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Welcome to the City of Durham Christmas Festival

Friday 2 December - Sunday 4 December 2016



Durham's Award-Winning Traditional Christmas Festival returns from Friday 2nd December 2016 for three days, with a wide range of festive entertainment for all the family in and around the World Heritage Site of the Cathedral and the Castle and throughout the City Centre. (Click here for all the information on how to get to the festival.)


The huge, heated Craft and Gift Marquee on Palace Green will feature over 185 stalls across all three days of the event.  It's open Friday 2nd December from 10am to 6pm, Saturday 3rd December from 9am to 6pm and Sunday 4th December from 10am to 4:30pm.


At the entrance, tickets for the Craft and Gift Marquee will cost £3 on Friday and £4 on both Saturday and Sunday - there is a 50p per ticket reduction for any bought on line in advance of the festival (use the Buy Tickets button on the right). 


2 xf 2015 - craft and gift marquee


In the Cathedral Cloisters, our Regional Producers' Market featuring more than 30 traders will be open each day.  It's open Friday 2nd December from 10am to 5pm, Saturday 3rd December from 9am to 5pm and Sunday 4th December from 12 noon to 4.30pm.  No tickets are required for this market.


Durham Market Hall will also be open each day of the Christmas Festival, and there will be additional Festive Markets in Durham Market Place and Millennium Place.


In the Cathedral itself, Carols for All services take place on both Saturday and Sunday.  Weekend entertainment on Palace Green, between the Cathedral and the Castle, will include a static falconry display, children’s arts and crafts in the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, and a children’s entertainer.  There will also be a wide range of entertainers and musicians throughout the city centre adding to the wonderfully festive atmosphere.  Please view our Events page for further details of all that is happening.


The Children’s Lantern Procession takes place on Saturday 3rd, leaving the Market Place at 3.45pm and arriving at the Cathedral for the St Nicholas Service at 4.10pm.  Sales of lanterns for Saturday's Procession are now closed - however there will be a small number available to purchase on the day.  On the day, the reserved lanterns can be collected in Durham Market Place from 2.30pm, and the procession leaves from outside Boots in the Market Place at 3.45pm.  The lanterns and battery-operated candles are yours to keep after the procession. The procession and St Nicholas Service are open to all - our recommendation is that the lanterns are for children up to age 12.


Please note, Eventbrite will provide you with an email ticket - please bring this with you to collect your lantern.  We will no longer be sending out vouchers shortly before the event.  


To collect your lantern, bring your Eventbrite ticket to the table at the side of the marquee in the Market Place.  Lanterns can be collected from 2.15pm onwards on Saturday 3rd December.


1 xf 2015 lantern procession


There will be a range of refreshments available on Palace Green throughout the Christmas Festival.  Visit the Café on the Green in the Almshouses, open daily from 9am to 5pm.   




There are a number of Park and Rides in operation throughout the festival.  Additionally, for anyone who may have difficulty walking up to Cathedral and Palace Green site, there is an Accessible Shuttle Bus running each day of the festival, between Claypath and Palace Green.  For further information on all these, please click here.



Here's a map showing what you will find at Durham Christmas Festival - click here to download your own copy.


xmas festival map 2016



1 Craft and Gift Marquee on Palace Green

2 Regional Producers' Market in Durham Cathedral Cloisters

3 Durham Castle Guided Tours

4 Palace Green Library Exhibitions

5 Carols for All at Durham Cathedral

6 Family Entertainment on Palace Green

7 Children's Arts and Crafts in World Heritage Centre

8 Durham Market Hall

9 Festive Outdoor Market

10 Mayor of Durham Coffee and Tea Event

11 Festive Outdoor Market

12 Artists and Crafts People in Fowlers Yard






contact us


 lantern button 2016


coach xf



Online advanced tickets to the Christmas Festival Craft and Gift Marquee are currently closed.