Top 10 seasonal shopping events in Derbyshire
Christmas is coming and the countdown to the festive season has begun in Derby, with the city's official lights switch-on just days away.
Street entertainers and singers will entertain shoppers ahead of the main event on Saturday, with X Factor's Carolynne Poole and former Eastender Larry Lamb joining the celebrations.
Meanwhile, Westfield will also be getting into the festive spirit when Stacey Solomon, another X Factor discovery, lights up the shopping centre on the same evening.
Maggie Tillson, tourism promotions officer for Derby City Council, said: "Derby is the perfect city for Christmas shopping. The Cathedral Quarter has a great selection of fabulous boutiques all based around the city's characterful streets where cafes and pubs are easily found for energy-boosting refreshment.
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"St Peter's Quarter has a great choice of High Street stores and Westfield Derby is a luxurious indoor shopping haven full of favourite stores and unique outlets.
"A great line-up of Christmas events and entertainment are all set to add to the festivities. For more information, please visit www.visitderby.co.uk/christmas-in-derby or call 01332 643411."
There is also plenty of chance to see what's on offer from the city's local traders and craftspeople.
There will be markets and fairs in and around the city in the run-up to Christmas, including the Fabulous Place Christmas Market at the Roundhouse, Sudbury Hall's Christmas Craft and Food Fair and the Cube Cafe Bar's Christmas Market.
As our gift to you, we've compiled a list of 10 seasonal shopping events:
1) Let there be light - An afternoon of entertainment will provide the build-up to the big switch-on in Derby city centre on Saturday, November 17. Shoppers getting some early Christmas gifts will find everyone getting into the festive spirit. From 3.30pm, local acts will be taking to the stage, including carols from Derby choir Sing for Your Supper, and street entertainers will be performing. A parade from The Spot to the Market Place will begin at 4.15pm, featuring cast members from Peter Pan, stilt-walkers, Frosty the Snowman and Santa. X Factor's Carolynne Poole and The Struts will perform before the display is illuminated at 6pm to provide a festive backdrop to our seasonal shopping sprees.
Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AE.
2) Santa's arrived - Santa has now taken up residence in his grotto at the city's Westfield shopping centre. The Wish Kingdom Grotto is open every day until Christmas Eve, when of course the special guest will have to leave to deliver presents around the world. A visit costs £3.95 per child, which includes a gift-wrapped present, and the Christmas Penguins will be entertaining visitors at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm and Titan the Robot appears at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The shopping centre's extended Christmas opening hours begin on November 12 to ensure visitors have plenty of time to get it all done, and former X Factor star Stacey Solomon will join Santa on November 17 to switch on Westfield's lights. Visit uk.westfield.com/derby/ for more information.
Westfield, London Road, Derby, DE1 2PL. Tel: 01332 366 383.
3) Gifts galore - Find that unique item for someone special when the Fabulous Places Christmas Market returns to the Roundhouse for the third year running on Saturday, November 17, and Sunday, November 18. The event will bring together selected exhibitors displaying handmade jewellery, home accessories and treats as well as artisan foods, from chocolate and wine to cakes and pies. Shoppers will be able to tuck in at the event, too, as Darby and Joan will be serving tea and cakes at their Vintage Christmas Tea Room. Doors open from 10am-4pm and entry is £1. For more information, visit events.fabulousplaces.co.uk/
Fabulous Places Christmas Market, The Roundhouse, Pride Park, Derby
4) Shop in splendour - the elegant Chatsworth House is setting the scene for a magical Christmas, transforming the lower floors into a tribute to classic pantomimes. The dramatic decorations will celebrate Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Peter Pan among others, with guides dressed as characters from the family favourites while youngsters can search for clues to help them guess each pantomime in a themed trail. The decorations will be on show until December 23. And why not combine a trip to this fairytale world with a spot of shopping? The house is also hosting its Christmas Markets over two weekends, November 15-18 and November 22-25, with more than 100 stalls, as well goodies on offer in the venue's gift shops. For admission costs and opening times, call 01246 565300.
