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Christmas in West Sussex

Updated: Apr 30

If you want to magic up some Christmas spirit there's a wonderful array of festive events in West Sussex, from glowing light trails to soulful carol services, sipping a mulled wine at seasonal markets and visiting Santa in his grotto with the bambinos.

Wander through the Christmassy streets of Chichester until December 23rd and explore an angelic host of stalls filled with unique and tasty gifts made by local artisans and crafters. There's art and kitschy decorations, pottery & glassware, fudge & savoury treats and much more. Ticking people off your Christmas shopping list will be easy!

Not in West Sussex, but in neighbouring Hampshire only a 45 minute drive from Chichester. It's worth a mention as it's a spectacular celebration of Christmas, with German inspired wooden chalet stalls in the historic setting of Winchester town.

There's also a stage filled with local musical acts to create a festive atmosphere.

The Cowdray Estate has been a West Sussex feature for more than 850 years. At Christmas, you can explore the ruined castle at the Christmas at Cowdray light trail. It's a creative mile long trail winding around the estate with immersive light displays that are sure to delight and get everyone in a festive mood. We're spoilt for choice for light trails other local ones include Leonardslee Gardens, Glow at Wakehurst and the Light Up trail athe Hiller Gardens.

The winter program at the Festival theatre has something for everyone, from spectacular Christmas concerts to the fun for younger children of Dear Santa, a live stage show based on the Dear Zoo books, finishing with a meet and greet with Santa and a present for your little ones.

Find an array of festive events at the cathedral, from storytelling in the nave to a free fun filled Nutcracker treasure hunt around town with a special event on December 10th including facepainting and dance groups.

Many of our lovely local churches & villages will have their own services or carols around the tree, it's a special way to connect to village life and experience a traditional Christmas.

Step back in time by visiting one of the local National Trust houses. Petworth house is resplendent with beautifully decorated Christmas trees in every room. There are carols at the weekend and a late-night opening on the 21st Dec to enjoy the twinkling lights. All of the National Trust Houses celebrate Christmas in a unique way. Nymans House is no exception. This year, Beatrix Potter is the star. Discover garden installations inspired by her festive tales, a cosy corner for kids to read, do puzzles and dress up in the house and you can even see some of her original work on display.


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