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Christmas fairs, fetes and Home Front events across Kent from Maidstone to Dover and Aylesford this weekend

By Angela Cole

Don’t ration the Christmas fun – there’s lashings of it on offer across the county. We wrap up what's on for you


Tradition takes a step into wartime, as Kent Life in Maidstone celebrates its popular Christmas on the Home Front.

On the weekend of Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26, visitors will be able to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of the 1940s and get an insight into the era.

Visitors can see drill displays by the Home Guard, shops from the era and a rehabilitation centre for injured RAF pilots, while new this year will be a cinema inside Sandling Farmhouse and a blacksmith working in the forge.

Christmas on the Home Front at Kent Life in Sandling, Maidstone
Christmas on the Home Front at Kent Life in Sandling, Maidstone

Also for the first time, ration books with a quiz to be completed in exchange for a ‘sweetie ration’ will be available. There will also be the chance to ‘make do and mend’ by restyling clothes from the 1940s, and find out about coping with rationing for wartime cookery with genuine Ministry of Food recipes, including a sponge cake made with liquid paraffin.

Experience Christmas on the Home Front at Kent Life, Maidstone Picture: Matthew Walker
Experience Christmas on the Home Front at Kent Life, Maidstone Picture: Matthew Walker

There a cottage that has been made into a wartime-style home with windows with sticky tape, a bathtub with a water ration line and a mangle for the washing. An Anderson shelter in the garden also allows visitors to see where families would hide during bombing raids.

Tickets for Christmas on the Home Front, between 10am and 4pm both days, cost £6.95 and £5.50 for children aged three to 15. Under-threes go free. To book, call 01622 763936, or visit kentlife.org.uk.


Take a journey back to the Home Front at Dover Castle this weekend. The castle will be transformed from Saturday, November 25, with “making do” while supporting the war effort.

Illuminated Dover Castle
Illuminated Dover Castle

Celebrate with a vintage Christmas tea dance, or try spending a little of Christmas underground in the shelter of the tunnels and be entertained by the servicewomen of Dover.

There will also be plenty for youngsters to enjoy. The Home Front fun will be held between 10am and 3pm at weekends through to Sunday, December 17. Entry to the castle costs £19.40 and £11.60 for children. To book call 0370 333 1183 or visit english-heritage.org.uk/dovercastle.


Some 70 stalls bursting with festive goodies will be laid out in Chiddingstone Castle’s rooms and marquee this weekend for the hotly anticipated annual Christmas Fair.

Chiddingstone Castle has its Christmas Fair
Chiddingstone Castle has its Christmas Fair

Vintage wares, jewellery, cards and candles will sit alongside locally produced food and drink, and home accessories at the event on Saturday, November 25 between 10am and 4pm.

The cosy Tea Rooms will also be open serving homemade soup, sausage rolls and cakes.
Entry is £5. To book and for more details visit chiddingstonecastle.org.uk or call 01892 870347


Make merry at Headcorn’s Christmas Fair on Saturday, November 25. The parish church choir will perform in Foreman’s Walk from 1.15 to 2pm. The Headcorn Bellringers will be outside Costa Coffee in the High Street from 2.15pm, while the Headcorn Ukelele Group will be at the White Horse pub from 4.15pm. There will also be a funfair on Day’s Green and Santa’s grotto in Headcorn Hardware.

The Friars at Aylesford Picture: Martin Apps
The Friars at Aylesford Picture: Martin Apps


There will be a Polar Express train and ice rink at Aylesford Priory on Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26 for the annual Christmas Fayre. There will also be seasonal entertainment and craft and gift stalls. ntry is £4.50 with under 12s free. For details go to thefriars.org.uk.


A Christmas fair takes place on Bearsted Green on Saturday, November 25. Between 2pm and 8pm, there will be 75 stalls with Christmas gifts to food and drink including cocktails, mulled wine and craft beers. There will be Christmas card making, horse and carriage rides and face painting, glitter tattoos and hair braiding, plus live music and entertainment.

There will be a minibus shuttle service between Madginford shops in Egremont Road and the Green every 20 minutes, costing 50p. Visitors are reminded there is no parking available. Disabled visitors should contact organisers for more information by emailing bearstedchristmasfair@gmail.com. The lights will be switched on at 4.30pm. There is an entry fee of £1, with children free.


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