Tis’ the season to be jolly

Phoebe Shipton  ·  24th November 2013

Christmas is looming ever closer as the months speed by and so we thought it would be useful to highlight the Christmas markets, good shopping towns and events going on throughout Kent and particularly in the South East region to make the festive shopping experience a little less stressful.

In the South East corner we are very fortunate to still have a number of small towns with attractive high streets and some fabulous independent shops, so if you are searching for that something a little different for the person who has everything these are the places to go.  Currently making the shortlist for the “top 10 High Streets in the UK” per the Saturday Telegraph is Deal with a fantastic range of shops down towards to Conservation area ranging from Gift shops to Jewellers to a consortium style shop in the form of Mileage there is something for everyone here.

Mermaid Street, Rye

Mermaid Street, Rye

Other towns worth a visit are Whitstable which, although has a few more High Street chain stores, still retains some small town charm and independents who offer something different. Likewise Rye is a lovely day out, not only for the history and experience of wandering around this beautiful old port, but also for the variety of shops on offer plus the added bonus of some lovely tea rooms and pubs for the well earned sustenance.

For the dedicated shopper there is the mecca that is Bluewater,  when built the largest shopping mall in Europe.  They have plenty to keep the children occupied while the parents shop with an ice rink opening 29th November (booking is advisable), rides, beautiful Christmas lights and the opportunity to meet Santa in his Ice Palace (again booking is required).

Canterbury have their annual Christmas market opening in Whitefriars Square on Thursday 28th November and it is open everyday making a lovely change from the usual high street stores with a variety of gift and food stalls.  Set out in wooden Chalet style huts they are easy to wander around whilst clutching a Bratwurst to get you in the mood.

This year Leeds Castle is hosting it’s first Christmas market (7th to 22nd December) with German market style chalets and traditional carousel rides.  Items on sale will include handmade decorations for your home, quality gifts, beautifully crafted traditional wreaths and festive garlands.  Many local suppliers will also be offering  home-made pies, meats, cheeses, fudge, chutneys, spirits and liqueurs, ideal for the Christmas table.  For younger children there are also Father Christmas visits available the last two weekends before Christmas.

European Christmas Market

European Christmas Market

If you have the time and fancy a little pre-Christmas getaway we are also perfectly located for a little jaunt across the Channel to experience some of the fabulous European Christmas Markets.  There are a number which are easily accessible either by train or car worth a visit such as Lille, Bruges and Ghent to name a few where you can pick up a selection of gifts whilst sampling some festive food delights and maybe even taking a ride on the Ferris Wheel.

About Phoebe Shipton

Having studied Marketing at University of Manchester, Phoebe joined the family business in 2020 as Head of Marketing and Operations. Phoebe is focused on making Keepers Cottages stand out, as well as ensuring the bookings flood in!

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