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Eastbourne Aglow With Christmas Market, Luminale & Winter Light Procession

10 November 2016

Eastbourne will be aglow with festive cheer this Christmas, as the seafront Bandstand is transformed into a three week Christmas Market, and town centre luminale light show, all culminating in the UK’s biggest Christmas Day party.

Bandstand Christmas Market - photo by Graham Huntley


With a brand new BoHo Winter Light Festival officially launching the festive season on 18 November, shoppers and visitors are in for five weeks of glittering displays, as a stunning procession of children’s handmade lanterns signals the start of the festive season.

Eastbourne’s luminale light show Neon Noel, takes centre stage at the Town Hall clock tower from 2 December, with three free shows a night of the musical animation, which continues every weekend until 18 December. Launched at Little Chelsea’s Little Christmas event, the independent shopping streets will celebrate with stalls, fairground rides and entertainment from 2-3 December.

From 3-18 December, the iconic 1930’s seafront Bandstand will be transformed into the sights and sounds of a traditional Christmas Market, featuring wooden stalls, handmade gifts, food court and Santa’s grotto. With mulled wine and entertainment on stage until 9pm each night, live bands and carol singers will be on hand to get shoppers in the mood.

A merriment of Santa’s take over the seafront at the Santa Fun Run on 4 December and for last minute shoppers, the iconic Coca-Cola truck makes a thirst quenching stop in the town centre on 17 December, the final stop before ending its festive UK tour in London.

The big countdown is complete on the 25th when the Bandstand kicks off the UK’s biggest free Christmas Day Concert with Eastbourne Silver Band performing traditional carols and festive hits for thousands of music lovers.

Eastbourne Borough Council Head of Tourism & Enterprise, Annie Wills said “We have an awesome festive season ahead, our Christmas events programme has never been so packed, and with some great hotel deals there is every reason to sneak in a quick Christmas getaway and bring on the festivities before the big day!”

Out & About

In the South Downs National Park, Winter Wonderland Illuminations at Drusillas Park will see an animal themed music and lights show at 4.30pm daily from 19 November, with the opportunity to meet reindeer and huskies at the award-winning zoo.

Step Back in Time as Dickensian Christmas returns to historic Alfriston on 19 November complete with torchlit procession, Salvation Army band and a Christmas lights countdown when Santa makes his traditional appearance from the top window of the old village Post Office.

The Tudor mansion at Michelham Priory plays host to a Tudor Christmas for a medieval take on Christmas dinner, games and entertainment, and in the Seven Sisters Country Park young adventures can join Winter Magic and make nature inspired Christmas decorations after a wild winter adventure in the woods.

Perfect Performances

At the theatre, the Russian State Ballet & Opera House bring a glittering performance of The Nutcracker, the first of three ballets starting 1 December, while families can enjoy the UK premiere of David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon at the Royal Hippodrome from 13 December. Eastbourne’s award-winning pantomime also returns with Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs taking up residence in the town’s ornate Victorian Devonshire Park Theatre from 9 December.

Accommodation Deals

For a great value getaway, the Shore View Hotel are offering Christmas Market breaks from just £39 per room per night at this popular beachfront hotel, or enjoy panoramic views and 50% off at The View with 2 nights for two people at just £85 until 23 December.

Getting About

Shoppers can take advantage of a vintage Stagecoach bus which will link the town centre, Bandstand and many other shopping areas for a charity donation of just £1.

To book or for more information on Christmas events in Eastbourne visit


More Events 

A full round up of the must-do festive events for the perfect pre-Christmas getaway include:

• Jingle All the Way, Royal Hippodrome, every Weds until 7 Dec
• BoHo Winter Light Festival, Seaside 18 Nov
• Drusillas Park Winter Wonderland Illuminations 19 Nov – 2 Jan
• Dickensian Christmas, Alfriston 19 Nov
• Who Killed Santa Claus, Devonshire Park Theatre 22-26 Nov
• Meads Magic 25 Nov
• Green Street Christmas Fair, Old Town 26 Nov
• Russian State Ballet & Opera House: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty & Swan Lake, Congress Theatre 1-3 Dec
• Little Christmas at Little Chelsea 2–3 Dec
• Neon Noel, Town Hall 2-18 Dec (every Fri, Sat & Sun)
• A Christmas Carol, Royal Hippodrome 2-4 Dec
• Christmas Market, Bandstand 3-18 Dec
• Tudor Christmas, Michelham Priory 3-4 Dec
• Winter Magic, Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre 3 Dec
• Santa Fun Run, seafront 4 Dec
• A Christmas Night at the Opera, Congress Theatre 8 Dec
• Motcombe Village Christmas Fair 10 Dec
• Christmas at the Priory (Michelham Priory) 10-11, 17-18 Dec
• David Walliams’ UK Premiere of ‘The First Hippo on the Moon’, Royal Hippodrome 13-14, 16-19, 21-24, 26 Dec – 2, 5-7 Jan
• Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Devonshire Park Theatre 9 Dec – 15 Jan
• Viennese Strauss Christmas Gala, Congress Theatre 16 Dec
• Coca-Cola Truck Tour, town centre 17 Dec
• Carols at the Castle (Herstmonceux Castle) 18 Dec
• Free Bandstand concerts – Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day

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