Winter is here and with it, the nation looks forward to the festive season. From Christmas markets to mulled wine, each of the regions across the country celebrate the season in its own way. Christmas events occur in almost every major city in England – but which are worth your time? From Edinburgh’s enormous Hogmanay festival to quieter Christmas markets, where will you find yourself this season? The team over at Stagecoach have pulled together a few of the best…
Christmas in Narnia, Newcastle — Newcastle city centre will play host to a number of market stalls and festive events, but its most historic location will hold an unforgettable event when the Castle Keep and Black Gate hosts the ‘Christmas in Narnia’ event. Inspired by C.S. Lewis, there will be craft stalls, character appearances and, of course, food and entertainment. Running on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of December between 10:00 and 17:00, the event is free to enter, but specific tickets must be purchased for Santa’s Grotto and the Ice Queen’s Lair.
Winter Wonderland, Manchester – This is the UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park and really can’t be missed for any Christmas fans. Running from the 10th of December through to New Year’s Day, you’ll find rides and attractions galore. There’s even a Christmas circus and, of course, the requisite food and drink stalls. Tickets cost £19.50 for adults and children, although under threes go for free and there are concessions for OAPs and large families. Tickets are bought as ‘sessions’, which include four-hour stints that allow you free rides, entry to the Basil Brush show and a meet and greet with Santa.
Edinburgh’s Christmas 2016, Edinburgh – Unlike some Christmas events, which are confined to a specific location, the entire city of Edinburgh comes alive when the winter rolls in. From an enormous Christmas Market to a funfair, ice wall, ice skating, Christmas tree maze and more, you’ll find something for everyone when you’re welcoming in the festivities. Running from the 19th of November until the 7th of January, it’s an event that consumes virtually all of the city’s main shopping streets, so can’t be missed!
Glasgow Christmas Lights & Market, Glasgow – Want some Christmas market magic in Scotland but don’t want to head to Edinburgh? Glasgow is hosting two markets, at St Enoch Square and George Square, which sit underneath twinkling Christmas lights, fairground rides and festive delights. The St Enoch Square market and the George Square market are both open now.
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park – How does a spectacular funfair, Christmas market and seasonal food and drink sound? Good? Add Hyde Park to your Christmas destination list, which plays host to a Christmas celebration that’s free to enter and fun for all ages. Unfortunately, the place tends to get very busy so it’s best to try and go midweek, during the day – but the atmosphere is worth the hustle and bustle. Running until the 2nd of January and from 10am till 10pm each day, you’ve got plenty of time to check it out.
Leicester Square Market, Leicester Square – This one is a cosy Christmas event sure to appeal to adults and kids alike where the market will host a grotto, traditional market and a wooden Spiegeltent which will hold Christmas shows and circus acts. Running until the 8th of January, the market is free to enter but you’ll need to buy tickets for specific shows.
Christmas at Blenheim, Oxford – At one of Oxfordshire’s most historic places, a Christmas event like few others is taking place until the the 2nd of January. The estate will be illuminated for a festive trail through winding paths, tranquil water and parkland. There’ll be singing trees, a fire garden and a lake filled with brightly lit boats. It’s a ticketed event priced at between £10 for children and £16 for adults (when bought in advance), but is served well by Stagecoach services from Oxford – so make sure you leave the car at home to enjoy some much-needed spiced cider.