CARERS will be given free access to a Christmas market this year to make it easier for them to make the most of the event.

Durham Christmas Festival, which starts later this month, will be free for carers on its opening day.

The event takes place from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 1.

Colin Wilkes, managing director of Durham Markets, which organises the festival together with Durham University, said: “We want to make it easier for carers to visit the festival and are hoping that they will take advantage of our offer of free entry into the craft and gift marquee on the Friday.

"The Friday is usually the least busy day in the marquee on Palace Green and that, together with a small taxi service up to Palace Green able to take a folding wheel chair to help those with walking difficulties, will hopefully give them the opportunity to make the most of this event.”

The three-day festival combines markets full of gift ideas and Christmas treats with special festive events, including a carol service at Durham Cathedral and the annual children’s lantern procession.

As well as the marquee on Palace Green, there will be a food market in the cloisters of Durham Cathedral, where traders will be selling regional produce, an outdoor market in the Market Place and the Market Hall, which will open each day, including Sunday.

There will also be numerous performers throughout the city centre to create a festive atmosphere.

A new addition for 2019 will be a Full Moon Street Food Market in Millennium Place on Saturday, November 30 from 10am to 6pm.

Tickets for the craft and gift marquee can be purchased in advance at a discounted price from the festival website, where there are also details about the lantern procession.

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