Get into the Christmas spirit with our pick of the best festive activities in the UK this year.
Christmas is around the corner, and while this year won’t involve many of the usual parties and group festivities, there is still plenty to do to get into the holiday spirit. From illuminated trails to Bavarian markets, here are some of the best festive activities in the UK to experience with your household or bubble this Christmas.
While Bath’s famous Christmas market is cancelled this year, nearby Bristol has a fantastic festive offering in its city centre. 50 Bavarian-style stalls have pitched up to sell artisanal craft and festive treats, perfect for last-minute gift shopping. There will also be food, drinks and live entertainment in the heated Jäger Barn Bar and, if you’re lucky, you may even spot Santa himself.
The hometown to Banksy, Bristol is a vibrant and characterful city with a lively arts and culture scene. As well as galleries such as M Shed and Arnolfini, no visit to Bristol would be complete without marvelling at the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge built by Brunel in 1831.
One of the best festive activities to do in the UK is visit one of the many illuminated trails, such as Glow Wild. It takes place in the grounds of Wakehurst, a 16th century West Sussex mansion. The landscape will be transformed by thousands of dazzling lights, glowing lanterns and illuminated sculptures created by specially commissioned artists, as well as soundscapes and projections.
One of England’s most-loved beach towns, Brighton is just as magical in the winter when its shopping streets, The Lanes, are illuminated by fairy lights and festive cheer. Brighton is also known for its vibrant nightlife and LGBTQ+ scene, and is host to the famous Brighton Pride.
Christmas celebrations are back for another year at the iconic Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Visitors will follow a route of beautiful illuminations such as neon-wrapped trees, a canopy of stars, a spectacular light show and much more while sipping mulled wine and sampling delicious street food.
Kew Gardens is in Southwest London, close to popular neighbourhoods such as Chiswick and Richmond. With a charming village-like feel but with easy access to central London, Richmond has an array of beautiful boutiques, riverside restaurants and cafes, plus the largest Royal Park in London, Richmond Park.
Norwich’s Tunnel of Light first launched in 2016 and has proved wildly popular ever since. The 45-metre long tunnel is made from 50,000 LED lights that mimic the colours of the Northern Lights, creating a breathtaking spectacle that’s perfect for Christmas selfies.
Once a Saxon marketplace, the city of Norwich has many in-tact medieval elements such as cobbled streets, city walls, a cathedral and a castle. It still has its market, which is Europe’s largest permanent market and sells everything from flowers and plants to pet supplies.
A magical festive activity for the whole family, this after-dark trail takes place in the grounds of National Trust estate Belton House. Wander through one mile of dazzling illuminations using over a million lights to create a sea of sparkles.
Belton House is close to the market town of Sleaford which has a fascinating history; the first settlement dates all the way back to the Iron Age. Today, it’s a fantastic base for those wanting to be close to Lincoln, Newark or Peterborough.
Properties for sale in these areas:
On the market now with easy access to Bath and Bristol is this charming five-bedroom detached property in Shortwood. Formerly the coach house to an adjacent period property, it has been fully renovated into a spacious and well-finished family home with extensive grounds.
An incredible property on the market now is this stunning seafront home with ocean views. Boasting six bedrooms and five beautifully decorated reception rooms in a Grade II listed building, there is also parking space for three cars.
On the market in Richmond now is this light and spacious two-bedroom house with an open-plan living/dining area and separate kitchen. It has a private patio garden and plenty of storage thanks to multiple built-in wardrobes and a loft.
On the market near Sleaford is this five-bedroom detached home with six bathrooms and a joined two-bedroom annex. It was built by a highly renowned local builder and has a solid ash staircase, doors and woodwork, underfloor heating and air conditioning. The property also has beautiful wooden ceiling beams in the dining room and log burner in the open-plan kitchen.
Located within walking distance of Norwich’s city centre, this three-bedroom house is beautifully finished. Highlights include the modern kitchen/diner complete with skylights and the cosy wood-burner in the lounge. This property also has a sunny garden, detached garage and plenty of storage.