29 Nov 2016
Winter is here and with it, the nation looks forward to the festive season. From Christmas markets to mulled wine, to parties and festivities, each of the regions across the country begins to celebrate the season in its own way. Christmas events occur in almost every major city in England – but which are worth your time? From Edinburgh’s enormous Hogmanay festival to quieter Christmas markets (where you can enjoy some of our favourite treats!), where will you find yourself this season?
Newcastle city centre will play host to a number of market stalls and festive events, but its most historic location will hold an unforgettable event when the Castle Keep and Black Gate hosts the ‘Christmas in Narnia’ event. Inspired by C.S. Lewis, there will be craft stalls, character appearances and, of course, food and entertainment.
Running on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of December between 10:00 and 17:00, the event is free to enter, but specific tickets must be purchased for Santa’s Grotto and the Ice Queen’s Lair. More details are available here.
If Narnia isn’t enough, visit Newcastle’s Grey’s Monument to see their double Christmas market event when the international Christmas market arrives from the 19th of November to the 11th of December. This is then followed by the Christmas Market at Monument from the 12th of December til the 18th. The first event sees stalls and foods from across the globe, while the second brings gifts and beers from closer to home.
For three days only, the city of Durham plays host to an award-winning traditional Christmas festival that is hosted in and around the famous cathedral and castle. Spread across the city centre, the festival features gift and craft marquees, carols, outdoor markets and family entertainment. Taking place from the 2nd til the 4th of December, the event is free to enter but the craft and gift marquee costs £3 on Friday and £4 on weekend days.
The UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park, this is an event that can’t be missed for any Christmas fans. Located near the Trafford Center, it runs from the 10th of December through to New Year’s Day, and you’ll find rides and attractions galore. There’s even a Christmas circus and, of course, the requisite food and drink stalls. Tickets cost £19.50 for adults and children, although under threes go for free and there are concessions for OAPs and large families. Tickets are bought as ‘sessions’, which include four-hour stints that allow you free rides, entry to the Basil Brush show and a meet and greet with Santa.
A festive-feeling town thanks to its historic shops and streets, Chester’s Christmas market is a delight – with over 70 chalets wrapped around a Christmas tree. The market runs from Friday the 18th of November until Sunday the 18th of December and is open seven days a week.
Unlike some Christmas events, which are confined to a specific location, the entire city of Edinburgh comes alive when the winter rolls in. From an enormous Christmas Market to a funfair, ice wall, ice skating, Christmas tree maze and more, you’ll find something for everyone when you’re welcoming in the festivities. Running from the 19th of November until the 7th of January, it’s an event that consumes virtually all of the city’s main shopping streets, so can’t be missed!
Want some Christmas market magic in Scotland but don’t want to head to Edinburgh? Glasgow is hosting two markets, at St Enoch Square and George Square, which sit underneath twinkling Christmas lights, fairground rides and festive delights. The St Enoch Square market begins on the 10th of November, while the George Square offering opens up later on the 26th of November. The Christmas light switch on happens on the 20th of November.
How does a spectacular funfair, Christmas market and seasonal food and drink sound? Good? Add Hyde Park to your Christmas destination list, which plays host to a Christmas celebration that’s free to enter and fun for all ages. Unfortunately, the place tends to get very busy – but the atmosphere is electric. Running from the 18th of November to the 2nd of January and from 10am till 10pm each day, you’ve got plenty of time to check it out.
We’ve mentioned this before in our Santa’s Schedule, but it’s a cosy Christmas event sure to appeal to adults and kids alike, and there's so much more to do than just visit Santa! There's a grotto, traditional market and a wooden Spiegeltent which will hold Christmas shows and circus acts. Running from the 11th of November to the 8th of January, the market is free to enter but you’ll need to buy tickets for specific shows.
At one of Oxfordshire’s most historic places, a Christmas event like few others is taking place between the 25th of November and the 2nd of January. The estate will be illuminated for a festive trail through winding paths, tranquil water and parkland. There’ll be singing trees, a fire garden and a lake filled with brightly lit boats. It’s a ticketed event priced at between £10 for children and £16 for adults (when bought in advance), but is served well by Stagecoach services from Oxford.