Christmas in the UK

Hello All,
A dream of mine is to see Christmas in the UK. What are your favorite villages, towns, cities, displays and events during this magical season?


@mars this is a great subject as I too always want to see what locations are like during the holidays. There is something to be said about the “Magic of the Holidays” that can make a location even more desirable during that time.


@mars & @Debbie-L

Check out any cities that have Winter Wonderlands - London has a popular one

Also, many cities have outdoor ice-skating rinks set up over that period. I used to visit the one next to the Brighton Pavillion, it was very pretty to skate in the evenings.

Where I grew up there would often be local Christmas Carol services, candle services etc. If you find somewhere you are interested in going checking out the local community events during that time might be quite special.

A local pub will likely make a great Christmas roast dinner and make sure you eat lots of mince pies (sweet) and brandy butter. I am missing those :christmas_tree: :grin:


I’ve been to The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and would say it’s probably not worth it as lacks a real Christmassy feel. Personally I don’t like the commercial aspect of Christmas but enjoy listening to carol singers - most towns will have a group raising money, Christmas concerts, a lot of ice skating rinks pop up, a nice winter walk followed by a pub lunch or drink on Christmas Day.


If you google “Christmas Markets” or “Victorian Christmas Markets” and search by the county names, there’s only about 48 in total, so you can look at a map and see where you like the best to search that whole county area. You should find an abundance of places, London’s great, Edinburgh is amazing, York is brilliant, but most larger towns have a great Christmas vibe with Christmas Fayres with stalls all over the highstreets, sparkley lights, and lovely shop windows.

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Caveat: Better to enjoy the season in the lead up to Christmas. Being there over Christmas and the week leading up to NY means greatly reduced train and bus service, and lots of closed places.

And darkness at 3 p.m…

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Hi @mars talking of Christmas in May might seem like we are wishing the year away, but we are almost half way through the 2023 … where has it gone?

I hope you manage to realise your Christmas wish … You have me thinking about what is my fav part of Christmas In The UK I will get back to you on that …

Meanwhile I have found this …

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@Angela_L , I am doing some advance planning for Christmas sits in the UK, looking at early postings. Imo, it’s never too early for pet owners to post for this high-demand time of year.


I don’t think it’s early now to book for Christmas. My Christmas sit (in Auckland) was booked a few weeks ago :wink:

My repeat Xmas/NY sit in Stirling, UK (with views out to Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument) was booked in December 2022!

If you’re booking Xmas in the UK this Dec 2024 please look at staying in Brighton my home City.
It’s fabulous and pulls out all the stops at Xmas, also it’s an easy trip to London for days out as just one hour direct by train and cheap day return tkts after 10 am. The last train back is midnight.

Things to see/do

  1. The Royal Pavilion decorated with trees and groups of musical mice!
  2. The high streets festooned with lights.
  3. Hundreds of quirky little shops in North Laine.
  4. The Santa ‘run’ …. Google it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
  5. Boxing Day Santa swim….
  6. Pantomime theatre.
  7. An ice rink set up in front of the Royal Pavilion….
  8. Xmas dinner on Sundays leading up to Xmas game midweek too…(Join the Brighton Sunday Roast fb group).,

Enjoy :smiling_face:

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I had a sit in Shrewsbury in the lead up to Christmas last year; it was lovely. It’s a beautiful, small city with good independent shops. They have a Christmas market and carol singing in the square. Really enjoyed it.

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You should look outside London for places like York, which has a Christmas market, events at the Minster, historic houses like Castle Howard, all decorated for Christmas and booked tickets are on sale months ahead. Not far is Haworth (Brontë) which is magical at Christmas. Also around Derbyshire you have Chatsworth, Haddon Hall and Bakewell.