Christmas markets, fairs and where to see Santa in Suffolk

Get excited... Christmas is coming.

Get excited... Christmas is coming. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ready or not, it'll soon be here. Rachel Ducker tops up her festive spirits and seeks out some of the events that make it the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas is fast approaching and after the restrictions of 2020 you'll be delighted to hear Suffolk is full of festive cheer.

I enjoy the traditions of picking my own Christmas tree, taking my children to visit Santa’s Grotto and nibbling a cheeky mince pie at the end of a busy Christmas shopping trip. And who doesn’t love a Christmas light trail? There is plenty happening all over the county, so discover the most magical time of the year with my Christmas guide of theatres, grottos, Christmas markets and more.

Markets and fairs

Shop Small Christmas Market 
Location: Trinity Park, Ipswich IP3 8UH 
Date: November 7 (10.30am – 4.30pm)
trinityparkevents.co.uk

Markets and fairs are being held throughout Suffolk with opportunities to buy gifts and even meet Father Christmas.

Markets and fairs are being held throughout Suffolk with opportunities to buy gifts and even meet Father Christmas. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Festive Street Market
Location: The Saints, Ipswich IP1 1XE
Dates: November 28 (10am - 4pm)
facebook.com/thesaintsipswich

Christmas Artisan Market 
Location: Beach Street, Felixstowe  IP11 2GN
Dates: November 20 (10am – 3pm) 
suffolkmarketevents.co.uk

Christmas Market
Location: Bury St Edmunds Cathedral  IP33 1LS
Dates: November 25-27 (10am – 4:30pm)
stedscathedral.org

Christmas Craft Market 
Location: Stonham Barns IP14 6AT
Date: November 27-28 (10am – 4pm)
stonhambarns.co.uk/whats-on/christmas-craft-market

Christmas Craft and Gift Fair
Location: Potton Hall Spa and Bistro, Westleton IP17 3EF
Date: November 27-28 (10am - 3pm) 
pottonhallspa.co.uk

Festive Farmers’ Market 
Location: Trinity Park, Ipswich IP3 8UH 
Dates: December 11 (10am – 2pm)
suffolkmarketevents.co.uk

Christmas Farmers’ Market
Location: Snape Maltings  IP17 1SP
Date: December 18 (starts 9:30am) 
brittenpearsarts.org

READ: More magical Christmas markets in Suffolk

Christmas Crafts Fairs

Location: Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham IP30 9JG
Dates: Saturday-Sunday only 
November 6 (10:30am start for this one day) 
7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 
December 4-5, 11-12 
(10am-5pm)
blackthorpebarn.com 

Head to a craft market or fair to buy original decorations.

Head to a craft market or fair to buy original decorations. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lavenham Christmas Fair
Location: Lavenham CO10 9QZ
Dates: December 3-5
visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/whats-on/lavenham-christmas-fair

Sudbury Christmas Fair 
Location: Sudbury CO10 2EA
Date: November 26 (5pm-9pm) 
eventbrite.co.uk

Stowmarket Christmas Fair
Location: Stowmarket 
Dates: November 28 (10.30am - 5pm)
m.facebook.com/events/212812334156846

Long Melford Christmas Craft Fair 
Location: Old School, Long Melford CO10 9AA
Dates: November 20 (10am - 4pm)
wearehandmade.co.uk

Woodbridge Christmas Fayre
Location: Seckford Hall Hotel and Spa, Great Bealings, Woodbridge IP13 6NU
Dates: November 21 (11am - 4pm)
facebook.com/events

Most Read

Pick your own Christmas tree  

Location: Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham IP30 9JG
Dates: November 13, 14, 20, 21 (10am -4pm)
blackthorpebarn.com 

Why not pick your own Christmas tree?

Why not pick your own Christmas tree? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Location: Church Farm Christmas Barn, Bradfield Combust, Bury St Edmunds IP30 0LW
Dates: November 20 - December 19 (9.30am – 5pm)  
churchfarmchristmasbarn.com

Location: Kiln Farm Nursery, Kesgrave, IP5 1BJ
Dates:  Throughout December 
kilnfarm.com/christmas 

Location: Elveden Estate, Elveden IP24 3TJ
Dates: End of November, up to and including December23
elvedenchristmastrees.com/

Location: Redhouse Christmas Barn Sternfield, Saxmundham IP17 1NF
Dates: Throughout December until December 24
redhousechristmas.com/trees.html

Christmas light trails

IlluminAbbey 
Location: The Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds  IP33 1LS
Date: December 2 - 4 (4.30pm - 8.30pm) 
whatsonwestsuffolk.co.uk/whats-on

