ARTS+ENTERTAINMENT Christmas Markets cont. CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN KENT Rochester Rochester Castle Gardens is the scene for this most traditional and heartwarming of Christmas markets. As you wander around the stalls selling all manner of gorgeous and unique gifts – including handmade items and tasty treats – nibbling roasted chestnuts as you go, you’ll be able to take in the view of the 12th-century Norman keep too. The market is set out like a Bavarian village to really keep the idea of Christmas alive and it incorporates the Dickensian Christmas Festival (2nd- 3rd December) where you can step back in time and meet some of the great author’s most famous characters. Leeds Castle With a huge array of gorgeous gift ideas, as well as some locally produced food and drink items, the Leeds Castle Christmas Market is always a joy to attend. But what makes it even more fun are the traditional fairground rides that everyone can enjoy. Pop along and meet the reindeer, find out whether you are on Father Christmas’s ‘nice’ list, and sample some festive delights as you listen to live music under the majestic watch of Leeds Castle itself. 46 Whitefriars The Christmas market at Whitefriars in Canterbury consists of over 35 different stalls housed in British-made traditional wooden sheds. Unique gifts and dazzling decorations sit side by side with Christmassy treats such as gingerbread and mulled wine. Sample some on the day and take the rest home for your Christmas guests; it will add a definite delicious sparkle to the big day itself. There are also many events to enjoy as you shop including a lovely and utterly memorable grotto where Father Christmas will be happy to meet the children and give them a pre-Christmas gift. Tenterden Tente rden is one of the prettiest Kentish villages, so it should come as no surprise that the Christmas market it holds every year is just as lovely. Local artisan food producers and crafters will be there selling their wares and offering samples so you can choose the perfect products for your Christmas table. And, if you’re feeling more than a little peckish, there will be street food stalls too, so you can up your energy levels ready for the next round of Christmas shopping. With live music from choirs as well as street entertainers this is as festive as it gets.