Durham Christmas Festival is back from Friday 29th November to Sunday 1st December 2019, bringing loads of shopping and seasonal entertainment for all in the heart of the city of Durham.
The three-day festival, now in its 27th year, attracts shoppers from across the North East and beyond with its combination of markets full of unique gift ideas and Christmas treats, and festive entertainment including Carols for All in Durham Cathedral and the annual Children’s Lantern Procession.
Each year, the Christmas Festival weekend is the busiest retail weekend in the city. Visitors can enjoy four festive markets; the Craft & Gift Marquee on Palace Green, the Regional Food and Drink Producers’ Market in the Cloisters of Durham Cathedral, a Festive Outdoor Market in the Market Place, and Durham Market Hall.
This year for the first time, carers visiting the festival on the first day, Friday 29th November, with the person(s) they care for, will be entitled to free entry to the Craft & Gift Marquee on Palace Green. The regular price for entry is £4 per person.
Festive entertainment during the festival includes Santa’s Grotto on Palace Green, and Carols for All in the Cathedral on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be numerous performers throughout the city centre bringing a Christmassy feel wherever you are. Always a highlight of the festival, the Children’s Lantern Procession will take place as the sun goes down on Saturday 30th November, leaving the Market Place at 3.45pm led by Mayor of Durham, Cllr Katie Corrigan. The procession reaches the Cathedral in time for the St Nicholas Service at 4.10. And as they exit the Cathedral afterwards, a fire-juggling finale awaits on Palace Green.
Colin Wilkes, Managing Director of Durham Markets which organises the festival together with Durham University, said: “There is something special about this festival, the traders love coming here because of the setting and the atmosphere. It’s a great way to shop with independent businesses, many of which come from across the North East. It’s also a great way to find unique gifts, things you’re not going to find in high street shops.”
To reserve lanterns for the Children’s Lantern Procession visit the festival website,
Durham Christmas Festival is organised by Durham Markets Company and Durham University. It is supported by partners BBC Newcastle, Arriva, Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral.