CHRISTMAS cheer is set to grip Tynedale this weekend as three of the district’s major towns switch on their Christmas lights.

On Friday, November 29, the Christmas lights in Hexham, Prudhoe and Haltwhistle will all be switched on.

Hexham’s Christmas lights will be turned on at 5pm. The switch-on will be followed by the brand new Ignite Festival of Flame at Hexham Abbey, featuring food, music, and a series of fire installations in the grounds.

The Abbey will be illuminated only by candlelight, set to an atmospheric soundtrack.

Prudhoe’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 6.30pm, with a host of activities on offer for children. Santa Claus himself will be arriving in style, helped by the Mid-Tyne Lions, while entertainment will be provided by the popular Mister Disco Man.

The Spectchells Christmas Fair also takes place on November 29, with plenty on offer to keep children entertained.

Prudhoe Front Street will be closed from the top of Victoria Terrace to the top of Station Bank from 4.30pm until 6.45pm for the celebration to take place.

Santa Claus will also be making an appearance in Haltwhistle, as part of the town’s annual late night shopping extravaganza.

Businesses in the town will extend their opening hours to cater for Christmas shoppers, with many offering mince pies and other festive treats.

Children from Haltwhistle Academy will sing carols in the Market Place from 5.30pm, before Santa arrives at 6.15pm.

Outdoor traders will be in place on Westgate, while the railway station will also host indoor stalls.