Christmas in Medway 2021

Medway's popular Christmas Market and annual Dickensian Christmas Festival return to Rochester this year!

One of the UK's Best Family-Friendly Christmas Days Out (The Times Newspaper)

Keeping you Safe

Keeping our staff and visitors safe is paramount. Therefore we have ensured our events adhere to the current government advice, including regular enhanced cleaning and mask wearing where required. Please take notice of the following:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to the event and follow government guidelines
  • Wash your hands regularly - hand sanitiser stations will be available at this event.

Please be aware that visitors coming to The Rochester Christmas Market and Dickensian Christmas Festival will need to wear face coverings in the craft tent, in all indoor retail shops and on public transport (unless exempt).

Although most of the market stalls and festivities for Dickensian Christmas Festival are outside, it can get very busy, therefore face coverings are optional, but recommended. Please respect those wearing them.

Taking a lateral flow test before arriving and a few days after the event, will help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Medway Council's Public Health team will be handing out kits over the course of the Festival weekend.

Rochester Christmas Market

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.

* Every Friday - funfair rides only £1

The Rochester Christmas Market in Rochester Castle Gardens

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

 

Find out about transport and parking at during Rochester's Christmas events

Dickensian Christmas Festival

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.

Find out about transport, park and ride and parking at during Rochester's Christmas events

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.

Download the full festival programme (PDF)

We are 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 the council will continue to follow government advice regarding large-scale events.

Dickens costume sale
If you need help with an outfit for the Dickensian Festival, look no further! Head down to Rochester’s Corn Exchange on Sat, 20 November, between 10am and 3pm.

 

The Mistletoe Costumed Ball
The Mistletoe Costumed Ball is back! Dress up in your grandest Dickensian costume and join us at the Queens Hall of the Corn Exchange Rochester. The evening starts with a traditional Christmas dinner, followed by dancing to ‘Legacy’. There is a cash bar and raffle.

Friday, 3 December, 7pm for 7.30pm start.
Tickets cost £26 (meal included) until 21 November, then £30 until 26 November. Tickets and more information from at www.medwayticketslive.co.uk.

 

Become a stallholder
Do you make or sell the most amazing Christmas gifts?
Then we'd love you to be part of the Rochester Christmas Market.
Stallholder bookings for this year's market have now closed but you can apply early to be a trader at next year's market. Fill out the application form or email [email protected]

Coach Parking
If you are coming to the festival and markets by coach, you must pre-book your parking space in advance.  The booking system has now closed. For details email.

Mini-bus Parking
This year, mini-buses will be parking at the Park & Ride site at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. For details on this service, click this link.

Free parking this Christmas
Shop and support local this year with the help of free parking in all council-run car parks from Thursday, 16 to Sunday, 19 December 2021.

 

Other exciting events coming up...

The festive fun continues! 

Christmas Light Switch Ons 

Join us for fun-filled afternoons packed with festive activities, taking place from 3.45pm, with the Mayor switching on the lights at 5pm.

Flick the switch...

Christmas at our heritage sites

Celebrate the festive season at Medway's very own time capsule, Eastgate House. With activities on offer for any-aged historian, this is the perfect place to learn the history of Christmas.

Take a step back in time...

Chatham Winter Walkabouts

From Saturday, 27 November, reoccurring every Saturday until Christmas, The Pentagon Shopping Centre will host a series of world renowned street artists and performers for the public to enjoy.

Find out more...

© Matt Perry

Christmas in Rochester 

 

Step into festive family fun this holiday season with Christmas in Rochester - there’s so much on offer to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!

A true winter wonderland...

Rochester City Vintage & Artisan Market

Grab those unique and unforgettable gifts at The Rochester City Vintage & Artisan Market. Running on the second Saturday of each month, a trip here is sure to award you as top-present giver! 

Glorious gifting awaits...

Celebrating Christmas at our country parks

Capstone Farm Country Park and Riverside Country Park have a variety of festive celebrations on offer this December.

Let's get crafty

Wartime Christmas Weekend

Discover how Christmas was celebrated during the Second World War at the Royal Engineers Museum. Immerse yourself in the festivities and get a vintage makeover, watch live demonstrations or browse our market for festive handicrafts & last-minute treats.

A vintage Christmas...

 

Shop Local, Shop Medway

Medway has lots to offer when it comes to shopping. From boutiques along Rochester High Street and Strood to family owned businesses in Chatham, Twydall, Gillingham, you’ll find the perfect gift on your doorstep. Don’t forget to head over to Hoo, Walderslade Village, Rainham, Parkwood and Lordswood – there’s lots of small independent shops waiting for you.

If you're keen to support local traders, Produced in Kent has also gathered ideas and offerings from its hundreds of members, into one handy Christmas Directory. There are four sections covering Christmas Food, Christmas Gifts, Eat, Drink & Stay and Experiences, with the campaign message being to Buy Five locally-produced presents for your friends and family.     

For the latest information, follow us on Facebook or sign up to our newsletter – more Christmassy events will be added soon!