Christmas is less than three weeks away and since last year's festive celebrations and events didn’t look quite as jolly as we’ve imagined them to be, this year there’s no holding back. From wintry Christmas markets full of mulled drinks and seasonal treats, festive-themed cultural events such as theater and performances as well as outdoorsy events for those who like to put on their walking boots and brave the cold, there’s a plethora of themed events to choose from all around the nation. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the hard work to bring you a shortlisted guide of the best Christmas events in the UK.
London's Christmas Markets
Yes, Christmas markets are a quintessential event of every holiday season, no matter what city you find yourself in. But there’s one town taking Christmas markets to a whole new level – and it’s London, of course. There’s a plethora of fun, festive-themed markets in the British capital for every type of Christmas enthusiast and/or Grinch. The Bohemia Place Market in Hackney caters to all fashion-conscious shoppers and hipsters with its outdoor stalls bringing independent designers into the spotlight, while Christmas under the Canopy at Kings Cross is ideal for foodies. From here you can take a stroll to Coals Drops Yard – Islington’s ultra-cool shopping destination full of designer-led stores, more independent makers and cosy bars and walk all the way to the front of King’s Cross station where you can stock up on fresh pastries and cakes. Other markets worth checking out include: the iconic Southbank Centre Winter market, Greenwich Christmas Market and of course, Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland.
Bath's illuminated garden trail
Even if your garden’s Christmas decor is magnificent every year, there’s nothing quite like walking along an enchanting trail of illuminations and immaculately trimmed hedges and tree arrangements. At Bath’s American Museum & Gardens, you will be transported into a magical after-dark adventure full of stunning light displays and sparkling forest animals projecting light onto the building and gardens around. You can expect walking through mesmerising tunnels and being guided by reindeers and other Christmas characters in seasonal colours as you sip on spiced drinks under the stars. Now it’s the time to put on your walking shoes and start exploring.
Stop by Cardiff's Festive Quarter
Every year, Cardiff's Working Street gets a festive makeover to bring its residents and visitors a taste of the wintry Bavaria – and this Christmas is no exception. The Festive Quarter in the heart of the city is the perfect place to meet friends and family for a mulled drink or beer, with many typical German beers on offer to draw upon its Bavarian theme. Grab a table in the wooden cabin, warm up in front of the open fire with mouth-watering food such as bratwurst and sticky toffee pudding and recharge before heading to the town's Christmas markets or doing your festive shopping.
Hop on a festive cruise in Manchester
The Liquorists Christmas Cracker Cruise is a three-hour event full of festive food, drinks and music setting off from Manchester's iconic Castlefield Bowl. This boozy adult-only experience ensures you can get into the festive mood without the crowds by simply hopping on a heated boat with a prepaid drinks package consisting of six festive cocktails, including a Mince Pie Mojito!As oppose to the traditional Christmas dishes, the food at this one-of-a-kind boat party consists of hearty meals (no turkey in sight) and festive canapés which you can enjoy alongside Christmas songs and '90s classics. Just don't forget your Santa outfit as there will be a competition for the worst Christmas jumper with a chance to win tickets to another cruise!
Go ice-skating in Bristol
Whether you're a pro or just a beginner, there isn't a better time to try ice-skating than during the Christmas season. The Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park in Bristol offers visitors 500 square meters of glittering ice with an atmospheric backdrop and skate sessions running all day. This is one of the biggest ice-skating rinks around, with DJs and special light effects ensuring visitors of all ages will have endless fun. Take a break from skating to enjoy a hot drink in the après-ski bar and get your friends or colleagues together to book a special ice-skating party session. What's more, the ice rink is powered by 100% renewable energy, working to reduce the city's environmental impact.
In need of some new wintry outfits for all the upcoming festivities?