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Here's your guide to the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

PUBLISHED: 20:40 09 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 12 November 2019

Christmas lights in Bury St Edmunds Picture: GREGG BROWN

Christmas lights in Bury St Edmunds Picture: GREGG BROWN

The award-winning Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre is back this year from Thursday, November 21, to Sunday, November 24.

Angel Hill at Christmas  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAngel Hill at Christmas Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The event, now in its eighteenth year, attracts about 120,000 people who come for the gift stalls, food and drink, cookery demonstrations, entertainment and just to generally get in the festive spirit.

Here is everything you need to know for your visit:

What will be there?

The four-day event, which was named Best Christmas Market in the UK by TripAdvisor's HolidayLettings in 2016, will have an array of more than 300 stalls with tempting food and drink, arts and crafts and more.

The magic of Christmas. A youngster marvels at the Christmas wreaths at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2018 
Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYThe magic of Christmas. A youngster marvels at the Christmas wreaths at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2018 Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Combine that with cookery demonstrations, funfairs, a Santas's grotto and live music and you'll need to make sure you allow plenty of time for your visit.

The food, drink and gift stalls - with local and global produce - are set out along the town's medieval streets, as well as in historic and contemporary venues.

The Abbey Gardens provides a magical atmosphere and here you will find over 100 stalls, free children's entertainment, plus the chance to meet some reindeer and donkeys.

A world market can be found on Angel Hill, the focal point of the town's historic medieval core, with more than 100 stalls, a traditional funfair and the Greene King stage with live music and entertainment throughout the day.

At the Athenaeum, a historic Georgian building with links to Charles Dickens, you will find handmade gifts, such as fine art, jewellery and cards. Foodies will enjoy the return of the of the ICE Cookery Theatre at the courtyard of St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Christmas in Bury St Edmunds  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChristmas in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Renowned chefs will give live cookery demonstrations including Suffolk Young Chef of the Year Moraine Pepper from The Northgate (Saturday), Justin Newton from The Weeping Willow (Friday) and one of the UK's leading pastry chefs Michelle Gillott (Sunday).

Stalls will be there too featuring everything from artisan Christmas puddings and chilli jams to craft beers and luxury chocolate wine.

At The Apex venue you will find a mixture of contemporary and traditional crafts, while outside in Charter Square stalls will include ladies' fashion, a chocolate fountain and wooden and leather gifts.

The event also spreads into Hatter Street and Langton Place - off the main thoroughfare of Abbeygate Street - and there will also be activities in Moyse's Hall Museum in the Buttermarket.

For the full range of venues and activities see here.

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2018 

Picture: RACHEL EDGEBury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2018 Picture: RACHEL EDGE

What is new this year?

A notable change this year is Santa won't be with his reindeers in the Abbey Gardens and his grotto will instead be at the Arc shopping centre.

Also new for 2019, the fayre will feature a farmers' and cookware market on the Buttermarket in the centre of the town on the Thursday and Sunday.

On offer will be a broad selection of quality produce from East Anglian-based farmers, growers and producers.

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2018  Picture: RACHEL EDGEBury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2018 Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The historic Guildhall will host a selection of stalls from local makers and craftspeople and the Tudor Kitchen will be open to enjoy home-made food and drink.

What is planned for opening night?

Opening night is dubbed the 'locals' event, but everyone is welcome.

The fayre will be open from 12 noon to give people a chance to soak up the atmosphere and browse the stalls, with a parade with local schoolchildren setting off from the Arc shopping centre at 5.30pm.

The Athenaeum during the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre last year Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYThe Athenaeum during the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre last year Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

The East Anglia's Children's Hospices' (EACH) carol concert starts at 6pm in the cathedral and the evening will finish with a spectacular fireworks display in the Abbey Gardens at 8pm.

All the fairground rides will be discounted and many shops will stay open late.

What are the opening hours?

You may also want to watch:

-Thursday, November 21 - midday to 8pm

-Friday, November 22 - 9am to 8pm

-Saturday, November 23 - 9am to 8pm

-Sunday, November 24 - 10am to 5pm

How to get there and where to park

A park and ride service, running from Saxham Business Park off the A14 (IP28 6RX), will be in operation from 11am on the Thursday through to the Sunday evening.

There is also the option of 'park and walk' from the council's car park in Olding Road and West Suffolk College in Beetons Way, available on the Saturday and Sunday, and there will also be additional car parks provided during the fayre.

Arriving by train is also an option, with Bury St Edmunds train station located within walking distance from the town centre. Family saver tickets are available.

Bus services will also be running and if you're travelling from further afield, why not arrive by coach?

RWSfm will be providing up-to-date travel and parking information on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 6pm.

Road closures

Tuesday, November 19:

-from 6pm car parking is suspended on Angel Hill until 11pm Sunday, November 24.

-from 6pm car parking is suspended in parking bays in Hatter Street until 10pm Sunday, November 24.

Wednesday, November 20:

-Angel Hill will be closed from 9.30am until 11pm on Sunday, November 24.

-Cornhill and Buttermarket - from 6pm after the market the road will be closed and parking suspended until 6pm on Sunday, November 24.

-Chequer Square - from 6pm parking will be suspended until 10pm on Sunday, November 24.

-Hatter Street will be closed from 10am until 10pm on Sunday, November 24.

-High Baxter Street - no through traffic to Hatter Street, access only, from 10am until 10pm on Sunday, November 24.

-Crown Street and Honey Hill - from 6pm no residents parking, limited parking, parking suspended until Sunday, November 24.

Thursday, November 21:

-Angel Lane - road closed from 11am until 10pm on Sunday, November 24

-Lower Baxter Street - no through traffic to Angel Lane, access only, from 11am until 10pm on Sunday, November 24.

Friday, November 22:

-St Johns Street/Brentgovel Street - road closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am until 6pm on Sunday, November 24.

-Great Churchyard - road closed to all vehicles on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3pm until 5.30pm.

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