Experience festive Britain differently
Get into the spirit and explore the festive offerings in and around Britain’s buzzing cities. Twinkling lights, steaming mugs of mulled wine, a holiday atmosphere and fabulous gifts are awaiting you. Come and join us for a festive destination discovery!
Embark on the festive journey of your lifetime
- Have a fabulous time on The Polar Express, Birmingham
26 November - 23 December 2022
The Polar Express is coming back to Birmingham Moor Street Station for Christmas 2022 to take passengers on a journey to the North Pole to visit Santa. Hop aboard the festive train in your pyjamas for a magical immersive Christmas experience.
- Dine on the Christmas Steam Express, London Victoria
14, 16, 19 and 21 December 2022
Celebrate the holiday season in style with a very special dining steam train experience in a beautifully decorated and lovingly restored 1970’s InterCity carriage. The Christmas express takes you on a journey through the Surrey Hills. With three classes of travel there is something for everyone, from a delicious 3 course evening meal to bringing your own festive picnic.
- Enjoy a luxurious Christmas lunch on the Northern Belle, Cardiff
7 December 2022
Northern Belle has been voted the best luxury British train by Conde Nast readers earlier this year. For the festive season, they have put together a dining extravaganza. Enjoy a magnificent seven course lunch with all the trimmings on board their vintage carriage meandering through enchanting wintry landscapes.
Britain lights up the dark winter nights
- Gaze at Carnaby Winter lights, Soho, London
From 8 November 2022
The world-famous Carnaby Christmas lights celebrate 25 years of lights and installations this year. The immersive installation will feature a mesmerising collection of the most-loved pieces from the past including glittering Rolling Stones tongues, underwater scenes and oversized Robins. Carnaby collaborates with the charity Choose Love to support refugees around the world.
- Marvel at the projections onto Norwich Castle, Norfolk
17 November 2022 – 5 January 2023
Visit Norwich Castle after dark to see the 70 feet beautiful festive projections onto the walls of the castle. The historic façade will be lit up with a celebration of Christmas magic adding a cheery atmosphere to the city centre. While in Norwich wander through their iconic 45 meters long Tunnel of Light.
- Wander through Roundhay Park, Leeds
8 December – 1 January 2023
One of Europe’s biggest city parks, Roundhay Park will be lit up this year by a brand-new Christmas trail featuring larger than life illuminations and seasonal music. The striking light installations were designed by a range of international artists and were all carefully choreographed to a soundtrack of much-loved festive music.
Experience RHS Gardens in a whole new light
- RHS Garden Bridgewater, Greater Manchester
16 November – 30 December 2022
Glow returns to RHS Bridgewater with a trail of festive colour and sparkle. The garden’s trees and shrubs are bathed in light by the projections and hundreds of twinkling lights across the garden. One of the highlights this year is the dramatic musical fountain display on Moon Bridge Water.
- RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex
22 November – 30 December 2022
Visit RHS Hyde Hall in the festive season to see the garden lit up as never before on a new Glow route for 2022 while experiencing atmospheric sounds. Spend a magical evening with your loved ones discovering the garden in breath-taking beauty.
- RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey
17 November 2022 – 8 January 2023
An enchanting new trail around RHS Wisley paints iconic sights such as the Old Laboratory and the Jellicoe Canal in dazzling light. This year’s installation is sponsored by Inghams and the garden will glow even brighter than ever before. The highlight is an amazing horticultural display inside the Glasshouse with a white Christmas theme.
Wander around festively decorated castles
- Discover Blenheim Palace during the festive season, Woodstock
18 November 2022 – 2 January 2023
Visit the winter wonderland at Blenheim Palace where real magic happens. New for 2022, explore the Snow Queen’s exquisitely transformed Palace rooms with larger-than-life shimmering crystals and a silvery frost-covered forest. The picture-perfect gardens surrounding the palace are lit up with more than a million lights and street food vendors provide warming drinks and festive food.
- Celebrate the festive season at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
18 November – 30 December 2022 (on selected dates)
Indulge in delicious Christmas lunches and festive afternoon teas in Edinburgh’s most iconic setting. The Castle of Light experience is back for its third year and will transform Edinburgh Castle into a ‘Kingdom of Colours’. Extraordinary projections dance from the castle walls and immersive illuminations guide visitors through the castle.
- Experience Christmas at the Castle, Warwick Castle
26 November 2022 - 2 January 2023
In December, a magical winter wonderland with a dazzling light trail and twinkling trees will show Warwick castle at its best. The ice-skating rink backdropped by the magnificent castle walls and the Great Hall stunningly decorated for the festive season are only two of the highlights this year.
