Couple looking at Christmas market stall

TOP UK FESTIVE ACTIVITIES

Kick start your festive cheer with a magical Christmas break. Need inspiration? We’ve done the legwork for you, so all you have to do is write your wish list! Check out our guide to the best Christmas markets, light trails and more in the UK for a winter staycation. 


Traditional Christmas Market in Belfast

16th November-22nd December

Making a welcome return to the grounds of Belfast City Hall, the award-winning Christmas Market is a festive foodie heaven filled with sights, sounds and aromas from across the globe. Visit over 90 beautiful traditional chalets and soak up the atmosphere as you make your way around this Yuletide village featuring food, crafts, entertainment and two bars. Take a break from the busy walkways in the sociable food court with bench-style seating. Enjoy the stunning views across the market from the top of the vintage helter-skelter, a wonderful whizzing experience for all.

Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham

7th November-23rd December

This is the largest authentic German market outside Germany and Austria and the centrepiece of the city’s festive event calendar. Enjoy traditional Bratwurst (white or red sausage) and Brezel, a type of bread, along with hot, spiced glühwein while you shop the various stalls, and listen to carols and Christmas songs. Over the years, Birmingham's singing Christmas moose (Chris Moose) has become a Christmas attraction in his own right. Located directly in front of the Council House entrance, the singing moose guarantees a Christmassy atmosphere and a lot of fun for young and old.

Glasgow Christmas Market

Travel to Glasgow for Christmas is Twice As Fun

St Enoch Square: 9th November-22nd December
George Square: 24th November-29th December

Visitors to the city can enjoy double the fun as St Enoch Square and George Square play host to two fabulous Christmas Markets. Browse for that special gift and pick up something unique from the artisan crafts on offer. Enjoy a Bratwurst Sausage or a ‘hug in a mug’ hot cup of glühwein at one of two fantastic locations. After all that shopping, take a break in one of the German bars where many continental and speciality beers are on offer. If it’s a family affair, after some scrumptious festive sweet treats enjoy a ride on the carousel or the big wheel.


Christmas at Haddon Hall

Get Festive at Haddon Hall in the East Midlands

1st-23rd December
Artisan market 13th-17th November

Experience Christmas at Haddon Hall will feature traditional crafts, rousing live music and an artisan market at the heart of its seasonal programme. Craftsmanship has been integral to Haddon Hall over the centuries, and this Christmas, it pays tribute to this with festive skills classes from wreath-making to cake decorating, candle making to gift wrapping.

Exeter Christmas Market

Experience Exeter's Cathedral Christmas Market

16th November - Thursday 19th December

The market includes is set around a unique location with the stunning backdrop of Exeter Cathedral alongside high quality exhibitors. Featuring a selection of crafts, fresh food and a bustling atmosphere helped by delicious food stalls and Bavarian-style bars, Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market is inspired by German Christmas markets.

Ice skating at Somerset House

Get Your Skates On at Somerset House in London

13th November-12th January

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Skate at Somerset House. Highlights include London’s first ever 24-hour skating event (7th December) which offers an unmissable after-hours experience, from skating under the stars to enjoying the major winter exhibition 24/7 long into the night, without the crowds.  Late-night skaters and music lovers will enjoy Skate Lates with leading DJs taking over the rink-side decks for a series of open-air parties.


Christmas at Stourhead

Explore Twinkling Light Trails at Stourhead

29th November-30th December

The beautiful National Trust gardens at Stourhead will be hosting a magical illuminated Christmas Trail for the first time. Described as ‘a living work of art’, visitors to the world-famous landscaped gardens will be able to walk through a Tunnel of Light festooned by over 100,000 pea-lights, beside twinkling hedgerows which lead towards thousands of illuminated lights on the Fibre Optic Lawn.

Cardiff Christmas Market

Fun for the Whole Family in Cardiff

14th November-23rd December

Cardiff Christmas Market is just one of the magical festive treats the city has to offer, priding itself on being a market for handmade goods – jewellery, craft, clothing and much more. With a varied selection of souvenirs, arts, crafts, food and drink, it’s the perfect place for some last-minute shopping. With rows of beautifully-decorated wooden stalls laid out in the pedestrian heart of the city centre, this market rivals that of any European city. 

Award-Winning Markets in Manchester

8th November-21st December 

Manchester’s award-winning Christmas Markets are amongst the UK’s biggest and best, with over 300 stalls spread across 10 sites in the city centre. They offer mouth-watering international food, drinks and delicately-crafted Yuletide gifts in the heart of this buzzing city. Albert Square will be at the heart of the markets again, with markets also at Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, King Street and St Ann's Square. Cathedral Gardens will be the hub of the family-friendly festivities with attractions including the Ice Village and a skating rink.