Do you have your UK Christmas travel plans organised yet?
If you are thinking of travelling in the UK this season for a traditional, festive Christmas with your family here are three places that always serve up great Christmas cheer. With great accommodation options and plenty of free events and activities for the family they will help you enjoy Christmas away without breaking the bank.
There are still plenty of other ways that you can save on your break even if you are booking late: for instance family travel plans during the Christmas period cost a lot less with travel vouchers, so you can enjoy those splash-out meals and family treats when you arrive. If you have not got your UK Christmas travel plans organised yet here is some food for thought.
Edinburgh always has the perfect Christmas tree. Each year it is gifted a huge tree from the home of the best spruces Norway in recognition of Edinburgh’s cultural links.
Another institution is Edinburgh’s outdoor ice rink in the beautiful setting of East Princes Street Gardens. Overlooking the rink is the Edinburgh Wheel affording great views over the rest of the city. Back down to earth but still creating a dreamlike atmosphere the Snowglobe allows your family to have their picture taken in swirling snow even if it is not a white Christmas this year.
Other attractions nearby include a helter-skelter, bungee snowdome, Christmas carousel and walk-on-water bubblepods.
This year you will find reindeer in St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh and Santa promises to drop by and make sure they are all fit and healthy for the big night. In Rose Street a free festive trail follows the path of the Santa’s lost elves and there is a prize at the end and the chance to make a beautiful Christmas decoration.
For the shoppers and browsers there is the fantastic Edinburg Farmers’ Market, the Highland Village Christmas Market and a traditional German Christmas Market.
Did we mention Hogmanay too?
Snowdonia is a wonderful place to be during Christmas. It offers so much fresh air and open space – and many great walks for burning off that Christmas dinner!
A trip aboard one of the Talyllyn Railway’s steam trains is a magical experience and the Santa Special gives younger members of the family the chance to meet Santa during the two-hour ride.
The sound of a Welsh choir is beautiful at all times of the year but especially so at Christmas and there are always plenty of chances to hear traditional songs being sung.
Even in the middle of winter, a refreshing walk in the Snowdonia countryside or along the coast is hard to beat. The beaches at Harlech and Barmouth are recommended but you will be spoilt for choice wherever you stay.
Cambridge offers an unrivalled Christmas shopping experience under beautifully lit streets with an abundance of delightful independent shops, restaurants and cafes.
The North Pole comes to Cambridge this year in the form of the North Pole Ice Rink, one of the most stunning open-air ice rinks in the UK. Located in the scenic surroundings of Parker’s Piece in the centre of Cambridge, this 600 square metre rink will be surrounded by carol singers, live ice carving displays and chill out bars with DJs for the evening.
If this doesn’t sound chilly enough the Christmas Ghost Tours of Cambridge should send a chill down your spine with their lantern-lit punts down the river and walks past haunted lanes.
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some festive entertainment and this year Jack and the Beanstalk and The DIY Nativity look set to pack the kids in.
Wherever you choose this Christmas you are sure to have a great holiday in the UK.
Tracey Chandler is a freelance travel writer who regularly contributes to travel blogs and female-interest magazines about matters of the heart.
*The following post was brought to you by Groupon UK.