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Welcome to the City of Durham Christmas Festival

Friday 30 November - Sunday 2 December 2018

with Special Charity Preview Evening on Thursday 29 November


Durham's award-winning Traditional Christmas Festival returns from Friday 30th November 2018 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 - and click here for our Coach Booking Form.)


The huge, heated Craft and Gift Marquee on Palace Green will feature over 180 stalls* across all three days of the event.  It's open Friday 30th November from 10am to 6pm, Saturday 1st December from 9am to 6pm and Sunday 2nd December from 10am to 4:30pm.

For the first time this year, there will be a special Charity Preview Evening in aid of St Cuthbert's Hospice, on Thursday 29th November, with the Craft and Gift Marquee open from 3 to 7pm.  Tickets for the preview evening will be £4 on the door, and can be bought online in advance for £3.50 by following the link on the right of this page.  For more information, click here.



At the entrance, tickets for the Craft and Gift Marquee will cost £4. To save £0.50 per ticket, purchase in advance online by using the 'Buy Marquee Tickets' button to the right of this page.


3 xf 2015 - cloisters

In the Cloisters of Durham Cathedral, discover a Local Food and Drink Producers Market featuring more than 30 traders*.  It's open Friday 30th November from 10am to 6pm, Saturday 1st December from 9am to 5pm and Sunday 2nd 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 an additional Festive Market in the Market Place.


In Durham Cathedral, 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, storytelling, a children’s entertainer, and Father Christmas's Festive Grotto. 

Additionally, there will be plenty of local entertainers and musicians throughout the city centre.  For information on events and entertainment during the Christmas Festival, please see our 'Events' page.  

You will find refreshments on Palace Green throughout the Christmas Festival.  The Café on the Green in the Almshouses is open daily from 9am to 5pm and the Courtyard Cafe in Palace Green Library is open daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm. 


lanterns 2016


The Children’s Lantern Procession takes place on Saturday 1st, 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 for £5, through the link on the left of this page.  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.




We recommend you use public transport to get to Durham Christmas Festival ... and if you travel to Durham on Arriva buses, your bus ticket entitles you to £0.50 off your entry fee to the Craft & Gift Marquee on Palace Green.


There are a number of Park and Rides in operation throughout the festival.  For further information on these, please click here.  As well as the three regular Durham Park and Rides, there is an additional P&R site running from New College on Saturday 1st December.  Also, there is Park and Stride in operation on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December from County Hall. 

For people who may struggle with the walk up to Palace Green, there is a taxi service from the bottom of the Market Place.  Please click through to read full details of this service, including restrictions and limitations.


Please note, we allow assistance dogs only (no other dogs) in the Craft and Gift Marquee, Regional Producers' Market and Durham Market Hall.



The dates for Durham Christmas Festival 2019 will be from Friday 29th November to Sunday 1st December, 2019.


Traders please note - we are fully booked with traders for the Craft and Gift Marquee and the Cloisters Markets for 2018.  Any traders interested in having a stall at next year's Christmas Festival, please return to this site mid February 2019 for information and expression of interest forms.





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lantern button





assistance dogs 250 


coach xf

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