THIS Christmas is looking more like the festive period we’re all accustomed to, as Durham Christmas Festival 2021 returns this December to the historic city.

After having to settle for a virtual version last year, organisers of the event have announced that the festival can now safely return to the city centre for three days, between December 3-5.

To bring Christmas shoppers into the event, Durham Christmas Festival will feature four markets: the craft and gift marquee on Palace Green, the regional producers’ market in the Cloisters of Durham Cathedral, a festive outdoor market in Durham Market Place, and Durham Market Hall which will be open over all three days.

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During the Festival, there will be over 200 independent businesses between the four markets, offering gifts, handcrafted homewares, art, Christmas decorations, festive food and much more.

The craft and gift marquee will be home to 100 small businesses, while the regional producers’ market at the Cloisters of Durham Cathedral will house 24 specialist food and drink producers.

The Northern Echo: Hundreds of stalls are expected to pop up in Durham during the Christmas Festival in December.Hundreds of stalls are expected to pop up in Durham during the Christmas Festival in December.

As well as the markets, the city will be filled with the sounds of the festive season with buskers and performers throughout, including Durham University college choirs in a carolling competition on Saturday on Palace Green. 

Festival favourite, Carols for All, also return to Durham Cathedral, on both the Saturday and Sunday.

The Northern Echo: The festival returns after last year's virtual festive event. The festival returns after last year's virtual festive event.

Colin Wilkes MBE, managing director of Durham Markets Company which organises Durham Christmas Festival together with Durham University, said: “We’re really pleased that the festival is back this Christmas. Retailers and city centre venues have had a very tough 18 months; Durham Christmas Festival has always been the busiest retail weekend of the year in Durham, and we certainly hope, with the measures we’ve put in place, that shoppers will come out and make the most of the festival, support these small independent businesses, and of course, tick numerous items off their Christmas shopping list.”

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