Britain's favorite festive Christmas experiences

Monday 20 November 2017

Where can you go to feel that Christmas feeling this year? We’ve put together some of Britain’s most atmospheric Christmas experiences to get you in the festive mood.


Borough Market – an evening with cheese 

Borough Market Borough Market

7 December: Tuck into delicious cheeses while you sup wine, beer or hot spiced cider in festive fashion at the aromatic barrows of Borough Market. It takes place on 7 December and is wonderfully Christmassy, tucked beneath Victorian arches alongside the towering spire of Southwark Cathedral and the banks of the Thames. Find out more here


Winchester Christmas Markets

Winchester Winchester Christmas Market by David Spender

20 November - 22 December: Lit with the glow of Christmas lights and surrounded by the medieval elegance of Winchester’s historic buildings —its towering gothic cathedral foremost among them — Winchester Christmas Market brings you a sumptuous tableau of shopping and Christmas atmosphere. Songs and entertainment, festive food, open-air ice skating and the sparkle of illuminated goods stalls await, not to mention gifts of all kinds to keep your friends and family happy. Find out more here


Highland Christmas Market: Edinburgh

Edinburgh Christmas Market Edinburgh Christmas Market by f_shields

17 November 2017 - 6 January 2018: Pick up traditional Scottish produce, enjoy a hot cup of mulled wine and browse for Christmas gifts in Edinburgh’s traditional Highland Christmas market. It’s nestled in Princes Street Gardens, sandwiched between Edinburgh’s shopping high street and some of the city’s top attractions – the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Memorial, so you’ll be very much in the heart of things as you shop for Christmas treats. Find out more here


Famous Christmas window displays

Fortnum & Mason by mcfarlandmo Fortnum & Mason by mcfarlandmo

Fortnum & Mason is London’s famous luxury food seller, home to some truly mouth-watering delicacies, food-filled hampers and all kinds of other delicious delights. At Christmas its window displays are a thing of beauty. Atmospheric portals into carefully crafted other-worlds, you’ll see everything from enchanted forests to scenes from fairy tales with flamboyantly dressed figures and plenty of playful details. It definitely brings the sense of Christmas magic to life, and for many, stopping by the windows for a good look is a central part of Christmas in London. London’s Selfridges is another top spot for Christmassy window displays. Among London's longest established department stores, it’s a Christmas shopper’s dream come true. Stroll in, find every type of gift you could imagine, and then leave with your shopping done for the year. Or, just stay outside and enjoy its lavish Christmas window displays which often involve moving figures, fantastic lighting and all kinds of enthralling festive scenes.


Christmas trees and carols in Trafalgar Square

Norwegian Christmas Tree, Trafalgar Square by Peter G Trimming Norwegian Christmas Tree, Trafalgar Square by Peter G Trimming

London’s main Christmas tree stands in Trafalgar Square, and has a charming history. It’s presented as a gift each year by the Norwegian city of Oslo in return for British support during the Second World War, and has appeared in the square every year since 1947. It’s absolutely enormous, and is something of a Christmas focal point just next to London’s shopping centres. On the first Thursday in December there’s a grand tree lighting ceremony which is extremely popular. This is the place to come to hear traditional Christmas carols, which are often sung by choirs gathered around the tree itself. For even more music, pop across the road to St Martin-in-the-Fields — one of London’s premier concert venues. It holds a great range of Christmas concerts, from carol-singing to classical performances.


National Trust Christmas events

Fountains Abbey by deargdoom57 Fountains Abbey by deargdoom57

The National Trust's grand country mansions, historic stately homes and brooding medieval ruins leap into life around Christmas time. Many hold activity workshops, carol services and fun days for kids, and nearly all of them are fantastically decorated with atmospheric Christmas displays, exhibitions and guided tours. Fountains Abbey is illuminated for the Christmas season, and holds wonderfully atmospheric Christmas lunches, winter walks and carol concerts. Find out more here

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