Overhead view of city square with small wooden shops set up.
Explore 170 wooden chalets selling unique, artisan products in the heart of the city.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Have a Merry Little Christmas in These 5 Destinations in the UK

Spend the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in the Most Wonderful of Places

That magical time of year is just around the corner, when the streets come alive with twinkling lights, cheery carols get stuck in your head and you start to get cravings for a big mug of hot chocolate or tea. Winter in the UK means chilly days, long nights, cozy fires and time spent with the ones you love.

If you’re wondering where to spend Christmas in the UK this year, there are plenty of festive destinations to choose from. Of course, there’s always London with it’s abundance of Christmas events, skating links, light displays, markets and more. But it isn’t the only beautiful and charming place to visit in that neck of the woods during this time of year.

If you’ve never spent Christmas away from home before, you’ll want to follow our tips for celebrating the holidays while traveling. These will ensure you keep some traditions alive while creating new ones in an exciting destination!

Here are a few more of the best Christmas destinations to explore during these chilly yet magical months.

Bath, Somerset

The annual Bath Christmas market is one of the most popular events in the UK. The 18 day outdoor shopping marketplace features more than 170 charming little wooden chalets set up within the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage City.

Each tiny chalet sells unique, artisan products, from original paintings to handmade jewelry to soaps and clothing. Most of the goods are handmade in the UK and over 70% of the stallholders are from Bath and the surrounding region, so you will be supporting the locals while shopping for that special one-of-a-kind gift.

Snow dusted hilltops with path.Take wintry walk in the Peak District before getting cozy by a fire with a big mug of tea.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bakewell, Derbyshire

This charming market town, home of the tasty Bakewell Tart, has perfected the art of delicious pastries paired with a warm and comforting cup of tea. You can bundle up for a bracing walk in the hills of the Peak District, then warm up by the fire in one of the beautiful historic pubs.

In the weeks before Christmas the town hosts a traditional Christmas market, which includes market stalls, an ice rink, a funfair, a craft marquee and even a chance to meet Santa and his reindeer. Also, you can take a tour of the gorgeous Haddon Hall, a candlelit medieval manor that has been used as a setting for many films.

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Christmas stalls set up outside with Ferris wheel and tower in background.Shop for trinkets and gifts at the Christmas market and take in beautiful ice sculptures.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is a delightful city to visit at any time of the year, but it is truly magical at Christmastime. You can walk along George Street through a winter wonderland of spectacular ice sculptures, including Highland Cows, Vikings, fairies, Mary Queen of Scots and even a Loch Ness Monster made of ice.

You can also shop for little trinkets and unique gifts at the Christmas Markets on George Street and East Princes Street Gardens, or glide along to music at the ice rink in Saint Andrew Square. Younger visitors will be enchanted by Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens, which is a festive fairground where they can discover the hidden workshop of the elves and meet Santa in his grotto.

City area with snow.This idyllic town is the perfect place for a romantic holiday getaway.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Harrogate, Yorkshire

Harrogate originated as a popular spa town for the wealthy and this stunning Yorkshire town still has an air of Victorian elegance. With so many handsome buildings, beautifully landscaped gardens and luxurious bathhouses, it’s hard not to fall in love with this deluxe destination.

It’s the perfect choice if you are looking for somewhere romantic to take your special someone this season.

The Harrogate Christmas Market has been recognized as one of the best in the UK. It features an amazing selection of handcrafted gifts made in and around Yorkshire, as well as Santa’s grotto with real reindeer and festive music performed by local artists.

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City street with Christmas lights strung across.Walking around town will make you feel like you've been transported back to the 1500s.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire

If you are a big Shakespeare geek, you’ll be thrilled to experience the Christmas season in the birthplace of this famous playwright. As you walk through the town you’ll feel like you have been transported back to the 1500s thanks to the incredibly well preserved Tudor architecture.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust hosts a lot of wonderful Christmas events, including Jacobean Music Performances, a Tudor Christmas Dinner featuring historic recipes and much more. Plus, you can take a tour of the house where Shakespeare grew up and see it decorated for Christmas.

It’s easy to see that Stratford Upon Avon has had a charming and magical atmosphere at Christmastime for many centuries and still continues to create that cozy feeling.

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