Dorking Christmas Festival: Town to be transformed into ‘magical winter wonderland’ with funfair and market

As the colder weather is setting in, with a hint of Christmas spirit in the air, it’s time to start getting festive.

This Sunday from 12pm to 6pm, Dorking is hosting its annual Dorking Christmas Festival, which will see the town transformed into a whimsical winter wonderland.

While it’s sure to get you in the mood to whip out the mulled wine and start decking the halls, what can you expect? Look no further.

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Festive fun

Throughout the day there’ll be plenty of merriment and joy for people of all ages.

Kids can be on the lookout for Father Christmas who is expected to be roaming through the town, and can enjoy the exciting fun fair based at St Martin’s Walk.

There’ll also be a mix of entertainment from amazing live music, to cheerful Christmas carollers and choir singers, and even dancers.

You can also expect a selection of festive food sourced from local produce among the Christmas market stalls.

The main event, of course, will be the town’s lights twinkling for all to see – keep an eye out for Santa’s sleigh led by a trail of dashing Dorking cockerels lighting up the sky.

Christmas shopping

You can expect a range of local businesses lining the streets to help you knock out some early Christmas shopping. You’ll also be supporting small business in the community, helping independent retailers in the Christmas season.

You can download Dorking’s LoyalFree app for the day, which will give you a range of useful information from special offers, opening hours and even shopping trails to guide you through the festival market stalls.

A Dorking Directory will also be available for those planning their Christmas shopping, where you’ll be able to find all of the available shops you’ll need to find the perfect gift.

The Dorking Christmas Festival also marks the start of the Christmas Window Competition, where local shops will be giving themselves a festive makeover.

Parking and road closures

Dorking’s West Street (Image: David Cook)

As expected, there’ll be a few disruptions while Dorking puts on its Christmas best, but there’ll still be some parking available.

The main streets in the town centre will be closed to make room for the festive magic.

South Street will be closed from 6am to 8pm with its parking bays also suspended. The High Street will be closed from 10am to 8pm, and West Street and Junction Road will be closed from 12pm to 6pm.

Both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose will be open all day from 10am to 4pm, with access to their car parks as normal.

As West Street will be closed for the festival, you will only be able to exit by turning left out of Waitrose car park. It’s worth noting that to secure a space you’re best going early, as it will most likely be busy.