The time is nearly upon us – when the nights draw in and the streets light up. Families gather, old friends meet, and the air is filled with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. Christmas has always been a season of frivolity and is by no means limited to shopping. In fact, there is so much going on it can be hard to know where to begin.
Which is why we’ve put together a selection of festive events that are happening across the UK to get you in the mood for this magical time of year.
Hyde Park, London, England
17th November – 1st January
For the last decade, London’s Hyde Park has been home to one of the most popular Christmas events in the country. Starting life as a humble open-air market, Winter Wonderland is now an extravaganza of food and drink, live entertainment and exhilarating rides. It also includes the UK’s largest open-air ice rink and a permanent residency of Santa himself.
17th November – 6th January
Scotland’s biggest offering of Christmas fun can be found in Edinburgh from November to January. During this time, the charming city lives up to its reputation of art and culture with all kinds of beautiful and quirky events and exhibitions. A particular highlight is Light Night – where choirs from across Scotland perform to an expected audience of 20,000 and the Christmas tree is lit followed by an impressive firework display.
Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
1st – 3rd ; 7th – 10th ; 14th – 18th December
For something a little more unusual, a trip to the country’s National Arboretum is definitely worthwhile. Here, visitors can walk a mile of illuminated trails that are pushchair, wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly. Trees are lit up in an astonishing display of lighting designs that change each year, and there is plenty else to see and do including performances by choirs and bands, and special appearances from Santa and his elves.
York Designer Outlet, York, Yorkshire
18th November – 7th January
Venturing back up north we have Yorkshire’s very own Winter Wonderland that offers fun and activities for all the family. Held at the York Designer Outlet, Winter Wonderland is the perfect way to enhance your Christmas shopping experience with seasonal food and drink, outdoor ice-skating and lots of merriment to get you into the Christmas spirit.