37 Christmas Events and Attractions in the UK 2021

Christmas Events and Attractions in the UK 2021 – We need to make this Christmas the best yet to make up for last year!  There are so many fabulous Christmas events and attractions in the UK.  Here is a list of the best of the Christmas attractions, Santa’s Grottos and Festive Events!


Also see my Christmas Events in Yorkshire post for more Yorkshire based festivities!


Christmas Shows at The Royal Albert Hall

Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall is set to return at full capacity after two years, with nearly 40 shows over 24 days as part of the venue’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
New shows for 2021 include an evening with international opera star Jonas Kaufmann, an in-concert screening of movie classic The Muppet Christmas Carol, and a special Royal Albert Hall edition of variety show Christmas Compendium of Reason – hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince.

Trevor Nelson’s Soul Christmas, a favourite from 2019, returns with a new line-up of special guests including Chic’s Kimberly Davis, Basement Jaxx vocalist Vula Malinga, soul singer Tony Momrelle, and Ivor Novello-winning producer Troy Miller. Momrelle also joins Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas, which returns for a 6th year running with first guests also including soul singer Liv Warfield and Clare Teal.

And the season features many classic favourites including Carols at the Royal Albert Hall, The Nutcracker, the London Community Gospel Choir, My Christmas Orchestral Adventure, Royal Choral Society, and Handel’s Messiah – which has been performed at the Hall since 1871.

See more information and the complete list of shows at The Royal Albert Hall here.


Christmas at The Royal Albert Hall


Santa Sleepover at Alton Towers Resort

This Christmas, get ready to enjoy a magical festive short break at Alton Towers Resort, with specially selected rides ideal for families. New for 2021: Lightopia Seasonal Wonderland a magical, immersive journey through the 4 seasons that will transport you to a whim-tastical land where you can control time. Wrap up warm and meet Santa and his elves during the Santa’s Grotto experience. These breaks are selling out fast, LIMITED DATES AVAILABLE!

Santa Sleepover packages include:

●      One day entry into Alton Towers

●      One day entry into the Caribbean themed Waterpark

●      A unique visit to Santa in his Grotto

●      An overnight stay in an onsite hotel

●      A festive evening meal and scrumptious breakfast

●      9 holes of Extraordinary Crazy Golf

●      Festive themed evening entertainment

●      Entry to the NEW Towers Christmas Market

●      Entry into the Gardens Lights Walk: Twinkling Stars


See prices and availability for Santa Sleepovers at Alton Towers Resorts.


christmas events in the UK
Christmas at Alton Towers


Lapland UK

Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot SL5 8BD

We visited Lapland UK a couple of years ago and it was amazing – expensive, but amazing!  There is a lovely festive play to start the proceeding and then you go through a series of workshops – all beautifully themed, before arriving in the Christmas village where you can eat, drink and be merry and take the children ice skating.  The most marvellous thing about Lapland UK though is Father Christmas himself, he knows so much about the children they can’t fail to believe!

Have a look at our review of Lapland UK here.

Christmas events in The UK


The Polar Express

Churnet Valley Railway is celebrating the arrival of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. Tickets for Christmas 2021 will be on sale from the 1st June 2021 starting from £24.95.  

Staffordshire’s much-loved heritage railway is tipped to be one of the best places for believers to experience a magical Christmas this year. The immersive family-oriented experience hosted over 1.4 million riders at 54 locations in the UK, US, and Canada in 2019. Popular dates and times for the 2021 event in Staffordshire are expected to fill quickly. Early registrations are advised, giving access to the best ticket prices 48 hours prior to general release.


The Polar Express Churnet Valley, Staffordshire (


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

19 NOV 2021 – 3 JAN 2022

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is London’s spectacular Christmas destination! Located in the heart of London, get ready to fully immerse yourself in all things festive. Winter Wonderland is open every day from 10am to 10pm. This year we’ve got loads in store with exciting new attractions including the world’s tallest transportable Observation Wheel, a new theme ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Magical Ice Kingdom, a Season Ride Pass, Paddington™ on Ice, Mr. Men & Little Miss and a fantastic new programme of comics at the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club. Let’s not forget our returning favourites including the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, funky new après ski vibes at Bar Ice and jaw dropping acts in the Circus MegaDome!

