Dawn’s Diaries

We have now arrived at December and the countdown to Christmas.  We do the festive season well in East Grinstead and we should, that oft sung carol, ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was written in the town at Sackville College. You are bound to hear it at least once as you go about your Christmas shopping. The much- anticipated Big Reveal has taken place and the town looks resplendent all dressed with fabulous window displays and beautiful lights. It was a shame that the weather wasn’t particularly festive during the annual event this year, but congratulations to the Town Traders, the Rotary Club and the Town Council for all the work to pull this event off. East Grinstead is definitely a destination to attract visitors at this time of year and I hope that it encourages residents of the town to shop and stay local too.

One big festive event down, but there is still much going on in and around East Grinstead. It would be impossible to know about everything, however with this monthly round up I will highlight some of the great events coming up and give you some dates for your diaries. Hopefully there will be no excuses to miss a thing. There will also be a few pointers as to where to look for things to do and perhaps some of you will advise us at the tourist information desk, of any events that you are involved with that we should pass on and encourage people to attend.

Look through the latest Chequer Mead programme http://www.chequermead.org.uk/ The pantomime this year is Cinderella…Oh yes it is!  which will be packed with plenty of slap-stick silliness, beautiful costumes, mesmerising scenery and of course the obligatory boos and hisses!

Step into a 1930s Christmas at the stunning Standen NT property https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/standen-house-and-garden  dressed  for a traditional family Christmas. Don’t miss the twilight tours of the house after dark or the Winter tree, decorated by NEON in the courtyard.

Visit East Grinstead Museum and take a tour of the High Street or attend one of the many talks https://www.eastgrinsteadmuseum.org.uk/  and find out what special events are on at the Bluebell Railway https://www.bluebell-railway.com/.

Live music and comedy events pop up around East Grinstead on a regular basis so keep your eyes open and regularly check venues you’d expect to find them; Chequer Mead Theatre, The Dorset Arms, The Ship and The Railway Tavern, but also keep checking smaller more intimate and unusual venues such as The Open Arms, The Engine Room, Nizam and …The Book Shop!

The Book Shop is more than that..it would be it’s an East Grinstead Bookshop! There’s chess available most days, book signings, town tours, live music and much more https://www.eastgrinsteadbookshop.co.uk/events

And if you have anytime left here’s a couple of dates for your diaries.

Sunday 1st December 10am to 4pm The Christmas Family Festival. London Road from Railway Approach to High Street is closed to traffic and the road is filled with festive cheer. Small Fairground rides for children, Craft and Charity stalls, the annual French Market and a visit by Father Christmas.  A lovely day out for all the family.

A Christmas visit to the Bluebell Railway is a magical experience!

Santa Special dates 2019

  • 1st December
  • 7th December
  • 8th December
  • 14th December
  • 15th December
  • 21st December
  • 22nd December
  • 23rd December
  • 24th December

Sheffield Park Station – 10:20am, 11:55am, 1:30pm and 3:10pm.

East Grinstead Station – 11:10am and 2:20pm

 Enjoy a journey through the Sussex countryside in all its winter splendour. Santa and his elves will be on board with a present and chocolate treat for all the children (he won’t forget the grown-ups, there’s a mince pie for them!).

Sit back and enjoy the trip to Horsted Keynes station where you will find…

  • A Victorian Fairground – tokens for rides/attractions will be available to purchase for 20p at the station.
  • A Christmas Pantry – serving hot & cold drinks and festive snacks

Trains depart from Sheffield Park Station or East Grinstead station. Pre-booking is essential.

Saturday 14th December 10.30am Christmas themed guided walk around East Grinstead. https://www.eastgrinsteadmuseum.org.uk/  Tour starts and finishes at the Museum. £5 per person.

There are many more events than can be listed here including carol services and festive music concerts, but hopefully this will give you a bit of a taster. Look at the what’s on calendars of both www.eastgrinstead.gov.uk and www.visiteastgrinstead.com

There is always a full range of leaflets and fliers on offer at the East Grinstead Town Council’s tourist information desk in East Grinstead Library where You are always welcome to pop in and say hello to me or my colleague Roger. You can contact us on 01342 410121 or tourism@eastgrinstead.gov.uk

Have a wonderful Christmas and Peaceful New Year

I will look forward to letting you know all the exciting things coming up for January in next month’s Dawn’s Diary.


Dawn Spalding

Town Promotion Manager: East Grinstead Town Council.


Author: fiona bewers
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