Published: Tuesday, 24th August 2021

We're delighted to announce that our popular Christmas Market and annual Dickensian Christmas Festival is due to return to Rochester this year.

The market will once again return to the picturesque Rochester Castle Gardens where visitors will find unusual stocking fillers, unique and personalised gifts and, of course, mulled wine.

There will be fun for all the family including live performances, a funfair and a Bavarian food village.

The market is set in the heart of historic Rochester where there are plenty of shops, restaurants and period architecture to explore.

The Christmas Market returns this year on: 

  • Saturday and Sunday, 27 and 28 November, from 10am to 6pm
  • Friday, 3 December from 12pm (noon) until 8pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 4 and 5 December, from 10am until 7pm
  • Friday, 10 December from 12pm (noon) until 8pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 11 and 12 December, from 10am until 6pm

Residents and visitors will also be treated to a host of Victorian delights at this year’s Dickensian Christmas Festival which will be held in Rochester High Street on Saturday and Sunday, 4 and 5 December between 10am and 5.30pm. There will be familiar costumed characters from the works of Charles Dickens, parades, street entertainment and open-air carol concerts. Everyone is invited to dress up in their finest Victorian or Dickensian outfits for the parades which will take place from 12pm and 4.45pm on Saturday and Sunday.

We're looking forward to welcoming thousands of residents and visitors back to Rochester this winter. The health, safety and wellbeing of visitors, and staff, is of the highest important and we will continue to follow government advice regarding large-scale events.

Highlights of Medway's events calendar

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Rochester Christmas Market and the Dickensian Christmas Festival are both highlights in Medway’s events calendar and we know they were greatly missed by residents, and visitors, last year. We are delighted that we will be able to help people get into the festive spirit this winter. Not only do these fantastic events support Medway’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025, they also support our Child-Friendly City aspirations. We want to ensure that residents and visitors feel safe and enjoy both the Christmas Market and Dickensian Christmas Festival and we will continue to keep a watchful eye on any government announcements, or changes to the guidance, regarding large-scale events. We look forwarding to welcoming thousands of residents and visitors to Medway this Christmas.”

Celebrate Christmas at Medway’s theatres

Medway’s theatres are also looking forward to helping people of all ages get into the festive spirit.

Little Fox’s Christmas Garden at The Brook Theatre is an interactive show filled with games, songs and dances designed to fuel the imaginations of young children. It’s Christmas Eve, and in the cosy old bookshop Little Fox is helping Big Fox put up lots of decorations. Suddenly, they receive an urgent message. An evil queen has cast a terrible spell, and Christmas may be gone forever. So begins a journey into an enchanted garden and an amazing fantastical land, with faraway fairies, mumbling moles and, of course, the Evil Queen herself. Help Little Fox lift the spell, free the garden and save Christmas forever from Friday, 3 December until Christmas Eve. Tickets start from £8 for adults and £7.50 for children. Find out more, you can book online, or by calling the Box Office on 01634 338338.

This year’s spectacular pantomime at The Central Theatre is Beauty and the Beast, brought to you by Jordan Productions, who promise audiences everything they expect including live music, glittering sets and rip-roaring adventure in a panto full of oo la la-ughs which will be ‘simply the beast’. CBeebies star Jennie Dale, from Swashbuckle, will play the role of Fairy Formidable, guiding audiences with her special magic through the panto story. EastEnders legend Todd Carty will play Beauty’s father and Matt Lapinskasfrom Dancing on Ice and EastEnders, will play the Prince/Beast. The hilarious Michael Neilson will return to The Central Theatre pantomime as Dame Dotty. West End star Hannah Boyce will play Beauty. Beauty and the Beast will be performed at The Central Theatre, Chatham, from Thursday, 9 December until Friday, 31 December. Tickets for the preview night cost £13 and tickets for the other performances start at £16. Find out more. You can book online or by calling the Box Office on 01634 338338. 

Find out more about Christmas in Medway. 

You can also search Christmas in Medway on Facebook. 

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