Illuminated Garden Trail at Helmingham Hall Gardens
Location: Helmingham, Stowmarket IP14 6EF
Dates: November 19 - December 19
helmingham.com

Ickworth’s Light Nights
Location: Horringer, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5QE
Dates: November 19 - December 5
nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth

Haughley Park Spectacle of Light
Location: Haughley, Stowmarket IP14 3JY
Dates: Sadly, cancelled for Christmas 2021 but will open from February 4 to 27, 2022 for a romantic evening
haughleypark.co.uk

Christmas pantomimes

Cinderella at the Marina Theatre
Location: Lowestoft  NR32 1HH
Dates: December 14 - January 2, 2022
marinatheatre.co.uk/whatson-event/cinderella-our-2021-pantomime/ 

Aladdin at the Ipswich Regent Theatre
Location: Ipswich IP4 1HE
Dates: December 17 - January 2, 2022
ipswichtheatres.co.uk

See a panto - Aladdin at Ipswich Regent makes a magical Christmas come alive. 

See a panto - Aladdin at Ipswich Regent makes a magical Christmas come alive. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cinderella at The Spa Pavilion
Location: Felixstowe IP11 2DX
Dates: December 17 - January 3, 2022
thelittleboxoffice.com/spapavilion

Cinderella at Theatre Royal
Location: Bury St Edmunds IP33 1QR
Dates: November 26 - January 16, 2022
theatreroyal.org

Jack and the Beanstalk at The New Wolsey Theatre
Location: Ipswich  IP1 2AS
Dates: November 25 - January 8, 2022
wolseytheatre.co.uk

Elf – The Musical at The Apex 
Location: Bury St Edmunds IP33 3FD
Dates: December 30 - January 2, 2022
theapex.co.uk

Christmas train rides

Mid Suffolk Light Railway
Location: Wetheringsett, Stowmarket IP14 5PW
Dates: December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19
mslr.org.uk

Christmas at Bressingham
Dates: November 28 – December 24
Location: Bressingham IP22 2AA
bressingham.co.uk

Meet Father Christmas

Father Christmas sails into Snape Quay
Location: Snape Maltings  IP17 1SP
Date: December 19 (from 12pm) 
brittenpearsarts.org

Father Christmas to arrive by an historic Thames sailing barge at Snape Maltings ready for its big C

Father Christmas arrives by an historic Thames sailing barge at Snape Maltings ready for its big Christmas events. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Dobbies Garden Centre
Location: Woodbridge IP13 6HX
Dates: Throughout December 
events.dobbies.com

Meet Father Christmas
Location: Glemham Hall, Little Glemham IP13 0BT
Dates: December 4 - 5  
glemhamhall.co.uk/events/meetfatherchristmas 

Christmas experiences

Christmas weekend at Snape Maltings 
Location: Snape Maltings IP17 1SP
Dates: December 17 - 19
brittenpearsarts.org

Country Christmas Shop
Location: Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham IP30 9JG
Dates: Every day until December 22 (10am – 5pm)
blackthorpebarn.com 

Santa’s Workshop 2021
Location: Kersey Mill, Semer IP7 6DP
Dates: Every weekend in December and December 20 - 23
eventbrite.co.uk

12 Days of Christmas
Location: National Trust Ickworth, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5QE
Dates: December 11 - 22 (11am-2.30pm) 
nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth

Kentwell at Christmas
Location: Kentwell Hall, Long Melford CO10 9BA
Dates: December 4, 5, 11,12th
kentwell.co.uk

Magic at Christmas 
Location: Colchester Zoo CO3 0SL
Dates: December 4, 5, 11,12, 18-24 
colchester-zoo.com

Christmas at Easton Farm Park
Location: Easton Farm Park, Easton IP13 0EQ
Dates: Starts December 1
eastonfarmpark.co.uk/see-father-christmas 

Christmas at Framlingham Castle
Location: Framlingham  IP13 9BP
Dates: December 26 - January 2, 2022
english-heritage.org.uk

Reindeer at Jimmy’s Farm
Location: Wherstead, Ipswich IP9 2AP
jimmysfarm.com

Saxmundham Victorian Christmas
Location: Saxmundham Market Hall, High Street, Saxmundham IP171AF
Dates: December 3 (4 pm - 8 pm)
saxmundham.org

As well as these listings you can also head to some of the towns and villages in Suffolk, see their light displays and switch on events, soak up the atmosphere and get into the Christmas spirit. After all, we could all do with a little boost this year!

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