There’s nothing quite as magical as a bright, crisp, sunny day in the UK during winter, but when darkness descends and the days shorten, there’s nothing quite so dreary! But thankfully, over winter, we have lots of festivities to make us feel jollier like having a meal with friends, visiting sparkling winter wonderlands, enjoying the tipsy hot chocolate at the Christmas markets, and engaging in Christmas activities such as a wreath-making workshop or feeding the reindeer and Santa’s Grotto.
Here are select options for Winter Wonderlands, Christmas Markets, and festive activities to do in nine of the UK’s largest cities.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: Enjoy a winter wonderland in the heart of London from Friday, 18 November to Monday, 2nd January. It offers attractions, activities, food, entertainment, and drinks. The daytime is perfect for families and the nighttime comes alive with thousands of sparkling lights. Enjoy a mulled wine, hot chocolate, or a stein of Bavarian beer. Admission to the park is free until 12 noon and then standard ticket prices are £5 and peak prices are £7.50. Find out more here: https://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/
Christmas markets: There’s not just one Christmas market to choose from in London, of course, there are multiple. Here are just a few you can enjoy for the magical season.
- Southbank Centre Winter Market, 3rd November to 8th January
- Kingston Christmas Market, 10th November to 24th December
- Selfridges Christmas Market, pop-up event, 24th November to 27th November
- Covent Garden Christmas Village, pop-up event, from 8th November, further dates to be announced
- Christmas in Leicester Square, 9th November to 7th January
- Borough Market, 1st December to 24th December
- Christmas By The River at London Bridge City, 15th November to 1st January
- Greenwich Market Christmas Market, dates to be announced
- Christmas under the Canopy at King’s Cross, dates to be announced
- Leicester Square Christmas Market, 9th November to 7th January
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market: This market is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. You can enjoy a range of traditional goods, gifts, food, and drink, including pretzels, schnitzel, bratwurst, roasted almonds, gluhwein, weißbier, hot chocolate, and more. There’s a live music programme on Victoria Square and you can shop for handcrafted wooden decor, glass baubles, crystal lamps, leatherworks, toys, jewellery, and much more. Enjoy the magical winter nights from 3rd November to 23rd December. Find out more here: https://www.thebfcm.co.uk/
Winter Funland, Birmingham: If you’re looking for winter fun for the family, enjoy the UK’s largest indoor fairground. The dates run from 10th December to 2nd January. Read more about it here: https://www.winterfunland.com/birmingham/
Glasgow Christmas Market 2022: Unfortunately, event organisers have pulled out this year and the Christmas market will not take place.
Winter Wonderland Event: On 28th November, your little ones can meet a real-life reindeer, and enjoy a little Christmas market, a snow machine, Christmas songs, treats, arts and crafts, letter writing to Santa, and more. Read more about it here: https://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/097071-winter-wonderland/
Liverpool Christmas Market 2022: Located at St George’s Plateau and William Brown Street, you can enjoy the festive food, unique Christmas gifts, decorations, art, crafts, jewellery, the big wheel, snow slide, Santa Land rides, toasting marshmallows, and there is even a range of bars to choose from. There’s even a Barvarian bar where you can sing along or you can enjoy karaoke ski lifts. Find out more here: https://www.stgeorgeshallliverpool.co.uk/events/liverpool-christmas-market/
Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival 2022: Unfortunately, the ice festival isn’t planned for this year but organisers hope to put on a good show next year. But you can still take the whole family ice skating so find out more here: https://icefestivalliverpool.co.uk/
Bristol German Christmas Market: Dates this year run from 4th November to 3rd December and this exciting market includes Christmas Igloos, Ski Gondolas, a Jäger Barn Bar, and more. Discover more about the magic here: https://bristolchristmasmarket.com/
Winter Wonderland Bristol: If you want to enjoy a sky voyage 40 metres above Bristol’s historic harbour with the Observation Wheel, this event is for you. There’s also food, rides, and even places for a tipple or two. The dates run from 11th November to 3rd January. Read more here: https://www.facebook.com/vintagewinterwonderland/
Christmas Market at Albert Square: Open from 10th November to 22nd December, the Manchester Christmas markets have over 220 stalls across nine locations throughout the city. Among the many attractions, Piccadilly Gardens will be transformed into a Winter Garden for the festive period. There’s also lots of food on offer including vegan bratwurst! Find out more here: https://www.visitmanchester.com/shopping/manchester-christmas-markets-p327351
Winter Funland, Manchester: With two locations in the UK (Birmingham and Manchester), Winter Funland is fun for the family – as an indoor fairground aimed at children under 9 years old. Read more about the attractions here: https://www.winterfunland.com/manchester/
Edinburgh Christmas Market 2022: You can enjoy the Edinburgh market from 19th November to 3rd January with unique attractions like mulled Irn Bru, vegan pigs in blankets, and Harry Potter-themed gifts! There are also exciting rides, night walks, events at The Dome, and more. Read more about it here: https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/events/christmas-winter-festivals/edinburgh/
Jupiter Artland Christmas Fair: The winter wonderland may be cancelled in Edinburgh this year but there’s still plenty to do. Set in a contemporary sculpture garden in over 100 acres of meadow and woodland along with five indoor galleries, this Christmas Fair is a site to behold. For younger visitors, there’s a Santa’s grotto, an elf workshop, a Christmas tree yard, and festive donkey rides. Books soon because this event is only on from 3rd to 4th December. Find out more at their website: https://www.jupiterartland.org/sessions/jupiter-christmas-fair/
Cardiff Christmas Market 2022: The Christmas markets in Cardiff have been going for over thirty years and this year is no exception. You can enjoy the stalls with original, handmade pieces that makes this market unique each year. It’s located on St John Street, Working Street, Trinity Street, and The Hayes. The dates run from 10th November to 23rd December. Read more about what you can enjoy here: https://www.cardiffchristmasmarket.com/
Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland 2022: This famous event is split across two locations, at the city centre on City Hall Lawn and at Cardiff Castle. There are all sorts of ice-related activities to enjoy with the family like an ice walk, a fun fair, and a ski lodge and ice bar for the grown-ups. The dates run from 15th November to 8th January. Read about the event here: https://www.visitcardiff.com/events/cardiff-winter-wonderland/
Belfast Continental Christmas Market: Food, drink, merriment, and lights – what’s not to love about Belfast’s market located at Belfast city hall? The dates run from 19th November to 22nd December. They have an official Facebook page and Visit Belfast also has more information. Read more about what’s happening here: https://www.facebook.com/BelfastXmasMark/
Belfast’s Winter Wonderland: In the festive season, this ice rink’s surrounding trees are lit up with colourful lights so you can skate on the 800 square metre rink in twinkling lights at Custom House Square. Find out more on their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/belfastswinterwonderland/
Did we miss something off the list of winter to-dos in your city? Let us know on Tria Beauty UK’s social media where your favourite winter wonderlands, markets, and Christmas activities are in your town or the nearest major city. #triaholidays
If you want other ideas for the festive season, check out our past blog topics on seven stately homes to re-visit our Christmas heritage, Christmas films to enjoy with the family, and how to stay productive during the winter season.