Manchester Christmas Markets open for 2018

Manchester Christmas Markets open for 2018

Christmas markets across Kent 2018

Its time to tackle that list and stock up on Kentish goodies at fairs and markets going on across the county. Heres our guide on where to head.

The Maidstone shopping centre welcomes back its traditional Christmas market from next week. It will be open daily during trading hours and offer unique gifts and tasty treats to visitors, who can also grab a selfie with a life-size animatronic polar bear while they shop.

Ashfords Christmas Fair, presented by Pilgrim Hospice, will feature a range of seasonal stalls run by Pilgrims volunteers, local groups and businesses. The free event will fill three huge halls with delicious food and drink, beautiful crafts and games galore. It will run from 10am to 3pm.

The Hop Farm is set to host a three-day shopping spectacular with more than 220 exhibitors lined up, selling original, handmade festive wares and high-end gifts. And you wont go cold either – the stands will fill seven heated marquees and feature street food and snacks from Street Food Cafe, plus a tea tent, with hot drinks and cake on tap.

Canterburys ever-popular festive market is set to be bigger than ever this year. It expansion onto the citys high street is dependant on a planning application which goes to committee on Tuesday. With hot food, winter cocktails and unique gift ideas, the market will will be open from 10am until 6pm Monday to Friday.

Lenhams medieval tithe barn, off the high street, is to be the host venue for the villages fifth pre-Christmas made by hand craft and art market including local food and drink producers. From 10am to 4pm it will showcase the work of 60 stall holders, mainly Kent based artisans, working with a wide range of materials or producing fine food and drink from the countryside.

St Margaret of Antioch Church will open its doors from 1pm until 3pm for its annual festive craft fair organised by the Friends of St Margarets. There will be a wide selection of home-made creations including gift hampers, baking, honey, needlework, pottery, jewellery and pens. Refreshments will be served and parking is available at the end of Lapwing Drive.

Find gifts, gadgets, textiles and decorations at this one-day only event taking place between 10.30 and 3.30pm. Entry to Hever Castles grounds on this day is free, with free parking at Lake View. Entry to the fair is £3 and £2.75 to go into the castle. All proceeds from the event go to Hever Primary School and St Peters Church, Hever.

Due to its popularity the National Trust is extending the market to four days for the first time. There will be stalls with a wide range of gifts from local businesses from chocolates to candles and jewellery to antiques. It will be open from 10am to 4pm daily and is free to browse, though normal admission applies to the gardens, exhibition and studio.

The High Street will be crammed with Christmas goodies over the weekend, with a shuttle bus running between Rolvenden and Tenterden on the Saturday. Other venues include St Mildreds Church, The Woolpack Barn & Garden, Zion Baptist Church and Highbury Hall.

Visitors to The Friars can browse Christmas crafts and ceramics against the stunning backdrop of Aylesford Priory. It runs from 10am to 4pm on both days and also feature an ice skating rink, Santas parlour, Polar Express train seasonal refreshments.

The annual festive market will feature plenty of local food, drink, crafts and produce as well as ideas for special gifts, plus treats for all the family. Therell also be live entertainment, including the East Grinstead concert band performing on the Sunday. For anyone wanting to enjoy something non-festive, the Beatrix Potters Garden exhibition will be on in the Oast House exhibition space until Sunday, January 6. Entry to the market is free but normal admission applies.

The annual Christmas market will be held over four weekends, beginning on Saturday, November 24, with an array of gifts, toys, festive decorations and specialist food and drink. At the centre of the market will be nostalgic fairground rides including a Victorian carousel and the big wheel. The market will be on Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25, Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2, Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9, and the final one on Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16.

Entry is included in general admission for the castle, tickets for which last a year and cost £25.50, £17.50 for children, and under fours free. Go to leeds-castle.com

You can pick up unique gift ideas and unusual stocking fillers on the many stalls in the picturesque Rochester Castle gardens, plus wander in the Bavarian food village and visit the funfair. There will also be live entertainment and guaranteed snowfall. The highlight of the calendar will be the market on the popular Dickensian Christmas weekend, of Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2. It will be open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25; noon to 8pm on Friday, November 30 and Friday, December 7, and from 10am to 7pm on Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2, and from 10am to 6pm on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9.

Held in the marketplace by the Guildhall, the popular annual event will be packed with stalls selling handmade gifts, toys, clothes, jewellery, crafts and pottery as well as local produce. Browse with a sip or two of mulled wine and enjoy the festive music including carol singing and brass bands and donkeys.

There will be local producers selling their wares, craft activities and festive music to keep you entertained throughout the day and Father Christmas may be popping by. The ground floor of the house will be unveiled in all its Christmas glory and open throughout December. Normal admission costs apply.

Coinciding with the towns Christmas lights switch on, a market featuring loads of festive stalls will be held from 12.30pm until 5pm. Santa will be in his grotto and there will be local choirs performing too.

More than 50 stalls will this year join the annual traditional festive fair. Christmas wreaths, candles, food hampers, cards and crafts will all be among the gifts you can browse at the event on Sunday, December 2. Santa is said to be arriving in style at 10.30am ahead of the market which runs between 11am and 4pm. The tearooms will be open all day serving light lunches and there will be mince pies and mulled wine too alongside live music. Entry to the castle is free but tickets to see Santa in his grotto cost £5.

A Christmas craft market will be held in Broadway, Sheerness, from 10am to 4pm. Its part of the wider lights switch-on (5pm) events which also include a charity Santas Saunter (3pm) ending with a Clock Tower conga and the annual lantern parade (4pm).

Ashfords biggest farmers market of the year returns for its fifth outing, as the upper High Street is taken over by food and produce stalls. The event, which could feature up to 31 stallholders, is provided with free parking at the Edinburgh Road, Station Road and Flourmills car parks. It will run from 10am to 2pm.

Maidstone Museum in St Faiths Street will be opening its doors over two Saturdays in December for Christmas craft markets. Expect stalls selling a variety of local produce, handmade gifts and presents.

Taking place on the Holmans Field canal bank, visitors will enjoy a variety of exotic arts, crafts, clothing and jewellry. Food and drink will also be on offer alongside original Christmas gifts. The market is open between12pm to 8pm on Friday, 9am to 8pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.

Stallholders in Albert Square welcomed their first customers as the town hall clock struck 10am, watched over by the citys giant glowing Santa – or Zippy, as hes come to be known

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