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    Festival Events


Entertainment details are correct to the best of our knowledge, however we reserve the right to alter the schedule without notice.  Please note this page will be regularly updated.


Please browse the entertainment section for details on all events and activities which take place during Durham's Christmas Festival period.

















Craft and Gift Marquee on Palace Green

The hugely successful Craft & Gift Marquee on Palace Green features over 180 stalls selling a wide variety of gifts, perfect for Christmas presents.


Friday 29th November: 10am - 6pm

Saturday 30th November: 9am - 6pm

Sunday 1st December: 10am - 4:30pm


Palace Green, between the Cathedral and Castle

Please note assistance dogs only are permitted in the marquee.


Tickets for the Craft & Gift Marquee cost £4.00 per person. Accompanied children under 16 can attend for free.  To save £0.50 per ticket, please purchase Marquee entry tickets online in advance, via the 'Buy Marquee Tickets' to the right of this page.





















Regional Food Producers' Market

Locally sourced, high-quality food and drink on offer from over 30 producers in the atmospheric surroundings of the Cathedral Cloisters.


Friday 29th November: 10am - 5pm

Saturday 30th November: 9am - 5pm

Sunday 1st December: 12pm – 4.30pm


Please note, assistance dogs only are allowed in the Regional Food Producers' Market. 


Entrance to the Cathedral and Cloisters is free, however a voluntary donation of £3 is encouraged.


















Durham Market Hall

Durham Market Hall is open on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November from 9am till 5.30pm, and on Sunday 1st December from 10am to 5pm. The perfect place to warm up, grab a coffee and a bite to eat and browse over 50 varied stalls by quality local independent retailers.


Durham Market Hall, Market Place 

















Festive Outdoor Markets

Throughout the Christmas Festival there will be a Festive Outdoor Market in Durham Market Place, with independent local traders supplying food, drink, gifts, clothes and homewares. 

Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November from 9am to 5pm, and on Sunday 1st December from 10am to 5pm.



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Full Moon Street Food Market

Some of the North East's finest Street Food vendors will be in Millennium Place on Saturday, serving up fare inspired by cuisines from across the world.


10am to 6pm, Saturday 30th November

Millennium Place 



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Christmas Lights Switch On


Thursday 28th November, from 5.30pm onwards in Durham Market Place.


For further information, please see Durham BID's website.



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Santa's Grotto

Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December, Children's Corner on Palace Green.




Carols for All

Short services of favourite carols and readings.


11am and 2pm on Saturday 30th November

2pm on Sunday 1st December

Durham Cathedral




St Nicholas Children's Lantern Procession

The annual festive lantern procession which takes place on the afternoon of Saturday 30th November meets in the Market Place for 3:45pm and progresses up to Palace Green in time for the St Nicholas Service at the Cathedral at 4:10pm.


Lanterns for children must be reserved in advance for £6 each (please use the button on the left of this page), but the parade is open to all.  Please turn up on the day and join the procession from the Market Place to Palace Green and the Cathedral.  There is a short children's service afterwards in the Cathedral at 4:10pm, and a fire-juggling display on Palace Green as families exit the service.




Musicians, Bands and Performers at the Festival

A variety of music groups, choirs, bands, orchestras and performers take part in the Festival. Look out for the performers across the whole city centre throughout the weekend!  Performers, dates, times and locations will be confirmed nearer the time of the Festival.



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Victorian Friends

Carolling on Sunday 1st December in aid of Help for Heroes.


Time and location to be confirmed.





Family entertainment by Luna Tricks

The Luna Tricks team gives amusing and entertaining performances suitable for all ages, including juggling, unicycle riding, magic, balloon modelling and more.


Various times throughout the day on both Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December, including a 'Fire Show' on Saturday 30th November at approximately 4.45pm as the children and their families exit the St Nicholas Service in Durham Cathedral.


Palace Green




Static Falconry Display

A wonderful static falconry display provided by Ridgeside Falconry.


Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December


'Children's Corner', Palace Green, between the Cathedral and the Castle



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On Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December, children can enjoy Sandart with Judith and Kids Bee Happy.

Find Judith in the Children's Corner, behind the main Craft and Gift marquee.  Please note, a charge applies.


Saturday 30th November from 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1st December from 10am to 4pm.


'Children's Corner', Palace Green, between the Cathedral and the Castle.



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Free Moonwillow Face Painting

Children can enjoy being transformed with festive-themed face-painting!


Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December, from 10am to 4pm.

'Children's Corner', Palace Green, between the Cathedral and the Castle.



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Children's Festive Storytelling with Alice

On Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December, we'll have festive storytelling for children in the Children's Corner.


Children's Corner on Palace Green on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December.

Drop in for Storytelling between 10am and 5pm on Saturday, and between 10am and 4pm on Sunday.




Tours of Durham Castle

Take a tour around Durham's historic Castle, now home to University College, part of Durham University, on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November, and Sunday 1st December.  Tours run at 1.15pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm and 4.15pm and will last approximately 50 minutes.  £5 per person, £4 for concessions (over 60,under 16, non-DU students).  DU students and staff, as well as carers are free.  (Please note this schedule may be subject to changes).


Pre-booking is available up to a week in advance of the tours.

Tickets can be purchased at Palace Green Library, by emailing or by calling 0191 334 2932.



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Open Treasure

Durham Cathedral's Open Treasure gives visitors access to previously hidden spaces within the Claustral buildings, showcasing the Cathedral's collections.  The exhibition begins in teh fourteenth century Monks' Dormitory and continues through a new state-of-the-art Collections Gallery to the Great Kitchen which is now the permanent home of the Treasures of St Cuthbert.


Tickets are available from the Durham Cathdral website and from the Cathdral Visitor Desk.  Booking in advance is advised.  Tickets cost to be confirmed.




Palace Green Library Exhibitions

Norman Cornish - The Sketchbooks, from 16th November, 2019 to 23rd February, 2020

This exhibition reveals little seen sketchbooks presenting a new dimension of the artist's practice, focusing on observations of life, landscapes, and family.


Open daily from 10am to 5pm, £4.50 for adults, £3.50 for concessions.  To book in advance, please call 0191 334 2932.




Durham Clayport Library, Millennium Place

Children's Christmas Crafts to be confirmed.



fowlers yard

Artists and Craftspeople in Fowlers Yard

Artists and craftspeople working in Durham City Centre, situated to the rear of Silver Street and Durham Market Hall, will be showcasing and selling creative crafts across the weekend.


Open on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November, 9am - 5pm, and Sunday 1st December, 11am-4pm.



town hall

Mayor of Durham Tea & Coffee Event


The Tea and Coffee Morning, hosted by the Mayor of Durham, Cllr Katie Corrigan, will raise funds for the Mayor's chosen charity, The Cheesy Waffles Project.


10am to 3.30pm, Saturday 30th November

Durham Town Hall, Market Place





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Online advanced tickets to the Christmas Festival Craft and Gift Marquee are now closed.