Stagecoach

The best Kent & East Sussex Christmas events

13 Nov 2018

Christmas is a magical time of year in Kent & East Sussex as both counties transform into winter wonderlands, coming alive with twinkling lights, festive displays and delectable, seasonal aromas. You and the whole family can discover the spirit of Christmas by visiting the regions’ most enchanting and uplifting destinations,such as, Christmas markets, festive train rides, pantomime performances and Father Christmas's grotto. So why not make the most out of this festive season and discover the best Christmas events happening across Kent & East Sussex.

 

Festivities...

Magical Medieval Christmas @ The Canterbury Tales

Date: December 15th – 16th

Time: Various between 10am until 4pm

Duration: Around 45 minutes

Canterbury tales

HELP SAVE FATHER CHRISTMAS!

The Canterbury Tales is hosting festive fun with Father Christmas in a very special time travelling adventure for children...

Your mission, to save Father Christmas whose been transported back in time to the Middle Ages and bring him home in time for Christmas! Young travellers will also get the chance to visit Father Christmas’s grotto and receive a present from the man himself.

 

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach runs buses from all around east Kent into Canterbury. There are frequent buses throughout the daytime from most towns and The Canterbury Tales is a short walk into the city from the main bus station. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here

 

Cinderella @ The Marlowe Theatre

Date: 23rd November 2018 – 6th January 2019

Time: Various between 10:30am and 7pm

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

You’ll be glad to know it’s officially pantomime season! (Oh, no it isn’t. Oh, yes it is!). And this year’s fun-filled, family performance is none other than Cinderella. So warm up those vocal chords and get ready for some festive audience participation, as the Marlowe Theatre pantomime has a reputation for being one of the biggest and best in the country... so don’t be late for the ball!

 

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach runs buses from all around east Kent into Canterbury. There are frequent buses throughout the daytime from most towns and The Marlowe Theatre is a short walk into the city from the main bus station. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

 

 

Christmas Grotto @ Wildwood Trust

Date: 1st December – 24th December

Time: 10am until 4pm

Wildwood

Once again, Santa Claus will be making a pit stop to Wildwood's ever popular Christmas Grotto! The cost per ticket is just £12 per child which includes a luxury soft toy, mounted photo and a visit with Santa and his elves.

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach ‘Triangle’ buses serve Wildwood every 15 minutes throughout the day. The buses run from Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

Christmas Grotto @ Ashford Park Mall

Date: 17th November – 24th December

Time: Various between 11am and 5pm

 

Meet Father Christmas at Park Mall Grotto!

This Christmas enjoy a cosy grotto, complete with twinkling fairy lights to make special guests, Father Christmas and his helper Elf, feel at home. Children will have the chance to meet the man himself and receive a hand-wrapped gift. Families can find the grotto between The Little Teapot & the Barrow in Park Mall.

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach runs frequent buses into Ashford town centre throughout the day. Park Mall is a short walk from the main town centre bus stops. There are high frequency local buses that connect with trains at the International Rail Station and out of town buses from Maidstone, Tenterden, Romney Marsh, Folkestone, Canterbury and Wye. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

 

Aladdin @ Margate Winter Gardens

Date: 28th November – 2nd December

Time: Various between 1pm and 7:30pm

Duration: 2 hours plus interval

Aladdin

'Aladdin!’ It’s everything you could WISH for in a panto

The award-winning Margate Operatic Society is proud to present their annual family pantomime, but unlike the traditional telling of Aladdin this performance guarantees a few twists and turns to keep the audience on their toes! This musical rendition will also features an array of fabulous musical favourites including “Waterloo” (Mamma Mia); “I’m Still Standing” (Sing); “Friend Like Me” (Aladdin) and many more.

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach runs frequent buses into Margate throughout the day. The Winter Gardens is a short walk from the main Cecil Square bus stops. There are high frequency local buses until late in the evening on the ‘Loop’ from Westwood, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Out of town buses run every 15 minutes throughout the day (and up to 22:15 on Mondays to Saturdays) from Canterbury, Birchington and Westgate. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

 

WWII Christmas @ Dover Castle

Date: Weekends from 1st December - 16th December

Time: 10am – 3pm

Dover castlePhoto credit: ©English Heritage

Take a journey back to the Home Front this Christmas and find out how the festive season was celebrated in war-time. Each weekend, Dover Castle will present a different selection of Yule-tide activities. Visit the recreated officers’ mess to listen to tales of Christmas time at the Dover Castle Garrison or see impressive birds in flight at the Christmas falconry show. Help bake delicious Christmas treats on the ration, get in the festive spirit with Lindy hop dancing and maybe even meet Father Christmas himself!

Getting there by bus..

You’ll need Stagecoach bus route 80 or 81 for Dover Castle. The buses serve the stop at the top of Castle Hill Road just a short walk from the pedestrian entrance to the castle. Route 80/81 buses run every 30 minutes on Saturdays and hourly on Sundays.  The buses run from Dover town centre or from Deal and Sandwich. You can also get buses into Dover from Canterbury, Whitfield or Folkestone and connect the 80/81 bus in the town centre. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

 

Santa Specials @ Kent & East Sussex Railway

Date: 1st December – 24th December

Time: Various

Duration: 1 hour 10 minute return journey

Santa specials  

Take a magical steam train journey to meet Santa this Christmas

Be prepared to meet Santa on board the festively decorated steam trains, and make sure to keep a look out for his elf helpers with their sacks full of presents! Everyone will receive complimentary refreshments too; a mince pie & choice of soft or alcoholic drink for adults & a soft drink & chocolate bar for children.

