The Canterbury Christmas Markets 2020
We all love that gorgeous festive feeling we get when walking around a Christmas market.
The warmth of the lights, the buzz of the atmosphere and the uniqueness of each market stall.
Every year Canterbury has a selection of market stalls that come along in December to compile a Christmas market.
From jewellery to novelty gifts, hot chocolate to mulled wine – it’s all there.
Christmas music fills Whitefriars while the public do their Christmas shopping. What’s not to love?
With 2020 being slightly different to normal, the show must go on for the Canterbury Christmas Markets.
The Christmas market is still up and running this year, but with Kent being in tier three, there are lots of guidelines in place.
One of these changes, is that the market is much smaller than usual to ensure there is plenty of space for social distancing. But this still means 70 small businesses are able to sell their goods, and after all 2020 is all about supporting the smaller businesses.
Similarly, the Santa’s Grotto is closed, hand sanitizer is scattered around the market and face coverings must be worn while browsing the stalls.
Overall, Canterbury is doing everything they can to keep the festive spirits high in this difficult time: “We are committed to delivering a safe, festive experience for everyone and continue to work with the amazing management team at Whitefriars Shopping Centre, Canterbury City Council and our partners to ensure we do everything possible to keep everyone safe.”
As well as the markets in Whitefriars there are a few food and drink stalls in Rose Lane.
There is a Facebook page that you can follow to keep up with all the updates about the markets this year: https://www.facebook.com/canterburychristmasmarket/photos/1704347606401592
Rockhopper Events manages the Christmas Markets in Canterbury and Nikki from their team said, “it’s barley a Christmas Market this year.”
Compared to previous years, where Whitefriars has been bursting to the seams with stalls, this year there are a lot less.
But Canterbury Makers has stepped in this year with a pop-up shop in the Accessorise store.
Next door to this, is Whitefriars Wonderland which Nikki from Rockhopper Events organised. This is an indoor space for independent traders to sell their produce in instead of a hut or marque like in previous years.
Canterbury Makers operates all year-round selling products from small businesses. They sell food, crafted goods, and artwork and have been running as a local collaborative for the past 7 years.
We spoke to Carla who helps run Canterbury Makers. She told us that they started building their website during the second lockdown to try and build awareness.
She describes the shop as being “collaborative” and says it gives customers a chance to shop remotely from their website.
She believes that “large business brands have such a big advantage over small businesses with how quickly they could adapt to an online audience.”
In utilising the shop space in Whitefriars, which they have cleverly called Whitefriars Wonderland, they are able to house over 35 local makers.
To stay Covid safe Carla told us that the shop runs on limited staffing, there are sanitise stations and Perspex screens. For most of the items they sell, there are not barcodes, so this means staff do not need to touch the items. Similarly, only a small number of customers are allowed in at a time and everyone is asked to wear a face covering. She said: “it is really important to us that we protect each other.”
Carla said they found ‘the first weekend after lock-down the busiest but now it is a nice, steady flow of customers and it feels so much calmer than previous years.’
The future of this Canterbury Makers pop-up shop is somewhat uncertain at the moment, much like a lot of things this year. However, Carla has said ‘they hope to remain in available units in Canterbury well into next year where they are hoping to set up some community art projects and give back locally – as soon as it is safe to do so.’
Online Christmas Market
Canterbury have another Facebook page dedicated to their Online Christmas Market.
This allows you to see all the local businesses at the market this from the comfort of your own home.
You can also buy items the stall holders are selling!
The public Facebook page and anyone can request to join.
Members can post about their small business and the page is filled with small business owners showcasing their products.
Canterbury is doing everything they can this year to keep everyone’s spirits high, despite a very challenging year – and we love it!