The greatest Christmas days out 2017 | Travel


Skate at Somerset House

A go to to the ice rink in Somerset House’s grand courtyard is a traditional winter day trip within the capital. There can also be a skate late occasion, with musical takeovers from the likes of Peckham’s Balamii radio and Field Day competition founder and promoter Eat Your Own Ears.
• To 14 Jan 2018, from £7.50 for traditional skate session, £19 for skate lates,

Christmas involves Battersea Power Station

The iconic energy station might be decked out for the festive season with 1000’s of lights and illuminations on the unmistakable brick chimneys. Highlights of the Christmas programme embody workshops – from bauble calligraphy to wreath-making lessons – youngsters’ leisure and video games, a pop-up cinema and loads of pop-up present outlets.
• To 17 Dec,

Winterville, Clapham Common

With its hipster flavour, Winterville – the “alternative festive experience” – pulls collectively road meals, pop-up cinema, curler disco, loopy golf, craft beer and an ironic appreciation of classic actions. Those sick of twee Christmas happenings might additionally catch some Mexican wrestling, drag exhibits and membership nights from Bugged Out, the Two Bears and Erol Alkan.
• To 1 Jan, free entry besides Friday and Saturday nights (£Three),

Sounds like Christmas on the V&A, South Kensington

The Singing Tree on the V&A by Es Devlin

The museum’s wide-ranging musical programme contains conventional occasions comparable to choirs by candlelight, soundscapes created in response to the museum’s galleries and a festive household rave. Most occasions, live shows and artwork installations are free; some particular occasions are ticketed.
• To 6 Jan,

Christmas cabaret, Bloomsbury

Christmas Cabaret, Bloomsbury

Brought to you by the London Cabaret Club, this can be a “full-scale spectacular” that includes all of your favorite festive jingles, with The Ballroom venue reworked right into a winter wonderland within the coronary heart of Bloomsbury.
• To 23 Dec, from £45,

Skylight ice skating, Docklands

Skylight skating

Photograph: Steve Dunlop

The capital’s first rooftop ice rink opens for winter on the pop-up Skylight bar at Tobacco Dock. Entry to the bar is free, for many who need to benefit from the view with a cocktail, whereas ice skating is £10 for 45 minutes, together with skate rent. For these wanting a toasty snack, cheese fondue can also be on provide.

Christmas set up, Dennis Severs’ House, Spitalfields

Christmas Installation at Dennis Severs’ House, East London

Photograph: Roelof Bakker

This 18th-century home is a time capsule preserved by former proprietor Dennis Severs to recreate the lifetime of a household of Huguenot silk weavers. At Christmas, in fact, the home will get a festive makeover, the rooms crammed with a wealth of vintage decorations.
• To Four Jan, £17.50, open 5-9pm on Mon, Weds and Fri together with financial institution holidays,


Frosted Fairground, Dreamland, Margate, Kent


Photograph: Alan Langley

The classic jewel on Kent’s coast, Dreamland, might be getting a seasonal makeover, with the addition of an ice rink and grotto on prime of the traditional amusement park’s current rides. There’s additionally a variety of occasions, from a membership with 2manyDJs and Erol Alkan to a particular look from The Snowman and the Snowdog, giving the little ones an opportunity to fulfill the much-loved Christmas characters.
• To Three Jan, free to enter, occasions and rides ticketed,

Brothers Grimm fairytales at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire

Children at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire.

Photograph: National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

From Rapunzel’s hair spiralling down a staircase to glass slippers misplaced and the Elves and the Shoemaker arduous at work, the traditional Grimm brothers fairytales might be dropped at life at Hinton Ampner, with every of the nation home’s ground-floor rooms adorned consistent with a unique story. Get an additional deal with on the pop-up old school sweetshop within the courtyard.
• To 23 Dec, grownup £12, baby £6, household £30,

Kipling’s fairytales at Bateman’s, East Sussex

At the Jacobean home of Rudyard Kipling, Christmas will revolve across the author’s enchanting Sussex fairytales, so anticipate a completely adorned home, pixie-making craft classes and a winter backyard path.
• To 1 Jan,

Festive weekends at Sandy Balls, Hampshire

Away Resorts. Festive weekends at Sandy Balls, Hampshire

The holiday village has a variety of household festive enjoyable, with a Christmas market stuffed with native New Forest meals and crafts, a grotto the place kids can go to Santa, a panto (Dick Whittington), and carols by candlelight.
• From Friday Eight Dec, panto on 9, 16, 22 Dec, £7.50, santa’s grotto £Eight,

