25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Are you looking for something that extra bit special this Christmas? Hopefully, the following ultimate bucket list of 25 + Ultimate Christmas events in the UK 2021 will help you plan that very special experience. I have not experienced all of these myself (sadly), they are merely suggestions. Hurry, hurry, hurry because those that can be pre-booked are booking up fast…some may already be sold out! Listed in alphabetical order.

*This post contains affiliate links

Please keep up-to-date with government guidance before booking or visiting. I am unsure of the following attractions policies on cancellations of events. Please check with them in advance. It may also be an idea to check with the attraction that everything is as advertised the day before you visit.

Please also double-check the event descriptions on the attraction’s website as the below information could change. It is essential that you read their own information carefully.

Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK 2021

Alton Towers – Christmas – Staffordshire – Book Now

Santa’s Sleepover – 27th – 28th Nov, 3rd – 5th, 10th – 12th, 17th – 23rd Dec. A Santa’s Sleepover is the most magical, wonderful Christmassy Escape. Jump onto specially selected rides, dive into the Waterpark, tuck into a lusciously festive evening meal, meet Santa – and more!

Festive Breaks – 27th – 30th Dec, 1st – 2nd Jan. Our Festive Breaks are the ideal post-Christmas escape. Dive into our wacky, splashy waterpark, enjoy a selection of awesome family rides and attractions, and get ready to take the most wondrous stroll of your life in the Alton Towers Gardens!

Alton Towers

Address: Alton Towers Theme Park Alton Towers Resort, Alton ST10 4DB

When? See above

How much? Short breaks from £290 per family. Prebooking is essential.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Bedgebury – Christmas at Bedgebury 2021 – Kent – Tickets on Sale

Join us at the most wonderful time of the year when over a million lights, twinkling reflections and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun at Bedgebury. Look forward to some together time with family and friends, as you discover sparkling tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections and our trees drenched in jewel-like colour. 

For a moment of reflection pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, gaze up at larger-than-life illuminations and towering pines rising into the night sky. Don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.

Address: Bedgebury ForestGoudhurst, Wadhurst TN5 7QJ

When? Selected dates in November and December 2021

How much? Tickets from £28 including parking for non-members.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Belton House – Christmas – Lincolnshire – Tickets on sale

Look forward to some together time and make everlasting memories, as you discover sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colour. For a moment of reflection pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, gaze up at larger-than-life illuminations and don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.

Address: High Road Belton, Grantham NG32 2LW

When? From 25 November 2021 to 2 January 2022

How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult ticket £28 for the first adult including your car and £20 for each adult thereafter. £14.00 for a child aged 3-16 and 0-2 are free. Prebooking is essential. Tickets are cheaper if you are a member of the National Trust.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Best Christmas Events in the UK

Blenheim Palace – Christmas at Blenheim – Oxfordshire – Tickets on sale

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when over a million lights, lasers and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun through the Palace’s picture-perfect gardens. Look forward to some together time with family and friends as you discover glittering tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colour. For a moment of reflection pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, gaze up at the larger-than-life illuminations and don’t forget to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas along the way.

Blenheim Palace

Address: Woodstock OX20 1PP

When? Selected dates in November through to early January

How much? There are a number of pricing and package options. Please see their website for further information. Prebooking is essential.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Blenheim Palace

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland – Wales – Tickets on sale

We’re back for 2021 – bigger and better than ever before! From 16th November 2021 til 2nd January 2022, you can join us for the ultimate winter experience split across two prestigious locations – giving plenty of space to enjoy the ice skating, fun fair attractions, food and drink, and festive cheer that is available for all! Please see their website for the list of the different attractions.

Cardiff Winter Wonderland

Address: Gorsedd Gardens Rd, Cardiff CF10 3NP

When? Selected dates in November through to early January

How much? You can pre-book ice skating online in advance. £12 per adult, £9 per child. Plus a small booking fee.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

Chatsworth House – Christmas at Chatsworth – Derbyshire – Tickets on sale

This year, we celebrate 20 magical years of Christmas at Chatsworth. Our displays are inspired by the past two decades of spellbinding decorations throughout the house and we can’t wait to share them with you. Entrancing scenes will combine nostalgic references to Christmases of years past with the traditions at the heart of Chatsworth’s seasonal celebrations. The Chapel will come alive with festive music; a kaleidoscope of colour will mingle playfully with gems and minerals from our collection; inventive use of recycled materials will illustrate the potential of sustainable decorating; and no winter celebration would be complete without a sprinkling of the white stuff.