See our review of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland here.


The Original Tour London


Hever Castle at Christmas

Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG

“Walk through the rooms of Hever Castle adorned with beautiful decorations and welcoming log fires. As dusk falls, the gardens are magically illuminated with up-lighting and colour washes.  For an extra special day visit Father Christmas in his Grotto (available on select dates, pre-booking is essential).  Enjoy superb seasonal dining options in the festively decorated cafés and restaurants serving a feast of winter warmers, and be inspired by a wonderful array of seasonal gifts, luxurious decorations, toys and stocking fillers that can be found in the Hever Shop.”

From Erica at The Incidental Parent.


Christmas in the UK


Magical Woodland At Christmas – Blakemere Village

Blakemere Village, Chester Road, Sandiway, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 2EB

9th October – 7th November 2021

Find Father Christmas in a unique outdoor theatrical experience set in the heart of our magical Cheshire Woodlands featuring wonderful festive characters Entertainment by woodland characters Meet Father Christmas in his Sorting Office and receive a gift Build you own cuddly toy with Mrs Claus in her Toy Workshop A small gift for each adult Meet Snowy the owl and friends Unlimited outdoor family skating Magical wand whittling.

See the review of the Magical Woodland here.


christmas events in the UK


Paulton’s Park

Ower, Romsey SO51 6AL

Selected dates from the 1st December to the 23rd December

Christmas is a special time of the year at Paultons, meet Santa in his magical Grotto, experience Peppa Pig World in a festive setting and enjoy selected rides and attractions, including Lost Kingdom and Critter Creek, across the Park.


Christmas in the UK


Kielder Winter Wonderland, Northumberland

Kielder Winter Wonderland runs from Mid November to 23rd December 2021

Kielder Winter Wonderland is a full day experience packed full of festive activities to keep you and your little ones entranced all day. Your full day will include everything from helping Mrs Christmas get ready for Christmas to helping in the elves workshop to walking through the forest to find Father Christmas plus lots more! With the forest home to Father Christmas and his festive friends you never know who you could bump into!

Leaplish Waterside Park at Kielder turns into an AMAZING winter Wonderland every weekend from November. It’s a day long event but when we’ve been we’ve rented a log cabin too as it’s the Hoseasons park. Anna from Me, Annie B

Kielder Christmas event UK


Drayton Manor – Magical Christmas events in the UK

Waiting for confirmation for 2021.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Drayton Manor! Unwrap an amazing treat this festive season when you meet Father Christmas in our Castle of Dreams, and make even more special memories with over 25 child-friendly rides and attractions. Plus experience magical character parades, live Christmas shows, falling snow and spectacular fireworks all at Drayton’s Magical Christmas.


UK Theme parks at Christmas


Christmas at Kew Gardens, London

17 November 2021 – 9 January 2022

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as our sparkling after dark trail returns to light up Kew Gardens.  The winter trail takes a magical new route and includes a host of all-new installations. 

Framed by glittering spiral trees, dynamic laser projections will illuminate the iconic Temperate House.  A dazzling arch leads to a cascade of glowing silvery shards at the Treetop Walkway. Walk amongst immersive vines as they surprise with changing ribbons of light, and wander beneath the branches where mysterious fairy-fire known as Will-o’the Wisp softly glows. 

Kew Christmas events in the UK


Thursford Christmas Spectacular Fakenham, Norfolk

9th November – 23rd December 2021

Thursford Christmas Spectacular – Set in the magical surroundings of mechanical organs and fairground carousels, with a cast of 130 professional singers, dancers and musicians – many of whom are West End performers. The 3 hour performance delivers an extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety. It’s a fast moving celebration of the festive season featuring an eclectic mix of both seasonal and year-round favourites, with famous and much-loved chart toppers being sung alongside traditional carols.  Suggested by Renee at Close Enough to Kiss.

An extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety. It’s a fast moving celebration of the festive season featuring an eclectic mix of both seasonal and year round favourites. With a cast of 120 this is the biggest Christmas show of it’s kind in Europe! 

Thursford Christmas Event UK


Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham

Waiting for confirmation for 2021.

