All you need to know about Suffolk’s Christmas Markets 2019

If you’re not in the festive spirit yet, a visit to a Suffolk Christmas market will get you in the mood!

Suffolk is bustling with life at Christmastime, with fairs and markets taking place every weekend in the lead-up to the big day. There’s plenty to do if you visit one of our many festive markets, including slurping down some delicious hot mulled wine and mince pies, and ticking presents off your checklist (Santa who?).

With a vast selection of producers and retailers from Suffolk and the surrounding areas present at most markets, this is also a great way to support local businesses at a crucial time of year.

We’re mostly booked at Woodfarm Barns and Barges this year, with a few dates available during December for our large, historic cottage Woodfarm House and our Woodbridge-based barge Twee Gebroeders – and hurry, these dates will fill up quickly! However, if you would like to book with us in time for next year’s celebrations, we’ve got plenty of available dates for our luxury dog-friendly barns and unique historic barges. Both are within a convenient distance of many of the county’s markets, ensuring that you’ll have an unforgettable Christmas in 2020! Take a look at our barns and our barges.

Here’s our pick of the Christmas markets happening in Suffolk in 2019

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market
Christmas lights aglow in front of Bury Cathedral! Image by @burystedmundsandbeyond

21st-24th November 2019

Bury St Edmunds Craft and Gift Fair

Set in the centre of the historic Suffolk town of Bury St Edmunds, this fair is one of the most popular in the county and sees thousands of visitors every year. The location is spread across the entire town centre, encompassing the Abbey Gardens, The Apex, The Arc shopping centre and more.

Not just about shopping, you’ll also find live bands and choirs, street entertainers, cookery demonstrations and more. There will also be a spectacular opening parade and fireworks show on the 21st.

The fair is dog-friendly, however it can be a little overwhelming for dogs due to the fact that it gets so busy. If your dog is not used to large crowds of people, the quieter areas at the back of the Abbey Gardens are better suited.

Find out more about the Bury St Edmunds Craft and Gift Fair.

Helmingham Hall Garden Trail
Helmingham Hall will light up for visitors this Christmas

22nd November-8th December 2019

Illuminated Garden Trail, Helmingham Hall

Make your way to Helmingham Hall for a really magical event for all the family. Their extra special Illuminated Trail is fast becoming a major event in the county’s Christmas calendar, and it sees the stunning gardens transformed into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights.

Head across the drawbridge and into the courtyard to begin your trail, then into the beautiful gardens with a complimentary mulled wine. Warm your cockles around the fire pits and roast some marshmallows, then finally finish off with a trip to the Stable Shops to bag a Christmas gift or two.

The historic house and gardens really are a sight to see at this time of year. You can bring well-behaved dogs along to enjoy the walk with you, as long as they’re kept on a lead.

Find out more about the Illuminated Garden Trail.

Felixstowe Christmas ice rink
The town of Felixstowe will have an ice rink during this year’s festivities. Image via Visit Felixstowe.

30th November 2019

Felixstowe Christmas Market and Light Switch On

The entire Felixstowe high street will light up on 30th November for this Christmas extravaganza. Residents and tourists will gather in the town centre to see the lights turned on by Felixstowe’s mayor, accompanied by live performances from local musicians. 

There will also be a chance for children to participate in the Candlelight Walk from 4.40pm – a lovely way for kids to get involved in the proceedings. However, if they’re too shy, there’s plenty to do during the afternoon, including a chilly trip to the ice cream and fish and chip kiosks at the beach!

As this is an open-air event, dogs are permitted. You can also walk your dog along the prom and beach during this time of year.

Find out more about the Felixstowe Christmas Market and Light Switch On.

Stonham Barns at Christmas
There’s much to do for all the family at Stonham Barns this Christmas

30th November-1st December 2019

Christmas Craft Fair, Stonham Barns

Head to Stonham Barns, just a few minutes down the road from our luxury, dog-friendly cottages, to kickstart your Christmas shopping! The barns will be filled to the brim with locally produced gifts, ranging from children’s books to decor and much, much more.

This is family-friendly, with plenty to do for kids. Choose from rides for the smaller tots, face painting and Santa’s Grotto. The adjoining Suffolk Owl Sanctuary will be running its magical ‘Christmas with the Owls’ event with free admission to the centre.

Dogs on leads are welcome.

Find out more about the Christmas Craft Fair.

Jimmy's Farm Christmas
See the wildlife at Jimmy’s Farm!

7th-8th December 2019

Jimmy’s Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre at Jimmy’s Farm in Ipswich is always a popular one with families for the sheer range of activities available. Here, you’ll find a Santa’s Grotto, carousel, live music and of course the farm and wildlife park, which will be hosting Jimmy’s Farm’s biggest Christmas present hunt to date.

There will also be an array of street food, including a renowned hog roast and all your festive favourites such as hot chestnuts, mulled wine and mince pies. 

For the adults, you’ll be able to peruse over 100 stalls, featuring local crafts, art, clothing, Christmas decor and much more.

Dogs on leads are allowed.


Trinity Park
Shop local at Trinity Park!

14th December 2019

Christmas Farmers Market, Trinity Park, Ipswich

On the outskirts of Ipswich, the Christmas Farmers Market will fill the event space at Trinity Park with over 50 stalls offering a wonderful range of local and artisan produce. And if you can’t wait until you get home to eat your purchases, there will be a range of delicious hot foods available to tide you over until then.

Open from 10am until 2pm, you’ll find some of the best foods that Suffolk has to offer, under one roof. Not only that, but you’ll be able to browse a host of craft stands and maybe even pick up a present or stocking filler for a loved one!

Find out more about the Christmas Farmers Market at Trinity Park.

Stay at Woodfarm Barns and Barges for Christmas 2020

Looking for a Christmas getaway in 2020? Suffolk is just magical at this time of year, with plenty of fun and festive events taking place in towns and villages across the county. If this sounds like your cup of mulled wine, book a weekend or even a week away in our luxury, dog-friendly barns and unique, historic barges today!

Reasons to Stay at Woodfarm, Suffolk

We happen to think what we have on offer is pretty bloomin' good. However, we thought you might like a bunch of reasons to stay, other than we think you should!

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Brilliant beaches! Suffolk has an incredible Heritage Coast, with great beaches, all in easy reach of us.

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Dogs stay FREE, and we don't just tolerate them, we welcome them! We've built our reputation on this, and we're proud of it!

at the barns

Pawesome, fully-enclosed two acre Pooch Paddock for your Dogs to go bonkers and make new friends in.

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Free Doggy treats, Dog bowls, and Dog towels. Our furry friends even get Woodfarm branded poop bag holders!

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Visit England Gold Awards coming out of our ears, as well as their coveted ROSE Award for Service Excellence.

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Well in excess of 1,000 Five Star Tripadvisor, Facebook & Google Reviews. Over 25% of our guests come back!

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Private Hot tubs with seven of our eight Barns and Cottages. The ultimate in relaxation, just because you're worth it.

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Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Yes, plural. Two AONB's on our doorstep! Suffolk Coast & Heaths, and Dedham Vale.

on the barges

Stunning river walks directly from your gangplank on either Barge! Wildlife and breathtaking scenery in abundance.

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