Get your festive knitwear ready as Christmas Market rolls into town!

Singing Santa's, flashing Rudolf's or dancing penguins, we don't mind what adorns your favourite Christmas jumper, but you will need it if you are visiting Shepton Mallet in the build up to Christmas this year.

Shepton Mallet Sunday Markets are a huge hit in the town and so this year the Mendip Markets team along with community volunteers from the town are hosting a new three day Christmas market.

Saturday and Sunday will host over 30 stalls that will fill the town centre with festive cheer offering a range of gifts, crafts and food and drink produce, giving shoppers and visitors to the market town the chance to pick up some last minute gifts and indulgent treats.

There will be live music and entertainment throughout the market and shop windows in the town will be dressed with Christmas Jumpers, created by the local knitting group Knit and Chat.

Haylee Wilkins, Neighbourhood Services Group Manager, said; "We are really pleased to be able to bring this new market to the town. Wells has held a successful Christmas Market over the last two year and now Shepton Mallet will have its own Christmas Market.

"The support of the community volunteers helps our markets team deliver the monthly Sunday market in the town, which is growing in popularity and we believe that this special community mix in the town will help deliver a fabulous Christmas offering."

The market will run from Friday 14 to Saturday 16 December 2018. 9am to 8pm on Friday, 10am to 5pm Saturday, and 10am to 3pm Sunday. 

The new three day market will have late night shopping on the Friday, open until 8pm to coincide with the late night High Street opening planned in the town. The Market Place will host hot food stalls and mulled cider for shoppers on Friday evening.

One of the traders at the Shepton Mallet Christmas Market, Alce Harfield, said: "As a professional artist I unfortunately spend my year travelling the country selling my work at art fairs but it's great to be able to show my work to a local audience (and sleep in my own bed!).

"I'm a keen follower of the 'shop local' movement and believe it's really important to support our local small producers and our high street.

"I'll be selling a range of original paintings (which can be found in local eateries around the area including Blostins and The Natterjack) framed and unframed limited edition prints (some of Glastonbury Festival where I have traded for over 25 years), limited edition cushions and cards."

Shepton Mallet will also benefit from free parking to coincide with the new Christmas Market in the town. Mendip District Council pay and display car parks in Shepton Mallet will be free from 14 December to 20 December.

The aim of offering the free parking in the run up to Christmas is to encourage shoppers to spend their money in the town's many and varied businesses during the Christmas period and to benefit those planning a visit to the Shepton Mallet Christmas Market.

However, the council is warning shoppers that the time restrictions will still be enforced in areas where parking is only allowed for a specified time.

Motorists are advised to check tariff boards in car parks for restrictions. Time restrictions will remain in place to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of benefiting from free parking. 

For more information on Mendip Markets and the Christmas Market in Shepton Mallet please visit; Mendip Christmas Markets Website