3 Festive UK Cities to Explore This Christmas


I love visiting cities during Christmas, especially if they know how to put on a good show with markets and beautiful decorations. It is really tempting to head to further afield in Europe to places like Germany where there are so many fantastic Christmas markets but really there is no need to go that far when we have some lovely festive cities here in the UK. So many towns and cities make a huge effort in attracting visitors this time of year whether through Christmas markets or other wonderful festivities.  Here are three of my favourite UK cities for festive weekend getaway.



I absolutely love York at Christmas. I used to work there for a few years and always got so excited when Christmas rolled around. York is a beautiful city even before you add Christmas into the mix, full of history and culture. There is so much to see and do from taking a walk along the city walls and exploring the stunning York Minster to admiring all the cute shops along The Shambles. At Christmas they put up so many pretty lights and decorations and there is always something festive going on, whether it be a Christmas market or a simple craft fair. The cobbled streets and tiny alleyways are full of lovely shops which are perfect for doing your present shopping. There are also an abundance of coffee shops, my favourite is the Perky Peacock by Lendal Bridge which is so cosy – especially at Christmas! If you want to relax in the evening there are also lots of gorgeous traditional and quirky pubs such as the Pivni which specialises in craft beers and is also super cosy.

Panoramic view on the Radcliffe Camera and All Souls CollegeImage via Adobe Stock


Oxford is one of those cites that just feels cosy all year round. I went during October last year and it already had some serious festive vibes going on so it is definitely worth visiting in December. They of course have a Christmas market which is a must for all those die hard Christmas lovers. The whole history of Oxford and it’s famous university is everywhere you go and lends itself to the Christmas spirit perfectly. Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited in the UK, I was blown away by the stunning architecture and the lovely colleges, in particular Magdalen College is definitely worth a visit. It is also worth jumping on one of the open top buses to get a proper look at Oxford – just don’t forget to wrap up warm! Much like York, there are so many cosy tearooms and coffee shops to try which are even more wonderful during the festive season, I particularly enjoyed the coffee at Brew. It would make the perfect festive break this December.

Edinburgh, Scotland


I must confess I haven’t been to Edinburgh in a couple of years but I used to go quite a lot when I lived up in Scotland. I have been during the Christmas season several times, and it never disappoints with it’s beautiful castle taking centre stage.  Edinburgh is the perfect place to do all your Christmas shopping and they have one of the best Christmas markets I have been to. If you are looking for a last minute getaway to the Scottish capital then head over to Great Little Breaks where you can book your trip there now. You could explore the Royal Mile where you are bound to find unique Christmas gifts for friends and family. And why not try some Haggis in one of it’s many restaurants (I assure you it tastes delicious!). There is so much to explore in Edinburgh and it has a really friendly vibe about it, especially at Christmas!

There are many other awesome festive cities to explore in the UK and to narrow it down to three was so hard. There are great markets, in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham to name but a few but hopefully this has given you some inspiration for where you can go! What is your favourite UK city to visit during the festive season? Let me know below. If you liked this post then I have plenty more travel inspiration for you.

This post was in collaboration with Great Little Breaks. 


  1. Kel 8th December 2016 / 3:00 pm

    York is one of my absolute favourite cities any time of year, but I bet Edinburgh would be magical at Christmas!

  2. Lucy 13th December 2016 / 2:28 pm

    I love York and Oxford 🙂 but would definitely like to explore Edinburgh more, I’ve seen and heard so many wonderful things! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

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