THE fifth Christmas Market in Stratton attracted thousands of people including Father Christmas and his reindeer.

Swindon brewers Arkell’s set up what is believed to be its biggest market with more than 45 craft, food, drink and gift stalls.

Head brewer Alex Arkell, 34, said “It started off as something small, we just wanted to encourage people to come and see our lovely and beautiful Victorian brewery here. It was so well supported, between 2,000 to 3,000 people came this year. I think it’s local most of the people coming here are right on our doorstep. There’s a great community around there.”

Families had the opportunity to watch bands and choirs performing and visit Father Christmas and his reindeer.

Daniel Whites, 9 from West Swindon said: “It was probably the best experience of my life for Christmas faith and markets. I’ve had lots of nice things from the stalls and I got to see Santa. And I love the atmosphere.”

Bryony Marsh, 52 from Stratton St Margaret added: “It’s just different, different crafts, it’s homemade and people have put a lot of work and effort into it, so it’s really good.

“It’s Christmassy, and I love it, we come here every year, and this is the first time we got a stall.

“My husband is an artist., he brought his own reading cards. It’s just nice because it brings the community together. “

Swindon choir The Songbirds performed carols and festive Christmas songs on the day until the end of the market.

Event Coordinator Terri Rhind said : “I love it because it’s just the most wonderful thing to see children recognise the song and start singing and dancing.

“I like to perform but I also like to come and buy. there are so much here that people have made themselves , people should just come here because it’s amazing.”