HEXHAM will be the perfect place to start your Christmas shopping this weekend.

For the town’s Christmas Market and Hexham Abbey Christmas Fair will both take place over the next two days.

On Friday and Saturday, Hexham Community Partnership has lined up a number of gift stalls as part of the 17th annual market. A variety of stallholders, from home and garden wares to locally-produced food and drink gifts, clothing, Christmas decorations and handcrafted jewellery, will line Beaumont Street between 2pm and 7pm on Friday and between 9am and 3pm on Saturday.

There will be a full programme of live music throughout, meaning shoppers can be entertained as they sip some mulled wine and tuck into some roasted chestnuts.

Santa’s grotto will be open in the hall at Hexham Trinity Church, while Saint Nick’s reindeers will be in the Abbey grounds on Saturday.

Children can enjoy Christmas crafts in the Forum Cinema from midday to 2pm on Saturday, and there will be children’s fairground rides over the weekend.

The market will coincide with the Abbey’s Christmas Fair which will provide shelter to shoppers if the weather takes a turn for the worse. A wide range of stalls featuring gifts for all the family will include home-made gifts and food.

In the visitor centre, an array of children’s activities and stalls will be held.

And to top it all off, people will be able to soak up the atmosphere while watching performers sing. To accommodate the events, parts of Market Place and all of Beaumont Street will be closed to traffic from 6.30am on Friday to 7pm on Saturday.