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Countdown to Christmas

Support Local this Christmas

We're looking forward to the cheer and celebrations of another exciting festive season in the Chichester District, with events, markets and fantastic local gift buying opportunities all on our doorstep!

From using your local markets and food producers or making the most of our wonderful visitor attractions, to searching for unique gifts from our independent shops, it's really important that we all continue to 'shop local, visit local and support local' this Christmas.

Shop Local

Our fantastic high streets in Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey have so much to offer, with local and beautiful gifts from a wide variety of shops, many of which you can't find anywhere else. While you're there, don't forget to visit the great selection of cafés and restaurants.

By spending locally, you will also be supporting the local economy and helping to preserve the heart of our community. You may not be aware, but for every pound you spend in a small or medium-sized business, roughly 63 pence will stay in the local economy. This helps the high street to stay relevant, support jobs and the local supply chain.

Parking offers

This Christmas we have some special parking offers in place for the festive period.

Weekend offer when using MiPermit app

When you select two hours using the MiPermit (opens new window) app during weekends in December, you will get the third hour free. The app is available to use in most council-owned car parks across the district. To find out more about the app, please visit our MiPermit Chichester District information.

Free Sunday parking in Avenue de Chartres during December

We are also offering free parking in our Avenue de Chartres car park in Chichester on Sundays during December 2023.

You can find out the locations of all of our car parks across the district by visiting our Chichester District car parks page or downloading the Chichester District Council app and looking under the 'Find my nearest' tab.

Spend Local

As well as encouraging as many people as possible to support our High Streets and local businesses, we are also making people aware of the many experiences, activities and events that are taking place across the district. You can find out more by visiting the Great Sussex Way (opens new window).

You can access information on Christmas events and activities taking place across the district by visiting our What's On events calendar.

You can also find details of more local events on our new dedicated Chichester District Events and Markets Facebook page (opens new window).

If you are organising an event that is taking place here in the Chichester District then please let us know! You can email all the details, and a picture if possible to and we'll include them in our listings for you.

Chichester Festive and Christmas Markets

We're excited about a new city centre Christmas Market offering coming this year. Chichester Christmas Cheer will be taking place on two weekends in December, alongside our regular Farmers' Markets, weekly General Markets and Car Boot Sale.

Chichester Christmas Cheer festive market, is coming to North and East Streets on the 9, 10, 16 and 17 of December 2023 and will feature an array of festive stands. With arts and craft, food, drink and retail stands it promises something for everyone - those looking for gifts for others or themselves! With appearances from a giant Santa, a photo opportunity sleigh and reindeers (not the real ones of course, they are busy!) plus street performances from local acts.

Opening times: Saturday from 9 am until 6 pm, Sunday from 10 am until 4 pm.

Chichester Farmers' Market

Taking place in East Street on 1 and 15 December 9am to 2pm you can buy all your fabulous, locally sourced, festive food and more from producers at our popular farmers' markets. Get the freshest vegetables, bread, cakes, fish, eggs and meat, along with some unique Artisan Gifts for the holiday season.  Find out more on our Chichester District Events & Markets Facebook (opens new window) and on our Farmers' Market&nbsp.

Other Chichester markets during December

The Wednesday General Market, run by Bray Associates, will take place in its normal location, East and North Street, every Wednesday and the Saturday general market, run by Southern Counties Markets, will take place in the Cattle Market on Saturdays as usual.  There is also (weather permitting) an opportunity to find a bargain at the Car Boot Sale on Sundays taking place in the Cattle Market, run by Bray Associates.  More information is available on our Markets page.

Keep up to date

For all the latest information and updates about City Centre markets and other events taking place in the district go to our What's On page and follow our Chichester District Events and Markets Facebook page (opens new window).

Support Local

As well as shopping locally, there are a number of ways you can show your support.

Wrap your presents with our free gift tags and wrapping paper

Show your love for Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey with our lovely Christmas gift tags and our special wrapping paper!

We have designed a tag and wrapping paper for each area, which you can download here for free. We also have a gift tag for the district. Simply download the paper or tag you want, print them out and use them on your gifts this Christmas to show your support for our local businesses. 