5) Crafts and carols - Pupils from Derby High School will provide the soundtrack to a spot of shopping when they perform carols at the Cube Cafe Bar's Christmas Market on December 15 at Déda. Local craftspeople will be selling their wares with gift ideas including handmade chocolates, original prints, knitware and jewellery. Food will be served at the venue, which is also offering a free glass of mulled wine to Cathedral Card holders. Traders will open the doors from 9am to 4pm. Visit www.deda.uk.com/cube-caf-bar/christmas-at-cube2 for more information.
Cube Cafe Bar, Déda, Chapel Street, Derby, DE1 3GU. 01332 370911.
6) Get creative - Denby might be the experts when it comes to stoneware, but this Christmas shoppers at the Visitor Centre can paint their own mug, plate or pot to make a unique gift at the Denby Craftroom on December 8 and 9. Locally made gift ideas will take centre stage when the venue hosts its Christmas Fayre on December 7, 8 and 9 while the factory shop has offers for those who want new dinnerware fit for their Christmas feast. Santa will be in his grotto on dates throughout December while there will be late-night shopping on Thursday, December 6, and a Christmas carvery on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays from December 6-23. Visit www.denby.co.uk for more information.
Denby Pottery Visitor Centre, Derby Road, Denby, Derbyshire, DE5 8NX. Tel: 01773 740799.
7) Turn back the clock - Celebrate Christmas past and present in Matlock, which is hosting its popular Victorian Weekend and Markets from November 30 to December 2. Marquees will house around 200 stalls offering crafts, local produce and festive treats such as mulled wine and roast chestnuts. The weekend has a packed programme of events, including late-night shopping and Christingle service on the Friday, a parade and Christmas lights switch-on on the Saturday, fireworks on the Sunday and street entertainment and a fun fair throughout. For more information on how to get there and opening times, visit www.matlock.gov.uk.
Matlock Victorian Weekend, Hall Leys Park, Matlock, Derbyshire.
8) Christmas is child's play - Organisers of Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood's Christmas Craft and Food Fair say visitors could get Christmas all wrapped up in one go at this event. Local stallholders will be selling gifts and food in the Stableyard on Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2, from 11am to 4pm. Father Christmas will also be dropping in for breakfast at the Coach House Restaurant from 9.30-10.30am on both days to deliver some early presents. Market admission is free, breakfast with Santa is £6 per adult and £8.50 per child, normal admission charges to the house and museum also apply. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sudbury-hall-and-museum-of-childhood or call 01283 585337 for more information and to book a place at breakfast.
Sudbury Hall and National Trust Museum of Childhood, Sudbury, Ashbourne, DE6 5HT. Tel: 01283 585337.
9) Keeping up tradition - Shoppers have been heading to Bennetts' Irongate department store for nearly three centuries, having opened its doors in the city's Cathedral Quarter in 1734. It may have staked a claim on the title of world's oldest department store, but it has certainly moved with the times. Brands to be found under its roof include Radley, Dr Hauschka, Joules and Barbour, while its Young Ideas store offers top names, including Paul Smith and D&G. The store is open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday.
Bennetts, 8 Irongate, Derby. Tel: 01332 344261.
10) Fit for the festivities - Getting everything ready for Christmas can often feel like a marathon - so why not get in training? Put on your free Santa suit and join the Jingle Jog in Markeaton Park on December 9, warming up from 10.30am. The fun run is suitable for all ages, as you can follow the 5k route at your own pace, and will support the Derby Hospitals Charity. Participants over 14 pay £6 to enter, including the free Santa suit, and can register online at www.derbyhospitals.nhs.uk/charityevents. Call 01332 786445 for more information. And after the run has warmed you up, pay a visit to the park's Craft Village to get some locally produced gifts before heading home to put your feet up.
Markeaton Park, Derby. Tel: 01332 786445.