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Everything you need to know about the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:26 30 October 2018

The start of Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in 2016 Picture: GREGG BROWN

The start of Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in 2016 Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre is hailed as one of the best in Europe and is right on our doorstep in Suffolk.

Funfair rides Picture: GREGG BROWNFunfair rides Picture: GREGG BROWN

The four-day event, which is taking place from Thursday, November 22, to Sunday, November 25, attracts more than 120,000 people.

Here is everything you need to plan your visit:

What will be there?

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2016 gets off to a colourful start as the parade makes its way from the Arc shopping centre through town to Angel Hill Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2016 gets off to a colourful start as the parade makes its way from the Arc shopping centre through town to Angel Hill Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

With an array of more than 300 stalls, cookery demonstrations, funfairs, Santas’s grotto and live music make sure you allow plenty of time for your visit.

Named Best Christmas Market in the UK by TripAdvisor’s HolidayLettings in 2016, the event has grown into one of the country’s biggest.

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.

Stunning backdrops include St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Athenaeum, Moyes’s Hall Museum and the Arc shopping centre.

Giant puppets made by school children take part in the parade Picture: ANDY ABBOTTGiant puppets made by school children take part in the parade Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The Abbey Gardens provides a magical atmosphere and is where you will find more than 100 stalls, free children’s entertainment, real reindeer, and Santa and his elves in his winter workshop.

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 beautiful historic Georgian building with links to Charles Dickens, you can find some great handmade gifts, particularly fine art, jewellery and cards. Many will be wearing exquisite period costumes adding to the effect of this wonderful building.

Foodies will love the St Edmundsbury Cathedral courtyard with stalls selling everything from fruit gin to local honey, artisan sauces to Christmas puddings. This is where you will find the Infusions Cookery Theatre with cookery demonstrations to get some tasty Christmas food ideas.

Fireworks light the sky over the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre Picture: ANDY ABBOTTFireworks light the sky over the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

At The Apex you will find a mixture of contemporary and traditional crafts including football stadium photography, film and sport memorabilia, original Suffolk painting and traditional hobby horses.

What is new this year?

St John’s Street, which features a vibrant mix of independent traders, is hosting a three-day festival from the Friday to the Sunday featuring an Elves Wonderland, donkeys and live music and complete with street food, mulled wine and gin.

The view looking towards the Abbey Gate Picture: GREGG BROWNThe view looking towards the Abbey Gate Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Guildhall will be holding toy making workshops on the Saturday and Sunday, while there is also festive food and drink including some fantastic winter beers.

The Haart community stage will be up in the Abbey Gardens for the first time this year, while there will also be musical entertainment from The Greene King stage on Angel Hill.

What is planned for opening night?

Traditional fun Picture: GREGG BROWNTraditional fun Picture: GREGG BROWN

Opening night includes a penguin puppet parade led by children from the Apex to Angel Hill at 5.30pm.

Then at 7pm East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice’s Carol Concert begins at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, with the evening culminating in a fireworks display in the Abbey Gardens at 8pm.

What are the opening hours?

The event attracts more than 120,000 people over four days Picture: GREGG BROWNThe event attracts more than 120,000 people over four days Picture: GREGG BROWN

•Thursday, November 22 - midday to 8pm

•Friday, November 23 - 9am to 8pm

•Saturday, November 24 - 9am to 8pm

•Sunday, November 25 - 10am to 5pm

How to get there and where to park

The council’s park and ride service will be starting earlier this year - from 11am on the Thursday - and there will also be additional car parks provided during the fayre.

For those driving, Radio West Suffolk fm 103.3 will be providing regular updates on where to park during the fayre, and passengers can follow the @stedsbc Twitter feed #buryparking for live updates.

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

If you’re travelling from further afield, why not arrive by coach?

For more information see here.

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