Magical medieval Christmas on the Canterbury Tales, Kent

Travel again in time to the medieval streets of the Canterbury Tales customer attraction, with songs, video games and dressing up, amongst different festive actions. The guided expertise lasts 45 minutes and ends with a go to to Santa’s grotto, and a present for each baby.
• 16-17 Dec, adults £6, youngsters £12, household £33, 10am-4pm,

Alpine Market, Bournemouth

Alpine Market, Bournemouth

Brand new for 2017, Bournemouth might be getting an alpine market within the city centre, stuffed with stalls from native suppliers and winter meals retailers serving mulled wine and cheeseboards. It’s only a small a part of the city’s festive leisure, which additionally contains illuminations throughout its Victorian gardens and an ice rink.
• To Four Jan,

Christmas market at St Albans Cathedral, Hertfordshire

St Albans Christmas Market

Now in its fifth 12 months, the profitable Christmas market returns within the magical walled Vintry Garden beside the 11th-century cathedral. As properly as greater than 40 stalls promoting items, arts and crafts, there might be music, actions and workshops, and a meals courtroom. On 16 December there may also be carols each hour on the hour from 11am-4pm.
• To 23 Dec, Mon-Wed and Fri 11am-6pm, Thurs 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm,

Winter wonderland at Birdworld, Farnham, Surrey

Christmas at Birdworld, Farnham, Surrey

Meet Santa’s reindeer, the odd elf, and Santa himself, together with the remainder of the pleasant cattle that reside at Birdworld.
• To 24 Dec, adults from £5.95, youngsters from £7.95,

Christmas on the Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead, Herts

Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead

Photograph: Ross Woodhall

Enjoy the enjoyable form of snow (not the type that stops the trains working) with a visit to the Snow Centre. As properly as the standard snowboarding and snowboarding classes, there’s a variety of festive packages, together with sledging on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
• Sledging £9.50 per individual, 10am-5pm,


The Train to Christmas Town, Dartmoor railway, Devon

Embark on a magical practice journey on this household journey that fills the traditional practice carriages with characters, entertainers and a festive environment, full with singing, dancing and storytelling from the elves and conductor.
• Dartmoor railway to 28 Dec, grownup from £25, baby ages 2-12 from £19; additionally runs on Weardale railway, County Durham to 23 Dec

Heligan By Night, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Heligan by Night, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are curious sufficient as it’s, however anticipate its surreal landscapes to tackle a totally new high quality with immersive illlumination shows – a primary for the gardens – inviting guests to dive right into a “sensational play of light and colour”. Spaces are restricted on the 9 evenings, with reserving important.
• 14-16, 21-23 & 28-30 Dec, 5.30-7.30pm, £5,

Christmas on the Spiegeltent, Bristol

Christmas at the Spiegeltent, Bristol

Photograph: Chris Cooper

Originally used as a travelling venue within the 19th century, the Spiegeltent is a spherical tent with decadent fittings inside, from stained glass home windows and wooden panels to a ceiling draped with material. Here it’ll host louche Christmas leisure, from a masked ball to membership nights.
• To 23 Dec, ticket costs fluctuate,

Native Makers’ Christmas Market, Plymouth

Native Makers Christmas market at Royal William Yard, Plymouth

Photograph: Guy Harris

The Christmas market at Royal William Yard showcases distinctive present concepts from native artisans and craftspeople.
• 16-17 Dec,

Christmas Fair on the Shops at Dartington, Devon

Christmas Fair at the Shops at Dartington, Devon

Christmas Fair on the Shops at Dartington, Devon

This foodie truthful, with the south-west’s best native wares on present, contains cooking demonstrations and craft demos, in addition to loads of road meals stalls, meals tastings and gin distilling – strive delights comparable to Elmhirst gin truffles, made particularly for the truthful.
• 16-17 Dec,

Wells Cathedral carol providers, Somerset

For two nights solely, get within the Christmas spirit to the sound of the famend Wells Cathedral Choir, which is greater than 1,100 years previous. It’s a vastly widespread occasion and free, so an early arrival is crucial.
• 22-23 Dec 5pm, free,

Montol competition, Penzance


Photograph: Alamy

Celebrating the midwinter solstice, Montol is a six-day arts and group competition of Cornish traditions. Expect lantern- and mask-making workshops, strolling bands, storytelling, mummers’ performs, firelit processions and late-night purchasing.
• 16-21 Dec,


A Magical Wedgwood Christmas, Stoke-on-Trent

World of Wedgwood Magical Christmas 2017 (16)

World of Wedgwood has a Christmas story set in 1911, following a real-life pottery designer, Daisy Makeig-Jones, on an journey by means of fairyland on the Wonderlust Express. There are additionally floral demonstrations, a Christmas market, a youngsters’s path and studios to make Christmas decorations.
• To 7 Jan,

