SANTA is set to spread cheer across Basildon this festive season, with plans for a Christmas market in full swing.

With that time of year once again drawing in, discussions for this year’s Santa in the Woods event are already underway.

Set to take place on December 4 and 5, the event for 2021 is understood to be on a smaller scale than in years previous.

Nevertheless, a Christmas market, along with the potential of games and activities for all the family are set to pop up at Langdon Hills Country Park in just under two months time.

Dad Warren Murphy, who lives in Lee Chapel South, said: “I think this is a great idea, it’s something families will definitely be looking forward to - particularly after such a tough 18 months we’ve all had.

“My son who is 12, has two little sisters aged four and five who would absolutely love something like this.

“Basildon definitely needs a pick me up, and we should do more stuff like that in the town centre. It’s a bit of a ghost town at the moment with the empty shops that are around.

“That being said they do the other Christmas events there too each year, which are usually quite good.”

Santa in the Woods, taking place via the rear of Miller and Carter, will be managed by Thurrock Council and supported by Basildon Council.

While Basildon Councillor Chris Allen, of the Langdon Hills ward, hopes that the event for 2022 will be bigger and better than before.

He said: “I do hope the community come out and support the event.

“There’s a lot of excitement behind the scenes about what we may be able to do next year too, but this year we do still have to be Covid safe while still making it something people can feel good about.

“I’ve learned lots about the practical history of the event and how the germ of an idea was made reality and then improved upon year after year, which eventually grew into the experience it became known for.

“It literally started as the Santa cabin down in the woods by the pond and some in community groups have actually even posted pictures of their family from 14 years ago. “