UK events to get you in the spirit of Christmas

It's December! This means we're allowed to celebrate Christmas. Here are some of the best things going on to help you get in the festive spirit too ...

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Getting away over Christmas is a great treat but, let’s face it, you don’t really need to venture too far to see people spreading Christmas cheer. Cities all over the country are celebrating the holiday season with carols, winter wonderlands, ice rinks and special film screenings. Here’s a pick of some of the best goings on around the UK, this year, proving the you don’t have to jet off for the ultimate in festive fun.

Found out about any other Christmas events happening near you? Let us know about them in the comments box below!

Santa Dash 2011


Now - 27 Dec

Raise money for charity by donning your very best Father Christmas suit and getting your jog on with a load of other Santas. There are loads of fun-runs taking place across the country until 27 December.

Find out where your nearest Santa Dash is taking place.


Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park

18 Nov - 03 Jan

London’s Hyde Park is offering a Christmas market, a giant ferris wheel and even dry sledding at this year’s mega Winter Wonderland event. You can also get your skates on with fellow event-goers and chow down on some seriously good seasonal food.

Find out more.

The O2 December Sessions

London’s O2 venue

3 - 22 Dec

Perhaps you’re not in to the whole festive thing. If that’s the case, why not pop along to O2’s December Session’s which is playing host to some of music’s best up-and-coming talent, with 100 bands playing across 20 nights. And the best thing? It’s free!

Find out more.

Prince Charles Cinema Christmas Double Bills

The Prince Charles Cinema, London

18 - 26 Dec

One of the capital’s greatest independent cinemas is hosting an array of double-bill screenings completely dedicated to the festive season. From The Muppets Christmas Carol and Elf to Die Hard and Die Hard 2: Die Harder, there’s a cinematic double-whammy to suit all festive tastes. And all for just £6.50.

Find out more.

Carols at St Pauls

St Paul’s Cathedral

Now - 27 Dec

Join in with some traditional Christmas carolling at one of the UK’s most iconic landmarks along with thousands of Londoners. Expect celebrity readings as well as festive songs in this atmospheric and magnificent venue.

Find out more.


Manchester North Pole Bar

Cathedral Gardens

12pm - 11pm (midnight on Friday and Saturday).

Venture to this welcoming pop-up pub to sip on hot cocktails and cinnamon lattes in Manchester’s modern ski chalet environment. Munch on a minted lamb burger or a corn on the cob and get your photo taken with Parky, the eight foot polar bear.

Find out more.

Festival of Angels in York

The Quarter, York

10 - 11 Dec

Wrap up warm and join the festivities in York as the historical streets become awash with ice sculptures, decorating the city for the al fresco diners, brought together by unique street entertainment.

Find out more.

Sunderland Boxing Day Dip

The North Sea at Seaburn

11am, 26th Dec

We’re getting cold just thinking about this one. 875 individuals took to the waves of the North Sea in Sunderland last year, raising a total of £60,958 for nearly 70 different charities. Watch fundraisers dress up in their craziest costumes for this year’s fancy dress boxing day swim - or join them!

Fancy taking part? Just fill out this form.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Liverpool philharmonic Hall, Hope Street

10 Dec - 07 Jan

Music lovers! Celebrate the festive season with ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ at Liverpool’s Royal Philharmonic. This month-long event kicks off with a Christmas sing-a-long, including songs like White Christmas, Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Find out more.

Charity pamper evening with Christmas shopping

Sheffield Royal Society For The Blind, Mappin Street

2 Dec

Indulge in a little pampering alongside some Christmas shopping at Sheffield’s Royal Society for the Blind. Tickets are £5 and include mulled wine and a mince pie, as well as treatment (such as a hand massage or manicure. Proceeds go to the Royal Society for the Blind,

Find out more.


Burning the Clocks 2011

Madeira Drive, Brighton

From 6.30pm, 21 Dec

Sick of the commercialisation of Christmas? Head to Brighton for the Burning the Clocks parade, a family event which sees participants come together to burn homemade lanterns in celebration of the winter solstice.

Find out more.

Southampton’s city centre ice rink

Bargate, Southampton City Centre

Now - 8 Jan

If there’s one thing wrong with many UK ice rinks put up specifically during the Christmas period, it’s that they’re outdoors. This one in Southampton means that visitors can still skate


when it rains! How novel.

Find out more.

Christmas Sounds in Gunwharf Quays

Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth

Now - 21 Dec

Get some last minute Christmas purchasesg in Portsmouth and be accompanied by various bands, orchestras and performers - the perfect antidote to stressful shopping.

Find out more.


Frankfurt Christmas Market

Victoria Square and New Street, Birmingham

Now - 23 Dec, 10am - 9pm

Get some authentic German Christmas culture into your lives with the ten-year anniversary of the Frankfurt Christmas Market, taking place in central Birmingham. Head there on 03 December for special offers on jewellery, food and drink.

Find out more.

Nottingham Christmas Concert

Albert Hall, North Circus Street

11 Dec, 2.45pm

Join the choir of St Mary’s Church with some carolling at Nottingham’s Albert Hall this month at just £4.50 per person. Go for the seasonal sing-a-long or sit down for a pre-concert meal as well, for just £13.50.

Find out more.


Bath Christmas market

Between Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths

Now - 11 Dec

Peruse over 130 wooden chalets with unique arts and crafts - perfect for Christmas present inspiration or to find that individual tree decoration for your uni abode. Not up for shopping? The food on offer is as much of a draw...

Find out more.

Bristol’s Winter Wonderland

Cribb’s Causeway

Now - 08 Jan

Bristol’s Winter Wonderland is now open, featuring the largest outdoor ice rink in the South West. Book your tickets now!

Find out more.

Exeter Cathedral

14 Dec - 15 Dec, 7.30pm

Join the annual celebration in Exeter and visit the impressive cathedral for a night of carolling. Book ahead and get a student discount!

Find out more.


Christmas at Edinburgh Filmhouse

Filmhouse Cinema

16 Dec - 24 Dec

Christmas film fans can catch all their favourites on the big screen during this special run at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse. Our choices are the Raymond Briggs Trilogy (The Snowman! On the silver screen!) and newbie, Arthur Christmas.

Find out more.

Christmas Rock Choir Performance

George Square, Glasgow

5 Dec, 6pm - 8pm

It’s not every day a stage in Glasgow’s George Square is erected for a seasonal rock choir performance! Go along for unusual renditions of Christmas classics along with gospel and motown-inspired performances.

Find out more.

UNICEF Carols and Candlelight concert

Manofield Church, Aberdeen

04 Dec, 3.30pm - 4.45pm

Aberdeen’s famous ecumenical choir sing Christmas carols and songs from around the world, with all proceeds going to children’s charity, UNICEF.

Find out more.

Christmas at the Castle

Cardiff Castle

11-16 Dec

Get a flavour of Christmas in the Victorian era at Cardiff Castle. Don’t worry, there’s no dressing up here but you will be guided by a costumed tour operator who will take visitors through to the Banqueting Hall where the table is set for a full-on old school feast.

Find out more.

Waterfront Winterland

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Now - 01 Jan

Go ice skating, visit Santa’s grotto and brave the funfair at Swansea’s Waterfront Museum, transformed for the festive season into this Wintery wonderland.

Find out more.

Aberyswyth Christmas Food and Craft Fayre

Baker Street

Did someone say food? Around 60 seasonal foods will be on offer at the Aberyswyth Christmas Food and Craft Fayre, which is completely free to enter.

Find out more.