Published: 9th November 2022
The festive season is here, and with it comes sparkling lights, mulled wine, and making memories with your loved ones.
There are plenty of places to visit to help you get in the Christmas spirit, and here are just some of our favourites...
Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market
For a beautiful and unique shopping experience, head to Winchester Cathedral for their German-inspired Christmas market. Discover over 100 festive stalls, all hand-picked for their exclusive products.
Take in the awe-inspiring Cathedral with a carol service and try not to fall on the ice rink! There’s nowhere better to soak up the atmosphere and pick up some unique gifts for your friends and family.
Manchester Christmas Markets
Arriving in 1999, Manchester’s Christmas Market was actually the first in the UK, and has grown each year. Explore over 300 stalls of mouth-watering food, drinks and, of course, some beautiful gifts.
There are ten festive sites across the city including the Cathedral Gardens, where you can enjoy a toffee waffle and some hot chocolate whilst you watch the street performers. For sights of Manchester like no other, head to Albert Square Market and climb the town hall tower, which will give you a panoramic view of the twinkling city lights.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market
If you fancy a taste of Germany, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest authentic German market outside of Germany or Austria.
Enjoy the sights of the beautiful lights and the smells of the bratwursts and beer as you explore stalls filled with handmade gifts. Head to Victoria Square to soak up the festive atmosphere and enjoy the live music with your friends and family.
London Christmas Lights
Similarly, London’s streets will be illuminated with beautiful lights and decorations. Visit the starry skies on Oxford Street, look at the 60-foot tall Christmas tree in awe at Covent Garden, and take in the sights of sparkling angels on Regent Street.
Carnaby Street continues to go all out at Christmas, this year compiling the best displays from the past 25 years, so head down there and experience elements from 14 different themes!
Bath Lights Trail
For some spectacular sights that are guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit, head to Bath to see the beautiful illuminations across the city’s most iconic streets and buildings.
Most sites are right in the middle of the city, so why not take a festive stroll to see Bath’s twinkling lights? Locations include Bath Abbey, Abbey Green, the Roman Baths, and even the mini golf course in Royal Victoria Park!
Blackpool’s annual illuminations are world-famous, and for good reason! The entire promenade will be shining with beautifully curated displays, inspired by the flamboyant seaside resort.
Visit Beachside Boulevard which celebrates the best parts of summer, featuring neon sandcastles, giant ice creams and colourful waves. Take a stroll down the Golden Mile and be dazzled by the Art Deco style arches.
You can also experience a camp rendition of Bananarama’s Venus. Inspired by local drag artists, it features a dazzling sound and light show. And the star on top is the various projections on The Blackpool Tower, each telling a spectacular story that you won’t soon forget!
Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland
For the ultimate Christmas experience filled with festive favourites, visit Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland. Both Cardiff Castle and City Hall Lawn are free to enter, and you’re welcome to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere.
Grab a Yorkshire pudding wrap before getting your skates on and enjoying the ice rink at the castle, then head to the lawn to enjoy some family entertainment at the bandstand and perhaps hop in a funfair ride or two. Finish off your festive adventure with a warming drink at the ice bar!
Edinburgh Winter Festival
For a Christmas extravaganza to remember, head to Edinburgh for their Winter Festival. East Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a winter wonderland with loads of handmade gifts, festive food and drink, and of course Santa Land with rides for everyone to enjoy.
Head to the Royal Mile on the 17 November for their Light Night event – a huge celebration for their spectacular lights switch-on. You will experience joyous performances from local choirs and an exciting pyrotechnics display. What better way to welcome in the festive season?
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to start your Christmas shopping, then Newcastle is the place for you - it offers one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. You’ll find all your high-street favourites as well as several hidden gems and quirky boutiques.
Visit Central Arcade or High Bridge Quarter for the best in independent stores. If you visit on a Sunday, you’ll also have the pleasure of experiencing the craft market at Armstrong Bridge. You’ll find the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life here!
The first thing you think of when visiting Brighton probably isn’t their selection of quirky shops, but they really are a must at this seaside town. The Marina Square is a beautiful place to start your Christmas shopping, and offers many speciality stores offering clothes, crafts and jewellery. The Lanes is a great place to hunt for a gift for your arty friend, with a number of galleries lining the streets.
North Laine is one of the best shopping districts in Brighton too, offering unique gift ideas such as graphic novels, musical instruments and paraphernalia and even retro clothing. Experience a different side of Brighton this festive season!
So, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone special or are just looking for a festive day out, we can take you to your winter adventure.
Visit our destination pages for more ideas of what to do in these fantastic places.
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