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Welcome to the City of Durham Christmas Festival

Friday 4 December - Sunday 6 December 2015


Durham's award-winning Traditional Christmas Festival returns from Friday 4th December 2015 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.  (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 200 stalls across all three days of the event.  It's open Friday 4th December from 10am to 6pm, Saturday 5th December from 9am to 6pm and Sunday 6th 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. However, if you buy your ticket online in advance you will get a 50 pence saving on every ticket bought (that is £2.50 for Friday and £3.50 for Saturday and Sunday).  Tickets can be bought now - please see the button on the right hand side of this page to purchase yours online now.


In the Cathedral Cloisters, a Local Food Producers Market featuring another 30+ traders will be open each day.  It's open Friday 4th December from 10am to 6pm, Saturday 5th December from 9am to 5pm and Sunday 6th December from 12 noon to 3pm.  No tickets are required for this market.


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 live reindeer, 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 local entertainers and musicians throughout the city centre.


The Children’s Lantern Procession takes place on Saturday 6th, leaving the Market Place at 3.45pm and arriving at the Cathedral for the St Nicholas Service at 4.10pm.  Lanterns can now be reserved, through the link on the left of this page.  Lanterns can be reserved for £4 and the children take their lanterns home with them after the procession and service.  On the day, the 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 on Saturday 5th.  The lanterns and battery-operated candles are yours to keep after the procession. The procession and St Nicholas Service are open to all.


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, as well as a Free Park and Stride on Saturday and Sunday.  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.


Would you like a listing of music, craft and children's events for each day of Durham City's Christmas Festival?  These will be available to download nearer the festival dates.


Please view our Events page for further details of all that is happening, and browse the site for other important information including parking options.




contact us



Lantern procession purchase button

Coach booking form



Tickets available to purchase from June 2016