Once Halloween and Bonfire Night have been celebrated, our thoughts turn to all things Christmas, and what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with a Christmas City Break? There is something so special about our cities over the festival period, with bustling Christmas Markets to go to, our fantastic High Street to visit for a spot of Christmas shopping, and many gorgeous, cozy pubs and restaurants to dine in when the cold winter weather chills you to the core. Our favourite destinations for a UK Christmas city break this festive season are right here, take a look.
1. Bath Spa
There is never a bad time to visit the beautiful city of Bath Spa, but Christmas is just perfect in this city, nestled in the rolling countryside of South West England, with the gorgeous Georgian architecture being lit up with Christmas lights, Bath is just magical at Christmas. The Bath Christmas Markets will run from 22nd November to Sunday 9th December, a shorter period than some so be sure to keep this in mind when you are choosing your dates. With over 400 thousand people visiting the Bath Christmas Markets each year and over £10 million being spent in those few short weeks, the markets are alive with the joys of Christmas. Here you’ll find all of the usual little stores offering their hand-made, beautiful goods for sale, lots of delicious food stalls, plus mulled wine, festive music, and a brilliant atmosphere. During your Christmas city break in Bath, why not catch a traditional pantomime at the Theatre Royal Bath one evening, or get your skates on and head to the outdoor rink at Bath on Ice, a really festive experience? Enjoy a lovely hot mulled wine at Abbey’s Hotel Apres Ski bar, or head on to The Bird Bath’s Winter Wonderland for mince pies.
There are few cities in the world quite like London at Christmas time and a Christmas city break to our capital city will have you filled with the joys of Christmas in no time. Your first stop must be Hyde Park for the famous Winter Wonderland, where you’ll find rides to go on, an ice rink to skate, a lovely little market to pick up Christmas presents and trinkets, and lots of lovely food and drinks to add to the merriment. If you enjoy the ice-skating at Winter Wonderland then get yourself down to Somerset House where the stunning Edmond J. Safra Fountain courtyard is the backdrop to London’s most beautiful ice rink. Come day or night you can skate until your heart’s content. Once you’re done treat yourself to an Apres ski at one of the Fortnum & Mason Lodges where you’ll enjoy a rink-side view with a drink and a warming snack. If Christmas markets are your thing then head down to the beautiful South Bank where you’ll get a spectacular view of this incredible city whilst browsing the Christmas markets. Whilst on your Christmas city break in London you MUST see the Christmas lights, head for Oxford Circus tube stop and browse Oxford Street, Regents Street, and Carnaby Street preferably once it’s started getting dark, The lights are simply magical. Finally, catch an evening show in London’s famous West End to round off your magical Christmas city break.
Perhaps you fancy heading towards the North for your Christmas city break? Well, you will certainly not go wrong with Manchester. This vibrant city is boosting two ice rinks this Christmas, one at First Street by Deansgate Lock and another at the Ice Village, which is an all-round festive experience with an Artic Bar and Santa’s Grotto. If you head to Manchester for your Christmas city break you’ll also find some amazing Christmas markets that are open all the way from 9th November to 23rd December so you’ll have no chance of missing these, and this year will be the last time the markets come to Albert Square for four years as the area will be undergoing a massive revamp as of next year. Amid all of the usual festive fun, this year you’ll find the new magical Ice Village in Cathedral Gardens. The highlight will be a walk-through Ice Cavern experience filled with beautiful ice sculptures including a steam train, Santas elves, enchanted toys, and Arctic animals – all set against the backdrop of a frozen toy factory. Within the Ice Village, there will also be sculptures telling the story of Manchester, If you fancy some refreshments then head for the Polar Bar for a mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst the kids visit Santa in his Grotto.
Each winter Birmingham’s city center comes alive with the arrival of the German Market, a clear sign Christmas is just around the corner, and a great reason to make Birmingham your destination for your Christmas city break. With great food, warming drinks, traditional gifts, and live music, the Frankfurt Christmas Market is a really popular attraction. Another brilliant event in Birmingham to get you in the festive spirit on your Christmas city break is the Christmas Spectacular at the Symphony Hall, with loads of Christmas songs, dancing, lights, and a snow-filled finale you can’t go wrong.