Chatsworth House

Address: Bakewell DE45 1PP

When? 6th November – 9th January 2022

How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult £26, child £15.

Best UK Christmas events

Chessington World of Adventures – Winters Tail – London – Tickets on sale

Father Christmas and his band of merry elves are returning to Chessington once again for the festive season. Meet Father Christmas in his Grotto, encounter the Elves in the Toy Workshop and even enjoy a selection of our rides and attractions. Plus meet some of our incredible animals in our Zoo and Sea Life. Check back soon for more details

Address: Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE

When? Selected Dates 27th November – 3rd Jan 2022

How much? Early bird tickets from £20

Best UK Christmas events

Drayton Manor – Magical Christmas – Staffordshire – Tickets on sale

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Make special memories this festive season when you unwrap an amazing treat. Discover falling snow, enchanting decorations, a dazzling 35ft symphony tree, cheeky elves frolicking around the park and over 25 child-friendly rides and attractions: including Europe’s only Thomas Land and our 15-acre zoo. Plus, Live entertainment and experience our brand-new live show – ‘A Christmas Wish’. Then, end your day watching our magical firework display by the lake – featuring Father Christmas, Mrs Claus and the elves for a singalong show like no other!

Drayton Manor

Address: Drayton Manor Dr, Fazeley, Mile Oak, Tamworth B78 3TW

When? Selected dates – 13th November to 31st December

How much? Tickets are £32 per person age 4 and over. Age 1-3 £18, under 1s £5, car parking £6.


Drusillas Park – Christmas – East Sussex – Tickets on sale

Watch little eyes twinkle with wonder as they experience the glistening magic of Drusillas Christmas! Come and meet Santa among the shimmering lights, get nose-to-nose with our cuddly huskies in the Ice Cave, stroll through the twinkling Tunnel of Lights, and marvel at our spectacular 24ft Christmas tree whilst enjoying a glass of mulled wine and a marvellous mince pie! 

Drusillas Park

Address: Alfriston Rd, East Sussex BN26 5QS

When? 20th November to 23rd December

How much? Tickets are priced per child, 1 child £17.50. Please note Drusilla’s entrance tickets must also be purchased alongside Santa tickets and these are not included in the price.


Westonbirt Arboretum 2021 – Journey to the West Pole – Gloucestershire – Tickets on sale

Set out on an adventure through the illuminated trees of the arboretum, speak to the trees and tree elves for clues, but watch out for the storm and don’t get lost! If you manage to locate all the Reindeer you may catch a glimpse of Father Christmas himself!

Address: Westonbirt, Tetbury GL8 8QS.

When? Selected dates from 26th November to 21st December.

How much? Adults £18, children age 5-18 £9. Under 5’s are free and do not require a ticket. Other pricing options are available. Advanced booking is essential.

English Heritage – Enchanted Events – Tickets on sale

Enchanted Audley End House and Enchanted Eltham are back for 2021.

Immerse yourself in a magical after-dark adventure this December. Gather your friends and family and discover a world of light, sound and colour as you explore the enchanting garden trail. Wonder through the glowing light tunnel, uncover hidden views of the gardens and experience the properties bathed in light. Perfect for capturing festive family pictures.

Address: Audley End House – Audley End Rd, Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF. Eltham – London SE9 5QF

When? 9th to 30th December

How much/Do you have to prebook? Please follow the link above for further information.


Great Central Railway – Santa Steam Trains – Leicestershire – Tickets on sale

Santa has swapped his sleigh for a fun filled journey on an enchanting steam train. Ride on board our award winning Santa Specials and let Father Christmas surprise you with a an exciting present at your seat and a chat with the man himself! We look forward to welcoming you for some pure festive magic. This years journey takes you from Quorn and Woodhouse station on a return trip to Leicester North Pole Station lasting around 1 hour. Travel through the picturesque Charnwood countryside whilst Santa comes to visit inside your compartment to hand out some gifts!

Great central railway

Address: Great Central Rd, Loughborough LE11 1RW

When? Selected dates November and December

How much/Do you have to prebook? Prices vary. Some dates don’t include a present. See the website for further information.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Best Family Christmas Events in the UK

Hogwarts in the snow – Warner Brothers Studio – Hertfordshire – Tickets on sale

Lined with Christmas trees, the Great Hall will see a festive makeover with the long tables laden with a mouth-watering Christmas feast. A blanket of filmmaking snow will cover the majestic Hogwarts castle model and shop fronts of Diagon Alley as part of the wintery transformation.

