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 here and our barges here.
Here’s our pick of the Christmas markets happening in Suffolk in 2019
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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
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 a 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 their 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 here.
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.
Find out more about Jimmy’s Christmas Fayre here.
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 here.
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!