Christmas in South Kesteven

November 30, 2023

As we head in to December, the weather has turned frosty, and the dark nights are brightened by the twinkle of festive lights.  The scent of mince pies, mulled wine and spices tinge the air, and our thoughts turn to Christmas.

Whether you are shopping for stocking fillers, or looking for unforgettable seasonal experiences, here is our round up of some of the best Christmas events and activities in and around South Kesteven this year.


Christmas Markets and Lights

Take the opportunity to cross your Christmas shopping off your to do list, all while enjoying fabulous entertainment at one of the many Christmas Markets and Fayres.

Christmas Fayres are taking place across the district, all of which will feature stalls selling crafts and gifts, festive food and drinks, and special treats, along with live music and family entertainment, and the events will culminate with the Christmas lights switch on.

Bourne Christmas Fayre  is on the 2nd December  between 11am-6pm.   Fireworks will accompany the Christmas lights switch on at 5pm.

Grantham Christmas Fayre opens Sunday 3rd December at 11am.
Take part in our Rogue Reindeer Trail for a chance to win tickets to see the fabulous pantomime, Aladdin, at the Guildhall Arts Centre (a seasonal must see!), and don’t miss a visit to Santa’s grotto. Christmas lights switch on at 4.30pm.

Don’t forget to pop around to the Garden Yard Café on Union Street who will be holding their Christmas Craft market between 10am-3pm.

Also taking place on 3rd December, 10am – 5pm, is Market Deeping Christmas Market.  Carol singing and the Christmas light switch on will take place at 5pm.

Other Christmas markets around the district include the March Hare Christmas Fair at the Coach House Courtyard, Grimsthorpe Castle on Friday 1st December 4pm-8pm, and Fulbeck Craft Centre Christmas Market  on Saturday 9th  December, featuring stalls from local artists and craftspeople.

The regular weekly markets in Stamford (Friday), Grantham (Saturday), Bourne (Thursday), and Market Deeping (Wednesday) continue to run throughout December and are the perfect place to pick up those last-minute gifts, festive treats and of course, those crucial supplies for Christmas dinner.


Christmas in Stately Splendour

Two deer stand in the snow in front of Belton House. South Kesteven is blessed with stunning historic houses right across the district – and by equally exquisite neighbours just outside our borders.  TV and movie fans will recognise them from record breaking shows including ‘The Crown’ and ‘Bridgerton’ as well as award winning films including period classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’.   At Christmas this year, they offer experiences which will create memories for a lifetime.

Harlaxton Manor is holding a series of open days  between 1st – 10th of December, where visitors can explore the state rooms decorated for Christmas and learn about its remarkable history.

On the 7th December there is a rare opportunity to explore the manor at night, and on the 13th December,  expect a wonderful evening as members of St Wulfram’s acclaimed Youth Choir perform seasonal music including pieces from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols.
Tickets required for all events.

Experience 12 days of Christmas at Belvoir Castle, just eight miles from Grantham.  Open until the 2nd of January, discover beautifully curated  Christmas displays themed around the lyrics to the much-loved Christmas carol.

Christmas has come to Belton House.  Visitors can enjoy the mansion, once described as the ‘perfect’ country house, decorated for the season until the 7th January.  Explore the beautiful gardens and enjoy spotting Belton’s resident deer in the parkland.  House and grounds open daily (except Christmas Day).

However, it is as the sun sets and night steals across the estate that Belton truly comes alive, and visitors can marvel at the stunning Christmas Lights Trail featuring installations throughout the gardens which make for a truly memorable evening.
Please note – the light trail requires a separate, pre-booked ticket.

Burghley House near Stamford provides the perfect break from the Christmas hubbub and a beautiful place for a winter walk.  Stop into the Christmas shop, open until the 21st December (Wednesday – Sunday 10am-4pm), to pick up the perfect addition to your Christmas decorations.


He’s Behind You!

No list of seasonal events would be complete without a pantomime, so don’t miss out on Aladdin at the Guildhall Theatre, Grantham.  A relaxed show will be performed on Sunday 17th December at 1pm, and a sign interpreted show on the 5th January at 6.30pm.

Aladdin will also be visiting Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre  between 22nd December and 1st January.

South Kesteven Acting and Musical Players (SKAMP) are bringing Robin Hood to Bourne Corn Exchange from 6th -10th December, to battle with his nemesis the Sheriff of Nottingham, with family friendly hijinks a-plenty.

If panto is not for you, South Kesteven’s theatres are offering a brilliant selection of seasonal concerts, films, and family performances, full details can be found on their websites through the links below.

Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham

Stamford Arts Centre

Corn Exchange Theatre, Stamford

Christmas Trees and Carols

Christmas Trees and Carols go together like turkey and Brussel sprouts, or Christmas pudding and brandy butter, and South Kesteven offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy both.

Don’t miss the last few days of the fabulous St Wulfram’s Christmas Tree Festival  featuring trees decorated by local charities, businesses and community groups – and the added fun of the famous indoor ice skating rink (pre booking available).
The festival runs until 8pm on Saturday 3rd December, and is the perfect end to a day at the Christmas Fayre.

A Christmas Tree Festival will also be held at  Bourne Methodist Church  Saturday 2nd December 10- 4pm;  and the beautiful and historic St John’s Church, Stamford  hosts the Stamford Lions Christmas Tree Festival, Open every day 9.30am – 4.30pm until 11th December.

Churches across South Kesteven will be welcoming all-comers to carol services throughout December, but if you are looking for some particularly special Christmas music this year, festive magic awaits.

A traditional service of Christmas Carols and Readings  will be held in the glorious surroundings of the Vanbrugh Hall at Grimsthorpe Castle on Sunday 10th December 6pm in aid of St John’s Ambulance.

Or join Stamford’s local choirs for an afternoon of Community Carols at Stamford Recreation Ground Bandstand, 10th December 2.30-4pm,  and Stamford Choral Society will be performing a selection of carols, old and new, at Stamford School, on the 19th December at 7.30pm.

On the 13th December, Join Grantham Choral Society at Finkin Street Methodist Church, Grantham, from 7.30pm  to celebrate Christmas and sing an evening of carols accompanied by organ.

Finally, wrap up warm on the 21st December and head to Grantham House for 7pm  to join the youth choir of St Wulfram’s church for Carols in the Courtyard, guaranteed to put you in the Christmas Spirit (tickets required).

Make sure to follow Discover South Kesteven on social media for updates on events and activities across the district.

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