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    Festival Events


Entertainment details are correct to the best of our knowledge, however we reserve the right to alter the schedule without notice.  Please note this page will be regularly updated.


Please browse the entertainment section for details on all events and activities which take place during Durham's Christmas Festival period.


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Craft and Gift Marquee on Palace Green

The hugely successful Craft & Gift Marquee on Palace Green features over 190 stalls selling a wide variety of gifts, perfect for Christmas presents.


Friday 4th December: 10am - 6pm

Saturday 5th December: 9am - 6pm

Sunday 6th December: 10am - 4:30pm


Palace Green, between the Cathedral and Castle


Tickets for the Craft & Gift Marquee cost £3.00 on Friday 5th December and £4.00 per person on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December. Accompanied children under 16 can attend for free.













Regional Food Producers' Market

Locally sourced, high-quality food and drink on offer from over 30 producers in the atmospheric surroundings of the Cathedral Cloisters.


Friday 4th December: 10am - 5pm

Saturday 5th December: 9am - 5pm

Sunday 6th December: 12pm – 3pm













Durham Market Hall

Durham Market Hall is open on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December from 9am till 5pm, and on Sunday 6th December from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The perfect place to warm up, grab a coffee and a bite to eat and browse over 50 varied stalls by quality local independent retailers.


Durham Market Hall, Market Place 













Festive Outdoor Markets

Throughout the Christmas Festival there will be a Festive Outdoor Market in Durham Market Place, with independent local traders supplying food, drink, gifts, clothes and homewares. 

Friday 4th and Saturday 5th from 9am to 4pm, and on Sunday 6th from 10am to 4pm.


A second Festive Outoor Market with a range of stalls and season entertainment will be running in Millennium Place, infront of the Gala Theatre.  For details of those trading at this Festive Market, please click here.

Friday 4th from 10am to 8pm, Saturday 5th from 9am to 8pm and Sunday 6th from 10am to 4pm.




Carols for All

Short services of favourite carols and readings.


11am and 2pm on Saturday 5th December

2pm on Sunday 6th December

Durham Cathedral













St Nicholas Children's Lantern Procession

The annual festive lantern procession which takes place on the Saturday afternoon meets in the Market Place for 3:45pm and progresses up to Palace Green in time for the St Nicholas Service at the Cathedral at 4:10pm.


Lanterns for children must be reserved in advance (please see the button on the left of this page), but the parade is open to all, please turn up on the day and join the procession from the Market Place to Palace Green and the Cathedral.  There is a short children's service afterwards in the Cathedral at 4:10pm.



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Family entertainment by Nathan White of Lunatricks

Nathan gives amusing and entertaining performances suitable for all ages, including juggling, unicycle riding, magic, balloon modelling and more.


Various times throughout the day on both Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th, including a 'Fire Show' on Saturday 5th at approximately 4.45pm as the children and their families exit the St Nicholas Service in Durham Cathedral.


Palace Green













Static Falconry Display

A wonderful static falconry display provided by Ridgeside Falconry.


Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December


'Children's Corner', Palace Green, between the Cathedral and the Castle



Festive Tile Painting for Children

The popular painting workshop for children with Kirsty Falcus returns this year on both Saturday and Sunday.  Find it behind the main Craft and Gift marquee.  Please note, some activities may have a small charge.


'Children's Corner', Palace Green, between the Cathedral and the Castle



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Children's Arts and Crafts in the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre

Free arts and crafts activities for children take place from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December.


World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, Owengate, leading onto Palace Green













Seven Stories Armchair Journey
Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, based in Newcastle's Ouseburn Valley, will be sharing festive stories old and new to enthrall younger festival visitors.

Find them in the Pemberton Rooms on Palace Green on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December 2015.

Drop in for Storytelling between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 5th, and between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 6th.














Tours of Durham Castle

Take a tour around Durham's historic Castle, now home to University College, part of Durham University, on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December.


Special Festival 'Mulled Wine' Tours of Durham Castle will take place on Sunday 6th December at 1.30pm and 3.30pm.  Tickets for these are £10 for adults, £9 for concessions, £24 for family tickets (2 adults and 2 children), £9 each for groups of 10 or more adults, and £8.50 for groups of 10 or more concessions.


Regular tours will take place at 1.15pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm and 4.15pm each day.  Tickets for these are £5 for adults, £3.50 for concessions, £12 for family ticktes (2 adults and 2 children).  DU Campus Card holders are free.


Tickets can be purchased at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre or by emailing










Antarctica: Explorers Heroes Scientists - Palace Green Library Exhibition


Antarctica considers the Polar Regions, focusing particularly on the discovery, exploration and ongoing work taking place there.  This exhibition incorporates two touring exhibitions of the Royal Geographical Society.


The exhibition runs from 17 October 2015 through to 7 February 2016, and is open daily from 9am to 5pm. 


Ticket prices are £4.50 for adults, and £3.50 for concessions and children over 5.  A family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) is £15.  Infants under 5, carers and Durham University Campus Card holders may enter free.

Ticket holders for the Craft and Gift Marquee at Durham City Christmas Festival will be entitled to 50% off entry to the Palace Green Library Exhibition.



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Musicians and Performers at the Festival

A huge variety of music groups, choirs and performers take part in the Festival. Look out for the performers across the whole city centre throughout the weekend!


Friday 4th December

Saturday 5th December

Sunday 6th December

Dryburn Theatrical Workshop - from 10.45 to 11.15am on Palace Green













Band Entertainment

Band entertainment from a variety of brass bands will take place in the centre of town throughout the three days of the Christmas Festival.


Details will be added up until the Festival dates.


Friday 4th December

Barnard Castle Wind Band, from 10 to 10.30am and 11 to 11.30am in Durham Market Place






Durham Clayport Library, Millennium Place

Clayport Library will be holding two free Christmas Craft Sessions for children on Saturday 5th December at 10am and 2pm.



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Victorian & Yesteryear Society
Durham's Victorian & Yesteryear Society will be promenading through Durham City Centre in costume, and caroling on Sunday 6th December.



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Artists and Craftspeople in Fowlers Yard

Artists and craftspeople working in Durham City Centre, situated to the rear of Silver Street and Durham Market Hall, will be showcasing and selling creative crafts across the weekend.


Open on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December, 10am - 5pm, and Sunday 6th December, 11am-4pm.



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Mayor of Durham Tea & Coffee Event

Councillor Jan Blakey, Mayor of Durham, is holding a charity coffee morning in the Town Hall in the Market Place on the Saturday of the Christmas Festival - the ideal chance to get warm, grab a coffee and a bite to eat!  


All monies raised will be shared between the Mayor's chosen charities, Durham Trinity School and Sports College and North East Autism Society.


Saturday 5th December, 9:30am - 4:00pm

Durham Town Hall, Market Place



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Tickets available to purchase from June 2016