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is a firm fixture in the city’s annual calendar and, together with the neighbouring Christmas Craft Market, a massive favourite with both residents and visitors to the city from across the UK and Europe. Birmingham comes alive every winter with the arrival of the Market, a clear sign that Christmas is just around the corner. With more than 80 stalls there is something for everyone.

The largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market offers a large range of traditional good and gifts and a selection of tempting food and drink. Pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds will tempt your tastebuds, all of which can be washed down with gluhwein, weissbeer (wheat beer), or tasty hot chocolate.

A great place to meet up with family and friends and enjoy the live music programme on Victoria Square. And whilst you’re here why not pick up some presents for your family and friends with everything from handcrafted wooden decorations and delicate glass baubles to in the form of the ever-favourite crystal lamps, Sounds of Nature, hand-crafted leatherwork, toys, jewellery and much more besides!

christmas events in the UK


Tulley’s Farm

27th November 2021 to 24th December 2021

Tulley’s farm do an awesome Xmas event from the end of November, through December. There’s a magical woodland walk, gingerbread decorating, Xmas puppet show, reindeer food package, sleigh ride to visit Santa in the woods and a build a bear type present from Santa, plus loads more.

Bring your family to enjoy a magical and unique Christmas experience for all ages!

Created by the same award winning team that bring you the Tulleys Halloween Festivals and Escape Rooms. The Christmas Experience is set within the beautiful woodland grounds of Tulleys Farm.



Illuminated Trails Across the UK


With NINE trails set to be unveiled in historic and iconic venues across the country, there’s never been a better time to find your happy place with friends and family – tickets have already gone live, due to high public demand.

Each magical trail is created to showcase the natural and unique environment of the individual location, so wrap up warm and be transported into a winter wonderland, surrounded by millions of twinkling lights and amazing illuminated installations, all choreographed to a soundtrack of Christmas classics

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist to tasty treats on offer. Have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas and complete your walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with someone special.

My Christmas Trails provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience. Every trail is designed for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

For information on all the illuminated trails and to book tickets visit: mychristmastrails.co.uk

CHRISTMAS AT KEW: 17 November 2021 – 9 January 2022

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, TW9 3AE kew.org/christmas  #christmasatkew


CHRISTMAS AT BEDGEBURY: 19 November 2021 – 2 January 2022

Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Kent, christmasatbedgebury.co.uk  #christmasatbedgebury


CHRISTMAS AT BLENHEIM PALACE:  19 November 2021 – 2 January 2022

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP, blenheimpalace.com/christmas  #christmasatblenheimpalace


CHRISTMAS AT DUNHAM MASSEY:  19 November 2021 – 2 January 2022

Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire. WA14 4SJ, nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey   #christmasatdunhammassey


CHRISTMAS AT BELTON:  25 November 2021 – 2 January 2022

Belton House, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2LS, nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house #christmasatbelton


CHRISTMAS AT THE BOTANICS:  25 November 2021 – 2 January 2022

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ, rbge.org.uk/christmas  #christmasatthebotanics


CHRISTMAS AT STOURHEAD:  26 November 2021 – 2 January 2022

Stourhead, Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD, nationaltrust.org.uk/Stourhead  #christmasatstourhead


NEW FOR 2O21: CHRISTMAS AT TEMPLE NEWSAM: 26 November 2021 – 2 January 2022

Temple Newsam Rd, Leeds LS15 0AE, Museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/temple-newsam, #christmas-at-temple-newsam


NEW FOR 2O21: CHRISTMAS AT KINGSTON LACY: 3 December 2021 – 2 January 2022

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 4EA, nationaltrust.org.uk/Kingston-lacy #christmasatkingstonlacy


Raymond Gubbay Limited, a division of Sony Music, work with venue partners to transform heritage landscapes into magical winter wonderlands. Trails are created by Culture Creative.


Christmas Illuminated Trail at Dunham Massey

9th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022

Christmas at Dunham Massey returns to the historic National Trust property in Cheshire on various dates from 19th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022.  We love these illuminated trails.  As well as the illuminations there will be a Victorian carousel, helter-skelter and other family rides (you will need to pay extra for these) and keep your eyes peeled for Father Christmas and his helpers along the way. 