Warner Bros

Address: Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR

When? 13th November to 16th January 2021

How much? An adult ticket is £47 and £38 for a child age 5-15. Under 5s are free, other pricing options are available.


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – London – Tickets on sale

This year, you must book your tickets in advance to keep everyone safe. Located in the heart of London in Hyde Park, immerse yourself in all things festive for 6 weeks from 19 November to 3 January. After missing out last year, we are even more excited to be back and celebrating the festive season. Offering a wide variety of attractions, activities, entertainment, food, drinks and so much more, we guarantee there’s something for everyone!

Address: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

When? 19th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022

How much? Tickets from £5, rides etc. are at an additional cost.


Kew Gardens – Christmas at Kew – London – Tickets on sale

Join us for the most wonderful time of the year at Kew Gardens as our magical winter trail lights up the evening skies for 2021. Enjoy our annual after-dark festivities with family and friends, as you discover sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections, and trees drenched in jewel-like colour on your way to the panoramic Palm House light display.

Kew Gardens

Address: Richmond

When? Wednesday 17 November 2021 – Sunday 9 January 2022

How much? Standard advance adult: Off peak £21.50/ Peak £26.50. Prebooking is essential.


Knowsley Safari Park – Enchanted – Merseyside – Tickets on sale

Tickets are now available for our popular evening light trail. Enchanted returns for the festive period from 20th November to 30th December on selected dates. This Christmas time, something magical returns to Knowsley Safari to brighten our evenings! As the sun sets, the Foot Safari will come alive with music and light! Your extraordinary nighttime adventure will include the enchanted woodland, animal light trail,  and toasted marshmallows, all making for perfect festive fun. 

Plus you can book to see Santa – Make the build-up to Christmas extra special by booking onto our Santa Experience. This magical moment will see you and your family meeting Santa in his very own living room plus an opportunity to capture the memory on camera and take your very own framed photo home with you! You can choose a Daytime Experience and add this to your Safari Admission tickets or an Evening Experience and add this to your Enchanted Admission tickets – + £10 for a family.

Knowsley Safari

Address: Prescot L34 4AN

When? Selected dates from 20th November

How much? Tickets are £9 each, members £8.

Photo credit Liverpool Echo

Lapland UK – Berkshire – Final tickets have just been released

Lapland UK is the epitome of all things Christmas. It’s where the ‘magic of Christmas’ lies and where fairytales come true. Besides being an absolute visual treat with its fake snow, log cabins and real huskies, it is above all a genuinely memorable experience. Especially when the children meet Father Christmas!

Lapland UK

Address: Lapland UK, Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8BD

When? Selected dates in December

How much? Tickets vary depending on when you book and when you book for.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy LaplandUK

Legoland Windsor – Legoland at Christmas – Berkshire – BOOK NOW

Experience the magic of LEGOLAND® at Christmas this festive season. Wonder at the twinkling lights, snow-dusted pine trees, exciting seasonal festivities and see the park with a sprinkle of LEGO® magic!

Legoland

Address: Winkfield Rd, Windsor SL4 4AY

When? Selected dates from 27th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022

How much? Tickets from £29 per person.


Lightwater Valley Christmas – Lightwater Valley North Yorkshire – Tickets on sale

Treat the family to a magical evening of Christmas cheer on selected dates this December and experience a festive fairground and a Sing-a-long Santa Show. Hop aboard the Elf Express Christmas Train and journey through a fantasy land of twinkling lights, Candy Cane Woods and the Gingerbread Land.

Lightwater Valley

Address: Water Ln, North Stainley, Ripon HG4 3HT

When? From 20th November – 23rd December 2021.

How much/Do you have to prebook? £14.50 per person, under 2s are free. Some activities may have a small charge.


Longleat – Christmas at Longleat – Wiltshire – Tickets on sale

Everything’s sparkling with music and magic at Longleat this Christmas! Belt out carols with Britain’s biggest singing Christmas tree, follow the disco balls through our after dark Hedge Maze, settle down for a storytime with owls and even meet Santa and his elves!

Longleat

Address: Warminster BA12 7NW

When? Selected dates 6th November to 8th January

How much? Christmas all in one ticket £36.95-39.95 per adult, £27.70-29.95 per child age 3-15. Other pricing options are available.


Lotherton Hall – Christmas Experience – West Yorkshire – Tickets on sale

Come and take a stroll on our magical woodland walk. Follow our twinkling lights, down winding paths and you’ll discover the enchanting installations of the Christmas traditions. 

