Christmas has come early in Cambridgeshire! Check out these fab community events that are spreading the festive cheer
Christmas Gift & Food Fair: Ely Cathedral
On 18, 19 and 20 November, more than 100 boutique stalls and designers will gather at Ely Cathedral, displaying their unique and exclusive pieces in the majestic nave and Lady Chapel. It’s an ideal spot to pick up presents for friends and family, as the event has been hailed as one of East Anglia’s best Christmas shopping experiences. This year, for the first time, the grounds surrounding the cathedral will be incorporated into the Christmas Fair experience, with an outdoor Festive Village on the East Lawn, plus several delicious food and snack stalls.
You will be hard pushed to find a more magnificent festive venue than Ely Cathedral – for tickets, be sure to visit the venue website to book in advance. Due to the popularity of the event, tickets are expected to sell out, so get in early!
Eco Christmas Market: Ely
Another Christmas market not to be missed in Ely this month is its first ever Green Festive Fair, which will be hosted at local wellness centre FRESH. from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 27 November. You’ll be greeted with a warming glass of non-alcoholic mulled wine (included in the price of the ticket) and then treated to a vibrant display of locally made, sustainable gifts, including plants, artworks, illustrations, candles, and cards. You’ll even be able to purchase retreat experience vouchers, making for a really special gift for a friend, partner, or family member. The fair has been created to help foster a sustainable approach to Christmas shopping and put a spotlight on some great sustainable products made by local people.
Christmas Market: Huntingdon
From Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November, Huntingdon is set to come alive with festive cheer. The annual Christmas Markets see local traders flock to the town, bringing unique gift ideas and delicious food. What’s more, the Christmas Lights Switch On is scheduled for the Friday night (6.30pm to be exact), so you can enjoy a sparkling evening while getting ahead with your present shopping. All the latest updates can be found on the website.
Christmas at Blackthorpe Barn
Now in its 30th anniversary year, Christmas celebrations at Blackthorpe Barn are once again open all winter long, offering a dazzling array of decorations, creativity-filled crafts from talented local makers and plenty more! Visitors can enjoy woven and knitwear designs and textiles, ceramics, glassware, metalware, leather items and jewellery, along with natural beauty products and books.
Aside from the fantastic craft offerings, you can also browse the festive goodies at the Country Christmas Shop; and top it all off with a homemade mince pie and warming glass of mulled wine in The Courtyard Cafe’s heated marquee. From 26 November, you can also pick up a real Christmas tree while you’re there, grown on site at Rougham Estate. The Christmas craft weekends start at the beginning of November, and run through until mid-December – visit the website for ticket information.
Haddenham Handmade Christmas Market
Held in the garden marquee at Haddenham Arts Centre, this year’s Handmade Christmas Market will feature more than two dozen artists and makers from the region, including some of Haddenham’s on-site studio artists, who will be in action on the day. Stalls include gorgeous jewellery, ceramics, metalwork, paintings, bookbinding, textiles, clothes and much more. There will also be children’s craft projects on the go from Re-Imagine, so you can keep your little ones occupied while you shop. If that isn’t enough, the cafe and gift shop will be open throughout the day to fuel you with mince pies and mulled wine…
Get your first Christmas fix at Haddenham Arts Centre on 30 October, from 10am until 4pm. Entry is free – all the details are on their website.
Rowan’s Christmas Fair
Mince pies, mulled wine and plenty more festive refreshments will accompany the undoubtable cheer at Rowan’s Christmas fair, run by Rowan Humberstone – an arts centre and forest school charity dedicated to supporting adults with learning disabilities. Featuring live music from local musicians, a raffle packed with prizes from local businesses and a pop-up shop selling beautiful artwork from Rowan’s studios, the event promises to be a real winter warmer. Head over to Humberstone Road in Chesterton on 1 December.
Rural Magpie Jewellery Fairs
Calling all jewellery fiends! Rural Magpie’s second instalment of jewellery fairs is set to go ahead this November, following an unfortunate cancellation earlier in the year. On the weekend of 13 and 14 November, you can catch dazzling displays over in Great Chesterford – and there really is something for everyone. You’ll find all manner of high-end makes from talented local silversmiths and goldsmiths – with plenty of precious stones on show – along with costume jewellery and beaded pieces. Each jeweller has their own style, offering expertise in pearls, precious stones or even wedding bands. There’s a huge selection of exquisite handmade pieces to choose from, along with more gorgeous gifts, accessories and skincare treats to complement your jewellery purchases.
Catch another jewellery fair on Saturday 20 November at Great Dunmow, so you’ve got two chances to sort some stocking fillers! It’s a great way of supporting emerging jewellery makers – plus you’ll get the chance to own a unique, locally crafted creation. Find full details on the Rural Magpie website.
Mill Road Saturdays
A celebratory gateway to the diversity of this wonderful thoroughfare, this year’s adapted version of the much-loved Mill Road Winter Fair comes in the shape of Mill Road Saturdays. On 6 November, and down the line on 4 December, craft and charity stalls, fantastic buskers and festive bunting will land at Donkey Common and Petersfield Green, along with a series of Covid-safe events and attractions.
A closer look at the decorative bunting reveals an exclusive I Spy Mill Road trail, encouraging visitors to explore the vibrant community to discover its shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Regardless of whether we still have a cautious Christmas, you can at least get your festive Mill Road fix this winter! Details can be found online.
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