Discover new immersive installations as the magical winter trail is set to be bigger and better than ever. Now in its fifth year, the seasonal trail is established as a much-anticipated experience for all. 

See our post all about Christmas at Dunham Massey 


Christmas event in Manchester
Illuminated Light Trail at Dunham Massey


Let Loose!

Hull Rd, Woodmansey, Beverley HU17 0RS

Let Loose is tipped to be one of the best places for believers to experience a magical Christmas this year, this immersive family-oriented experience promises to get you into the Christmas Spirit in style. Wrap up warm for the Christmas Train Ride, a Wonderland of Pine Trees and Glittering Lights, discover Christmas round every corner and a beautiful Nativity Scene. Father Christmas will be waiting with a Special Gift for you.

A Magical Carousel ride will finish your treat and leave you with lasting memories.

You may linger for up to 1 hour extra in our themed cafe, write a letter to Santa and post it in our post box for Express Christmas Mail to Lapland and buy a selection of Sweets & Treats to take home with you.

What’s Included:

  • Baby Ticket – Please purchase at least 1 Adult Ticket with this ticket. Includes: Christmas Train, Forest of Lights, Christmas Scenes, Father Christmas Grotto & Gift. (see accessibility statement below)
  • Child Ticket – Please purchase at least 1 Adult Ticket with this ticket. Includes: Christmas Train, Forest of Lights, Christmas Scenes, Father Christmas Grotto & Gift, Carousel Ride.
  • Adult Ticket – Please purchase at least 1 Child or Baby Ticket with this Ticket. Maximum 2 Adult Tickets per order. Adult Ticket Includes: Christmas Train, Forest of Lights, Christmas Scenes, Father Christmas Grotto, Carousel Ride.
  • Accessibility: Pushchairs and wheelchairs will be able to go on the Christmas Train and the rest of your Christmas Adventure is accessible for both wheelchairs and pushchairs.

See more details, photos and a video of Let Loose at Christmas.

christmas in the UK
Christmas at Let Loose!


Big Christmas Concert with Alistair Griffin

December 3rd and 10th 2021 within St Michael le Belfrey Church next to The Minster

Taking place next to York Minster in the beautiful medieval Michael Le Belfrey Church. A brass band will play you in, then Alistair Griffin’s Big Christmas Concert will take you on a musical journey from acoustic versions of traditional carols through to Wizard, Slade and The Pogues.  Sing along and sip mulled wine whilst enjoying the fairytale of old York.

Buy Tickets for the Big Christmas Concert here.

christmas in the UK

Candlelit Concert with Alistair Griffin

Sat, 11 December 2021 within Holy Trinity Church, on Goodramgate

Alistair Griffin presents a very special Christmas show by candlelight in the unique Holy Trinity Church. Take a seat or in this case a medieval pew and soak in the festive atmosphere. While you warm your cockles with a mulled wine listen to classic Christmas tunes, acoustic renditions of famous festive numbers and a Christmas carol singalong.

Buy Tickets for the Candlelit Concert here.


christmas in york


The Snowman

Saturday 11 December 2021 – 12.30pm, 3.00pm and 7.30pm

The iconic Christmas film, The Snowman is being shown in York Minster again this Christmas.  We saw it there a few years ago and it truly is a magical experience.  The film is projected onto a large screen and has a live orchestra accompanying it.  They have a local child singer to sing ‘Walking in the Air’.  Tickets sell out fast, so get booked in!



Castle Howard, Malton, North Yorkshire

Saturday 13th November 2021 – Monday 3rd January 2022

Christmas in Narnia – Step through the wardrobe into a magical adventure this festive season. An ice spell has been cast on this mystical land where it is always winter, but will Christmas spirits be restored and will warmth and joy return?

The grand interiors of Castle Howard will be lavishly decorated, and a series of theatrical installations, lighting, projection and soundscapes will evoke all that we love about this special time of year, with the iconic 25 foot Christmas tree adorned with over 3000 baubles providing a breath-taking highlight in the Great Hall.

