Sussex & Kent vs Bruges – No Contest!

At this time of year I see lots of advertisements for trips to enjoy Christmas markets in Europe.  From Kent and Sussex, places that are known for providing good markets – such as Bruges – are easy to reach, but we’re also lucky in that we don’t have to travel far at all to enjoy the magic of Christmas markets.  During any week in December you’ll find plenty of Christmas market events in towns throughout both counties.

Shops stay open late, roads through town are temporarily closed and local suppliers display their wares on pop-up stalls, usually under gazebos.

There’s a smell of mulled wine or cider in the air.  Perhaps roast chestnuts (my favourite!).  You’ll find a selection of different foodstuffs available at stalls so no need to eat first.

You’ll find local musicians singing Christmas songs – sometimes a children’s choir or a brass band.


Head for the town’s Christmas tree which can become the epicentre of activity.



Councils often ensure local car parking facilities are free for the day or evening, even if they usually charge (but be sure to check this).

You’ll see lots of Christmas jumpers, reindeer antlers and Santa hats with an abundance of sparkles everywhere.

If you’re not feeling Christmassy, a visit to a local Christmas shopping event is bound to kick start your festive cheer.  Make sure you take an empty bag with you and buy your presents as well as your festive food produce from the stalls.  It all helps the local economy and I guarantee even if the weather is cold, visiting these local markets will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.


Enjoy, and Merry Christmas from us all at Unknown Kent and Sussex.


  • Maria Bligh

    Maria Bligh is a journalist, published author, professional speaker, singer and artist now settled in Sussex, UK, having previously travelled extensively throughout the UK and overseas, including a period living in Geneva. Married to a successful musician and with a background that encompasses working in the music industry, finance, sales and presentations training, she maintains a diverse existence. Her interests encompass travel, nature, animals and the arts: music, theatre, painting, writing and philosophy. Maria now writes for online and print magazines. Having once maintained a regular full page in “A Place In The Sun” magazine, travel is an obvious interest, but her articles also cover a wide variety of subjects. She bills herself as “an observer of the human condition and all that sail in her.” Maria has frequently appeared on radio & TV as well as in print. Her humorous style has seen her travel the world addressing audiences throughout Europe, Asia and Australasia and as a cruise-ship speaker with P&O and Fred Olsen.

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