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Festive markets

Feeling the need to shop? Here, let us facilitate that! Read on for your fill of the best local festive fairs.

It’s Christmaaaaaaaaassss! OK, not quite – but I think we’re allowed to get a leeedle bit excited now. The Christmas parties, carol services and panto are all to come, but hey, November is already seeing the start of the festive fairs and markets across Kent and beyond. Ready to shop? Hell yeah!

Whitefriars, Canterbury, 16 Nov – 24 Dec

This year’s Canterbury Christmas Market is the biggest ever, with dozens of colourful cabins spread throughout the shopping centre. There’s also a fantastic selection of seasonal food and drink to enjoy while you shop. The Market will open on the 16 of Nov after the official lights switch-on ceremony. Don’t miss the popular Santa’s Grotto which will be open from 1 – 24 December in Whitefriars Square but booking is advisable. whitefriars.co.uk

Support Local Christmas Pop ups, Various Locations, 18 Nov – 16 Dec

This is the perfect opportunity for all those gorgeous online little indie shops that aren’t necessarily on our local High Streets, to showcase their wares and let customers see their products ‘in the flesh’. Running most weekends in December in Tunbridge Wells and Penshurst, they’re free to get into and you can shop from 10 – 4pm. Don’t miss this Christmas Pop Up running at One Warwick Park in Tunbridge Wells on the 18, 25 Nov and 2, 9, 16 Dec. And at Kingdom in Penshurst on 1 Dec. supportlocalpopup.co.uk

The Curious Eatery, Thurs 22 Nov

This festive Christmas market is a great opportunity to meet local suppliers, pick up some stocking fillers and enjoy some bubbly and nibbles! There will be a variety of stalls from gluten free Christmas treats to Gin and cider (from Turners) to Jewellery. Sue Davies, talented florist from Sutton Valance and owner of The Christmas Shop pop up will also have a stand where you will be able to book wreath-making and buy some of her beautiful Christmas decorations and flower arrangements. facebook.com/events
Hever Castle, Thurs 22 Nov
The Hever Christmas Fair (for which all proceeds go to Hever Primary School and St. Peter’s Church, Hever) is open for just one day, at the Christmas Market you will find gifts, gadgets, textiles and decorations. Entry is £3, free parking at Lake View and free entry into the grounds and refreshments will be available. hevercastle.co.uk
Chartwell, Thurs 22 – Sun 25 Nov
Chartwell’s ever popular Christmas Market is back! Open form 10 – 4pm to help you get the festive season off to a cracking start. With a selection of stalls to suit everyone’s tastes you’ll find the perfect present for that someone special, or even for yourself. After all, if you can’t treat yourself at Christmas – when can you? nationaltrust.org.uk
Leeds Castle, 24 & 25 Nov, 1 & 2 Dec, 8 & 9 Dec, 15 & 16 DecWander through the Christmas Market to an enchanted path leading to a magical grotto. Father Christmas will be waiting to greet you. Those who have been good, which of course you all are, will receive a traditional gift to take home. Discover a splendid array of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink. Children and adults alike will be enchanted by the birds of prey while traditional fun fair rides and live music to keep everyone entertained. leeds-castle.com
Tenterden, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Nov
Buy local, meet the makers, sample local food & drink and fall in love with Tenterden’s stunning High Street. You can expect a traditional Christmas Market, a snow machine, live music, choirs, street entertainment, street food, Santo’s Grotto and children’s fairground rides.! Don’t miss the Christmas Lantern Parade on the Friday afternoon with Narnia themed snow queens and lit-up animal sculptures. mytenterden.co.uk
Goodnestone Park, 24 Nov

A Christmas Fair set in Goodnestone Park, the privately owned stately home near Canterbury. Come along for lovely and original gifts for your loved ones this year, admission is £2 in aid of Kidney Research. goodnestoneparkgardens.co.uk

Sissinghurst Castle, Sat 24 – Sun 25 Nov

Kick start your Christmas shopping at Sissinghurst with a large range of stalls selling local food, drink, crafts and produce, which will help give you ideas for all those upcoming special gifts. We will have live entertainment throughout the weekend with the East Grinstead Concert Band back by popular demand who’ll be playing on sunday. Our restaurant and shop will be open everyday while we’re open. nationaltrust.org.uk

Rochester Christmas Market, 24, 25, 30 Nov & 1, 2, 7, 8 & 9 Dec

Set in the picturesque Rochester Castle gardens, browse the stalls for unique gift ideas and unusual stocking fillers. Come and wander the Bavarian food village or visit the funfair. There will also be live performers keeping you entertained. There is even a guaranteed snowfall, all framed by Rochester’s fairytale cathedral and castle. christmasmarkets.com

Faversham Market, 25 Nov & 9 –  16 Dec

The Faversham Christmas Markets have become a popular yearly event and are the place to pick up gorgeous, locally made gifts and produce, enjoy some festive music and sip a glass or two of mulled wine. Our historic Market Place with it’s beautiful Guildhall is packed full of stalls selling handmade gifts, toys, clothes, jewellery, crafts and pottery, local produce, food and drink. With brass bands, music and carol singing and donkeys, there is something for everyone. favershammarket.org

Penshurst Christmas Market, Fri 30 Nov & Sat 1 Dec

The Penshurst Christmas Market will take place this year on Fri 30th Nov (12pm until 9pm) and Sat 1st Dec (9am until 3pm) in Penshurst Village Hall. The Christmas Market raises money for local charities and aims to showcase small local businesses. There will also be lots of festive entertainment from local schools and choirs, bbq and delicious refreshments. A magical Christmassy event for the whole family (FREE entry and parking). facebook.com

Yuletide Market, Yalding, Sat 1 Dec

Starting with the switching on oft he Christmas lights at 5pm the High Street will be alive with street entertainers, festive food, the Farmers’ Market and a variety of stalls run by charities, village organisations and individuals, all helping to create a festive atmosphere. yaldingfarmersmarket.co.uk

Ightham Mote, Sat 1 – Sun 2 Dec

Stalls include confectionary, candles, glass flowers, jewellery, woodcrafts, art and ceramics. Father Christmas will be taking time out from his busy schedule to pop along and give the children a small gift (£2.50 per child). Children will also be able to enjoy a Christmas Craft activity in the Squire’s Room, and take part in a quiz around the decorated house. Choirs will be on hand to add to the atmosphere, so why not pop along and join in. nationaltrust.org.uk

Downtown Retro Emporium, Sevenoaks, Sun 2 & Sun 16 Dec

Downtown Retro Emporium was opened by Amber Enright earlier this year when she wanted to create ‘a venue that was eclectic, fabulously different & funky’. So if you’re looking for something funky or vintage this Christmas, their Christmas Market open from 11 – 4 pm with two floors packed with furniture, clothes, jewellery and masses of gifts. facebook.com/downtownretroemporium

Christmas Emporium at Creek Creative, Faversham, Tues 4 – Fri 21 Dec

Creek Creative art and design studios are hosting The Christmas Emporium in Faversham, presenting handmade items from a range of local artisans from Kent. Super cool, local eco-luxury brand, Elvis & Kresse, will be there with some wonderful and unique last minute Christmas gift ideas and 50% of the profits are donated to charity. Open Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Mondays), 10-4pm. elvisandkresse.com

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