12 Christmas markets to enjoy in Essex

PUBLISHED: 12:37 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:22 11 January 2018

AMzPhoto, Thinkstock

AMzPhoto, Thinkstock

AMzPhoto

Here’s our guide to the festive markets in Essex that’ll get you in the mood for Christmas. They’re perfect for finding fun stocking fillers, unique presents and foodie treats.

1. Blake House Centre Christmas Winter Wonderland Weekend

The craft centre’s annual Christmas shopping extravaganze returns for the weekend of December 2 - 3 from 10am to 5pm. A perfect chance to grab some hand-made Christmas presents, cards and stocking fillers. Last year there was a hog roast and Santa made an appearance at the grotto - it’s always popular and entry is free so don’t miss out!

2. We Are Handmade Contemporary Christmas Craft and Design Fairs

Be inspired by an amazing range of unique and vintage-inspired handmade designs at a number of events across Essex. First up on October 14 the fair visits Coggeshall , then on to Great Dunmow on November 4 and finally ending in Wickhams Bishop on November 26.You can enjoy browsing for handmade gifts inspired by vintage products at over 30 stalls. The event is free to enter, and there will be tea and cake available all day.

3. Crafts for Christmas - The Guild of Essex Craftsmen Fair

The market will this year be hosted at Hylands House near Chelmsford with over 40 stalls selling varied festive crafts, gifts and treats for everyone. The guild only selects members who produce items of the very highest quality and originality so you can be sure to find something that few other people will get their hands on. There will also be regular demonstrations from the guild’s craftsmen while refreshments will be available in the grand pavilion. The fair takes place on December 2 - 3 from 10am to 4.30pm each day. Entry on the door is £4 for adults while under-16s are free.

4. Beth Chatto Gardens Christmas Fayre

This fair is a great day out for the family. Take a walk around the beautiful grounds before enjoying the wares of a wide range of local crafters. There will be carol singers and traditional Christmas music to get you in the mood, and if you feel peckish, there’s festive fare including delicious mulled wine and mince pies while the kids can enjoy some craft activities. The fayre takes place on November 25 - 26, from 10am – 4pm. Entry is free but access to the gardens is extra.

5. Brentwood Festive Craft & Gift Market

If you live in Brentwood, don’t miss the Festive Craft and Gift market at The Brentwood Centre. With over 200 trade stands selling a variety of toys and games, gifts, jewellery and festive food, you’re bound to find something to get you into the Christmas spirit. It’s the perfect family day out, even the dog is welcome!. The market will run from on November 4 - 5. Entry is £4.50 for Adults and £1 for Children.

6. Maldon High Street Vintage Christmas Fayre and Light Switch On

Maldon’s High Street will come alive on November 30 with a special Vintage Christmas Fayre event. The Christmas lights will be switched on by the Town Mayor alongside late night shopping and a street market with choirs, music, hospitality hosted by the local shops and competitions. The event opens at 6pm with the Christmas lights coming on at 7pm. Entertainment will be provided by Saint FM from the big stage found next to All Saints’ Church on the High street and Santa and his reindeer will be in town from 6-8pm.

7. Meadow Croft Garden Centre German Market

Open seven days a week throughout November and December, the garden centre will be hosting the only German market in Essex. Germanic fare on offer includes bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, waffles and the intriguing schokokusse treats. 20 other stalls will be stocking various yuletide gifts including cuckoo clocks, ornaments, candles and clothing. There are also a couple of one-off nights where the market is open later than usual as well as an oompah band charity night on December 7. Entry is free for the regular market which begins on November 10 and will be open from 9am to 5.30pm.

8. Shenfield Christmas Fayre

Shenfield has its own Christmas market in and around Hutton Road where you’ll find lots of original gifts and food. It’s also offering a host of activities including a small stage with live music, local school and town choirs - and of course, Santa will be there with his sleigh. The market is on Sunday December 3 from 12pm – 5.30pm.

9. Great Dunmow Christmas Market

Markets have been part of the fabric of Great Dunmow since the town grew up under the Romans many centuries ago and there’s no better market than that which celebrates the festive season. Last year the Christmas shopping day included plenty of stalls and a continental food market while Santa was there to meet the children. The market is on Saturday December 2.

10. Wanstead Makers Market

Artists, painters, crafters and makers gather in Wanstead to get you into the festive spirit. Taking place on December 9 from 10am to 4pm at Christchurch Hall there will be a fantastic selection of Christmas goodies and unique, one-off gifts to make the perfect present.

11. Billericay Christmas Market

Run by the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower, last year the market raised well over £40,000 for various Rotary charities. In 2016 the Christmas parade was led through the High Street by pipers ahead Santa on his sleigh, putting smiles on the faces of the hundreds of attendees. From 11am until 5pm on December 3 there will also be stalls, staged entertainment and even morris men appearing for an impromptu dance!

12. Manningtree Christmas Festival and Market

Manningtree may be the smallest twon in the country but its Christmas market sure packs a lot in. Street performers will do their best to stay warm and provide you with plenty of entertainment in between the diverse range of stalls. Don’t leave when the sun goes down, however, as the lights switch on truly signals the beginning of the festive period. The market runs from 10am to 6pm on December 9.

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