It’s that time of year again. The nights are getting longer and the days are getting chillier. The year is coming to an end and the familiar melodies of holiday carols can be heard everywhere you go. Every street and home is bedecked with sparkling lights and the malls are filled with shoppers looking for that perfect gift to place under the tree.
When the Christmas season comes around, why not go on a little getaway somewhere in the UK? Here are some ideas:
The town of Lincoln is known for having one of the best Christmas markets in Britain – the perfect place to shop for that unique gift for your loved one. The market takes place from the 5th to the 8th of December in the medieval square by the cathedral and is filled with over 250 stalls selling everything from Christmas puddings to handmade crafts and much more. Also, visit Wickham Gardens where your little ones will be able to see Father Christmas and write a letter stipulating their Christmas wishes to his elves.
Brighton, East Sussex
Brighton is a great place to visit at any time of the year, because of its scenic pier and welcoming laid back atmosphere. However, if you visit on the 21st of December you can experience the annual “burning of the clocks” ceremony to mark the shortest day of the year. The locals make intricate lanterns from paper and willow, designed to look like clocks. They parade them through the city and to the beach, where they then burn them. The festivities also include fireworks and live music.
You’ll find plenty of holiday cheer in the capital at Christmas time. Warm up and wander around Borough Market while sipping on mulled wine. Treat yourself to a gourmet dessert tasting experience at William Curley, Britain’s Best Chocolatier. Glide around the Liverpool Street station’s ice skating rink or admire the cheerful decorations at Covent Garden. Check out the annual “Christmas Past” exhibition at the Geffrye Museum, where you can see seasonal traditions from the past 400 years (and it’s free!).
Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire
This lovely town has adopted a unique idea for celebrating the holiday season – a live advent calendar. Throughout the month of December a different town building will open one of its doors or windows every evening at 6:15pm, revealing a one-off 30 minute performance. There will be a range of performances including choir concerts, rock music, comedy sketches, dances and poetry readings – all with a Christmas theme.
Edinburgh creates a magical atmosphere for your Christmas festivities, with plenty of live performances and festive markets in the city centre. Your little ones will love Santa Land, a fairground in Princes Street Gardens with fun rides, a skating rink a children’s market, the elves workshop and a chance to meet the jolly old elf himself! These are just a few of the great UK destinations that are brimming with holiday cheer, where you can really get into the spirit of the season.