The top 10 UK city destinations for a Christmas break

If you’re looking to get away for Christmas and don’t want to spend hours and hours and hundreds of pounds chasing the sun, this is the post for you. We have scoured the UK for cities that have gone the extra mile to make Christmas that little more special. Here’s what we found.


Edinburgh is one of the best cities in the UK for Christmas and was featured in our Best Christmas Markets article last week. It’s a city that embraces everything to do with the holidays and has lights, special events, lots of child-friendly activities and shops to spend your money.

As Christmas holiday destinations go, it’s hard to beat. We also have a few holiday cottages around the city too!


Durham is another city that knows how to do Christmas. Nice at any time of year, Durham offers shopping, Santa, a Christmas market, carol singing, a lantern procession, the Polar Express and more during December. That makes it prime Christmas real estate for all the family!


Cardiff is a great place all year round, but especially at Christmas. Cardiff Castle already featured in our Best Christmas light displays in the UK article and this time the rest of the city wants in on the action. The Winter Wonderland makes a welcome return this year, with ice skating, ice bar and more. The city centre is lit up, there’s a Christmas market too.

Cardiff is a great city to do Christmas is and we have some lovely holiday cottages nearby.


York does Christmas exceptionally well and it isn’t all Dickensian either. While there is a lot of old England on display, there is plenty of contemporary Christmas too. There are medieval markets, Santa displays, carols, the Festive Fayre, street displays, lights, shops, food and a whole lot going on throughout December.


The historic city of Bath is like going back in time. The amazing Georgian architecture, narrow streets and old buildings all make a lovely atmosphere that’s only enhanced by Christmas. Bath Christmas Market is a particular highlight, as are all the lights, the ice rink in Victoria Park and carol singing around the city.


Leeds is already renowned for having a lively, vibrant city centre and Christmas brings out the best in that. There is usually a Christmas market, regular visits from Santa and maybe his reindeer. The shopping is also excellent, the city is lit up throughout and there is a real festive atmosphere that’ infectious.

These are just some of the cities that do Christmas well. Each has a little different on offer, making them truly unique. We also have holiday cottages within a short drive of all of them, making them an ideal destination for your last minute shopping or as a day out!

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