Looking to get away this winter but can’t make it to Lapland or New York City? Luckily, there are so many amazing Christmas weekend breaks right here in the UK. That’s right, you don’t need to travel far for some Christmas magic – all you need to do is jump in your car! From Christmas markets in the city to countryside cottage getaways, here are the 8 most amazing Christmas weekend breaks in the UK.
*Please note that due to coronavirus, some of the below events or markets may not be taking place this year.
1. Peak District
Easily accessible from the rest of the UK by car, the Peak District is one of our favourite UK Christmas breaks. It has everything you could possibly want from a winter getaway and more: great winter walks, plenty of Christmas markets and a whole host of cosy country pubs. If you’re not sure where to base yourself, some of the best market towns to stay in the Peak District are Bakewell, Ashbourne, Buxton, Matlock and Wirksworth.
You could easily just spend your Christmas getaway in the Peaks hopping between your cosy accommodation to another cosy pub. However, if you’re keen to get out into the fresh winter air, head to Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, Bamford Edge or Monsal Trail for a great walk. Or if you’d rather spend your time browsing Christmas markets, you’ll love Chatsworth Christmas Market, Bakewell Christmas Market and Matlock Victorian Christmas Market.
While Edinburgh may be more famed for its New Year Hogmanay celebrations than its Christmas festivities, the city really comes to life in the winter months. Whether you’re enjoying panoramic views from the top of the Big Wheel or spinning around on the charming carousel in East Princes Street Gardens, there is loads to do in Edinburgh at Christmas. The Christmas market in East Princes Street Gardens is the go-to hotspot for all things Christmas – it’s made up of a Scottish market section as well as a German Christmas Market too!
3. The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is easily one of our favourite Christmas weekend breaks in the UK. If you’ve ever wanted to live out Cameron Diaz’s Christmas getaway in The Holiday, there’s no better place to head than the Cotswolds. The perfect place to cosy up by the fire in a cottage, you won’t even need to leave your accommodation to have a good time. But if you do, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views across some of England’s best countryside.
For some great winter walks and even better views, we’d recommend visiting Coaley Peak Viewpoint, Birdlip Viewpoint and Painswick Beacon. Or if you’d rather spend your days exploring cute villages and towns, head to Castle Combe, Bibury, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and Broadway.
4. Lake Windermere
Mountains, lakes and cute cabins – what more could you ask for from a Christmas weekend break in the UK? Lake Windermere is one of the best spots in the Lake District for a staycation because not only does it boast some beautiful scenery but it is also home to a whole host of lovely hotels, restaurants and cosy pubs. This means you’ve got loads of lovely places to shelter from the winter weather with a glass of mulled wine in hand.
However, if the weather is on your side and you like your holidays to be more active, there are plenty of great hikes nearby, such as Loughrigg Tarn, Helvellyn Ridge and Striding Edge. Top tip: if you’re a food lover, make sure you visit during Windermere’s Christmas Celebration for a variety of delicious food and drink stalls to buy from.
If you’re looking for a Christmas market break in a smaller city, Bath is your best bet. The city is full of character and charm all-year-round but like Edinburgh, it also comes into its own during the winter months. Whether you spend your trip rushing around all the market stalls and independent boutique shops, or relaxing in the open-air rooftop at Thermae Bath Spa, you’re bound to get into that festive spirit. Make sure you don’t miss some of the tourist hotspots too like the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent!
6. The Cairngorms
If you’re looking for a more rural Scottish Christmas getaway than Edinburgh, look no further than the Cairngorms. Located in the eastern Highlands, the Cairngorms is the UK’s largest national park, filled with beautiful mountain ranges and deep luscious forests. But what the Cairngorms does best is cosy cabins and lodges, perfect for festive breaks.
However, this national park offers more than just great accommodation and beautiful scenery. Firstly, you may get a chance to meet reindeers, and what screams Christmas more than that? The Cairngorms is also the most northerly Dark Sky Park in the world which means if you’re really lucky you may even be able to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Lastly, Cairngorm Mountain is one of Scotland’s most spectacular snowsports destinations meaning you can even spend your days skiing and snowboarding!
While it may not be New York City, London is still one of the best cities in the world to celebrate Christmas. From Christmas markets and pop-up bars to ice rinks and Christmas shows and concerts, there’s always something going on. The twinkling lights, huge Christmas trees and festive decorations alone are enough to get you into the festive spirit too! Some of the best places to be in the heart of the festivities in London are the Southbank, Leicester Square and Winter Wonderland.
Last but by no means least, we have Wells, the smallest city in England. Full of charm and history, this gorgeous little cathedral city in Somerset is a great UK Christmas destination. The city is decorated with twinkling lights and a towering Christmas tree, turning the city gorgeous into a magical wonderland. Plus, if you fancy escaping the city, you’re not too far from nature spots such as Glastonbury Tor and Cheddar Gorge.
Where does Jaunt come in?
No matter where you’re heading for your Christmas break in the UK, Jaunt can help you get away this festive season even if you don’t have a car. With Jaunt, you can borrow a mate or family member’s car to get you to even the most remote areas of the Cairngorms! You can also use Jaunt to split the driving if you’re heading out in a small group and fancy a more relaxed road trip experience.
With Jaunt, the cover is comprehensive and flexible, and if you were to have an accident, the Jaunt policy won’t affect the no claims discount of you or the car owner. Win, win. For more information, read our ultimate guide to temporary car insurance or head over to our handy Help page where we answer your FAQ.