Coggeshall is a lovely place to live, but Christmas seems to make it even better. This is thanks to the huge Christmas tree in the centre of the village, the lights that go up around all of the businesses and all of the local events going on.
We’ve pulled together a bit of a summary of what is going on. If we miss anything out then just let us know and we can add it in!
Coggeshall Christmas – Saturday 7th December
We have to start with Coggeshall Christmas as it is what everyone looks forward to. The format varies a bit each year but there are always stalls outside on Stoneham Street, more inside the village hall, a switch-on for the lights and singing around the tree. This year it will start at 1.30pm and finish at 6pm, with the lights going on around 4.30pm.
Marks Hall are going all out with a whole range of festive events in December. You won’t go hungry at Marks Hall this year!:
- Breakfast with Santa: on the 7th and 8th December, children can go along to meet Santa at Marks Hall with a continental breakfast from 9am, time with Santa where they will receive a present followed by a fully cooked breakfast. And if you’re able to move after that, there is a creative craft table
- Christmas children’s trail: from 6th December, this is open Friday-Sunday from 10am – 4pm (apart from 27th December) and suitable for children aged 3-12. It is £1.50 per child, which includes a sweet treat.
- Christmas Shopping Evening: on 13th December from 3.30 – 8pm the Orchard Kitchen and Gift Shop will be hosting an evening of shopping and festive treats. Furthermore, Father Christmas will be there for those who want to visit while he is in town (don’t forget to pre-book though as of course he is in high demand!)
- Festive Breakfast: have a family meal at Marks Hall on 15th December from 9am – 12pm. Sadly for adults, it is only the children who get the santa pancakes.
- Christmas Lunch: on 17th December you can have a festive lunch at Marks Hall followed by a (hopefully white) winter walk.
Paycocke’s House & Garden
Why is it that older buildings just seem to feel more Christmassy? If you want a nice old building, then head to Paycocke’s as that is the theme of their Christmas event.
- Tudor Christmas: ever wanted to know what it would be like to live in 1517? Well if you ever have had that desire then go to Paycocke’s for their Tudor Christmas to transport you back 500 years. There are normal admission prices for the day and the coffee shop will also be open.
A lovely local family-run garden centre, Oliver’s has an amazing range of plants and trees. It is undergoing a bit of a makeover at the moment, but head on over to see what they have going on.
- Christmas Tree Maze & Treasure Trail: send the rest of the family off to get lost in the maze and do the treasure trail so you can actually pick a tree without a debate over what shape is best. Just £3 per child and this runs until 8 December, because why would you still need to get a tree after that date?
- Indoor Christmas Market: if your family is still lost in the maze, head over to the indoor Christmas Market with a wide variety of stalls selling unique presents, sweet treats and handmade gifts. You can also watch demonstrations for wreaths and table decorations at the plant centre.
- Painted Peppermint Christmas decorations: If you want some personalised ceramics or decorations then on Sunday 1st and Saturday 7th December you can get making one of these and it will be ready to collect before Christmas from Olivers.
A firm favourite thanks to its beautiful displays, impressive ranges and delicious food in the cafe, this is worth a visit even if it is just to wander around and imagine what your home and garden could look like.
- Santa’s grotto: a pretty magical grotto, there are few dates left so book soon. The ticket price of £10 per child includes a small wrapped gift, craft activity and photo opp with a fairy and wizard.
- Christmas feast: in the coffee shop and restaurant you can get turkey and the trimmings every Sunday and Wednesday between 11.45am and 2.30pm until Wednesday 18th December.
- Christmas afternoon tea: this can be booked from Monday to Saturday right up until 13th January for £18.99 per person
Poplar has a range of events including some slightly less traditional alternatives:
- Weber festive BBQ demonstration: on 8th December you can drop by poplar to see how you can BBQ a turkey. Also on the menu for the day is ‘festive pizza’.
- Santa’s Grotto: so dates for this started in November but for those of you who agree that is too early, there are more acceptable dates starting from Sunday 1st December. It is £10 per child and that includes a real baby Christmas tree, but only while stocks last apparently. We recommend getting there early in the day as they do say sometimes the queue has to be closed early, and no parent should have to deal with a child who is told they can’t meet Father Christmas!
- Breakfast with Santa: no wonder Father Christmas looks how he does with so many breakfast events to go to. This one needs booking and is £12.99 per child and £9.99 per adult.
Colchester Christmas Market
- Colchester Christmas market: this is a free entry Christmas event with over 80 traders and it includes fun fair rides, music, wine tasting, choirs and Father Christmas visiting for the kids. The date is Sunday the 8th of December and it will be from 10am to 5pm.