The best Christmas markets 2017

The best Christmas markets in the East of England to get you into the festive spirit

Wherever you are in East Anglia there’s a Christmas market for you. So wrap up warm, sip on mulled wine and browse one of the fantastic Christmas markets taking place across the region in 2017….

Norwich at Christmas 2016 – Pic by Keiron Tovell

Christmas markets in Norfolk 2017

Festive Fair at The Forum, Norwich, 24-27 November

This four-day Christmas market promises to be an enticing event featuring 50 indoor and outdoor stalls selling East Anglian arts, crafts and produce, perfect for Christmas presents and stocking fillers. There’ll also be live music and winter foods for that added touch of festive cheer. www.visitnorwich.co.uk/whats-happening/event/festive-fair-at-the-forum/

Norwich Makers Market, St Thomas’ Church Hall, Earlham Road, 25 November

Pick up gifts from the city’s best hand picked designers, makers, bakers and illustrators. norwichmakersmarket.weebly.com

Etsy Made Local Norwich at The Assembly House, Norwich, 1-3 December

This pop up event brings sellers from the popular website Etsy offline and into their local communities. Etsy Made Local Norwich will be the perfect destination for shoppers who want to get ahead of the Christmas rush and find special, handmade gifts – whilst connecting with local designers behind the items!

Norwich Global Village Christmas Market The Forum, Norwich, 30 November – 2 December 2017, 10 am – 5 pm 

Returning to The Forum, Norwich is the three-day Norwich Global Village Christmas Market! This market is rather unique in that it’s presented by small local businesses and global artisans which specialise in offering beautiful and unique products from around the globe (with some carefully-chosen Norfolk additions)! 

There’ll be indoor stalls on all three days with their finest traders, illustrators and makers selling beautiful gifts from around the world. Plus on Saturday, outside, there will be: Mulled wine, German bratwurst BBQ and French crepes. And Christmas carols and brass bands throughout the day to put you in the festive spirit! www.norwichglobalvillagemarket.co.uk

Art Fair East St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, 1-3 December, 10.30am to 6pm  

Art Fair East, one of the Eastern region’s largest and liveliest contemporary visual arts events, is the kind of event rarely seen outside London. It brings together artists, galleries and dealers from the UK and overseas, including a large contingent of talented artists from across the east of England, and takes place in the spectacular medieval setting of St Andrews Hall in the heart of Norwich.

Amongst the international range of exhibitors this year will be dealers in editions by Damien Hirst and Banksy, alongside those offering work from the Norwich School of Painters including names such as John Kiki and Bruer Tidman. www.artfaireast.com

Woodforde’s Brewery Christmas Market Broadland Brewery, Woodbastwick, 2 – 3 December, FREE entry  

Indulge in a weekend of beer tastings, brewery tours and Christmas gift inspiration from local food, drink and craft producers. This free annual event provides the opportunity for visitors to sample some of Woodforde’s Christmas products including its festive brew Tinsel Toes and NOG Christmas puddings.

In addition, the Christmas market stalls will also showcase some of the region’s finest produce from cured meats to wines, chutneys to cheeses and a variety of different foods from an abundance of local producers. Guided brewery tours will be available throughout the weekend enabling visitors to learn about the art of crafting Woodforde’s fine selection of beers and give insight into why the brewery was crowned The Good Pub Guide’s ‘Brewery of the Year 2015 – all free of charge. 

Local choirs will be carol singing to get everyone in the festive mood. Plus, Woodforde’s brewery tap, The Fur and Feather, will be open as usual offering hearty meals so visitors can really rest their weary feet after all that shopping! www.woodfordes.co.uk

The Festive Food Fair at Holkham Hall, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December, Free entry

Feast your senses in The Lady Elizabeth Wing. A delicious collection of food and drink from the best of local and regional producers offering a truly magical Christmas food event. Stock up on ingredients for your own Christmas feast, or find plenty of treats for the food lovers on your gift list. ‘It’s Not All About Turkey’ – a cookery theatre with a difference featuring demonstrations from local chefs, yuletide musical entertainment will mean you’ll be feeling truly festive! www.holkham.co.uk/events/christmas-at-holkham/festive-food-fair 

