New for 2018 the Fayre will open at 12 noon on Thursday 22 November. This will be a great time to come down and preview the stalls and get a real feel for the event without the crowds. Thursday evening is historically locals evening (although you don’t have to be a local!). This evening includes a parade of school children, discounted fun fair rides and lots of shops staying open late. The Fayre is open until 8pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the evenings are a great time to visit and sample the atmosphere and wander around with a hot chocolate or something stronger! The entertainment and fairground will go on until these times and there will be lots of activities for children. Saturdays and lunchtimes can be particularly busy but offer a great atmosphere but Sunday mornings are more relaxed and a great time for browsers to visit.
Dress to impress! The weather plays a big part in Christmas events so make sure you are dressed comfortably. Layers are best as although the market is outdoors we have three great indoor venues as well as many wonderful shops. Bury St Edmunds is a lovely old town and some streets can be hilly and cobbled and the Abbey Gardens has covered grassy areas – not the best place to show off your new shoes.
With any popular event and because of the time of year parking can be tricky. Bury St Edmunds is lucky as it has a large amount of reasonably priced car parks, a designated park and ride and additional Christmas Fayre car parks however, the ring roads in and out of town can be particularly busy at peak times (school runs and commuting times particularly on Friday afternoon / early evening) Why not let someone else take the strain and relax and travelling by train, bus or coach, you will also be able to treat yourself to a steaming hot mulled wine or a tasty Bailey’s hot chocolate. More info on travel and parking
If you prefer to drive and particularly if you do not know the town the park and ride service will operate between 8.30am Friday 23 November to 6pm on Sunday 25 November. Situated just off the A14 this means there will be none of the stress associated with negotiating busy roads and map reading whilst looking out for the signs!
There is so much to see and do at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre you will struggle to fit in everything in one day. Why not make a weekend of it and stay at one of our elegant hotels, quaint B&B’s or a tucked away country cottage.
Bury St Edmunds and Beyond website has lots of ideas on where to stay and other attractions within Suffolk. The Christmas Fayre map and programme will be available in mid-October, this will include ideas on where to eat, town centre shops and all six venues of the Fayre detailed on one easy to read map.
Christmas is a great time for children and families and Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre is where Christmas begins. If you are coming with children don’t forget that fairground rides will be discounted on Thursday 22nd November and there will be lots of children’s activities in the Abbey Gardens (near to the excellent Children’s play area) on all three days. Highlights include Santa’s Grotto, reindeer, snow globes, puppet shows, water walkers and art and craft activities. Our programme highlights mother and baby facilities and changing rooms and our churches offer a quiet place to rest and relax. Take a look at our Travelling with Children top tips!
Although Bury St Edmunds as a wonderful selection of cafes, tearooms, pubs and restaurants sometimes you just want somewhere quiet where you can have a reasonably priced cuppa and time to sit down and take the weight of your feet in the warm. The following places provide reasonably priced refreshments, toilets and plenty of seating. Some also have music, craft stalls and good value lunches to tempt you.
Country Markets – Oddfellow Hall, 85 Whiting Street, open Friday and Saturday 8.30am – 4pm
Ivy Joan Makers Market – Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street open Friday and Saturday 9.30am – 6pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm
Constitutional Club – Guildhall Street open from 12 noon on Friday and Saturday and 3pm on Sunday.
St Mary’s Church, Crown Street open Friday and Saturday 9am until 5pm.
All are open during the Fayre and all have experienced friendly staff to help you plan your day.
If you have any questions about our Christmas Fayre please contact:
Market Development Officer
Christmas Fayre Office
West Suffolk House
Bury St Edmunds