It is easy to spend a full day here as you soak up the jovial atmosphere, enjoy an array of indulgent winter warmers across our catering outlets and complete your Christmas shopping in our Gift Shops, Farm Shop and Garden Centre. And don’t miss the opportunity to meet the big man himself as Father Christmas will be making some very special visits!

See all the details of Castle Howard at Christmas.


christmas events UK
Castle Howard at Christmas



Temple Newsam, Leeds

26 November 2021 – 2 January 2022.

Christmas at Temple Newsam sees a new light trail for 2021!  A magical trail, featuring spectacular light installations with classical Christmas tunes will transform the Leeds estate’s ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds and gardens from 26 November 2021 – 2 January 2022.

Wrap up warm and be transported into a winter wonderland at Temple Newsam, where you will discover sparkling tunnels of light, walk under giant baubles and beneath trees illuminated in Christmas colours.

christmas in the UK


Mother Shipton’s, Knaresborough

Sat 4th December 2021 – Fri 24th December 2021

Santa is flying here to see you! Let the twinkling lights draw you into the wonder of Mother Shipton’s magical, memory-making Christmas experience.

Wander through the gorgeous winter woodland to see the enchanted Christmas Village, festooned with festive delights and merry displays to marvel at along the way.

  • See Santa (socially distanced)
  • Meet Chief Elf Chestnut
  • Optional add-on purchase of a special soft toy gift to receive from Santa’s Elf Helper whilst you meet Santa
  • Winter Woodland Walk
  • Festive Displays & Scenes
  • Christmas Post Office
  • Adventure Playground*
  • Cave where Mother Shipton was born*
  • Petrifying Well*
  • Gift Shop
  • Museum
  • Wishing Well
  • Wishing Logs
  • Take-Away refreshments available to purchase
  • Picnic tables available & toilets open
  • Dog Friendly (on a lead, the only place that dogs can’t go is inside the adventure playground)

Read all about Mother Shipton’s at Christmas here.


Christmas events UK
Visit Santa at Mother Shipton’s


Rockingham Castle’s Victorian Christmas

Experience a Christmas like no other as you time-travel to the Victorian era at Rockingham Castle. With roaring fires, candle-lit trees and traditional Victorian costumes, visitors will join the Watson family on Christmas eve in 1849, with several characters regaling the audience of this immersive festive experience with tales of Victorian family life. Homemade and locally sourced Christmas lunch and dinner dishes will also be available at the Walker’s House Restaurant. The Victorian Christmas experience will take place over two long weekends, from November 25th until November 28th, and again from December 2nd until December 5th 2021.

For further information visit www.discover-rutland.co.uk/rockingham-castles-victorian-christmas


Spanhoe Lodge Christmas Light Switch On in Laxton

Start the festive season in style with a traditional Christmas Lights ceremony at Spanhoe Lodge on Laxton’s Main Street from 6pm on November 27th. Bed & Breakfast owners Reece and Neil are known locally for their fantastic festive decorations and this year, they have decked out both the inside and exterior of Spanhoe Lodge with thousands of lights. As well as the switching on of the Christmas lights at 7pm, a magical winter village scene and brand new area await visitors. There will also be carol singing, and hot and cold refreshments such as mince pies and hot chocolate. Santa himself is also expected to make an appearance. As in previous years, funds will be raised for Lakelands Hospice. By popular demand, Reece and Neil are also bringing back Festive Fridays on December 3rd, 10th and 17th with lights, festive food and (perhaps) some singing.

For further information visit www.discover-rutland.co.uk/spanhoe-lodge-christmas-light-switch-on



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events at Christmas around the UK

Or why not visit Lapland itself in Finland? 

Thank you also to Christmas MagicCruises and Caravans, Inspire Gratitude, Candyfloss and Dreams, Vikki at Family Travel with Ellie, Mel from Two Plus Dogs, Faye at Glossytots. and to Faith at Raising Moonbows, Boo, Roo and Tigger Too, Wave to Mummy. Heidi from Southern Mummy. Candace at Buckets of TeaAwaybies Kids, Mama Mighalls, Stacey from One Small Human. 

Looking for European Christmas Markets, have a look at this great foodie post!

Also have a look at our dedicated post for Christmas events in Manchester and Yorkshire.

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