Top 10 places to spend Christmas in the UK

Christmas

Posted by Simon Lockyer on 7th October 2021

A child at Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; but just where are the best places to spend Christmas in the UK?

Whether you want to stay local, fancy a trip just down the road or are ready for an adventure across the country, there are plenty of locations up and down the UK which come alive at Christmas.

So, without further ado, here are our top ten offerings of where to spend Christmas in the UK. And if you're looking for somewhere cosy to stay after a day filled with festive fun, take a look at our Christmas cottages by clicking the button below.

Christmas cottages


Edinburgh

Edinburgh

If you're planning where to go for Christmas, stay in Scotland, where Auld Reekie is alive with Christmas celebrations from the tail-end of November, throughout December and into January. There's so much to see and do in Edinburgh over Christmas; every year there is fun for family and friends in the form of fairground rides, with various Christmas markets also providing a chance to get your shopping done. The theatres are full of pantomimes and shows celebrating the joyous time, while other festivities include a Christmas Tree Maze, Ice Skating and Santa’s Grotto ensure the fun continues all the way up to Hogmanay on New Year’s Eve.

Edinburgh accommodation


Bath

Bath

Bath's festive market has become one of the best places to visit during Christmas, and is one of the best Christmas markets in the country, full stop! But that’s not the half of what occurs in the beautiful city, famed for its striking 18th-century architecture, iconic sights and natural hot springs. There’s also an ice rink and glow-in-the-dark mini golf in Royal Victoria Park, an annual pantomime at the Theatre Royal, and plenty of other festive fun to keep everyone amused. This is one of the best places to visit in the UK during Christmas for its sheer abundance of cheer!

Bath accommodation


Mousehole

Mousehole

One of the best places to see Christmas lights in the UK, the Cornish village of Mousehole comes alive with kaleidoscopic light midway through December. The switch-on event is quite the occasion too, with an open-air service leading revellers in a sing-song before the lights – a beautiful display of sea serpents, boats and whales – illuminate the harbour. When the big event is over, you can sit by the water and bathe in the glow of the twinkling lights, making this one of the best places to go at Christmas for a festive break by the sea. 

Mousehole accommodation


Cardiff

Cardiff

For one of the best places to go for Christmas for all-round festive fun, we'd recommend Cardiff. Fun fairs, ice rinks and an alpine village all await you at Winter Wonderland, Cardiff’s premier Christmas event which runs from the middle of November until the start of January. It’s also the perfect city to get all your shopping done, with the city centre’s Christmas market, department stores and high street chains selling everything you’ll need. If that wasn’t enough, Cardiff Castle also runs a beautiful fireside Santa’s Grotto, while the theatres are always chock-a-block with wonderful feelgood shows. 

Cardiff accommodation


The Highlands

The Highlands

If it’s a white Christmas you crave, one of the best Christmas destinations would be the Scottish Highlands, which is one of the best places to find snow in the festive season. The northern reaches also offer a fantastic chance to spot Aurora Borealis – or the Northern Lights, as they are commonly known. What could be better than spending Christmastime in a cosy cottage, with snow feathering down outside the window and the Northern Lights illuminating the sky?

Highlands accommodation


York

York

There aren’t many more picturesque places to go away for Christmas than the beautiful walled, medieval city where an annual Christmas Festival is held. The towering Christmas tree in St Helen's Square is a great place to start before plotting your way over towards St Sampson’s Square and Parliament Street where the magnificent market stalls of the St Nicholas Fair await you - we're sure you'll agree it's one of the top Christmas markets in the UK. There’s also a Winter Wonderland, home to an outdoor ice rink, funfair rides and Santa in his log cabin. York is a Christmas holiday destination that will truly get you in the festive mood. 

Yorkshire accommodation



Credit: RNLI

Clovelly

The gorgeous cliffside village in North Devon is stunning all-year-round – but it’s Christmas when a medley of events truly showcases its unique spirit and location. Clovelly's cobbled streets provide a multi-coloured path, with Christmas lights – put up in aid of the local RNLI – illuminating your walk down the hill to the harbour. There’s also an annual Boxing Day BBQ with live music, mulled wine and a treasure hunt, while the fancy dress New Year’s Eve celebrations are also worth a visit. We'd say this is one of the best places to stay at Christmas for a truly magical getaway. 

North Devon accommodation


Rochester

The Kent town has strong connections with Charles Dickens, so, with A Christmas Carol being one of the most popular Christmas stories ever, it’s only fitting there’s a huge celebration dedicated to the author. In fact, Rochester is one of the best Christmas getaways for a traditional celebration. The Dickensian Christmas Festival is held in December, and turns the clock back more than 200 years to showcase a whole host of Victorian delights. The Rochester Castle Christmas Market is also worth a visit, and attendees can enjoy mulled wine and roasted chestnuts as they browse the various stalls for gift ideas. 

Kent accommodation


Worcester

Worcester

Worcester Cathedral is beautiful 365 days a year, but during December and January it’s home to a glorious Christmas Tree Festival, showcasing dozens of trees uniquely decorated by different companies and organisations, all the while raising money for good causes. The city also holds a wonderful Victorian Fayre at the start of December, various concerts, theatre shows, and art displays.

Worcestershire accommodation


Lapland…

Yes, there is an attraction named Lapland UK, and it can be found in Ascot, Berkshire. It’s a 4-hour immersive experience of the Father Christmas story, recreating the North Pole for a month-long celebration of children’s beliefs. In the attraction, kids can help elves in the Toy Factory, decorate gingerbread houses with Mother Christmas, meet Father Christmas and his reindeer, go ice skating and more. It takes place from mid-November up to and including Christmas Eve.

Berkshire accommodation

 


Find more inspiration this Christmas

Feeling in the festive spirit? Check out more of our Christmas blogs dedicated to the most wonderful time of the year - including a stress-free Christmas Dinner timeline, top Christmas markets and more - or find the perfect place to stay for the big day by browsing our collection of Christmas cottages. 

Christmas cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.