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Welcome to the City of Durham Christmas Festival

Friday 1 December - Sunday 3 December 2017

Durham's award-winning Traditional Christmas Festival returns from Friday 1st December 2017 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 180 stalls* across all three days of the event.  It's open Friday 1st December from 10am to 6pm, Saturday 2nd December from 9am to 6pm and Sunday 3rd December from 10am to 4:30pm.

2 xf 2015 - craft and gift marquee


At the entrance, tickets for the Craft and Gift Marquee will cost £3 on Friday and £4 on both Saturday and Sunday.  Please note, online advance ticket sales have now closed.


In the Cloisters of Durham Cathedral, discover a Local Food Producers Market featuring more than 30 traders*.  It's open Friday 1st December from 10am to 5pm, Saturday 2nd December from 9am to 5pm and Sunday 3rd December from 12 noon to 4.30pm.  No tickets are required for this market.3 xf 2015 - cloisters


Durham Market Hall will also be open each day of the Christmas Festival, and there will be additional Festive Markets in the 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, storytelling and a children’s entertainer.  There will also be a wide range of local entertainers and musicians throughout the city centre.  You will find a range of refreshments available on Palace Green throughout the Christmas Festival.  Additionally, 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. 


The Children’s Lantern Procession takes place on Saturday 2nd, 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.  1 xf 2015 lantern processionOn 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.



There are a number of Park and Rides in operation throughout the festival.  For further information on these, please click here.


Would you like information on music, craft and children's events for each day of Durham City's Christmas Festival?  Please view our Events page for further details of all that is happening, and browse the site for other important information including parking options.


*We are fully booked with traders for the Craft and Gift Marquee and the Cloisters Markets for 2017.  Any traders interested in having a stall at next year's Christmas Festival, please return to this site mid February 2018 for information and expression of interest forms.




contact us


Lantern Parade



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