9 surprising towns that make the Christmas season magical

Various, UK

If you’re after a completely Christmassy getaway to end the year on a high

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Why do your Christmas meet ups in the same-old, same-old local pub when you can book a weekend away? Step into the world of Christmas and organise a trip to one of these atmospheric British towns which perfectly capture that magical festive spirit and cosy Christmas feel. Now, we’re just wishing for a dusting of snow!  

Mousehole, Cornwall

Pronounced ‘Mowzul’, this coastal Cornish village takes Christmas to the next level with over 10,000 lights at the Mousehole Harbour Lights event. Attracting hundreds of visitors from across the UK in December for a chance to witness the spectacular sights for themselves. Shapes including the Loch Ness Monster, the famous Mousehole Cat and cascading lights on the hillside are the staples as well as an abundance of quaint coffee shops to enjoy the view.

Windsor, Berkshire

The grandeur of the Windsor Castle Christmas display this winter is the perfect excuse to plan a visit to this royal town. Enjoy a walk with a hot chocolate from a local café through the cobbled streets and the Windsor Royal Station for a spot of last-minute gift shopping, including the mouth-watering fudge from The Fudge Kitchen (they offer free tasters!)

Chipping Campden, Cotswolds

This jewel of a market town set in the rolling Cotswolds is a picture-perfect Christmas postcard. Visit the usual market on the historic High Street and the locally famous Christmas market for a spot of shopping, as well as the brilliant indoor fayre, spanning the two floors of the Town Hall.

Buxton, Derbyshire

Buxton’s Pavillion Gardens become Christmas HQ in December, hosting a selection of events including a Christmas Trail and the ever-popular Christmas Fair with pop up traditional and artisan Christmas markets across the town. Make sure to pack your Victorian-style dress (specifically 1835-1901) and dance the night away at the Dickensian Ball or head to a pantomime at the Opera House.

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Take a candlelit walk through the birthplace of Willy Shakes this Christmas. Go on a gander to the Shakespeare Birthplace Museum and breathe in the era of the Tudors. Stroll through the 300+ stalls selling food and local crafts and wares at the Victorian Christmas Market, or head to Henley Street for an all-year-round Christmas shop.

Oban, Argyll

Oban’s 10-day Winter Festival (ends 27th November) celebrates the ‘gateway to the isles’ Scottish heritage through art, music, and games and the beautiful light switch on event. This town is stuffed to the gills with seafood restaurants and popular whisky bars, great for a break from roast turkey and Baileys, and to walk off all those Christmas calories, make sure to pack your walking boots for a steep walk up to McCaig’s tower to witness the Christmas lights from above.

Ludlow, Shropshire

Ludlow Castle is a sight to behold all year round, but it is something else at Christmas. Take a tour during the winter festival and drink in the 1,000-year history with sights over the town and the vast Shropshire countryside. Ye Olde pubs with roaring wood burner fires and comfy seating are the best way to enjoy a drink or two on your trip. If you want to visit the festival you’ll need to hurry, ends in November!

Whitby, Yorkshire

Heed the call of the spooky town of Whitby, famed for its inspiration of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, and take your trip for Christmas instead. Find that elusive gift in one of the quirky gift shops and enjoy a festive drink in one of the many pubs. Why not take a winter stroll along Whitby beach and the 119 Steps, a favourite for fossil hunters, and a picturesque view over the sea.

Bournville, Birmingham

Bournville’s could not be more synonymous with Christmas. Built by the Cadbury family in 1901 as housing for their employees who worked in the nearby factory, this chocolatiers town is the perfect Christmas trip location. The famous Atlas Cedar tree, planted in 1948, in the centre piece of this Christmas town, whose annual festive light switch on is a top visitor attraction.

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All locations are fully accessible and service dogs are welcome.

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