It’s the most wonderful time of the year (almost) and what better way to kick off the festive season than with a traditional Christmas market.

We are now only days away from November, which means Christmas markets will shortly begin across County Durham

Providing Santa appearances, local food and drink delights and thoughtful handmade crafts which could be someone’s perfect gift this year, there is bound to be something for everyone at one of the many events.

Let’s take a look at some of the Christmas markets taking place across the county for 2023.

Some of the best Christmas markets to visit in County Durham

Durham Christmas Festival

Location: Durham Market Place, Durham City, County Durham, DH1 3NJ

Time and date: December 1-3, various times for each day

Across three days, there will be three markets and “loads of festive fun” to start the Christmas season for 2023.

On the This is Durham website, it says: “Come and shop to your heart's content in the Craft and Producers' Market, in the Festive Outdoor Market and in Durham Market Hall. Bring the family to the Children's Lantern Procession, and Carols for All in Durham Cathedral.”

It will cost £4 per person to enter on the door to Craft & Producers' Market.

You can also buy in advance online for £3.50. All other markets are free to enter.

Christmas Market at Raby Castle

Location: Raby Park, Staindrop, County Durham, DL2 3AH

Time and date: December 2 and 3, 10am until 4pm

Raby Castle says: “One of our highlights of the festive season is our Christmas Market.

“Come and browse our lovely stalls discover lots of delicious treats, seasonal produce and beautiful homemade products from local suppliers. The perfect place to pick up a special gift.

“Our Stables Shop will be open also and decked to the halls with boughs of holly – and unique Christmas treasures.”

The Northern Echo:

You can also pick the Christmas tree of your dreams, grown on the Raby Estates.

The market is free to enter.

Winter Market at The Bowes Museum

Location: The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8NP

Time and date: December 15-17, 10am until 4pm

“Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the festive season as the ever popular Winter Market returns to The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.

“A highlight of the regional calendar featuring a wonderful array of fantastic local traders including artists, makers and designers from across the North.”

Adult tickets will cost £6.50 per person and children’s tickets will cost £3.50 – those under five can enter for free.

Car parking spaces are available for £5.

Christmas Market in Consett

Location: The Hub, 1 Sherburn Terrace, Consett, County Durham, DH8 6ND

Time and date: November 4, 10am until 3pm

When it comes to finding the ideal gift for family and friends, support the local businesses of Consett at the Christmas market this year.

A quieter hour at the event will run from 2pm-3pm.

Donations of £2 on the door are welcome.

The Northern Echo: Which Christmas market will you be visiting in County Durham?Which Christmas market will you be visiting in County Durham? (Image: Getty)

Bishop Auckland's Christmas Town

Location: Market Place, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7NJ

Date: November 24-26

“A magical weekend of festive fun for the whole family in and around Bishop Auckland Marketplace, 24th-26th Nov 2023.

“Enjoy Christmas Markets, Santa’s Grotto, Winter Attractions, Entertainment, Giant Tipi Bars, and Traders from across the region. Plus, there’s stacks to do for all ages, including wreath workshops, performances & more!”

This event is free to attend. Visit the Bishop Auckland's Christmas Town for timings.

Middleton in Teesdale's Christmas Fair

Location: Middleton in Teesdale Farmers Mart, Station Road, DL12 0PG

Date: November 25

"An eclectic mix of over 60 traders, businesses, crafters and makers. The annual Christmas lights switch-on event takes place in the village from 4pm, followed by a family night at the Sports & Social Club."