Middle East Tourists Prepare to Head to UK for New Year Holiday Season

Sunday 10 October 2010

Holidaymakers looking for a winter break need look no further than the UK as the nation begins preparations to transform itself into a fairytale land full of vibrant lights, festive shopping, delectable dining and festive cheer.

Whether you’re taking a city break to the bustling city of London, a relaxing trip to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, or are visiting the Welsh capital of Cardiff for the first time, the UK’s winter festive season holds something special for everyone, including late night shopping, traditional markets, magical fireworks, holiday cuisine and exciting year-end events.

“December is a popular time for Middle East tourists to visit the UK as there are so many wonderful events, sights to see. This time of year is the UK’s magical holiday season and both tourists and expatriates are now planning their schedules and booking flights in order to make the most of the upcoming seasonal activities and celebrations,” said Carol Maddison UAE Manager, VisitBritain.

In London, the stunning Somerset House has been welcoming visitors from home and abroad for years with its magical ice-rink set in a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of the capital. Also home to open-air concerts, film, and contemporary art exhibitions, the city’s favourite rink will see visitors skate their way into the night surrounded by fairylights. Some of London’s finest DJs play here and visitors can soak up the experience while drinking hot chocolate and indulging in exclusively designed cup cakes at the Tiffany Tuck Shop.

A visit to the ‘Big Smoke’ during December wouldn’t be the same without a trip to Harrods. This year, the Harrods Parade, which signals the start of the festive season at the world-famous department store, is based on the theme of Peter Pan – a much loved children’s story that will see children and adults alike indulge in all things magical.

The Oxford Street lights, which sees thousands of spectators take to the London streets, welcomes the festive season into the heart of the West End. Each year, the lights are switched on by famous celebrities and the lights in London’s Regent Street and St Paul’s Cathedral are all switched on at the same time. These wonderful winter lighting ceremonies take place in most major cities across the UK.

Head out and get your shopping done in one of the capital’s festive-style markets. Shoppers are sure to enjoy some traditional yuletide fun at the landmark Covent Garden, where the Real Food Market serves up a great variety of seasonal and delicious dishes. For vintage goods and exclusive items, visitors would do well to head for Camden Lock and Carnaby Street.

In the warm and friendly city of Edinburgh, December festivities conjure up an atmosphere that can only be described as ‘electric’. With beautiful street parades and musicians playing traditional songs on the streets, there is more than enough on offer in the Scottish capital to keep visitors returning for more.

Wrap up warm and head to the annual Cardiff fun fair in the Welsh capital to get in the festive mood. Try out your ice-skating moves or test your nerves on one of the action-packed rides. A visit to a pantomime in one of the city’s theatres is also a must and makes for a great family night out of entertainment.

To mark the end of the year, late night celebrations take place all across Britain. From the breathtaking fireworks at London’s South Bank as Big Ben chimes midnight to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations that see music and spectacular firework displays take off from within Edinburgh Castle, visitors journeying to Britain in December are in for a magical treat.

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

pressandpr@visitbritain.com

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Harrods, the Famous London Department Store Popular with Visitors from Around the World
Burlington Arcade