Two popular south Essex garden centres are already in the Christmas spirit with festive displays and a magical market.

The magic of Christmas has come early to Summerhill and Meadow Croft garden centres this year, in Billericay and Battlesbridge respectively, which are both looking festive months before the big day.

As Meadow Croft has opened its successful German Market this week, we take a look inside the two centres' winter wonderland displays.

Meadow Croft Garden Centre

The Battlesbridge centre opened its market on Thursday, September 14, with more than 30 stalls offering seasonal treats and unique yuletide gifts and decorations.

Echo: The adorable traditional teddy stallThe adorable traditional teddy stall (Image: Meadow Croft Garden Centre)

These stalls are handcrafted by owner Roland Smith, each adorned with handpicked, high-quality artisan products including carved wooden decorations, delicate glassware and baubles, traditional cuckoo clocks, scandinavian gonks and much more.

Echo: The nutcracker stall at the centreThe nutcracker stall at the centre (Image: Meadow Croft Garden Centre)

Festive visitors can wander among the many festive chalet-style stalls, soak up the festive atmosphere and get in the mood for the holiday season for free during the Woodham Road business' opening hours.

Summerhill Garden Centre

Despite the forecasted heatwave in late August, bright lights, sparkly tinsel and lightly dusted "snow" wreaths popped up in a grotto-like section of Summerhill Garden Centre, in Arterial Road.

Echo: One of the displaysOne of the displays (Image: Summerhill Garden Centre)

Visitors have been able to step foot inside the winter wonderland since it opened on Saturday, August 26, where they can start buying their decorations and presents for the holidays in advance.

The grotto-like display is hugely popular, with one woman travelling down from Scotland every year especially for the Billericay centre's magical feature.


However, the business has confirmed that Santa will not be making an appearance in his off-season. Instead, a Santa selfie seat is available for people to take pictures.

And it is not even finished, as the centre will be fully completed next month.