As the days grow shorter and our thoughts turn to the festive season, the historic towns and villages of Sussex look dazzling decked in fairy lights. There are numerous Christmas Markets in Sussex where the mulled wine flows and chestnuts are roasting. Santa will be popping up all over the place! Here are just a few of the many events to enjoy in East and West Sussex this Christmas. We’ll be adding more as we hear about them.
above: Carols by Candlelight at Bailiffscourt, Climping, top image: Arundel at Christmas by Nigel Cull Photography
What’s on in West Sussex this Christmas
Christmas Craft Fayre & Santa’s Grotto, Storrington
Saturday 10th November, 12 noon to 4 pm
Just one of the many Christmas markets in Sussex held each year with festive gifts and decorations aplenty. Free parking and free entry. Children can also visit Santa (payable on the day).
Experience Christmas in Bognor Regis
22nd November 2018 to 6th January 2019
There’s a wonderful range of events in Bognor Regis this Christmas including an exciting mix of street performers, live music, late night shopping, Santa Express train rides and a live character hunt! You’ll find a full list of events on the Love Bognor Regis website.
Ice Skating on the Prom, Bognor Regis
Thursday 22nd November 2018 to Sunday 6th January 2019, 10 am to 9 pm, £6 per session
Ice Skating is back, bigger and better with an ice rink covering 600 square metres of real ice. Santa’s Grotto, children’s rides, Christmas market chalet, a life size snow globe, a German style swing grill and a bar all add to the festive cheer in Bognor Regis this Christmas.
Winter Wonderland at South of England Showground Ardingly
24th & 25th November Adults £6, concessions £5, under 16s free with a paying adult.
Another fabulous Christmas market in Sussex is held annually in the South of England Showground. A giant snow globe, chocolate workshop and vintage carousel transform the South of England Showground into a winter wonderland. Santa will be holding court in his magical grotto and there’ll be clothing, accessories, gifts and greetings pavilions. More than 60 food stalls will tempt your tastebuds.
Stir-up Sunday, The Spread Eagle, Midhurst
Sunday 25th November, 11 am or 3.30 pm
Join Historic Hotel’s Executive Chef Martin Hadden on the last Sunday before advent in stirring the Christmas pudding, whilst making a wish, as he shares the secrets about how to make the perfect Christmas pud in this festive and fun workshop.
This is followed by either a delicious two-course roast lunch or a festive afternoon tea, while The Spread Eagles elves will carefully wrap and dress the puddings so that they are ready to be taken home to be cooked on Christmas Day. Spaces are filling-up fast!
Christmas at Amberley Museum
The weekends of 1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th December
Open from 10am to 5pm for you to explore the 36 acre site and festive activities. Visit market stalls, enjoy children’s crafts and take part in the family Christmas trail.
Admission for Christmas weekends: Adults £10, Children £8, Under 4’s and members visit for free.
Christmas Craft Fayre, Fontwell Park Racecourse
Sunday 2nd December 10.30 am to 3 pm
Craft and vintage stalls with a visit from Santa!
Arundel by Candlelight, Arundel
Saturday 8th December 2018, 12 noon to 7 pm
A well-loved Sussex Christmas market that rivals many of those found in our larger cities for the quality and range of hand-picked stall-holders including seasonal treats from roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to hog roasts. Christmas trees light-up the shops, restaurants and pubs, creating a beautiful festive scene, while in the town square stands a traditional tall Christmas tree (donated by the Duke of Norfolk’s estate).
Chichester Christmas Market
Saturday 8th December to Sunday 16th December
Over 60 carefully selected festive stalls in the pedestrianised areas of North Street and East Street, with The Cross as the central point, in the heart of this historic city. Chichester is such a fabulous setting for a festive Christmas Market.
Carols by Candlelight at Bailiffscourt, Climping
16th, 17th & 18th December, 12.30 pm, 3.30 pm or 7 pm
Enjoy the beautiful voices of The Agnes Collective in the intimate setting of the 13th Century chapel followed by a festive lunch, afternoon tea or evening dinner. But you’d better be quick some performances have already sold out.
What’s on in East Sussex this Christmas
Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, Brighton
3rd November to 13th January 2019 from 10 am until late
With the Royal Pavilion as a backdrop this has to be one of the most beautiful ice rinks in England. There’s also a rink side bar and restaurant.
Vintage Christmas Market, Rotherfield Village Hall
Saturday 10th November, 9.30 am to 2.30 pm
This vintage Christmas market in Sussex offers stalls selling handmade crafts, vintage wares, candles, antiques, vintage fashion, Christmas wreaths, homemade cakes and confectionery, plus there will be local artists showcasing their work.
Just £1 entry for adults (free for children under 16), with a free cup of tea or coffee. Visitors can enjoy a stroll around the market and then relax in our pop-up café with a slice of our homemade cake!
Father Christmas and Christmas Market in Battle
Saturday 24th November, 1:50 pm to 5 pm
At 1:50 Father Christmas’s sleigh is escorted with a musical parade down the High Street to his Grotto at Memorial Hall. Father Christmas sees children in his Grotto from 2:15 till 4:45. There are refreshments, entertainment and Christmas market in the hall. Children’s rides take place on the Abbey Green and at
5pm Lights switched on by Father Christmas.
There’s free parking all day in the town’s Rother District Council car parks and the Battle Abbey car park.
Frost Fare at Charleston near Firle
Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th November 11am – 5pm
Charleston Farmhouse near Alfriston in East Sussex opens its newly restored 18th-century barns for their Frost Fair. Discover some of the South’s finest designers and creators selling beautifully crafted gifts.
Step into the Threshing Barn for winter lunches, hot chocolate and mince pies . A selection of natural wreaths, garlands and Christmas trees are for sale in the Barnyard and for the creative there are craft activities in the Outer Studio. The Snow Queen will welcoming visitors in her enchanted Christmas grotto.
Check the Charleston website for ticket availability (£5) and details. Booking recommended
Gin & Fizz Festival | Late Night Shopping, Lewes
Thursday 6th December 2018, 5 pm to 9 pm
Join us at this magical setting for our candlelit winter gathering during Lewes Late Night Shopping to taste and buy Sussex produced sparkling wines, gins and other locally produced gifts. Our event is free and open to all.
Christmas in Rye
Saturday 8th December from 10.30 am until late with street procession at 4.30 pm
Rye Christmas Festival starts in the morning with Santa arriving by boat at Strand Quay. Visit festive stalls, Father Christmas in his grotto and see the reindeer. Eat food from street vendors as you’re entertained by street performers. Enjoy carols, pantomime and the colourful procession as it wends its way through Rye’s ancient streets.
Carols by Candlelight, St George’s Church, Kemp Town, Brighton
20th December, from 5.45 pm
A carol service for everyone, featuring NHS Community Choir Brighton and The Choir of St George’s Church. Join us for a drink and a mince pie from 5.45 pm. Carols by Candlelight service at 6.30 pm. During the service there will be an opportunity to hang a star on the Christmas Tree in memory of a loved one.
More coming soon!
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