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Christmas Trail

A brand new illuminated path leads guests by means of the 12 days of Christmas, a tunnel of sunshine and a scented fireplace backyard to a singing tree. Pucker up below the mistletoe and climb inside a large bauble.
• To 1 Jan, from £14 adults/£Eight youngsters/£40 households,

Blists Hill Victorian Christmas, Shropshire

Blists Hill Victorian Christmas, Shropshire

Photograph: Chris Nottingham

Blists Hill, one of many 10 Ironbridge Gorge sights, is celebrating Christmas 1800s-style. The iron rolling mill is holding a staff’ Christmas social gathering, with carol singers, brass bands and festive meals, and a go to from Father Christmas and his reindeer.
• 9, 10, 16, 17 Dec, from £16.25 adults/£10.75 youngsters/£50 households,

Illuminated Boat Festival at Foxton Locks, Leicestershire

Foxton locks

Photograph: Martin Neeves

The canal boats at Foxton Locks are lit up for Christmas, offering a twinkly backdrop to a competition with music (from medieval carols to a rock choir and a South African township orchestra), theatre performances, a fairground and meals stalls.
• 16-17 December, £5, under-12s free,

Upton House, Warwickshire

Learn about Christmas trend from the previous with a go to to Upton House, adorned within the artwork deco glamour of the 1920s. The home is showcasing the shift in fashion from Victorian occasions to the jazz period, with occasions starting from craft workshops to themed night excursions.
• To 18 Dec, Fri-Mon 12pm-4pm, grownup £10.90, baby £5.45,


Hibern8 at Pensthorpe pure park, Norfolk

Hedgehog Hibern8 at Pensthorpe Natural Park, Norfolk

Photograph: Mike Powles

Pensthorpe, a 700-acre pure park close to Fakenham in north Norfolk, has a winter path specializing in animals that hibernate, with craft actions alongside the way in which. Afterwards, guests can watch a whole lot of birds having a floodlit feed on the Mill Pond at sundown.
• 20 Dec-Three Jan, from £11.95 adults/£10.95 youngsters/under-threes free,

Christmas is Coming, Blickling, Norfolk

Blickling Hall at night time

Photograph: Alamy

Celebrating the work of the 11th Marquess of Lothian, a politician and diplomat who helped negotiate India’s independence from the British Empire, Blickling House might be adorned with an Indian theme – gold, inexperienced and white – because it explores this story 70 years on. Outside, Christmas bushes and glowing lights will adorn the grounds.
• 1-Three, Eight-10 Dec, 12pm-5pm, grownup £13.55, baby £7.45,

Christmas at Oxburgh, Norfolk

Discover how the household of the sixth Oxburgh baronet would have celebrated Christmas in the course of the Victorian period. Character actors in Victorian costume will lead guests round a stately home draped in conventional decorations, with festive music tinkling from the saloon piano and carol singers within the chapel.
• 9-10 and 16-17 December, 11am–4pm, grownup £5.80, baby £2.90,

Christmas at Snape Maltings, Suffolk

Snape Maltings Concert Hall

Over the weekend of 15-17 December this music venue might be internet hosting a sequence of festive occasions, from a live performance of The Snowman and a narrated orchestral story about Paddington Bear, to the arrival of Father Christmas, who will float in to Snape Maltings on a Thames barge. Other occasions embody a farmers’ market on 23 December.
• Prices fluctuate,


Twelfth Night celebrations at Beamish museum, County Durham

Beamish Open Air Museum in County Durham.

Photograph: Paul Kingston / NNP/North News & Pictures Ltd

Step into the magic of Christmas previous at Beamish, the open-air historical past museum telling the story of life within the north-east. Experience festive celebrations within the 1820s Pockerly Old Hall, the 1900s city, the 1900s pit village and a 1940s farm. There can also be a fairground, ice rink and Santa’s grotto. Twelfth Night celebrations embody music, dancing, meals and first footing, to blow away the post-25th cobwebs.
• 27 Dec-6 Jan, grownup £19, baby 5-16 £11, household from £35.50,

East of the Sun, West of the Moon – NYE bonfire, Newcastle

East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Newcaslte

Taking inspiration from Norse mythology and native folklore, this end-of-year bonfire occasion on Newcastle’s Town Moor will create an unimaginable fireplace and fireworks present, created with the assistance of out of doors arts company Walk the Plank.
• New Year’s Eve, tickets free however allotted by way of a poll,

