Here we show you how to experience all the wonders of Christmas right here in the UK, whether that’s looking for reindeer on a drive-thru safari or sledding with huskies.
It’s even possible to enter a magical ‘Elven World’ – in England.
1. Husky sled rides, Blairgowrie
Buckle up for a husky-sledding trip in Scotland.
Britons don’t need to venture north of the Arctic Circle to go husky-sledding. It’s offered at Bowland Trails in Perthshire (above)
If your budget doesn’t stretch to the Arctic landscapes of Finland and Norway, you can tick-off this bucket-list activity closer to home at Bowland Trails in Perthshire.
For more information, visit the website or call 07775 435 181.
2. Lapland UK, Berkshire
A secret ‘Elven World’ awaits… in Berkshire.
‘Human folk’ who visit Lapland UK, in Whitmoor Forest, Ascot, take a four-hour journey along ‘magical pathways’, meeting ‘mystical Elves’ and ‘enchanting environments’ along the way.
At the end, they reach a cosy log cabin that’s home to Father Christmas.
The creators describe Lapland UK as ‘a Hollywood film set in a beautiful pine forest’, with visitors alerted to their forthcoming visit by a wax-sealed invitation from Santa delivered to their door.
For more information, visit the website.
3. Reindeer safari, Mold, Wales
At Reindeer Lodge in Mold, Wales, reindeer can be seen in paddocks, stables and in herds
Reindeer Lodge features ‘hidden Christmas villages’, special effects, and a chance to meet Santa
You don’t have to board a plane to see reindeer this Christmas.
At Reindeer Lodge in Mold, Wales, the adorable creatures can be seen in paddocks, stables and in herds during an ‘enchanted’ drive-thru safari trail.
The trail also features ‘hidden Christmas villages’, special effects, and a chance to meet Santa, the company says.
For more information, visit the website or call 01244 747 686.
4. Hogwarts in the Snow, Hertfordshire
The studio describes it as ‘the most magical time of year, when iconic Harry Potter sets are dressed for the festive season in a blanket of filmmaking snow’.
For more information, visit the website or call 0800 640 4550.
5. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Blenheim Palace’s Christmas 2023 offering includes a new illuminated light trail and rooms transformed to retell the Sleeping Beauty fairytale
Every year Blenheim Palace puts on a jaw-dropping festive experience.
This year there’s a new illuminated light trail ‘bringing together a multitude of twinkling lights, seasonal sounds and festive fun’; rooms transformed to retell the Sleeping Beauty fairytale; and the return of the ‘celebrated’ Christmas Market in The Great Court.
Plus, Sleeping Beauty-themed afternoon teas will be served throughout Christmas in the recently reopened Orangery restaurant.
For more information, visit the website or call 01993 810 530.
6. Walking with The Snowman, Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland
Experience the magic of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, brought to life on a walking trail at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast, which is in the Historic Royal Palaces portfolio.
The organisation reveals that you can discover 12 ‘beautifully hand-painted’ giant snowman sculptures at the castle, each ‘decorated by a different artist and inspired by the timeless Christmas classic’.
For more information, visit the website or call 0333 320 6000.
7. Santa Special Express, Yorkshire
Throughout December, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway steam train plays host to Santa and his elves on the journey from Grosmont and Pickering stations
Throughout December, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway steam train plays host to Santa and his elves on the journey from Grosmont and Pickering stations.
‘Whilst onboard, Santa himself will make his way through the heritage carriages, giving kids the chance to meet him,’ the company says, adding: ‘Every well-behaved child will receive a special soft toy present.’
For more information, visit the website or call 01751 472 508.
8. Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall
The Albert Hall’s website declares that it ‘has been the home of Christmas in London for over 150 years’.
It adds: ‘This year’s programme is full of heart-warming live events to be enjoyed with your loved ones. There’s something for everyone, from our Christmas carols to traditional concerts, drag, jazz, gospel and so much more.’
For more information, visit the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Festive Lantern Parade, Winchester
You don’t need a lantern to enjoy Winchester Cathedral’s popular lantern parade
Winchester Cathedral’s popular lantern parade is set to return on November 24, with this year’s theme being ‘angels’.
Visitors can join the parade, with or without a lantern to light the way, on a festive walk through the Hampshire city.
For more information, visit the website or call 01962 857 200.
10. Rochester Dickensian Christmas Festival, Kent
‘Step back in time and start the festive season in Dickensian style at the popular Rochester Dickensian Christmas festival taking place on December 2 and 3,’ says Visit Kent.
Street entertainment, Dickensian fancy dress, readings, and song and dance are among the ‘Victoria festivities’ to be expected at the event.
For more information, visit the website or email email@example.com.
11. Christmas pop-up for pups, UK
Treat your pet pooch to a day of festive fun at a Pup Up Christmas Café, taking place at 10 key cities
Dog owners can bring their beloved pooches to a touring Pup Up Christmas Café, in association with Pure Pet Food, and mingle with up to 50 pets in a staffed space.
There are Santas Grottos, unlimited puppuccinos and treats – and ‘lots of toys’. Plus, every dog gets a present.
Pop-ups are taking place at 10 key cities from London to Edinburgh. Visit the website for more information.
12. Country Living Christmas Fairs
Be inspired by hundreds of small businesses, designers and makers at this year’s Country Living Christmas Fairs, taking place in London, Harrogate and Glasgow.
Browse handmade decorations, bespoke gifts, festive homeware, artisan food, organic beauty products, jewellery and fashionable winter wear among the stalls.
For more information, visit the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. Battersea Power Station, London
Under ‘sparkling Christmas lights’, Battersea Power Station visitors can enjoy arts and craft sessions, live performances, carol singing, and ice skating
London’s iconic Battersea Power Station is holding festive events until January 7.
Under ‘sparkling Christmas lights’, visitors can enjoy arts and craft sessions, live performances, carol singing, ice skating and panoramic views of London from the top of Lift 109.
Visit the website for more information.
14. Floating Film Festival, St Katharine Docks, London
Cosy up on a bean bag with a blanket and a hot chocolate or mulled wine at this festive floating cinema.
The pop-up will be showing Christmas classics like Elf and Love Actually for a limited time from December 4.
For more information, visit the website or call 020 7264 5287.
15. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London
Go ice skating, ride The Giant Wheel, book tickets for the circus show, or simply browse the Christmas markets and food stands at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (pictured)
This year’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London, is packed with 200 rides and attractions
This year’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London, is packed with 200 rides and attractions.
Go ice skating, ride The Giant Wheel, book tickets for the circus show, or simply browse the Christmas markets and food stands at the park.
Visit the website or call 020 8233 5400 for more information.
16. Glow Wild festive trail, Sussex
Enjoy a merry walk along the Glow Wild festive trail at Wakehurst’s botanical garden in Sussex.
‘As darkness falls, the gardens are brought to life with beautifully hand-crafted winter lanterns and captivating light installations created by leading artists,’ Wakehurst says.
For more information, visit the website or call 01444 894 066.
17. Caws Cenarth Cheese Farm, Wales
Get a taste for Christmas at Caws Cenarth Cheese Farm in Lancych, Wales. Pictured: Extra mature cheddar made at the farm
Get a taste for Christmas at Caws Cenarth Cheese Farm in Lancych, Wales.
Learn the art of cheesemaking at the farm, taste the produce, and stock up on ingredients for your Christmas cheese board at the on-site shop, says Discover Carmarthenshire.
For more information, visit the website or call 01239 710 432.