Come on down to our elven bivouac to meet Santa, Snowy Flake and his friends under the magical wishing tree for stories and elf tales . Visit Dizzy Bells outside the Reindeer Emporium and take home some magical reindeer feed for Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Pop by and say hello to Postmaster Pippin McJingles outside Ye Olde Post Office Central to ensure your letter to Santa is safely on its way. Finally meet the main man himself outside Santa’s Cabin for a special Christmas one to one, and a little present for the journey home….and much more

Lotherton Hall

Address: Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB

When? Selected dates in November and December

How much? Prices vary greatly depending on what you want to book

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

North Yorkshire Moors Railway – Santa Specials – North Yorkshire – Tickets on sale

Join Santa and his special team of elves at either Pickering or Grosmont Station before a magical adventure aboard the Santa Express which will take you on a festive journey you won’t forget! This enchanting Christmas experience sees Mr. Claus and his jolly helpers pass through the heritage carriages, giving children a chance to meet the legendary man himself on board the train, and gifting special presents to the children onboard – providing they’ve managed to keep themselves off the naughty list this year!

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Address: 12 Park St, Pickering YO18 7AJ

When? 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19 and 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 December

How much? The Adult or Child fare is £26 per person and includes a present and backpack for each child.

Best UK Christmas events

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Paultons Park – Christmas at Paultons – Hampshire – Tickets on sale

Visit Paultons over the Christmas period and discover the new land Tornado Springs, magical illuminations, Peppa and George in their seasonal outfits, Christmas characters, a Christmas show featuring Father Christmas and of course, selected rides and attractions (including the UK’s one and only Peppa Pig World).

Paultons Park

Address: Ower, Romsey SO51 6AL

When? Selected dates from 1st until 23rd December.

How much? Tickets are £29.50 each, prebooking is essential.


Wensleydale Polar Express – North Yorkshire – Tickets on sale now – SELLING FAST

Your journey begins just like the 2004 motion picture when THE POLAR EXPRESS™ will pick you up at Leeming Bar station to take you to the North Pole. You will get to meet the characters from the film including the conductor, the singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself Father Christmas. You and your family, hopefully, dressed in PJs, will experience a fun-filled theatrical adventure as you make your way to the North Pole.

Don’t forget to have a bite of your cookie and authentic hot chocolate before arriving at the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. Santa will join you on board and, if you are on the nice list, hand you your first gift of Christmas, a Silver Sleigh Bell just as in the motion picture we all love. You will get to speak with Santa.

Wensleydale Railway

Address: Leeming Bar Station, Leases Road, Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, DL7 9AR

When? Various dates from 19th November until 23rd December.

How much/Do you have to prebook? Tickets from £24.95 to £31.95.

THE POLAR EXPRESS CAN BE FOUND AT OTHER VENUES ACROSS THE UK in 2021

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Wensleydale railway

Thursford – Enchanted Journey of Light – Norfolk – Tickets on sale

Your journey will progress into the Santa’s Magical Journey Building (sadly Santa is STILL ICE-olating so will not be attending the event).  You will travel past the penguins and polar bears to the giant-sized teddy bears! Get ready to see how the elves have loaded Santa’s sleigh, then past the busy elves hard at work in the toy factory using the wondrous wrapping machine! Throughout your journey you’ll meet lots of fantasy land characters including the snowman family, make sure you watch out for their snowballs!…and more

Christmas Spectacular 2021 tickets also on sale now…..

Thursford

Address: Thursford, Fakenham NR21 0AS

When? Selected dates in December and January

How much? Prices around £16 per person


Willows Activity Farm – Santa Spectacular – Hertfordshire – Tickets on sale

Take a trip through our magical winter wonderland where you’ll find Santa in his amazing Grotto. Santa will give children a key to his Toy Shop where they can choose any gift from the hundreds stacked from floor to ceiling.

Visit our Create-a-Cuddle Workshop where children can choose from a range of soft toys to make, name and take home along with a certificate. Get crafty and decorate tasty gingerbread. Write a letter to Santa (don’t forget to add your address so he can reply!).  Pop on 3D glasses to watch our short festive 3D film.  Sit back and enjoy our brand new Polar Bear show with a very special guest and so much more.

Willows activity farm

Address: Coursers Rd, St Albans AL4 0PF

When? Selected dates in November and December

How much? Prices vary depending on when you visit. Please see their website for further information.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Willows Activity Farm

Snowdome – Winter Wonderland – Staffordshire – Tickets on sale

Santa’s back at the SnowDome this Christmas… for his 16th year of festive fun! From 13th November his magical winter wonderland in the snow returns along with extended reception areas plus a larger theatre experience. With real snow, real animals and the ALL NEW winter wonderland show, it’s the ultimate Christmas adventure for all the family!

