Fireplace at Christmas time with decorations and tree

Christmas in the UK – a Claus For Celebration

Winter is when the days begin to grow shorter and the winter chill sets in. The UK is transformed from a bustling summer getaway to a wonderful winter wonderland. It’s time to get out and enjoy all the age-old traditions of a traditional Christmas in the UK. And while there may be no place like home for the holidays, by the time the festive season is over, you’re often in need of another holiday. If that sounds about right, check out our top tips for getting the best holiday deals. Book early and enjoy a Ho-Ho-Ho-liday with Christmas in the UK.

England: a Festoon of Festivities

England enjoys some good Christmas cheer. Spreading Christmas cheer from the West End to the far South, the English capital dons a special sparkle throughout the festive season. Experience the giant Christmas tree and traditional carol singing in Trafalgar Square. Enjoy the annual Nutcracker ballet at the Royal Opera House. There’s the outdoor ice-skating rinks or Christmas markets to walk through. And don’t forget the bright lights of the London Eye. London is transformed into our very own tinsel town.

What to do:

Enjoy some retail therapy with Christmas markets in Bath, Lincoln, Birmingham and Salisbury. Experience ‘squibbing’ at the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, take to the streets in Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre and eat your heart out at the Slindon Pumpkin Festival.

Scotland: Scenic Extravaganzas

Edinburgh is famous for its hilltop castle, cultural festivals and Hogmanay street party. CNN has named Scotland’s majestic capital as one of the best cities in the world to enjoy a winter break. With a huge line up of Christmas markets, glittering lights, fairground rides and Europe’s largest open air ice rink, Christmas in Scotland this year promises not to disappoint.

What to do:

At the heart of the festivities, St Andrew Square will host a variety of live shows, festive markets, fantastic food and musical extravaganzas. If you’re looking for a quieter winter break with friends and family, escape the city with a Railway Holiday to the Highlands and discover a side of Scotland you’ve never seen before.

Wales: a Winter Wonderland

When it comes to spending quality time with family and friends, Christmas in Wales will ensure you get all you could ever want at this time of year. With all the charm of quiet village living, as well as the festive season madness of the bigger cities too, Wales offers anyone looking to spend Christmas in the UK the best of both worlds.

What to do:

Enjoy ghosts of Christmas past at a Welsh Castle. Take a walk along the Coastal Path or go shopping at the Swansea, Cardiff and Blackwood markets. Wrap things up with the Caerphilly or Llandudno Christmas Fayres. Take a Santa Special train ride in Llangollen and let the Abergavenny Christmas Food Festival leave you hungry for more.

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Spooky room with spooky shadows

Spook-tacular UK Halloween Destinations

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, All Hallows Eve is approaching on the double. With deadly dungeons, haunted castles and a bloodthirsty history, enjoy heart-stopping tours, potent pub potions and ghoulish creatures with the most horrifying UK Halloween destinations.

Scary London

Are you ready to get a fright in London? Because at the top of any UK Halloween destination list has to be the Tower of London. As London’s most notorious prison famed for torture and executions in the days of yore, the Tower of London is full of wonderful historical horrors.

So if you’re in the mood for things that go bump in the night, then take a night crawl through London’s cemeteries. Walk the walk with Jack the Ripper Ghost Walks or brave the spookiest locations in London. There’s loads of horrifying events, eerie tours, blood-chilling venues, zombie dawn raids and costume scare tactics around. Make London your UK Halloween destination of choice…if you dare.

Haunted Edinburgh

If you’re looking for horrible history, then Edinburgh is one of the spookiest cities in the UK. Each year, Edinburgh plays home to a host of traditional Halloween festivities. There’s fancy dress and bobbing for apples. Trick-or-treating, making Jack-o-lanterns, chilling ghost stories and Halloween parties means Edinburgh will push your scare threshold to the limit.

So for a truly chilling Halloween experience, hop on to the Ghost Bus tour, or enjoy a night of the living dead with a City of the Dead tour. Celebrate Halloween at the Dungeons or relish in one of the many ghost tours throughout the city.

Ghoulish Wales

Steeped in a history of myths and legends, Wales is the UK Halloween destination of choice for all things paranormal. With haunted houses, haunted castles and haunted tours, Halloween in Wales will leave you breathless. If you’re looking for a spooktacular holiday destination, then Wales is it!

Deck the halls with home-made Halloween decorations, dive six feet under with Dolaucothi Gold Mine tours. Search for bats at Tudor Merchants House and then enjoy spooky stories at the National Waterfront Museum and Dyffryn Gardens.

Spooky old doll makes a perfect UK Halloween!