Chichester District downloadable Christmas gift tags (Word doc) [877KB]

Chichester downloadable Christmas gift tags (Word doc) [836KB]

East Wittering downloadable Christmas gift tags (Word doc) [771KB]

Midhurst downloadable Christmas gift tags (Word doc) [874KB]

Petworth downloadable Christmas gift tags (Word doc) [780KB]

Selsey downloadable Christmas gift tags (Word doc) [775KB]

Chichester downloadable Christmas wrapping paper (Word doc) [742KB]

East Wittering downloadable Christmas wrapping paper (Word doc) [618KB]

Midhurst downloadable Christmas wrapping paper (Word doc) [775KB]

Petworth downloadable Christmas wrapping paper (Word doc) [630KB]

Selsey downloadable Christmas wrapping paper (Word doc) [692KB]

Shout about our your favourite places, shops and businesses on social media

Consider sharing pictures of the great places you've been, the experiences you've had in the district, or the great products you've purchased from local businesses by posting on social media, using one of the following campaign #hashtags:

  • Chichester — #LoveFromChichester
  • East Wittering — #LoveFromEastWittering
  • Midhurst — #LoveFromMidhurst
  • Petworth — #LoveFromPetworth
  • Selsey — #LoveFromSelsey
  • Chichester District - #LoveFromChichesterDistrict

Send a special Christmas card

We will be sharing our free digital Christmas cards on our social media channels, which you can share with your family and friends. If you don't follow our social media pages already, you can find the details on this page.

Council contact centre Christmas closure

Our Customer Service Centre will be closed from Friday 22 December 2023, and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

If you need to contact our car parks office, please call our out-of-hours messaging service on 01243 785166 or 01243 534734.

For any other district council related emergency, please call the 'emergency out of hours' number on 01243 785339.

If you have an enquiry about roads, pavements and street lighting, or need to report a fault relating to them, please contact West Sussex County Council (opens new window) or by calling 01243 777100.

You can also access our services on our website.

Eating out this festive season

Before you book a reservation or order a festive takeaway, make sure you check the restaurant's food hygiene rating. You can find out more about the food hygiene rating scheme and check a restaurant's rating at Food Hygiene Rating scheme (opens new window).

Travel safely this Christmas

If you're travelling by taxi this Christmas, make sure you follow our top tips to stay safe:

  • Make sure you know the cost of your journey in order that you have enough money to pay.
  • Book a licensed taxi or minicab or wait at an official rank.
  • Check that the taxi or minicab has a council licence plate on the rear of the car. Look for a badge in the windscreen and check that the driver is wearing their identification.
  • Keep your mobile phone with you at all times (and make sure it is charged up).
  • Never get into an unmarked car offering you a lift.
  • Don't get into a car if you feel unsafe for any reason.

If you have concerns about a driver or vehicle, please contact

Recycling and waste

The packaging from many of our favourite festive food and drink products such as plastic confectionary tubs, meat trays, foil mince pie cases, glass bottles and jars, and empty chocolate advent calendars can all be recycled.

Before placing in your burgundy bin, please make sure your recycling is:

  • Clean - free from food and drink leftovers (a quick rinse will do).
  • Dry - keep your recycling bin lid shut (soggy paper and cardboard can't be recycled and can stick to other items or clog up the machinery when sorted).
  • Loose - not tied up in plastic bags, as the machinery cannot sort these.

If you have extra recycling that you can't fit into your recycling bin, please keep it dry and place it in a loosely tied black sack next to your recycling bin on your scheduled collection day. Excess cardboard should be flattened and folded or cut down to a manageable size for a single crew member to handle.

When you're unwrapping your presents this Christmas, remember that cardboard boxes and packaging, wrapping paper and empty tubes, cards and envelopes, can all be recycled. Unfortunately any shiny or metallic gift wrap, ribbons and bows, and plastic film and wrapping will need to be disposed of in your black waste bin, or re-used where possible.

We also offer a dedicated collection service for unwanted textiles, broken small electrical items, and coffee pods

Follow us on social media for more festive recycling tips or use the handy searchable A-Z of recycling of waste (opens new window).

St Wilfrid's Hospice TreeCycle Scheme

We've teamed up with St Wilfrid's Hospice once again to offer a Christmas Tree Recycling Scheme (opens new window). If you sign up, St Wilfrid's Hospice volunteers will collect your real Christmas tree and recycle it for you in January 2024, in return for a donation to the hospice. 


If you need some support over the Christmas period our Chichester Wellbeing service can help. We are here to support your emotional wellbeing if you find this time of the year difficult. Or would you like help to manage your weight or maintain the hard earned good habits you've developed this year? We are here to help.

The New Year is traditionally a time when we think about making improvements to our health, if you feel the time is right for you to lead a healthier lifestyle, then get in touch. You can access advice and support on a range of topics including healthy eating, weight management, becoming more active, emotional wellbeing, stopping smoking, and reducing alcohol intake, at Chichester Wellbeing (opens new window).

Our new 12 week Weight Management course starts mid January and is free to join, we will help you to make long term sustainable changes that help you lose weight. Get in touch and we will assess your eligibility for the programme and you can join the waiting list now.

Our volunteer led Heartsmart walks (opens new window) will continue over the Christmas period offering you the chance to get out in the fresh air with like minded people in the beautiful Chichester District countryside.

The service is free and aims to help you introduce small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing.

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