Baskets of candy canes, hot dogs from Bavarian Village reminiscent stalls and carols to cheer you up every step you take. Winter Festivals, Christmas Market and Ice Villages are taking over the better part of the UK and we couldn’t be more excited! If you’re looking for a short break after your exams, or a reason to head to British countryside and explore, the following suggestions will definitely incentivise you (with the exception of the first suggestion, we thought we’d throw a local one in the mix too!).
1. Southbank Winter Festival, London
The picturesque scenery by the water gets a Christmas-y revamp to die for! The nostalgic winter wonderland setting next to Thames is perfectly in tune with the cabin reminiscent installations that boast a galore of gifts for your loved ones. For the foodies that want to indulge in some festive nibbles, you will find delicious mince pies of all sorts and spiced cider to wash it all down.
2. Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham
Birmingham’s Christmas Market is a recurring event that finds ways to dazzle crowds more as the years go by. Its astounding total of 80 stalls make it the biggest German Market outside of Germany, and the rustic ambience of the installation is by far the best festive warm up you can give yourself. So, grab a nice cup of mulled wine, a nutcracker to take home and stroll through the majestic streets of Manchester, soaking up the festive vibes!
3. Ice Village, Manchester
Ice Cavern? Ice Tiki Bar? Yes, yes and yes! Ice Village Manchester is back for the 2019 edition, which is looking phenomenal! The ice sculpture experience at the Ice Cavern is enchanting, with sculptures as detailed as the real models! From dragons to ice carriages you can sit on, this experience is admittedly hard to match. Not much of an introduction needed for the Ice Tiki Bar, the fact that it serves delicious cocktails in ice glasses is as good an excuse to visit as any for us!
Did you think you needed to travel all the way to Germany to find a German Christmas Market? Think again…. Christkindelmarkt is held at Millenium Square, Leeds and it’s made up of over 40 wooden stalls in a chalet vibe, that sell anything from seasonal gifts to fawn over, to a variety of German food and drinks. The festive entertainment that visitors will find here is unparalleled, and it’s definitely one of The Stay Club’s suggestions for one day trips with a Christmas twist!
5. Bath Christmas Market
Bath is always a go-to destination for Londoners, what with its Roman baths to explore and its proximity to Stonehenge. The city’s Georgian streets are even more of a spectacle during that winter frost, when coincidentally the Abbey Courtyard (Bath’s main square) welcomes the Bath Christmas Market. The Abbey serves as a dauntingly enchanting background to an array of stallholders travelling from south-west England to showcase local products or ones with Fairtrade certification, giving the market an eco-friendly twist that’s much appreciated!