Fun and Festivities: Christmas Markets in Kent 2021

There is nothing quite like a Christmas Market to help us get into the festive spirit! Wrapping up against the bitter winter wind, browsing aisles of beautiful homemade gifts and sampling delicious food with a mulled wine in hand; the perfect way to spend a wintery afternoon. For children, many Christmas Fairs offer a range of games and rides to keep them amused alongside a selection of Christmas treats.

Christmas markets and fairs take place all over the United Kingdom. With big flagship events, such as Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, attracting huge crowds every year, it is clear we are a nation fully embracing the Christmas spirit. But, you do not need to venture out of Kent to enjoy the most wonderful season of all. We are very fortunate that Kent is a county offering a large many Christmas markets to choose from. Wherever you are in the county, you can be sure to find a Christmas Market nearby. 

Last year, many Christmas events were disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Christmas is back with a bang this year with a multitude of fantastic events on offer. It is the perfect opportunity to make up for the festivities lost last year and to see 2021 out in style. We have conducted research into Christmas markets and fairs happening in Kent. With no further ado, let’s explore the festive delights on offer this Christmas.

Rochester Christmas Market

The historic Rochester is a beautiful city. With the captivating castle keeping watch over the River Medway and the cobbled streets teeming with independent shops and cafes, you will be transported back to Dickensian times. The Rochester Christmas Market has become a winter staple for the Medway towns, attracting hundreds & hundreds of visitors every year. The market will be held in the Rochester Castle grounds; it is always a joy to behold. You can expect to find numerous stalls selling a range of items – look no further for stocking fillings and unique gifts for loved ones. As well as the stalls, the Rochester Christmas Market is a hub of family fun. There will be a funfair, live performances and a Bavarian food village. You can also use your visit to the Christmas Market as an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Rochester itself where you will find a museum, many wonderful restaurants and a variety of shops. The Rochester Christmas Market returns on Saturday 27th November 2021 and is open from 10am to 6pm. No booking is necessary and the full opening times are: 

• Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November from 10am to 6pm

• Friday 3 December from 12pm (noon) until 8pm

• Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December from 10am until 7pm

• Friday 10 December from 12pm (noon) until 8pm

• Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December from 10am to 6pm.

Faversham Christmas Market Weekend

From the 10th-12th December 2021, the picturesque town of Faversham is hosting Faversham Christmas Market Weekend. The 3 fantastic Faversham markets (Charter, Best of Faversham and Antiques) are joining up for 3 days of festivities. You will find a range of tempting food and drinks, a variety of gifts and Christmas decorations; all sourced from local crafters and traders. Faversham is a wonderful part of Kent with medieval roots. It has a range of shops and cafes to explore once you have finished browsing the market. 

Gravesend Borough Market

To the north of Kent you will find the riverside town Gravesend; it is the final resting place of Pocahontas most famously. If you are familiar with the area you will know Gravesend is home to a bustling marketplace. Gravesend Borough Market is a fantastic place to visit all year round, but especially at Christmas! This year, if you visit the Gravesend Borough Market, you will be surrounded by festive cheer. You can enjoy pop up stalls, arts and crafts activities and the opportunity for children to send a letter to Father Christmas! It is an ideal opportunity to find unique and special presents for loved ones as well as enjoying the activities on offer. The spirit of Christmas will be arriving in Gravesend on Sunday 21st November with the final festivities being enjoyed on Sunday 19th December; so you have plenty of time to get involved! There are various dates and times that events and stalls will be open. We’ve provided a snapshot below but full details can be found on the Visit Gravesend website. 

Twilight Christmas Markets: 26/11, 3/12, 10/12, 17/10 – 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Seasonal Christmas Markets: Saturday 27 November 10-3pm

Saturday 4 December 9-3pm

Sunday 5 December 10-3pm

Saturday 11 December 9-3pm

Saturday 18 December 9-3pm

Sunday 19 December 10-3pm

Specialist Markets: Various dates and times – please refer Visit Gravesend website for further details. 

Christmas Craft Sessions (perfect for children!): 27/11, 4/12, 11/12 – 11:30am – 12:30pm

Cyclopark Christmas Market, Gravesham

Why not pay a visit to Cyclopark Gravesend and show your support for local businesses this festive season? From 17th-19th December 2021, an exciting Christmas Market will be open for business and to spread festive cheer. There are many wonderful things to see, do and enjoy at the Cyclopark Christmas Market, such as market stalls, Santa's Grotto, a funfair, Wonderland PlayPark Walk and Lightshow, Food and Drinks Village and much more. You can purchase your tickets for the Christmas Market and Santa's Grotto now.

The Friars Christmas Fayre

The Friars in Aylesford is an absolute joy to visit. The Friars is home to a small number of Carmelite Friars, with origins of residence at The Friars dating back to 1242. The Friars is a gem in the heart of Kent offering stunning grounds to stroll through, medieval buildings to admire and a large pond which is home to a variety of ducks and geese. It also contains a range of chapels for those seeking peace and tranquillity as well as pottery and a fabulous tea room. For one weekend only, the 27th to the 28th November 2021, The Friars are hosting their Christmas Fayre. You can experience the beauty of The Friars whilst enjoying the festivities. There will be crafts and gift stalls, an ice skating rink, a land train, live music, Santa’s grotto, a variety of food and drink and much more. The fayre will be open from 10am to 4pm and you can expect to pay an admission fee on arrival. 

Canterbury Christmas Market

The glorious city of Canterbury never fails to disappoint at Christmas time. All year round, Canterbury attracts thousands of visitors due to its fascinating history as well as a wide range of shops, restaurants and attractions. Moreover, Canterbury is home to two universities so it is naturally a diverse and bustling place to be. From 12th November 2021 to Christmas eve, you can enjoy Christmas in Canterbury. The Christmas market is one of the earliest to open in the county, with visitors first being able to visit on the 12th November. The market is open 7 days a week. It is open 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday. Christmas Eve will have slightly different opening times, with an earlier 4pm closure. There is an online booking system in operation for visits to Santa Claus as well Santa Paws (which is an opportunity for dogs to meet Father Christmas!). Upon visiting the Christmas Market, you will not be disappointed with the food and drink available or the selection of crafts and gifts ready to purchase. Why not explore the historic city once your market visit is complete? 

Folkestone Harbour Arm

2021 brings the arrival of a brand new Christmas market for Kent residents to enjoy! Beginning on Saturday 27th November, the purpose-built festive market will be spreading festive cheer to the Harbour Arm visitors. The market will be open every weekend leading up to Christmas, with an additional chance to visit on the 23rd and 24th December. There will be a variety of food and drink on offer as well as entertainment and, of course, stalls selling quality items perfect for gifting. 

Whitstable Castle

Whitstable is wonderful to visit all year round with its charming high street and beautiful coast line. This year, you can pay a visit to Whitstable Castle to get your festive fix. The Christmas at the Castle event is only running on Saturday 4th December and Sunday 5th December from 10am till 4pm, so don't miss out. You will be able to indulge in festive favourites mince pie and mulled wine, browse the stalls of gifts, visit Father Christmas and listen to live music. 

This is a brief overview of some of the many wonderful events happening in Kent this Christmas! If you are feeling festive and are searching for something fun to  do with the children, then our blog ‘3 No Bake Christmas Recipes for Kids’ is perfect for you to read next. 


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