This historic market town - home to The Bowes Museum, The Witham arts centre and a Norman castle - will offer visitors an exciting festive mix of exhibitions, film screenings, performances and music alongside a traditional Christmas market featuring a wide selection of independent retailers as well as winter warming food and drink – the perfect combination in which to relax and soak up the joyful atmosphere.
The Christmas Festival launches on Wednesday 13 December with a Traditional Fair in The Bowes Museum grounds, featuring delicious food chalets, time-honoured fairground amusements, rides, side-shows, games and entertaining family activities. Santa is waiting to welcome children to his magical grotto, while an elves’ workshop, Christmas crafts and a fun festive trail promise to delight and entertain. Inspired by the Museum founders John & Joséphine Bowes, the Christmas Festival will celebrate the Museum’s 125th anniversary. The Bowes Museum remains open during the fair for all to enjoy.
The Bowes Museum’s annual Christmas Market – a firm favourite in the region’s calendar – has been extended this year, opening on the afternoon of 15th December and running all day on 16th and 17th December. It will be bigger and better than ever, with over 100 hand-picked stallholders offering original locally sourced Christmas produce to treat yourself as well as friends and family. Live music, seasonal entertainment, prize draws from Smooth Radio and the popular park & ride ‘Santa’ buses ensure this feel-good family event is not to be missed.
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the opportunity to enjoy a classic film, and The Witham sets the seasonal scene beautifully with a screening of the family favourite Miracle on 34th Street on 14th December. Further festive offerings include the comedian Chris Ramsey – Work in Progress 2, whose 15th December performance is a sellout; a warming supper coupled with a performance of A Christmas Carol by the acclaimed Castle Players, and Teesdale Christmas Art Fair.
Completing the picture will be fantastic musical performances at the TCR Hub on 16th December, featuring local performers and regional talent. While aimed at families, the event will continue late into the night, complemented by seasonal refreshments in the café, the ensure you leave in the festive mood.