Kent & East Sussex Railway will also be putting on a ‘Relaxed Day’ on the 21st December. They’ll be operating a less intensive timetable to welcome individuals, groups and families with children on the autistic spectrum or those who will benefit from a more relaxed environment. Rest assured they’ll still be offering the full programme of events and activities for everyone to enjoy!

Getting there by bus..

Tenterden Station is just a short walk from The Vine bus stop on Tenterden High Street which is served by buses from Hastings, Ashford and Rye. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

 

Festive Afternoon Teas @ Bodiam Castle

Date: Weekends from 1st December – 16th December

Time: 2pm until 3:30pm

Get into the festive spirit at Bodiam castle this December by booking a festive afternoon tea in the Wharf tearoom. Escape from the hub-bub of Christmas shopping and catch up with family or friends after a brisk walk up to visit the castle.

Getting there by bus..

You’ll need to catch the number 349 bus which runs hourly on Saturdays and every two hours on Sundays. Buses run from Hawkhurst or Hastings and on Sundays from Cranbrook too. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

 

Christmas Markets...

Whitefriars Canterbury Christmas Market

Date: 16th November – 24th December

Time: Weekdays (10am – 6pm); Saturdays (9am – 6pm); Sundays (10am – 5pm)

Canterbury Market 

Once again the sparkling Whitefriars Christmas Market returns to get you well and truly into the Christmas spirit. This year, it’s bigger and better than ever with more market stalls and loads of great events including Santa’s arrival on Friday 30th November and available for pre-booked visits to the Grotto from Saturday 1st December until Christmas Eve.

Enjoy some great Christmas shopping with amazing unique gift ideas, seasonal treats and warming winter drinks & cocktails! 

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach runs buses from all around east Kent into Canterbury. There are frequent buses throughout the daytime from most towns and The Christmas Market is right near the main bus station. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

 

Faversham Christmas Market

Date: 25th November, 9th & 16th December

Crafts

The Faversham Christmas Markets have become a popular yearly event and are the place to pick up lovely, locally made gifts and produce, enjoy some festive music and sip a glass or two of mulled wine. The historic Market Place is packed full with stalls selling handmade gifts, toys, clothes, jewellery, crafts and pottery, food and drink. With brass bands, carol singing and donkeys; there is simple something for everyone!  

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach bus route 3/3X serves Faversham town centre. On Saturdays you can get buses into Faversham every hour from Sittingbourne and every 15 minutes from Canterbury. On Sundays buses run hourly from Canterbury. The Market Place is a short walk from the Newton Road Library bus stop which is the stop you’ll need to get off the bus if you’re coming from Canterbury. From Sittingbourne and Bysingwood you’ll need to alight at the Court Street bus stop right next to the Market. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here

 

Meads Magic @ Eastbourne

Date: Friday 30th November

Time: 2:30pm – 7pm

Meads Magic is a popular Festive Street Market held in Eastbourne. The high street is closed and filled with activities and fun for all the family. The street is lined with market stalls selling handcrafted goods, perfect for Christmas gifts. There will be choirs from the local schools as well as live music, special events and festive activities too! 

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach bus route 3/3A serve The Meads from Eastbourne town centre. There are four buses per hour up to 6.30pm. Eastbourne town centre is served by buses from far and wide so you can always connect with the 3/3A bus in the town centre. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here.

Don’t forget the special vintage route 2 bus that runs in Eastbourne at weekends from 8th to 23rd December – see here for details.

 

Motcombe Village Christmas Fair at Old Town

Date: Saturday 1st December

Time: 12pm - 4pm

Mulled wine

The Christmas fair in Crown Street, Old Town, Eastbourne is back with more seasonal cheer. This event has an historic feel with its old time fair rides, Morris dancers, market stalls with local produce for sale, choirs, mulled wine and chestnuts (roasting on an open fire). Santa will also be making an appearance!

Come and join in with the sights, sounds and smells of the Christmas spirit. Proceeds will go to Winter Night Shelter helping to shelter the homeless over the coldest months of the year.

Getting there by bus..

Stagecoach number 1/1A buses serve Old Town (The Lamb pub) which is a short walk from Crown Street. The buses run every 10 minutes throughout the day linking with Eastbourne town centre and Willingdon/Hamlands. If you’re coming from Polegate or Hailsham you can use bus routes 51, 54 or 98 that serve the Selwyn Road bus stop on Upperton Road. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here

 

Eastbourne Community Christmas Market

Date: 30th November – 23rd December

Time: 10am - 6pm 

Eastbourne’s Christmas Market transforms the centre of Eastbourne’s busy high street with a celebration of the best local produce, gifts, artisan crafts and unique handmade items.Directly placed between the entrances of the newly opened £85M shopping centre, the Eastbourne Christmas market will see the return of many award-winning exhibitors and products plus live music, entertainment and children's rides. 

Getting there by bus..

Eastbourne town centre is served by buses from far and wide. To plan your bus journey, use the Stagecoach journey planner here

Don’t forget the special vintage route 2 bus that runs in Eastbourne at weekends from 8th to 23rd December – see here for details