Deepdale Christmas market 2016

Deepdale Christmas Market, Burnham Deepdale, North Norfolk, 1-3 December

Back for a ninth year, this festive season visit Deepdale Christmas market to find a variety of wonderful presents and decorations from over 120 independent artisans, producers and traders who you won’t find anywhere else. With over 100 stalls, entertainment and activities, this is a really wonderful day out for the whole family. www.dalegatemarket.co.uk/christmas-market

Sandringham Christmas Fair at Sandringham Park, 17-19 November

With everything from pottery and sculpture to cakes and nibbles, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings of Sandringham Estate. www.livingheritagecraftshows.com.

The best Christmas markets in Suffolk 2017

Lavenham Christmas Fair, Market Place, 1-3 December

A seasonal feast for the senses! Enjoy music and entertainment, browse gifts from local craftsmen and tuck into festive food. There’s fun fairs, reindeers and Father Christmas for the little ones and the chance to enjoy a guided lantern walk around the medieval village. www.discoverlavenham.com/lavenham-christmas-street-fair

Ipswich Christmas Craft and Food Fair at Suffolk Showground, 4-5 November

A wide range of Christmas and seasonal goodies including art, craft, design, food and drink. Plus live reindeers will add to the atmosphere! www.oakleighfairs.co.uk/ipswich-christmas-crafts-food-fair

Jimmy’s Farm Christmas Fayre, 2-3 December

The fayre will feature everything we love about Christmas; gifts, choir, reindeer, mulled wine and festive food! jimmysfarm.com/event/christmas-market

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, town centre, 23-26 November

The Angel Hill area of Bury St Edmunds will be transformed into a winter wonderland full of stalls selling local produce and crafts accompanied by on-stage entertainment. Visitors on Friday and Saturday will also be able to sample the delights of Bury St Edmunds provisions market on the Buttermarket and Cornhill while, this year, the date also coincides with the Cathedral’s Christmas Fair and the Medieval Fayre in Moyse’s Hall Museum. www.burystedmundschristmasfayre.co.uk

Long Melford Christmas Craft Fair, 18 November 2017

Over 40 stalls presenting keen shoppers a wonderful range of special designed gifts for Christmas.

Blythburgh Christmas Market, 25 November 2017 

A festive market of more than 20 stalls featuring locally made crafts, Christmas gifts, holly wreathes, Christmas decorations and much more.

Christmas Fair at Clare, St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, 2 December This event will showcase a selection of gifts, decorations, crafts and Christmas produce. Sip a glass of something warm whilst you take a look at items such as jewellery, cakes, dolls, pottery, artwork and more. Refreshments will be available as well as Christmas carol performances. www.clare-suffolk.co.uk

Woodbridge Mammoth Christmas Fair, 3 December 

Running for over 20 years, it is held on the first Sunday of December and kicks off Woodbridge’s Christmas shopping season. The streets will be lined with stalls, over 100 in fact, where local tradesmen and businesses will be selling everything you could possibly need to complete your shopping list.

Starting from the Thoroughfare by the Red Lion pub to the Royal Mail offices in Cumberland Street, many of the town’s businesses will be holding pop up stalls outside their stores. The atmosphere is buzzing as the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas fill the air. Visitors hustle together to browse goods such as handmade decorations, crafts, accessories, clothing and local arts to name a few, while sipping on a cup of steaming mulled wine and tucking into local foodie treats. It’s an event not to be missed so put the date in your diary now!

Christmas at Blackthorpe Barn

A Magical Christmas Treat at Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham, 27 October – 22 December  

Every year the heavy oak doors of Blackthorpe Barn, just outside Bury St Edmunds, are drawn back to unveil a truly magical Christmas experience for all to enjoy. If the romance of the long tree lined approach doesn’t get feelings of excitement fluttering, stepping inside the rustic barn that dates back to 1550 will. Enter the Country Christmas Shop (open everyday from 27 October until 22 December) and see the glorious displays of everything Christmassy with decorations, gifts, treats and aromas that transform you back to your childhood, combined with the sheer sophistication of the most intricately designed and hand-made delights. The magic continues to the amazing Santa’s Grotto, the Best of British weekend craft market (each weekend from 11 November and for six weekends thereafter), workshops, and famous Rougham Estate Christmas Trees, grown in special plantations nearby the barn.

