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It's time to look forward to the festive season and all the exciting events happening around the country. On this page you'll find some really inspiring things to do on the run up to Christmas, from Christmas markets, fairs and events to great things to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays.
We've trawled the web, tourist information centres and the local knowledge of our staff to find you the best events, attractions and things to do in the UK this November and December.
SKATE at Somerset House
14 November – 5 January 2014
Adult £16, Child £8.76
Get ready to take to the ice this season, with SKATE at Somerset House. Whether you’re a Bambi on ice or an expert skater, this festive event is perfect for all the family – with Penguin helpers on hand for the little ones. Set against a backdrop of the magical Somerset House and its sparkling Christmas tree, with live DJs and a selection of fairground rides, skaters (and spectators!) can thaw out in the cosy bar afterwards with a post skate hot chocolate.
15 November – 6 January 2014
Adult £29, Child, £21.50, Under 4s: Free, Family: £85
Calling all Harry Potter addicts! Warner Bros Studios are inviting you to bring the Harry Potter experience to life in this spellbinding behind-the-scenes studio tour. Fans can explore authentic sets and discover the magical secrets of Hogwarts Great Hall – but hurry, the doors are open for a limited time only and tickets are selling fast…
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
22 November – 5 January 2014
Step into Christmas with Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. From late November to early January, London’s most famous park turns itself into London’s most spectacular Christmas destination. With a multitude of attractions, including Zippo’s Circus, an ice rink and ice kingdom, Santa Land, fairground rides and a warren of seasonal stalls selling gifts and crafts, mulled wine, Bavarian beers and hearty winter fare, this truly is the perfect festive family day out.
Victoria Square, Birmingham
Birmingham Tours Christmas Light Tour
Sunday 8 December, 6.30pm
£10 per person
Bring Christmas to life this year with an open top bus tour around Birmingham’s Christmas lights. Taking you from the heart of the city in Victoria Square to the sparkling Jewellery Quarter and beyond, this magical tour promises to show you Birmingham as you’ve never seen it before. Listen to festive stories and sing along to your favourite carols as you glide through the glittering city streets. Don’t forget to wrap up warm!
Churchill Square, Brighton
Brighton’s Christmas Market
1 November – 24 December
Brighton’s German style Christmas Market returns for its seventh year to bring festive charm to the heart of the city. Glug mulled wine as you stroll through rows of authentic huts selling traditional Christmas gifts, delicious meats and cheeses and festive wares, including fine jewellery and handcrafted leather goods.
Bournemouth Pavilion, Bournemouth
December – 5 January 2014
£18.50, £17.50, £15.50, Family (2 x adults, 2 x under 16s): £51
Oh no it isn’t… Oh yes it is! Hop aboard your magic carpet and head to Bournemouth Pavilion this season for Aladdin’s festive panto. Starring CBeebies star, Chris Jarvis, along with EastEnders’ Scott Maslen (Jack Branning) as Abanazar and Bobby Crush as Widow Twankey, this promises to be a fantastic treat for all the family.
The Mound Precinct and East Princes Street Gardens
22 November – 5 January 2014
During the festive months, The Mound Precinct and East Princes Street Gardens turns into a wonderland of all things Christmas. The Big Wheel dominates the skyline, with its 20,000 twinkling lights, while the Princes Street Gardens Terrace ice rink makes for a postcard pretty setting below. Kids can meander through the Christmas Tree Maze; a labyrinth of trees nestled around Santa’s Workshop, while adults can peruse the European market of eclectic stalls selling artisan crafts and delicious foods.
Leeds City Centre
Christkindelmarkt – German Christmas Market
8 November 2013 – 18 December 2013
Bringing a slice of Germany to the heart of Leeds, Christkindelmarkt is one of the largest and most established traditional German Christmas Markets in the UK. The markets transforms the city centre into a wintry village with more than 40 traditional wooden chalet stalls selling toys, jewellery and seasonal fares such as stollen and gingerbread. Visitors can take a whirl on the Christmas carousel or retreat to the cosy Alp Chalet eatery for some authentic German treats.
14 November – 5 January 2014
Adult £9, Child £6.50
Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland is a great day out for all the family. Set in the city’s iconic Civic Centre, this fun-filled event features an open air ice rink, festive fair rides and authentic German-style huts selling seasonal trinkets and delicious, traditional food. A must-do!
We travel to hundreds of UK towns and cities throughout the day and night. If you're looking for things to do in the UK this summer, then why not take in the sights of London, a city break, a day trip or a day out at one of the UK's seaside resorts?
None of the above take your fancy? Then take a look at our where we go section for a range of destination guides and things to do this summer.
For the first time, we'll be running services on Christmas Day to make sure you can get exactly where you need to go to enjoy your Christmas. We're running the following services both ways:
801 Bradford, Leeds, Nottingham, Heathrow, London
802 - Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Heathrow, London
803 Gloucester, Cheltenham, Swindon, Heathow, London
804 Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Heathrow, London
805 - Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, Heathrow, London
806 - Poole, Bournemouth, Southampton, Heathrow, London
A3X - London Victoria - Gatwick
The Gatwick Express train services will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so if you do need to travel to or from Gatwick Airport, then we're the only transport provider running direct to the airport.
Between 27 December - 1 January 2014 train journey times are increased to Gatwick Airport with expensive train fares, so why not take the coach?
These services are all ready to book now using the journey planner on the left.
As well as running services on Christmas Day, we'll also be running services on Boxing Day, New Year's Day. Search for your local service in the journey planner on the left.
Take a look at our coach stations Christmas opening times.
If you’ve never travelled on one of our coaches, then here are some hints to help you get the most out of your journey and get the best deal on your coach ticket:
|Find out the best way to book your coach ticket|
|Take a look at our Ways to Save area for great discounts|
|Use our Low Fare Finder to find our cheapest fares|
Did you know that our coaches pick up and drop off at over 900 coach stops across the UK? This means that your nearest coach stop could be closer than you think. Use our Stop Finder tool to enter your postcode and find the stop closest to you.
Whether you're travelling home for Christmas or visiting family and friends, you often need to carry a lot of extra luggage. Our standard luggage allowance is two 20kg medium size suitcase. However, if you're travelling with Christmas presents or extra luggage, then simply add on excess luggage during the booking process for a small fee.