If like me you’re a fan of the festive season, you’ll love these top UK Christmas breaks. They’re centred around iconic Christmas markets, outdoor ice skating rinks and light displays. Spots that bring the woodland cabin vibe and get you in the mood for Christmas without the hassle of flights.
If I’m being honest, although not impossible with children, these Christmas breaks are best suited to a parent escape, so treat yourself – book the grandparents in and enjoy a well-deserved break.
Christmas Breaks UK
1. Birmingham Christmas Market
Birmingham has one of the biggest and most authentic German Christmas markets in England. Here log cabins fill the city centre squares underneath a canopy of Christmas lights.
You’ll find the same treats that you’d sample if you really were in Germany, but without the cost of a plane ticket.
From Bratwurst to Glühwein (mulled wine), and giant pretzels to pizzabrochten, it’s here from mid November.
If you plan ahead you’ll even enjoy traditional carols and other festivities. And of course, the dulcet tones of Chris the Singing Moose.
Birmingham Hotels Near the Christmas Market
Budget: City Nites (10-minute walk to the market and apartments under £100 per night)
Splurge: Penta Hotel (glam hotel rooms)
Airbnb option: This Airbnb option is a stylish apartment 5-minutes from the station
Recommended Reading: Family Fun at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham
2. A Christmas Break in Oxfordshire
Christmas at Blenheim Palace is magical. Thousands of pretty lights fill the sweeping grounds, carols ring in the air and there’s a beautiful Christmas market.
I go most years and think it’s such a lovely way to get those festive feels.
Go in the evening and spend your days either Christmas shopping in Oxford city centre (don’t miss the cosy Covered Market) or Woodstock.
If you have lots of time to play with you could also add a day in the nearby Cotswolds, enjoying the misty countryside.
Where to Stay
Budget: Travelodge at Peartree (rooms from £57 per night) is a good location between Blenheim Palace and Oxford City Centre. If you want something with a bit more character consider staying in a university room. The prices and locations are great, plus the rooms are probably a lot more attractive than you’d imagine.
Splurge: The Woodstock Arms (rooms around £150 mark) is close to Blenheim Palace and ticks that wintry village pub box. Doesn’t hurt that that rooms are stylish. You could also consider the lovely Fish Hotel in the Cotswolds for your extra night.
Airbnb option: You can walk to Oxford City Centre from this pretty Airbnb and it’s not too far of a drive to Blenheim.
Recommended Reading: Fun Things to Do in Oxford
3. Christmas Breaks in London
There’s no escaping Christmas in London. The options are seemingly endless, so much so that you’ll need to pick and choose your favourite bits or allow a good few days to pack it in!
There’s ice-skating at various landmarks, including the stunning Somerset House and Natural History Museum. You also enjoy rooftop ice skating at Bar Elba, but probably more suited to a parent escape.
There are epic decorations to see in all the shop windows. Make sure you step inside Fortnum & Mason to see floor upon floor of traditional Christmas fayre and decorations.
If you like a quirky Christmas break (and one without the kids!) head to Henrietta Hotel & Bistro in Covent Garden for a SanTaRex (that’s a Christmas cocktail served in a festive t-rex)!
And of course, either way you need to head to Covent Garden for a spot of shopping and carol singing.
If you have more time to play with add a theatre show in the West End and/or a fun tour, like this magical Harry Potter walking tour.
And lastly, if you’re on a family Christmas break have a look at the museums to what festive events they’re running. London Transport Museum has a good opportunity for a photo with Santa.
Where to Stay
Budget: Z Hotel Covent Garden (rooms around the £170 mark). Yeah, you could get a cheaper stay but you’d be compromising on staying in the centre of the action. Plus, the rooms here are pretty stylish.
Splurge: Nadler Covent Garden (rooms around the £250 mark). Bijou, chic, classy rooms near all the Christmas fun.
Airbnb option: This light, bright little 2 bedroom apartment is in the heart of Covent Garden.
Recommended Reading: Santa Grottos in Northampton, Bedford and Milton Keynes
4. A Christmas Break in Manchester
Another place that’s home to a great Christmas market. There are over 300 stalls to mosey around at this award-winning market. From Hungarian goulash to Spanish paella, to French soaps and artisan bags, it’s all here. Get fed whilst you get your shopping done!
Go ice skating, see the ice sculptures and sip a Tiki drink at the Ice Village.
Where to Stay
Budget: Go for a Premier Inn or Travelodge.
Splurge: The Lowry Hotel is a gorgeous design hotel, with a beautiful restaurant. Check out the dreamy chairs in the lounge! Rooms are from around £140.
Airbnb option: This stylish, spacious apartment has lots of accolades to its name and offers a great base for a night or two.
Recommended Reading: 80 Cheap Gifts for Kids Who Love Travel
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Do you love Christmas? Do you have any other recommendations to add to this list? I’d love to hear what you think and to share your plans. X