Top UK Christmas markets and events

Top UK Christmas markets and events

Capture the festive feeling
Forest Holidays


1. The Eden Project, Cornwall

Dates: 22 & 23 Nov 2023

Cornwall Christmas Fair at the Eden Project is bigger than ever this year. You can go ice skating, shop for special Christmas gifts and tuck into delicious treats. In between, you can enjoy some time in the beautiful Biomes and witness the sparkling surroundings. Afterwards, it’s just a short drive back to your own cosy hot tub cabin at Deerpark - where we’ve got the lights down low so you can see the night skies.

Ice rink at Eden Project

The Eden Project Ice rink

2. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Dates: 17 Nov 2023 - 1 Jan 2024

A grand Christmas at Blenheim Palace kicks off with two new experiences in one unique setting. From 18 November, the Illuminated Christmas Lights Trail creates a magical journey, and the palace rooms are decorated in The kingdom of The Snow Queen theme. The Christmas Market in the Grand Court is open to browse a selection of gifts, mulled wine and festive cheer. Stay at Blackwood Forest and, if you want even more festive cheer, visit the famous Christmas Market at Winchester too.

Couple at Blenheim Palace Christmas market

Blenheim Palace magical Christmas markets

3. Sudeley Castle, Forest of Dean

Dates: 24 Nov - 30 Dec 2023

A new illumiated trail in the beautiful grounds of Sudeley Castle, in Gloucestershire. Enjoy a satisfying stroll around the grounds, witness the sparkling lights before warming up on  mulled wine and hot chocolate. Kick-start the festive season and book a weekend break at Forest of Dean.

Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire

4. Bury St. Edmunds Christmas Fayre, Suffolk

Dates: 22 October, 22 November & 2 December 2023

Book a pre-christmas break at Thorpe Forest and you can catch the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre. Set in the town’s beautiful Georgian streets, cathedral grounds and Abbey Gardens, it boasts over 300 stalls, Christmas cookery demonstrations and a fun fair. And if all gets a bit too festive, you can disappear into one of Bury St. Edmunds many welcoming hostelries. 

Christmas markets at Bury St Edmunds

Twinkling lights at Bury St. Edmunds Christmas fayre

5. Ffestiniog Railway Santa Train, Snowdonia

Dates: December 2023

Santa on a steam train - what’s not to like? Stay this winter at our Snowdonia location, Beddgelert, and delight the children with a trip on the Santa Train. The spectacular journey starts at Porthmadog and runs through the beautiful Aberglaslyn Pass to Beddgelert, where you are greeted by carol singers. Santa and his elves are handing out presents to all the good children, and back at Porthmadog, there’s a mince pie and a glass of sherry for the grown-ups too.

People waiting to board the Santa train

Ffestiniog Railway Santa train, Snowdonia

6. Rufford Abbey, Nottinghamshire

Dates: 20 October - 5 November 2023

The clever people at Rufford Abbey have thought of everyone in the family this year. The Spectacle of light event will keep the adults happy, with delicious food and drink (including a signature mulled wine) and the opportunity to buy some special gifts. Stay at nearby Sherwood Forest in one of our cosy pet-friendly cabins – the dog will love the underfloor heating.

Group of friends enjoying a hot drink at the Christmas Markets

Rufford Abbey Christmas weekend banner

7. Castle Howard, North Yorkshire

Dates: November 2023 - January 2024

Castle Howard dons its Christmas finery from mid-November when the stately home is transformed into a magical evocation of Christmas past. With candlelight, crackling log fires and live yuletide music in the state rooms, and magnificence decorations (including a 25ft Christmas tree with 3,000 baubles in the Great Hall) Christmas is here. Castle Howard is around a 40 minute drive from Cropton and Keldy, where you can light your own log fire in a Golden Oak couples/family hot tub cabin and relax after the excitement of the day.

Festive afternoon tea at Castle Howard

Festive afternoon tea at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire

8. Santa Specials, North York Moors Railway

Dates: select dates in November & December 2023

Santa is putting in some double shifts on our railways this year. If you can’t get to Beddgelert to see him, he’s going to be handing out gifts in November and December on the North York Moors Santa Express. Trains leave from Pickering, just a short drive from Cropton and Keldy.

Father Christmas aboard a train

Santa warming up on Santa Express

9. Edinburgh, Scotland

Dates: November & December 2023

We associate Edinburgh with Hogmanay, but it does Christmas rather well too. Although it’s a good drive from Strathyre, it’s well worth it for a day trip full of adventures. Explore the Christmas Market, thrill the kids with the Santa Land fairground rides, experience the amazing Light Night shows on George Street and get your skates at the ice rink in in St. Andrew’s Square.

Light night experience

Light night

10. Glasgow, Scotland

Dates: To be confirmed 

Glasgow is hosting not one, but two major Christmas markets this year, and a host of smaller markets too. Gluhwein and German beer are being served in George Square, where over 50 stalls are spread out in the shadow of the stunning 5-metre Christmas tree. Over at St. Enoch Square, the Christmas Village is serving up a hog roast.

Stay at Ardgartan Argyll, so that you can escape the city before the evening crowds descend, and relax in a lochside hot tub beneath the starlit Scottish skies.

Food market at Glasgow Christmas market

Glasgow Christmas markets

Book your winter midweek or weekend break with Forest Holidays to enjoy one of these special Christmas events. You can get your shopping in and capture the Christmas spirit early.