The holidays are coming, and it’s that time of year when we start to really think about Christmas and all that we need to get done.
It can be very easy to lose ourselves in all the planning, having to think about menus, presents and all the other millions of things to organise over Christmas - so much so that there’s a risk we can forget to have fun too!
So, read our guide on where to find your own piece of ‘Winter Wonderland” this festive season, where you can immerse yourself and your family in all things unashamedly Christmassy and make memories of a lifetime. Here are some ideas:
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland - London
A Winter Wonderland with more than 100 rides and attractions offering something for everyone and it’s free admission though there are charges for rides, ice skating, and the Big Top show, amongst other attractions.
Christmas Light Trail - Kew Gardens, London
This year you will be greeted by a waterfall of lights cascading from a 18m high treetop walkway, laser projections, smoking white haze arches, and a walkway of glittering pink cherry trees! The Christmas Light Trail at Kew Gardens truly is a magical place to escape the hustle and bustle of central London.
Sail with Santa - Tower Pier, London
City Cruises' ‘Sail with Santa’ departs from Tower Pier and is a great way to see the city and for the children to meet Santa.
Lapland UK - Ascot
Lapland UK is promising an original adaptation of the Father Christmas story with a guided theatrical tour in a snow covered forest and a day filled with toy making, cookie decorating, ice skating, ‘snow’ playing, and of course meeting Santa.
Santa Sleepovers at Legoland - Windsor
Legoland Windsor around Christmas is filled with Elves' Magic Shows, LEGO gift building and Santa delivering presents.
Father Christmas and his Elves' Camp - The Eden Project, Cornwall
The Eden Project, the largest indoor rainforest, transforms at Christmas into a magical camp for Father Christmas and his Elves.
Haddon Hall - Bakewell, Derbyshire
Often described as the most perfect English house to survive the Middle Ages, Haddon Hall’s stunning rooms and courtyards are dressed to festive perfection over the Christmas period.
Christmas Tree Wonderland - Bournemouth
Bournemouth’s ‘Tree Wonderland’ features more than 100 Christmas trees, including this year a 60ft ‘Wonderland Tree’ with 30,000 LED lights and an ‘Upside Down House’ which provides a zero gravity illusion experience, where guests can walk on the roof!
Santa's Grotto Workshop at Hamleys - London, Glasgow, Essex
Hamleys Christmas atmosphere is well known and this year there will be a Santa's Grotto Workshop at Hamleys’ North Pole.
Stockeld Park - Wetherby, North Yorkshire
Stockeld Park estate really is a one stop shop for Christmas as you can buy your Christmas tree, watch Santa and his reindeer arrive in the park by sleigh, and even visit Santa in his Grotto.
A historical Christmas at Beamish - County Durham
Beamish, the Living Museum of the North in County Durham, offers a unique way of experiencing the Christmastimes of years gone by, from Georgian times to the 1950s.
Ice Village - Manchester
Manchester’s Ice Village this year offers an ice unicorn and a regal carved ice carriage which you can sit in!
Santa Hunt - Dudley, West Midlands
Join the Black Country Museum’s costumed guides in seeking out Santa!
Christmas Ice Festival - Liverpool
The UK’s only Ice Jet is back in Liverpool this Christmas where you can experience a white-knuckle bobsleigh simulator that races at speeds of up to 80mph. There’s also an ice rink and three-lane, 30-metre ice slide.
Thursford Christmas Spectacular - Fakenham, Norfolk
The Thursford Christmas Spectacular is Europe’s biggest Christmas event and the three hour variety show with over a 100 dancers is sure to delight.
Christmas Markets - Nationwide
Christmas markets have become a part of Christmas in towns all over the UK. Those worth a special mention are:
Christmas in Leicester Square - London - Christmas in Leicester Square offers Christmas magic right in the heart of London complete with Santa's Grotto and alpine market stalls. http://www.christmasinleicestersquare.com/whats-on/christmas-markets
Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham - the largest authentic German Christmas market this side of the Channel Tunnel. https://www.thebfcm.co.uk/
Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market - considered one of the best in Europe and renowned for its stunning location in the shadow of Winchester Cathedral. https://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/home/christmas-at-the-cathedral/christmas-market/
Christmas in Bath - this Christmas shopping extravaganza is the biggest in the South West and is sited at the heart of Bath’s World Heritage Site. https://bathchristmasmarket.co.uk/
Christmas in Manchester - the original and still the biggest Christmas market in the country, Manchester Christmas Markets are home to some 300 stalls across over 10 individual sites. https://www.visitmanchester.com/shopping/manchester-christmas-markets-p327351
Edinburgh Christmas Market - East Princes Street Gardens will be the setting for Santa Land with rides for people of all ages to enjoy, whilst Santa’s Grotto can be found on Castle Street. http://www.edinburghschristmas.com/#stq=&stp=1
Nottingham Christmas Market - the largest event in the East Midlands, Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland features rides, bars and shopping. https://nottinghamwinterwonderland.co.uk/festive-market
Chester Christmas Market - over 70 traditional wooden chalets will be in the heart of the city centre where you can enjoy a hog roast bap. https://www.visitcheshire.com/whats-on/chester-christmas-market-p223731
York Christmas Market - enjoy the medieval charm of York at Christmas and discover Yorkshire produce from crafters and makers showcased at the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village. https://www.visityork.org/whats-on/christmas/markets-shopping
Christmas in Glasgow - you will be greeted by a variety of colourful stalls, offering a selection of gifts, artisan products and cuisine from all over the world. http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/003279-glasgow-christmas-markets/
Christmas in Leeds - Millennium Square in Leeds City Centre will once again become a scenic winter village with over 40 traditional wooden chalet stalls. https://www.millsqleeds.com/christmasmarket/
Christmas in Newcastle - Newcastle city centre will host this year’s Christmas Market where Santa will be making a special appearance and local choirs will add to the festive cheer. https://www.christmasmarkets.com/christmas-markets/newcastle-christmas-market/
Christmas in Oxford - beautiful and historic Broad Street in the heart of the city will be where you find this year’s Christmas Market. https://www.oxfordchristmasmarket.co.uk/