A must for younger visitors to the barn is the hugely exciting Santa’s Grotto, the talk of the town says it’s the best grotto ever and delivers the most amazing and unforgettable Santa experience. Tickets are only available online from www.blackthorpebarn.com

Snape Maltings Christmas Farmers’ Market, 23 December 2017 9.30am – 1.30pm 

Snape Maltings hosts their Christmas Farmers Market where there will be lots of local produce, story telling and Christmas craft making. snapemaltings.co.uk

Cambridgeshire Christmas Markets 2017 

Mill Road Winter Fair, Cambridge, 2 December

Every year on the first Saturday of December, Mill Road in Cambridge is transformed into a winter wonderland. Browse the market stalls and tuck into festive food, while colourful parades, musicians and dancers provide the Christmas cheer! www.millroadwinterfair.org

Ely Christmas Gift and Food Fair, 17-18 November

Now in its sixth year, the fair has established itself as one of the most popular in East Anglia. Set in the beautiful Ely Cathedral, the market features local tradesmen and stalls great finding the perfect gift as well as demonstrations such as festive cake decorating and seasonal floral arrangements. www.elycathedral.org/events/christmas-gift-food-fair

Peterborough Christmas Market Village, 18-23 December

Surrounded by historic buildings and dazzling lights, the festive market rivals those found in Europe. Made up of 14 pretty Christmas chalets and 30 traders in their German style huts, visitors can shop, eat and be merry! www.peterborough-christmas-market.co.uk

Huntingdon Christmas market, 1-3 December

Kicking off with the Christmas light switch on on 1 December, the three day event will host a fantastic variety of stalls offering a range of Christmas gift ideas, stocking fillers, grocery foods for hamper collections, hot foods, mulled wine and spiced cider. For more details search ‘Huntingdon Christmas Market 2017’ on Facebook. 

Christmas markets in Hertfordshire 2017

St Albans Christmas Market

St Albans Christmas Market, 25 November – 23 December

This market gets bigger and better every year. The European style market has around 50 chalets and stalls selling gifts, crafts, food and decorations set among the twinkly lights of the walled Vintry Garden adjacent to the magnificent the Cathedral. www.enjoystalbans.com/whats-on/ChristmasMarket/visit/index.html

The Frost Fair at Hatfield House, 16-19 November

This fair has everything great abut Christmas! Held in the Old Palace, Riding School, Stable Yard and heated marquees on the Palace Green, pop along and browse up to 200 stands of gifts and watch craft demonstrations, stop at the Fine Food Fair for mouthwatering treats and enjoy live entertainment throughout the day. There’s also drop in workshops and Father Christmas will be making an appearance! www.hatfield-house.co.uk/event/the-frost-fair

Hitchin Christmas light switch on & Big Weekend 

The festivities begin with the Christmas tree light switch on Friday 24 November. Residents and visitors will be coming together for an evening full of festive cheer. Featuring Choir on Fire, The Signing Elves and Living Nativity, plus music and plenty of street food stalls, it offers everything you need for family-friendly Christmassy evening. The lights will officially be switched on at 6.15pm. 

For a weekend of shopping full of festive fun, visit Hitchin from 9-10 December for the ‘Big Weekend’. Guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit it will feature The Santa Express Landtrain, a giant snowglobe and Santa’s grotto – he’ll be arriving in style on the Market Place with a reindeer procession at 12.20pm. Add in street entertainers and more festive entertainment, and you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to the North Pole – lets just hope it’s not as cold! Late night shopping available until 8pm. 

Christmas market at Lee Valley White Water Centre, 25 November – 24 December 

From Saturday 25 November until Sunday 24 December, Lee Valley White Water Centre will be transformed into a Bavarian themed winter destination complete with an ice rink, Santa’s grotto, festive food and drink, Christmas market and fun fair. This brand new event will feature an array of fun activities for all age’s onsite, the main attraction being a state of the art ice rink which stretches over 420m² (Ticket prices start from £5pp). For those wanting to soak up the festive spirit, the Christmas market will host a variety of different stalls and a Santa’s grotto. 

