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Lilly Crouchers edit of the months most entertaining events happening in December



Celebrate Christmas at the castle

Now in its second year, Castlemas brings ‘the community together’ through the magic of Christmas. There is something for the whole family to enjoy at this wonderful event which takes place in the grounds of Tonbridge Castle with live performances, festive artisan goodies, twinkling illuminations and the chance to meet Santa himself…

One of the biggest seasonal events in Kent, Castlemas, takes place at Tonbridge Castle from December 8 – 20.

Boasting over 60 independent market stalls, the Mistletoe Market provides a wealth of Christmas shopping, courtesy of a variety of boutiques all housed inside festive wooden chalets, while various live shows will take place in the event’s incredible Igloo Theatre.

The venue will host over 70 performances, from children’s puppet shows to live music concerts – ensuring there is something for the whole family. Booking is advised for all of these events.

Grab a hot chocolate or mulled wine at the Jingle Bell Bar or join one of the special elf workshops before watching the Castlemas Snowfall taking place twice a day at 2:30pm and 6:30pm.

The family magic continues as you can meet Father Christmas in the castle as part of Santa’s Castle Experience, with Mrs Claus and the elves for a theatrical experience (limited ticket availability remaining).

A spokesperson from Castlemas told SO Magazine: “We highly recommend pre-booking these special experiences, in order to guarantee your entry to the site on that day. This ticket will mean that you are given priority during the busier times.

From music to comedy and circus to storytelling sessions,  every visitor is bound to enjoy themselves. “Castlemas brings the community together, celebrates the love for where you live and helps create memories to last a lifetime,” the spokesperson added.

Castlemas is free to enter.



Tonbridge Castle was rebuilt in the 13th century, after King William II had the castle and the town burnt to the ground because its owner, the de Clare family rebelled against the King. The medieval castle we see today is the gatehouse which was rebuilt in 1260 and today is a Grade I listed building.




Panto at the Assembly Hall Theatre

December 10 – 31

The Assembly Hall Theatre presents Jack and the Beanstalk as this year’s Christmas panto starring soap legend Cliff Parisi.

Cliff is known for his iconic EastEnders role playing Minty and currently stars in Call The Midwife as Fred Buckle.

Cliff will be joining the cast as villain Walter Waltzer along with James Peake as Dame Trott and CBBC’s Stewart McCheyne as Simon Trott.

Tickets start from £27 for adults and £17 for children.



Gun Brewery Taproom

December 14

Noble Jacks frontman Will Page has announced an exclusive performance at the Gun Brewery Taproom on December 14 at 7.45pm.

The fiddle-playing genius and multi-instrumentalist has gone solo for the first time, making his debut appearance at the artisan brewery this month.

Will has performed at a number of music festivals including Glastonbury, Isle of Wight Festival, Black Deer and AmericanaFest in Nashville. He was also nominated AMA-UK Instrumentalist of the Year in 2020.

Be ready to be taken on a musical journey influenced by folk, Americana and roots that will have you up and dancing all night.

Tickets are £15 each and can be purchased at:



Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest

November 18 – January 2

With over a million twinkling lights, Bedgebury Forest will be lit up in a festive glow that is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit.

The after-dark trail is one of the most popular seasonal events in Kent, with giant baubles, glistening Christmas trees and a stunning fire garden, while food vendors will be serving delicious seasonal snacks and festive winter warmers.

Get your tickets now for the most magical event of the year.

Tickets cost £21.50, with a discounted price for those who are forestry England members. Tickets can be bought at:



Bedgebury is home to the largest pinetum in the world, with a mix of conifers and broadleaves covering 350 acres of Kent’s countryside. The first plantings on the pinetum took place back in 1925.



Panto at the EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge

December 9 – January 2

The EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge invites you to a fun-filled panto rendition of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast this Christmas brought to you by Wicked Productions. Sure to be an instant classic, the show’s performances run from December 9 – January 2.

The stellar cast stars Tom Swift as Phillippe, Rhys Whiteside as Casanova and John Martin as the glamorous Dame Darcy Derriere.

The show welcomes West End star Darren Tough as the handsome prince cursed to become a beast, and Eilish Stout-Cairns as the adorable Belle.

Expect fun, laughs and cheekiness as you are whisked away to a land far, far away to the sleepy French town of ‘Chateau de Toilet’.

With a fabulous cast and spectacular jokes, Beauty and the Beast promises slap-stick fun and cheeky humour that is sure to delight the whole family!

Tickets start from £20 and can be bought at:



Bewl Water

December 1 – 31

One of Santa’s elves is missing and he needs your help to find him as the Magical Christmas Elf Trail at Bewl Water opens for the month of December.

Grab your map at the Waterfront Café and follow the signs to help Santa find the missing elf.  You can also join Santa for breakfast by enjoying a festive buffet style English breakfast with a visit from Santa followed by soft-play session. Santa will be having breakfast at 9am or 10:30am on December 17, 18, 23 and 24.  Tickets for Breakfast with Santa cost £15 (adult or child) and can be purchased by emailing info@bewlwater

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