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Kent Christmas markets at Rochester, Whitstable, Herne Bay, Faversham, Maidstone, Aylesford and Ashford

By Angela Cole

Festive food is where it's at, washed down with a healthy slice of Christmas crafts and goodies. We wrap up where to head this week



After the Dickensian Christmas Festival fun last weekend, Rochester’s popular Christmas market is back for its final fling this weekend.

Rochester Christmas Market returns after last weekend's Dickensian Christmas Festival Picture Steve Crispe

Rochester Christmas Market returns after last weekend's Dickensian Christmas Festival Picture: Steve Crispe

Held in Rochester Castle Gardens on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, it will feature a Bavarian food village including German Bratwurst sausages. There will also be a hog roast and churros – and the chance to wash it all down with mulled wine.

There will be stalls selling crafts, handmade gifts and stocking fillers, as well as artisan chocolates and a traditional funfair. It will be open from 10am to 6pm both days. There will also be an area for parents with babies to change and feed them, run by the National Childbirth Trust. There are car parks nearby, but the event is very popular and they are likely to fill up quickly. Details at new.medway.gov.uk.


Kay and Sue tuck in at Rochester Picture Steve Crispe

Kay and Sue tuck in at Rochester Picture: Steve Crispe


Whitstable Castle and grounds at Tower Hill is host to a Christmas food festival on Sunday, December 10.

Tuck in to some festive tastes while listening to music from the Useless Pluckers Ukelele Band between 11am and 4pm. It is free to enter, but there is a £5 charge to visit Santa’s grotto. For details go to whitstablecastle.co.uk



There will be a Santa’s grotto, children’s activities, gifts and food and drink at the Heart of Kent Hospice Christmas Fayre at the hospice’s base in Preston Hall, Aylesford on Saturday, December 9. The fair runs from 10am to 3pm, with entry £2, children free. For more details visit hokh.org/events, email fundraising@hokh.co.uk or call 01622 790195.


Christmas markets will also have festive goodies alongside the food and drink

Christmas markets will also have festive goodies alongside the food and drink


From now through to the New Year, a host of activities will take place at McArthurGlen Ashford to help shoppers get ready for Christmas, including a German-themed pop-up bar and the opportunity to see Father Christmas’s reindeer who will visit with an owl friend on selected dates in December. For details go to ashforddesigneroutlet.com.



There’s plenty of festive treats at the museum in St Faith’s Street, on Saturday, December 9 and again on Saturday, December 16. Young visitors can meet Father Christmas at his fireplace and receive a present and the grown-ups can browse the Christmas mini market, which will include stalls with local produce and crafts.

Both events are open from 10.30am to 3pm on both dates. Children between four and 11 can also enjoy festive craft activities, between 10.30am and 12.30pm and between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. It costs £6 per child to meet Santa and £10 per child to take part in the craft activities. For details and to book go to maidstonemuseum.org.

Christmas goodies will be on sale Picture Matthew Walker

Christmas goodies will be on sale Picture: Matthew Walker



There will be plenty to tempt you at the Christmas market which is on this weekend, Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10.

The market on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the castle will feature seasonal gifts and specialist food and drink, plus live music. It will also be on next weekend. Visitor are advised to bring cash as not all stallholders are able to take card payments. Details at leeds-castle.com.



Say hello to Herne Bay on Sunday, December 10, when a produce and craft market comes to Wimereux Square in William Street.

The free event will include a range of products and the chance to meet producers and watch chefs at work. Canterbury council will have a young entrepreneurs’ stall.
The event is promoted by Hello Herne Bay, a marketing project.



Locally produced food and drink plus one-off gifts and treats will be on offer at Faversham’s second Christmas market of the year on Sunday, December 10.

There will also be live music from the Swingtime Sweethearts and Samba Pelo Mar to shop to at the market in Court Street between 10am and 4pm.

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