10 of the best festive events in the UK

December 10, 2018

Don your Christmas jumper, munch on a mince pie and treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine. Christmas is here, and to celebrate there are all sorts of festive events going on up and down the UK for you to get involved with.

Here’s our top ten.

1. Walk in a winter wonderland: London

Hyde Park hosts London’s truly enchanting ‘Winter Wonderland’ until January 6.

Here you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of fairground rides, a fabulous ice skating rink, a magical ice kingdom, Christmas markets and live music.

The Winter Wonderland is open from 10am to 10pm every day, but weekday mornings are the best time to bring little ones as you’ll be able to enjoy the children’s rides at a gentle pace.

2. Enjoy a dash Christmas sparkle: Cardiff

December 20 sees Cardiff illuminated with its River of Light Parade, which flows through the streets until it reaches Caerphilly Castle. 

Throughout December, workshops are held where you can make wonderful lanterns for the event, and to top it all off? A fabulous firework show will end the night. 

3. Visit the magical Christmas markets: Manchester

The award-winning Manchester Christmas markets are spread right across the city - there's a whopping nine different locations to explore! 

Here, you will be able to pick up unique gifts including jewellery, crafts and toys as well as Yuletide ornaments.

And as a reward for your hard shopping, you can enjoy a festive nibble - from German bratwurst to a traditional roast - and wash it down with a tipple or two.

4. Experience the 'Ice Trail': York

Historic York is atmospheric and magical at the best of times, but throughout the festive season the city is utterly enchanting.

The St Nicholas Christmas Fair brings cheer to the streets, Santa pops by his Grotto to meet the kids and the famous 'Festival of Angels' returns as the 'Ice Trail' on February 2.

5. Be bewitched at a festive Hogwarts: London

Harry Potter fans should take a trip to the Warner Bros Studio this Christmas to experience the sets with a festive makeover.

See the Great Hall full of Christmas trees topped with ‘malevolent fairies’ and the Hogwarts Castle model covered in snow.

6. Explore Santa's elves' workshop: Belfast

Between November 23 and December 23, the Titanic Belfast is hosting ‘A Magical Christmas Experience’, a chance for kids under 13 to mingle with the elves and meet the Clauses. 

They'll also be able to write their letter to Santa, peek into the toy workshop, have their name checked off Santa's 'Naughty or Nice' list and will leave with an early Christmas gift.

7. Hop aboard the Santa train: Edinburgh

While it may not quite be the Polar Express, the Santa Train in Edinburgh will treat families to an exciting ride around the Christmas Tree Maze.

The attraction is open Monday to Thursday, 10am to 8pm, and Friday to Sunday, 10am to 9pm, until Saturday, January 5.

Tickets cost £4 for both adults and children.

8. Visit Santa’s Grotto: Liverpool

Hohoho! Head to Liverpool's Famous Grotto to experience the oldest of its kind.

Located at St John's Market, the interactive activity invites the whole family to meet and have their photo with Santa Claus, then enter a magical wonderland of arts and crafts with the little ones. 

Tickets cost £10 for kids and £1 per accompany adult.

9. Glide your way through Christmas: Winchester

A magical and romantic Christmas experience awaits at the outdoor ice skating rink with the fabulous Winchester Cathedral as its beautiful backdrop. Open until January 2, there are also 'Parents and Toddlers' sessions held Monday to Friday until December 20.

2018 also sees a new centerpiece in the rink - a huge Christmas tree. 

There’s also a fantastic Christmas market there, should you need to do some shopping.

10. Go on a Santa Hunt: Birmingham

This exciting adventure invites budding Santa hunters head on a safari to find the man himself. The enchanting self-drive adventure combines a safari, a visit to Santa's grotto, a stroll through 'Winter Wonderland', a photo with Santa and a pre-Christmas gift. 

Held at the West Midland Safari and Leisure Park until Christmas Eve, tickets are £20 per child and £24 per adult.

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