Snowdome

Address: Leisure Island, River Drive, Tamworth B79 7ND

When? Selected dates from 13th November until 31st December

How much? Prices from £15.95 each off-peak up to £20.95 per person peak.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Snowdome

Stockeld Park – Christmas Adventure – North Yorkshire – Tickets on sale

What was once but a simple Christmas Tree shop, from this small acorn, grew what came to be Stockeld Park’s most famous adventure season. Join us for Christmas fun, get active and discover large themed outdoor playgrounds within the beautiful woodland of Stockeld Park. Watch the Enchanted Forest come alive after dusk with our famous winter illuminations! This truly is the home of Christmas magic.

Stockeld Park

Address: Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN

When: Selected dates November, December and January

How much/do you have to prebook? There are three different options you can book – Winter Illuminations, Ice Skating only and Forest/Maze. Please see their website for further information.

Best UK Christmas events

Warwick Castle – Christmas at the castle – Warwickshire – Tickets on sale

Gaze upon glittering trees, wander through a sparkling outdoor light trail and skate across the spectacular open-air ice rink at Warwick Castle this Christmas. Inside, discover splendid Staterooms adorned with twinkling trees, dazzling decorations and festive flourishes. In the Great Hall, marvel at medieval armour, majestic architecture and the renowned 20ft high Christmas tree.

Warwick castle

Address: Castle, Castle Ln, Warwick CV34 4QU

When? 27 November 2021 – 03 January 2022

How much? Tickets from £14


Sundown Adventureland – Glorious Christmas – Nottinghamshire – Limited tickets remaining

Christmas is back and it’s better than ever, with our family favourite Christmas Spectacular making a welcome return. We will still be operating enhanced cleaning regimes throughout for your safety. So let’s show you around this years Christmas Spectacular… As Christmas draws near, the park is converted into a Winter Wonderland with Christmas theming throughout.

Sundown Adventureland

Address: Treswell Rd, Rampton, Retford DN22 0HX

When? 20th November to 24th December

How much? Prebooking is essential. Adult peak £18, child 90cm+ £20, other pricing options are available.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Sundown Adventureland

The Chill Factore Santa Grotto – Manchester – Tickets on sale

Twinkly lights, real snow and a magical grotto can only mean one thing – Santa has come to Chill Factore. Treat all the family to the ultimate Christmas experience with a snowy visit to see Santa himself from only £17.95. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so why not make it even more special by taking your little ones on an unforgettable journey where they can join in with the festivities here at Santa’s Manchester Grotto. From meeting jolly Santa Claus to playing in real snow, we have everything you need for a magical Christmas experience.

Chill Factore

Address: 7 Trafford Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M41 7JA

When? 27th November – 24th December except 29th & 30th November and 6th, 7th, 8th December 2021.

How much? Tickets from £17.95.


The Snowman Tour 2021 – Various Venues

Something magical happens each Christmas. The classic animated film of The Snowman, accompanied by live orchestra. Alongside other family-friendly stories, it makes the perfect family Christmas show!​ The world’s leading performers of The Snowman film with live orchestra, we have staged almost 250 performances to date across the UK, with upcoming shows scheduled worldwide.

On selected dates at various venues.

Ultimate Christmas Bucket List - 26 Great Family Things to Do - Days Out

Winterfunland 2021 – Manchester – Tickets on sale

Winter Funland can’t wait to see your family over the festive period! Here at Winter Funland, we love all inclusive which is why once you have paid your entrance ticket all activities and rides are included within your entrance ticket price. ALL RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS ARE INCLUDED IN THE ENTRANCE COST AND UNDER 3’S GO FREE!! It really is amazing value for money..

Winter Wonderland

Address: Manchester, Eventcity, Opposite Intu Trafford centre.

When? 9th December to 2nd January

How much? Tickets are £23.50 per person plus booking fee,


Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland – near York – Tickets on sale

York’s favourite festive event, Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, offering a wonderful winter experience for all ages and the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink – The Ice Factor – with its 975 sq m of real ice. In addition our rinkside café will be offering a variety of winter food and drinks available from our alpine-themed takeaway cabins, including sizzling sausages, mulled wine and the best hot chocolate in town! The Vintage Funfair makes a welcome return with its unique collection of rides from the golden era of fairgrounds, offering excitement for all ages.

Address: St Nicholas Ave, Fulford, York YO19 4TA

When? Friday 19 November 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022

How much? You can prebook ice skating and Santa’s grotto online. Please click link above for prices etc.



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