Christmas at York Museum Gardens, York

Christmas at York Museum Gardens

As a brand new attraction for 2017, the historic York Museum Gardens are to be reworked into an immersive night-time playground, because of creative lighting commissions, musical bushes and a spectacular projection on to the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. The winter walk-through concludes with a magical gentle tunnel and a fireplace bar, with the possibility to heat up with some toasted marshmallows.
• To 1 Jan, grownup £14.95, youngsters Four-16 £Eight.95,

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland

Featuring the north’s largest outside ice rink (at a whopping 975 sq. metres), the award-winning festive occasion returns to the York Designer Outlet with one thing to swimsuit the entire household, from a Polar Express-themed Santa’s grotto, classic funfair rides and stay weekend occasions in addition to low cost purchasing.
• To 7 Jan, grownup ice skating £10.95, baby/concessions £9.95,

Hidden Christmas market, Leeds

Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey hosts a Grimm-themed market. Photograph: Zagni Photography

Kirkstall Abbey might be taken over by a Christmas market with a theatrical twist, with performances primarily based on Grimm brothers fairytales guiding guests by means of the venue. As properly as stay acts, cabaret, DJs and bands there might be loads of festive food and drinks from impartial stalls.
• 14-21 Dec, from £Eight.50,

Santa Services, North Yorkshire Moors Railways

All aboard the Santa categorical – a magical practice journey giving youngsters the possibility to fulfill Father Christmas in his onboard grotto, and revel in a variety of actions and treats alongside the way in which.
• Departs Pickering, 2, Three, 9, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20 Dec, £21,

Santa’s Sweet Adventure, York’s Chocolate Story

Santa’s Sweet Adventure, York’s Chocolate Story

Photograph: Hylton Photography

At York’s Chocolate Story – which charts the city’s 300-year historical past on the coronary heart of England’s chocolate manufacturing – magical elves lead guided excursions to save lots of the spirit of Christmas. There’s additionally a festive chocolate-making exercise, the possibility to be taught concerning the function of chocolate in Christmas previous, and a go to to Santa.
• To 24 Dec, grownup £5.95, baby £9.95,

Christmas at Harlow Carr, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Winter Garden Illuminations at RHS Garden RosemoorChristmas at Harlow Carr

Photograph: RHS / Oliver Kite

The lovely RHS backyard can have an additional sparkle this Christmas because of “Glow” winter illuminations, which is able to present the lake, bushes and winter stroll bathed in particular lighting results.
• To 30 December, Thurs-Sat Three-8pm, grownup £Eight, baby £Four, household £22,


Christmas cruises on the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port

Hit the water, as Santa replaces his sleigh and reindeer with a canal boat, taking households on an journey to his grotto, the place there might be storytelling and a present for each baby.
• 16, 17, 22-24 Dec, 11am, 12.45pm and a couple of.30pm, £10,

Lightwaves, Salford Quays, Greater Manchester

Light graffiti Workshop, Lightwaves at Salford Quays

The UK’s greatest digital gentle competition, Lightwaves, will see a variety of large-scale commissions, fusing know-how, gentle and artwork, set across the quays. There may also be occasions starting from a lightweight graffiti workshop to bop and choir performances.
• To 17 Dec, 12pm-10.30pm, free,

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo Lanterns

Photograph: Chris Payne

Adopting the theme of a “magical Christmas sorting office”, this festive occasion at Chester zoo will create a lantern path, taking guests on a magical route previous sacks of toys and items, animal-inspired fairytale scenes, and the possibility to publish a letter to Santa.
• To 30 Dec, grownup from £15, baby from £12.50,

The Secret Seven at Storyhouse, Chester

The Secret Seven Storyhouse, Cheshire

Photograph: Mark Carline

The Storyhouse arts centre might be celebrating its first Christmas (it opened this summer season) with the primary ever stage present of one among Enid Blyton’s youngsters’s traditional sequence, a thriller set in a haunted cottage.
• To 14 Jan, from £26; under-26s and over-60s £19.50,

Santa’s Grotto on the Chill Factore, Manchester

Visit Santa’s Gingerbread grotto, surrounded by actual snow, shimmering lights and loads of elves, then head out to play in actual snow in Mini Moose Land (under-4s) or the Snow Park.
• To 24 Dec, grownup santa and snow park from £22.50, baby from £25,


Distillers’ Fair, Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh

Indulge in some festive spirit on the Distillers’ Fair, the place guests can pattern one of the best Scotch whisky round, whereas listening to manufacturing secrets and techniques from the individuals who make it.
• 29-30 Dec, 10am-6pm, grownup £15.50, concession £13,