Spooky Ireland

Take a walk on the dark side of Northern Ireland this Halloween. Are you looking for scary outdoor adventures, spooky family activities or horrific Halloween festivals? Northern Ireland is taking fright night to a whole new level. Visit creaky homes and haunted landmarks. Explore Dracula’s lair on location of the newest blockbuster. Mash things up at the Metro Monster Mash in Belfast.  Then get your scream on at the Halloween Howler in Lisnaskea!

So if you’re looking for a traditional, scare-the-socks-off-you Halloween experience, then book the perfect UK city break today. Experience all the horrors that UK Halloween destinations have to offer…and just hope you make it out alive!

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Orange and red leaves

Harvesting The Best UK Autumn Festivals

Autumn is the time when the leaves begin to change colour and a slight chill sets in. It’s time to enjoy the last of the beautiful crisp, clear days before the UK is transformed into a magical, winter wonderland. We’ve got apple harvests and harvest festivals to look forward to. Halloween is looming. And there’s even a hint of Christmas in the air. October promises to be a multitude of golden hues and golden festivities as the autumn festivals get underway.

Spooktacular Ghost Festivals

Halloween may not be one of the more traditional autumn festivals. It is, however, one of the most exciting. With deadly dungeons, haunted castles and a bloodthirsty history, All Hallows Eve throughout the UK is sure to be a horrifyingly chilling experience. London is full of historical horrors. It’s rich history offers up a number of tricks and treats. Take a deadly tour around the Tower of London, walk the walk with Jack the Ripper Ghost Walks or brave the London Bridge experience. You miss the terror of London only if you dare.

Table with halloween pumpkins, autumn leaves, sunflowers and a basket of produce

Food And Drink Festivals

Scotland’s breathtaking scenery and picturesque cities makes it our autumn festivals destination of choice. And with autumn being the harvest season, it promises a multitude of foodie festivals guaranteed to leave you hungry for more. If one of the many farmers’ markets or drinks fairs isn’t your cup of tea, master the malt with whisky tasting in Islay, or get into the swing of things with a Golf Break in St Andrews.

Baskets filled with various fruit at a market

Medieval And Middle Age Festivals

Enjoy a variety of mixed literature, fine and performing art, pop culture and comedy shows at the Canterbury Festival in October. Growing in size and stature, the Canterbury Festival now has its very own Fringe. It is one of the most important cultural events of the South East.

If you’re more of a medieval history fan, join in the celebrations and festivities of October’s Gwledd Cowny Feast. The medieval town of Cowny will play host to the largest celebration of music, art and food in Wales. The charming quayside, castle and medieval streets will be bursting with fun and flavour. It’s one of our favourite medieval autumn festivals!

Cowny medieval castle in Wales

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A field of flowers, the sky is blue. It's spring.

UK Spring Festivals You Don’t Want To Miss

Spring is fast approaching! With it comes a myriad of unique, fun filled festivals that can only be found within the UK. A gorgeous country filled with culture, history and a keen sense of wit, the UK has built up a repertoire of somewhat unusual activities alongside the norm. That’s why there’s always a plethora of strange, yet historic, spring festivals you don’t want to miss in the UK.

Eelin’ Fine

We’ll start with the unconventional – Eels. Each May bank holiday the town of Ely, Cambridgeshire, celebrates their namesake in the only sensible way. They make custom eel toys and have a contest to see who can throw them the farthest. Of course, the festival isn’t just about Eels. The Eel Festival Weekend generally features an (eel-based) food safari and a more vaguely defined food and drink festival on the last day of the event.

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The second day of the event traditionally includes an annual competition for Town Criers. The best cry takes all and we can only assume that they win something suitably Eel related. If Eels aren’t to your tastes, never fear! The festival will also have a hog roast and pizza for those feeling the eel burn – or if you’re just that little bit squeamish!

A Little Cheesy

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The UK might be host to more strange festivals and traditions, but one stands out among all the rest. World-famous, Cheese-Rolling is one of those strange facts of life that many in the UK just (as the saying goes) roll with. The origins of the ceremony are vague, with several different origins noted, from pagan to the more mundane. Today, it’s simply an organic event.

The most popular and well known Cheese-Rolling festival takes place near Gloucester on the Spring Bank Holiday and allows competitors from all over the world to take part: racing cheese down Cooper’s Hill. The cheese has been known to reach speeds of up to 70mph. So standing in the way may not be the best idea!

If you’re in the UK on holiday, or as a resident, there’s all sorts of fun to be had over the spring months. Quirky, zany and just a little bit bizarre, these are the spring festivals you don’t want to miss. In the UK later in the year? Then be sure to check out these Autumn Festivals in the UK.

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