a wide range of local Devon and Cornwall spirits to take away. While some, though certainly not this writer, may think such a description evokes thoughts of a classier version of moonshine, a refreshing bottle of (presumably cinnamon or cherry-flavoured) vodka or gin can be yours for £40.