Ware Dickensian Evening, 2 December

Last year over 10,000 people flocked to this festive event. Taking over the town centre, there will be stalls, entertainment for adults and children, late night shopping and the switching on of the mighty horse-chestnut tree in Tudor Square. www.dickensian.org.uk

Bishop’s Stortford, 2 December

Back for a third year, the Christmas Fayre held on South Street, Potter Street, North Street and Market Square will be accompanying the Christmas light switch on. It’s a great chance to buy presents and stocking fillers while supporting local business. 

Experience a new Christmas market at Lee Valley Centre

Bedfordshire Christmas markets and shopping 

Bedford Christmas Fair, 17 November

Located at St Paul’s Church in aid of charity, the fair hosts a number of stalls perfect for picking up special gifts! www.stpaulschurchbedford.org.uk

Carrie’s Christmas Handmade & Vintage Fair in Ampthill, 19 November

Coinciding with the Christmas light switch on, the fair offers a great selection of all things handmade and vintage, perfect for one-off gifts! The event takes place at the Stables venue at the rear of the White Hart Hotel. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Carriesfairs/events/

Made in Bedford’s Christmas Artisan Fair, 19 November

Taking place at the Bedford Corn Exchange, 10am-4pm, the event brings together the very best of local craftsmen and tradesmen. Enjoy mulled wine and mince pies while browsing beautiful local made things all under one roof. www.facebook.com/madeinbedford

Olney Dickens of a Christmas, 3 December

This year’s annual Dickens of a Christmas market will be held on Sunday 3 December, 10am to 4pm. Traders dressed in Victorian clothes will occupy Olney’s Market Place and High Street with stalls offering festive treats. As the smell of roasting chestnut and mulled wine fill the air, visitors can browse everything from an array of gifts, holly wreaths and wrapping to handmade crafts. Delicious mulled wine, hot chocolate and turkey rolls, among other tempting festive treats, offer the perfect excuse to warm up.The Farmers market offers delicious local produce and is the ideal opportunity to get some tasty ingredients if you’re planning a Christmas party.

Christmas markets in Essex

The Germans Christmas Market at Meadow Croft Garden, 6 November – 24 December

Promising to bigger and better than the previous two years, stop by the Meadow Croft Garden in Battlesbridge and soak up the festive atmosphere complete with German beer, Gluhwein and market stalls. meadow-croft.co.uk/german-market

Christmas Winter Wonderland Weekend at Blake House Craft Centre, 2-3 December

The ultimate Christmas shopping extravaganza, browse stalls offering gifts, crafts, décor, homewares and food. www.blakehousecraftcentre.co.uk

Handmade at Hylands, 23 November

Escape the stress of the High Street and join the resident artists at Hylands House for a wonderful Christmas shopping evening in Hylands beautiful Stables Courtyard. Purchase handmade, art, gifts and decorations whilst sipping mulled wine and enjoying the free festive entertainment. www.chelmsford.gov.uk

Christmas market and late night shopping in Saffron Walden, 1 December

The historic market town will be holding an evening of festivities! Join the crowds for extra shopping opportunities, a seasonal market in the heart of the town, Christmas Fair at the Town Hall, carol singing and children’s entertainment from Father Christmas. www.visitsaffronwalden.gov.uk

Essex Festive Gift & Food Show 2017, 4-5 November

Taking place at the Brentwood Centre, there will be more than 200 stalls packed with Christmas gifts, presents for all the family and delicious festive food and drink. Here you’ll find gifts for everyone with items including fashion, homewares, toys, crafts arts, décor and presents for pets. Tickets cost £5 adults, £2 children. www.festivegiftshow.co.uk

 Manningtree Christmas Festival, 9 December

Enjoy browsing market stalls selling arts, crafts, food and drink. Meet Father Christmas in his Grotto, watch a fantastic variety of street performers and enjoy live music and carol singers throughout the day. For those staying until its dark (5:30pm) will be able to witness the Manningtree’s Big Christmas lights switch on. manningtreechamber.co.uk/

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