Ice Adventure, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Ice Adventure

Photograph: Roberto Riciutti

Offering a “journey through frozen Scotland” (not one thing you essentially have to pay for), Ice Adventure is an immersive walk-through lined with glistening ice sculptures – from legendary creatures to historic Scottish figures. Finish up with a wee dram at Edinburgh’s solely ice bar.
• To 24 Dec, from £7,

Family Hogmanay, Musselburgh

A packed day of actions to see within the new 12 months begins with a lantern parade led by the Edinburgh Samba Band, and ends with a spectacular firework show. A number of workshops contains lantern making, face portray and balloon modelling.
• 31 Dec, begins 11am, free (workshops from £5/£Four),

Fire and Light walks, Falkirk

Fire and Light Falkirk

Photograph: Louise Nolan Works/GuardianWitness

Start 2018 in epic fashion with a 4km illuminated stroll from Falkirk Stadium by means of the Helix Park. The means might be lit by lanterns and fireplace breathers, with surprises en route too.
• 1-2 Jan 5-8pm, walks depart each 15 minutes, £5,


Après-ski bar, Abergavenny

Après-ski bar, Abergavenny

The pop-up après-ski bar on the Angel resort in Abergavenny is again for 2017, this 12 months with a selfie ski-lift, wurst on Wednesdays and fondue on Thursdays. New Year’s Eve sees a home social gathering, with photographs at midnight and dancing till late.
• To 31 Dec, free,

Sea swimming, numerous areas

Pembrey Country Park

Photograph: Alamy

Bracing festive swims are massive in Wales. Burn off Christmas dinner with a Boxing Day dip at Pembrey Country Park or Tenby’s North Beach, or get 2018 off to a wholesome begin with a swim off Saundersfoot or Barry Island on New Year’s Day.

Santa steam trains, numerous areas

Narrow gauge steam Welsh Highland Railway

Photograph: Alamy

The Great Little Trains of Wales – the nation’s 11 narrow-gauge steam railways – all have Santa Specials within the run-up to Christmas. Santa and his elves are handing out presents on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, whereas the Brecon Mountain Railway is sure for Santa’s Grotto.

Santa’s Grotto, Swansea

Abercrave Santa’s grotto


Deep inside a mountain on the National Showcaves of Wales in Abercrave is probably the most spectacular Santa’s grotto. The journey to fulfill Father Christmas goes by means of twisting passageways and previous underground lakes, waterfalls and rock formations.
• 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 Dec, £14 adults/£11 youngsters/£6 under-threes,

Christmas by means of the ages, Wrexham

Chirk Castle is decked out to point out the altering festive fashions over its 700-year historical past, from medieval Christmas within the Adam tower to a Tudor kissing bough within the portcullis. At weekends, the courtyard is reworked right into a medieval competition, with archery, falconry and storytelling, plus meals comparable to meaty mince pies and conventional gingerbread.
• To 23 Dec; medieval weekends on 9-10 and 16-17 Dec,, from £12.20 adults/£6.10 youngsters

Christmas at Powis Castle, Powys

Visitors in the garden at Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales.

Photograph: National Trust Images/Megan Tay

The state rooms at Powis Castle are full of various sorts of Christmas bushes, whereas the gardens are illuminated for winter walks. Craft workshops embody floral garlands and centrepieces, and Christmas playing cards and calendars.
• House to 24 Dec, gardens 9,10 and 15-17 Dec, adults from £12.50/youngsters from £6.25/households from £31.25,


Belfast Christmas market

Outside City Hall a set of alpine chalets might be promoting every thing from handmade jewelry to decorations, whereas a meals courtroom affords the likes of bratwurst and Dutch pancakes. Look out for Santa’s gingerbread-themed grotto.
• To 23 Dec, Mon-Weds 10am-8pm, Thurs-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 12pm-6pm, free,

Magical Christmas Experience at Titanic Belfast

Christmas at Titanic Belfast

Photograph: Elaine Hill Photography

Children can step by means of the Old Curiosity Shop to the elves’ workshop to affix in festive arts and craft classes, comparable to making a want to grasp on the tree, then journey by means of the enchanted forest to fulfill Father Christmas. Child tickets embody same-day entry to the Titanic Experience.
• To 23 Dec, £Four adults/£15 youngsters,


Ramblers’ Festival of Winter Walks

Hadrians’s Wall in Winter

Photograph: Alamy

This strolling competition, now in its 30th 12 months, options a whole lot of group walks all around the nation in the course of the Christmas holidays. Highlights embody a climb up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, a ramble round Rhossili on the Gower peninsula, and a hike alongside Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.
• 23 Dec to 7 Jan, free,

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