The dark nights are here, the chill is in the air and the more prepared of us have started ticking off of present lists. Christmas is officially just around the corner!
The weeks leading up to Christmas are a wonderful time of year to get out and explore a new city in the UK. There’s so much going on that only comes around once a year so it’s best to get planning where you want to visit over Christmas 2018.
Here is our list of the top 5 UK cities to visit in and around Christmas:
Leeds has become a brilliant city to visit throughout the year but at Christmas it’s magical.
Whether you need a city for last-minute Christmas shopping, a fun-filled weekend with friends or a festive family trip, Leeds has something for everyone. As well as the traditional market on Millenium Square, there is a spectacular programme of entertainment including the Northern Ballet and Opera North offering seasonal performances of The Nutcracker, The Merry Widow and Silent Night.
There’s also a hidden Christmas festival at Kirkstall Abbey over 14th-16th December. But shhh, keep it quiet. At the festival, you can party day or night alongside live bands, vocal performance and dance, with festive drinks and all of your favourite Christmas treats.
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, a trip up to Scotland is likely to be your best choice! Edinburgh, in particular, a beautifully atmospheric through the Christmas period.
The city has a host of festive markets and fairs taking place into New Year. Whilst you’re up there you could extend your trip to include one of the Scottish National Parks.
Read our more in-depth blog about things to do in Edinburgh through winter here.
With over 180 stalls, it’s the largest outdoor Christmas market in the UK and the biggest German market outside Germany and Austria. If you can’t fill all your present needs at this market, you have no hope!
But if you fancy a totally different market option, head down to the beautifully unique Floating Christmas Market. Canal traders will line up their colourfully decorated canal boats outside the Barclaycard Arena for one weekend in December.
Once you’ve finished your shopping and ice skating, snuggle up and watch a Christmas classic in England’s oldest working cinema, Electric Cinema.
Why not spend the festive season in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff? The city has its own version of Winter Wonderland with an undercover ice rink, fairground activities, bars and food stalls immersed in the backdrop of the city’s iconic civic centre.
Once you’ve done making the most of the Winter Wonderland activities, head to The Sur La Piste for a cosy drink in a traditional cosy ski-lodge setting.
Christmas is also perhaps the best time of year to visit Cardiff Castle. All of the Castle’s history and splendour is dressed with spectacular Christmas lights and decorations. Santa’s Grotto will also be in the Castle on weekends throughout December.
We couldn’t leave London out the list, could we? There’s so much going on in London over winter that it will send you into a festive frenzy. There’s no end to the Wintery entertainment offered: Immersive wintery walks, festive markets, scenic ice-skating rinks, Christmas West End shows and light displays and plenty more!
Our must-visits in London are Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland for the ultimate Christmas attraction with fairground rides, an Ice Bar and idyllic ice rink and Christmas at Kew. Through Christmas, London’s world-renowned botanical gardens are illuminated by thousands of festive lights, set to a soundtrack of seasonal classics.
Christmas UK car hire
Wherever you choose to spend time this Christmas, you’ll never be too far from a Green Motion car hire branch. With 20 locations around the UK, we make car hire easy. For more information about the range of vehicles available, browse our online booking platform.