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Rochester Market 3 Night

Christmas in Medway

17th November - 7th January 2024

That magical time of year is fast approaching and as always, Medway has some wonderful things to get you in the festive spirit this Christmas.

Rochester Christmas Market

Get your Christmas shopping off to a fun and festive start at the Rochester Christmas Market.

Set in the spectacular Rochester Castle gardens, the Christmas markets are held over three consecutive weekends and is the ideal place to search for that special gift or stocking filler. We have a number of fantastic craft and trade stalls to explore.

A number of food and drink stalls are available to purchase hot and cold beverages, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and many more festive treats.

Visiting Coaches - Coaches need to pre-book parking for this event. Booking system has now closed as many spaces are at full capacity.  For advice email us.

Opening Times:

  • Saturday, 25 & Sunday, 26 November: 10am-6pm
  • Friday, 1 December: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday, 2 & Sunday, 3 December: 10am-7pm
  • Friday, 8 December: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday, 9 & Sunday, 10 December: 10am-6pm

Children's Christmas Village

For the very first time, Mrs Claus and some of Santa’s most trusted elves have been busy working hard to bring a tiny slice of Christmas splendour to share with children aged 4 to 11 years old.

On arrival, children and their adults* will be greeted by Santa’s elves, who will guide them to Mrs Claus’ snug, where they will be told a magical Christmas story.

They will then visit the elves’ workshop. With the help of the elves, they will choose and decorate a Christmas tree decoration to sprinkle with some Christmas magic to take home with them.

Finally, they will enter Mrs Claus’ kitchen, where the elves are baking up a storm of gingerbread people (Gluten-free and vegan options available), ready for the children to decorate with their choice of toppings, to then be wrapped and taken away for a festive treat.

Tickets: £10.00 per child. *Adults do not need a ticket. There must be at least one, but no more than two adults for every entry, due to space constrictions.

This is a 45 minute experience.

Book here.

Christmas at Eastgate House

Storytelling with Victorian Father Christmas

Take your children back in time, with this wonderful storytelling from the original Claus. Draped in his green robes, head topped with a traditional festive garland, the children will listen to Father Christmas tell a story about the mice who live in the house, and then find scenes from the story around the house afterwards.

No booking is required for this event - just turn up.

Tickets: Adults - £6 | Children - £4.  Includes visit to the house.

Read more.

Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol'

Dickens' best-selling novella, and beloved 19th century masterpiece 'A Christmas Carol' comes to life this Christmas at Eastgate House. This unique, live-adaptation unfolds around you to create an unforgettably immersive experience.

Performances will take place on Sunday 10, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December at various times.  Price £12 per person.

Tickets available online.

A Victorian Christmas

Eastgate house will be decorated from head to mistletoe for a Victorian Christmas from Saturday, 2 December - Sunday, 7 January. 

Look out for a special appearance by Scrooge on Saturday, 2 December.

Read more.

Rochester Dickensian Christmas Festival

Step back in time and start the festive season in Dickensian style

Step back in time and start the festive season in Dickensian style at the popular Rochester Dickensian Christmas festival taking place on Saturday, 2 and Sunday, 3 December. 

Each year, the first weekend of December brings Victorian festivities to Rochester in the form of a Dickensian Christmas, where you can experience street entertainment, readings, song and dance. You’ll be captivated by Dickens’ characters as you explore the literary journey that was the great writer’s life.

A full programme of colourful and lively events will be published nearer the time.

Festival Parades:

11am - Seven Poor Travellers' Procession
Led by the Town Crier from outside the Victoria & Bull Hotel, the procession will move along the high street and conclude outside the Six Poor Travellers' House, where a short speech will be made.

12Noon - Main Parade
Led by the Mayor of Medway, the parade of costume characters and performers will start in the high street by Almon Place. It will move along the high street, turn left at Northgate into Boley Hill and finishing on the Boley Hill Stage.

4.45pm - Candlelit Parade
Led by the Mayor of Medway, the parade will start in the high street by Almon Place. It will move along the high street and turn left into Boley Hill to join the carol service on the open air stage.

Read more.

Visiting Coaches - Coaches need to pre-book parking for this event. Booking system has now closed as many spaces are at full capacity.  For advice email us.

Getting to Rochester's Christmas Events

There are many options for visitors to our Christmas Events to travel sustainably to Rochester.  For more details, click here.

Free Parking & Bus Travel

Free Christmas bus travel in Medway
Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December

Medway Council has also secured government funding to provide free bus travel in and around Medway on Saturday, 9 and Sunday, 10 December (up to 8pm). This includes single journeys on any Medway bus operator.

Free Christmas parking in Medway
Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December

In support of local businesses and to encourage residents to stay local this Christmas, Medway Council is offering two free days of parking across all of the car parks it owns: on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, 17 December.


Meet Children's Characters at Medway Libraries

Meet children’s characters at Medway libraries. Book with a library card, by phoning 01634 337799 or visiting any Medway Library. The sessions will take place:

  • Miraculous Ladybug: Strood Community Hub, Friday, 17 November, 2-2.30pm, 3.45-4.15pm and 5-5.30pm.
  • Chase from Paw Patrol: Gillingham Community Hub, on Friday, 24 November, 2-230pm, 3.45-4.15pm and 5-5.30pm.
  • Bluey: Rainham Library, Friday, 1 December, 2-2.30pm, 3.45-4.15pm and 5-5.30pm.

Aladdin - The Central Theatre, Chatham

Friday, 8 - Sunday, 31 December


We’re back this Christmas with a GENIE-US panto adventure – Aladdin. Widow Twankey wants a husband, evil Abanazaar wants the magic lamp, Aladdin wants adventure and Wishee Washee wants some Spiderman pants! – can the Genie grant all their wishes?

EastEnders star Delroy Atkinson (Howie Danes) is ready to cause trouble at The Central Theatre Chatham as the evil Abanazaar this festive season.

Back by popular demand, it’s Alex Anstey as the wonderful Widow Twankey, on the lookout for any man in the front two rows! CBBC’s Dumping Ground actor William Wyn Davies will be starring as the hilarious Police Constable, and his whacky brother Wishee Washee, will be played by the fantastically funny Jonny Weldon.

This magical extravaganza is brought to you by the same team behind last year’s smash hit and once again promise live music, colourful costumes, amazing sets, spectacular special effects and plenty of panto fun and laughter.

This year’s fairy-tale pantomime will take you on a thrilling adventure for the whole family - view show dates and book here.

Coaches & Traders

Coach booking system has now closed. Most slots are full, but if you need assistance email us for advice. Market stalls for this year's event has now sold out.


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