- Visit the festively decorated Cardiff Castle, Wales
15 November 2022 – 1 January 2023
Throughout the winter months Cardiff castle invites visitors to explore the castle grounds for free. Ice skate in the most magical surroundings with the 150-meter-long Ice Walk running through the Castle grounds. The brand-new Christmas Festival in the Spiegeltent on the grounds of the Castle will offer three incredible shows - Santa’s Wish, Castellana and The Nutcracker.
Experience Christmas differently
- Enjoy a festive feast at The Assembly House, Norwich
1 November 2022 – 8 January 2023
The sparking igloos return to the front garden of the The Assembly House. Guests can enjoy a Festive Beforenoon Tea, Christmas Afternoon Tea or an Après-Ski menu in the pods. A fairy tale Nutcracker Festive Christmas Afternoon Tea with extra sparkle has been created by the BnB’s Head of Pastry Mark Mitson.
- Have a drink on Lucky Club’s cosy winter garden rooftop, Camden, London
From 11 November 2022
The brand-new roof terrace Lucky Club Camden opened in May 2022 and has announced a magical transformation ahead of the festive season. The rooftop overlooking Camden Market will have an open fire pit, heaters, festive foliage and twinkling fairy lights for a cosy festive atmosphere.
- Have unlimited fun at Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London
18 November 2022 - 2 January 2023
Transforming one of London’s spectacular parks, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers a festive paradise in the heart of the city. The Wonderland is home to the world’s tallest transportable observation wheel, a Magical Ice Kingdom and an array of comedic acts at its own Comedy Club. Come and discover Britain’s largest open-air ice rink and plenty of bars and food stalls.
- Glide at Battersea Power Station, London
London’s latest ice rink is set against a backdrop of one of the capital’s most iconic buildings, Battersea Power Station. The magnificent open-air ice rink is a must-do activity this winter as it is London’s only riverside skating rink. The experience is run by the team behind the Natural History Museum Ice Rink and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
Discover our favourite Christmas markets
- Stroll through Winter at Southbank Centre, London
3 November 2022 – 8 January 2023
The popular Winter Market at London’s Southbank Centre is a seasonal pleasure that sits alongside a range of festive fun at the banks of the River Thames. Wander along the South Bank to discover strings of decorations and cute illuminated wooden cabins selling Christmas gifts, from the quirky to the traditional, as well as mince pies, mulled wine and hot chocolate.
- Get lost at Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham
3 November – 23 December 2022
As the largest authentic German market outside of Germany and Austria, it is the focus of festivities in Birmingham each year and stands as a firm favourite on the cities calendar. Relish in the deliciousness on offer like the German Bratwurst and Brezel, chocolatey crepes to sweeten your palette and mulled wine or German beer to complete the night.
- Get your Christmas shopping done at Manchester Christmas Market
10 November – 22 December 2022
The Manchester Christmas Markets take over several locations across the city. You won’t be far from festive gifts and delicious food and drink stalls selling traditional bratwurst, hog roast and paella on a winter trip to the city. More than 300 accessible stalls and chalets will be put up across the city, with jewellery, toys, plants, bags, homeware and quirky gifts to be found.
- Discover Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market, Hampshire
18 November – 22 December 2022
With its unique location in the shadow of Winchester’s great cathedral, the Christmas Market is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best. Numerous chalets are home to hand-picked exhibitors offering exclusive gifts that you won’t find on the high street – from hand-crafted decorations and festive treats to craft beer and mulled wine.
- Wander through the Bath Christmas Market, Somerset
24 November – 11 December 2022
Historic-ambience-meets-winter-style at Bath Christmas Market, where more than 150 pop-up chalets are set up on the city’s pretty Georgian streets. Marking its 20th anniversary year in 2022, you can expect a real treasure trove of gifts to take home, whether that’s jewellery, homewares, or decorations. While exploring the new stalls and the perennial favourites, be sure to fill your empty belly with a range of festive food on offer.
- Explore Cardiff Christmas Market, Wales
10 November – 23 December 2022
Held across several streets of Cardiff’s pedestrianised city centre, Cardiff’s Christmas Market welcomes an array of vendors, giving you plenty of time to find the perfect gift among its stalls. You’ll find plenty of food and drink options available among the many stallholders and there’ll be music, festive lights and entertainment transforming the streets.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.org