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Christmas Fairs and Markets in Eastern England: Festive Fare and Holiday Gifts In Historic Settings

Published by Eddie Billops

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300 Santas In Suffolk Streets

Bury St. Edmunds is a historic city in Suffolk, and its beautiful cathedral forms a fabulous backdrop to the Bury St. Edmunds Christmas Fayre. From 28-30 November there will be 300 Santas in the ancient streets around Angel Hill, alongside entertainers, carol singers and market stalls, making this an unmissable celebration of the spirit of jollity and goodwill. Trains from London’s Liverpool Street to Bury St Edmunds take two hours and pass through some of the loveliest countryside in Southern England, so even the journey is a treat.

Royal Christmas

The Queen’s estate at Sandringham in Norfolk hosts a Christmas Craft Fair from 28-30 November. Admission is £5 for adults, £2 for accompanied children. Artists, designers, potters, silversmiths and other craftsmen have a wide range of gifts on offer, and there are demonstrations of crafts from beekeeping to glassblowing. Marionette shows and make and take workshops will keep the children busy, and the Fine Food Hall offers lots of Christmas goodies. Trains from London Kings Cross to Kings Lynn take about two hours and a bus or cab will take you on to the Royal estate.

Mediaeval Christmas

Norwich hosts its Festive Fayre from 3-14 December. This beautiful cathedral city offers mediaeval architecture as a setting for its traders and minstrels, and if the street entertainment isn’t enough, there’s an outdoor ice-rink at the Forum and a mediaeval market in the ancient merchant’s trading hall, Dragon Hall. You can enjoy the atmosphere and street entertainment for free, though there are charges for skating.

It takes 2 hours to get to Norwich by train from London Liverpool Street Station.

Another Norwich Christmas Fair takes place on 22 November in The Halls, Saint Andrews Plain. On 13 December there’s an indoor Christmas Gift Fair with a Santa’s Grotto for the little ones, in the Memorial Hall on Norwich Street in Dereham, just outside Norwich, raising funds for the Dereham Lions. Admission is free.

Bavarian Christmas in Essex

The seaside town of Southend hosts a Bavarian Christmas Market at the end of the High Street from 15 November to 21 December. Admission is free. Traditional Bavarian foodstuffs and enchanting crafts and gifts are waiting to entice shoppers, just an hour by train from London’s Liverpool Street Station. There’s also a Christmas Craft and Gift Fair on 8 November at the town’s Royal Hotel, on Southend High Street.

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