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15 Christmas markets in Northants and beyond…

Get your shopping shoes on, it's Xmas market time! Mulled wine, mince pies and the best of local, we've snooped out the best fairs to get you in the festive mood.

It’s Christmaaaaaaaaassss! OK, not quite – but I think we’re allowed to get a leeedle bit excited now. It might not be acceptable to be belting out Mariah’s Xmas hit yet, but November is already seeing the start of the festive Christmas fairs and markets. Ready to shop? Hell yeah!

Open now: Christmas at Beckworth Emporium

Expect foodie treats, handpicked gifts and lovely decorations. The constantly changing stock has so much on offer that you’ll find gifts for everyone, making this Christmas season as easy as poss. Make it a family trip with a slide around the ice rink and pick your own Christmas tree.

9 – 10 Nov: Festive Gift Fair, Holdenby House

Head to the stunning Holdenby House for a weekend of festivities. You’ll find original and artisan craft stalls, fine foods and the festive food court offers afternoon tea while you listen to their Yuletide entertainment. Santa himself will be popping along to join in too. Tickets £6 (under 16s free).

16 – 17 Nov: Christmas Craft and Gift Market, Wicksteed Park

The annual two-day market returns to the pavilion at Wicksteed Park. Expect over 80 stalls of amazing local crafts and businesses, children’s face painting, glitter tattoos and other activities; including picture opportunities with children’s characters. Entry fee is £2 (children free) with 50% being donated to Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

Sat 23 Nov: Christmas Sparkle, Higham Ferrers

This Xmas event is way more than just a market, it’s a full day, family event. In addition to the classic market stalls, there’ll be a fun fair, continental market, Santa’s grotto and live entertainment on the Market Square. It’s even Victorian themed to celebrate 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria.

27th Nov – 1st Dec: Victorian Christmas, Rockingham Castle. 

Be transported to Christmas Eve, 1849 and spend the day with the Watson family for a traditional Christmas like no other. Candle lit trees, open roaring fires, and lots of costumes. There will be festive food and you can browse the Christmas gift shop to take a little something home.

30 Nov: Etsy Made Local, Kettering Arts Centre

Talented artisan makers from across Northants are coming together for the third annual Etsy Made Local. Expect to find fun and quirky gifts you won’t see anywhere else, the perfect opportunity to get those one-of-a-kind presents.

Thurs 5 Dec: Christmas Food and Gift Market, The Duston School

These annual Xmas shenanigans provide mid-week excitement for the Mudlets with reindeer feeding and Santa’s grotto (booking only) all on a school night. With a huge variety of food and gift stalls on offer from around Northants, you’ll have a great chance of sniffing out a unique gift.

Sat 7 Dec: Christmas Market, Oundle

The beautiful little town will be roaring with festive cheer as they switch on the lights and fill the town with market stalls packed full of food, gifts and goodies. Enjoy the sound of carols, brass band and enjoy the funfair too with lots to do and see.

Sat 7 Dec: Christmas Fayre, Vintage Retreat

The finest vintage Christmas – a truly fabulous, festive event with interesting and beautiful gifts on offer; it’ll be hard not to treat yourself! There’ll be delicious food and tasty treats to keep up your Christmas shopping energy. Free entry.

7 – 8 Dec: Christmas Fair, Billing Aquadrome

The Christmas market weekend will be full of market stalls and crafts to get you in the festive mood, and even Santa will be there! A visit to Santa costs £2 per child, fingers crossed they’re on the nice list!

14 – 15 Dec: Christmas Fair, Delapre Abbey

This marvy mansion delivers last-minute Christmas shopping like no other. Enjoy an array of stalls, music, festive food, donkeys, and craft activities in the beautiful setting of the Grade II* listed Delapré Abbey. Entry £5 and includes access to the entire Abbey (under 16s free).

Sat 21 Dec: Farmers Market, Higham Ferrers

We all love Christmas food and treating ourselves to rich, luxury goods. Head to the Farmers Market and enjoy the wonderful range of fresh, local produce to stock up on in time for the big day – just imagine how lush your cheeseboard will be!

 

FURTHER AFIELD

7 Nov – 23 Dec: Birmingham German Christmas Market, Warks

The largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria, it’ll hit you right in the Xmassy feels. It sprawls out along New Street and in Victoria Square and features an ice rink, big wheel and proper good mulled wine.

8 Nov 19 – 5 Jan 20: Southbank Centre Winter Market, London

As well as purchasing Christmas produce, artisan treats and other goodies from the Nordic-themed chalets, visitors are in for a treat with Christmas shows, workshops, performances and other family-orientated fun.

22 – 24 Nov: Presents Galore Christmas Fair, Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse, Suffolk 

This fair is an extremely pleasant way to shop with no extortionate car parking, over 100 boutique stalls and a restaurant to refuel in. You’ll find beautiful local products that aren’t in mainstream shops, and it’s a registered charity, Racing Welfare, supporting people working in the racing industry, so you can feel like you’re spreading some seasonal good will.

22 Nov – 15 Dec: Blenheim Palace Christmas Market, Oxon

If you want something quite extra, you need to head here. Within wooden chalets, the market is filled with a variety of hand-picked, irresistible gifts, unique works by a range of designers and tempting treats for foodies. The Illuminated Winter Trail is always a, quite literal, highlight, as the spectacular grounds are lit up with lasers, projections, and thousands of lights.

4 – 5 Dec: Christmas Fair, Highclere Castle, Berks

Live out your Downton dreams at Highclere with carols in the Saloon, an enormous tree, handpicked gifts to buy in the State Rooms. It’s grandeur all the way, baby. Ticket includes entry to the Castle State Rooms, Gallery Bedrooms, and Shopping Marquee situated on the Castle Lawns – so you can have a cheeky snoop whilst you’re there.

Words: Lizzie Johnston

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