By: Kezia Santoso
A cup of hot chocolate and snuggling up by the fireplace sounds like a perfect way to spend the night? Despite the frostbites, the most festive holiday of the year is here! Yup, Christmas break it is. Whether there will be white Christmas or none, there are a wide variety of activities that can be done to spend some time here in the UK with friends or family. Here are some of the options that can be considered while it lasts!
One of the most waited event during the season could be the Christmas markets that will be held across the country. However, Manchester is known for their famous markets that will spread in 10 different sites with Albert Square (in front of Manchester Town Hall) being the main site. Visitors can experience this from November 10th 2017 to December 20th 2017 from 10am-9pm. Another fantastic thing to try is ice-skating as the ice rink will also be up from 11am-9pm on November 4th 2017 to January 7th 2018, except Christmas and Boxing Day. The stalls will sell Christmas gifts to different range of food and beverages, especially European food.
Another exciting activity that will most likely excite children is a trip to Blithbury Reindeer Lodge which is located in Rugeley, therefore it is recommended to drive instead of taking the train. The lodge is a 12-hectare farm, known to be the largest working reindeer farm in the UK and is mainly popular for their Christmas experience that includes day tours around their barn as well as feeding the reindeers to meeting Santa followed by storytelling by the fire. Christmas shops are also available on site with presents and exclusive reindeer toys to bring home as a souvenir.
Winter Wonderland, a huge festival that is held annually in Hyde Park London, attracts millions of visitors from all over the place every year. The event will begin on November 17th 2017 to January 1st 2018 from 10am-10pm. This year, there will be more than 100 thrilling rides such as roller coasters, largest outdoor ice skating rink in the UK and other entertainments like the Cinderella on Ice show, stunning circus acts and more to be found on site. It is important to know beforehand that the entry fee is free but prices range to hop on rides. The night will not be complete without sipping on mulled wine or hot chocolate while enjoying a delicious Bratwurst accompanied by festive live music.
The fourth option would be for the adventurous ones who are interested in learning on how to ski or snowboard like a professional. Glenshee, about 84 miles from Edinburgh, is said to be one of the largest area to go for challenging outdoor winter activities. Instructors are provided to guide beginners who are brave enough to rush through the slopes. There are various facilities offered including hotels or lodges, 22 lifts, a café and more. However, prices depend on package deals chosen, whether it’s a private, group or class lesson.
Lastly, spending a night or more in a cottage may sound like a perfect way to relax and avoid the cold weather. There are many places that offer a great stay depending on the budget and preferences. For instance, a cottage in Peak District (Ford Wetley Cottage) has a strategic location that will be great for walks along with the beautiful environment. Another option could be Cotswold where stereotypical English villages can be found built from honey-coloured stones and exquisite gardens, castles, wildlife parks and historic buildings.
There are definitely other things to do besides visiting the prominent typical German Christmas markets, a day trip to Blithbury Reindeer Lodge, Winter Wonderland, learning on how to ski or snowboard and lounging in a cottage in the countryside. Most importantly, make memories with beloved friends and family while being in the UK. Happy Holidays!