Christmas In The UK: The Best Way To Spend It
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Whether you’re planning a first-time Christmas visit, or well-seasoned with all the biggest holiday traditions, Christmas in the UK is the biggest party of the year. With preparations in full-swing two months in advance, the country is filled with extravagant decorations, age-old traditions, and delicious food. Here’s everything you need to know about spending Christmas in the United Kingdom.
Christmas Markets In The UK
There’s no better way to usher in Christmas celebrations than by visiting your nearest Christmas market. These large-scale fairs transform into a winter wonderland during the holiday season, with majestic Christmas trees and dazzling lights. Whether you’re in the mood for Christmas shopping, hot chocolate, or comfort food, the markets have something for everyone. In addition to whimsical Christmas stalls, you’ll also find plenty of entertainment — from live music to ice skating. Wondering about which Christmas market to visit? We’ve got you covered.
For an authentic taste of Christmas in Britain, indulge in mulled wine and mince pies. At most Christmas parties, you’re likely to find people drinking a glass of mulled wine or nibbling on these tasty treats. The traditional English delicacies are best enjoyed as a teatime snack and are available from November onwards. While they’re filled with something known as ‘mincemeat’, they don’t contain any actual meat, but rather a sticky mixture of dried fruit and spices. If you’re eager to sample more Christmas treats, head over to London’s Borough Market.
In search of some of the finest Christmas entertainment? Watch a Pantomine (or ‘Panto’ for short). The traditional British Christmas plays originated in the 18th century from the ‘Commedia dell Arte’ — the Italian tradition of improvised theatre. Traditional plots got mixed up with folk tales, fairytales, or stories from the Arabian Nights. They gradually evolved into the Christmas shows you can see today. Prepare for a good dose of slapstick humor, topical jokes, and audience participation. Rather experience an old classic? Catch a matinée show of Matilda The Musical.
Another unique tradition that continues during the Christmas season is carol singing. From groups of young children to seasoned choirs, you’re likely to hear carol singers go from door to door, singing carols and collecting money for charity. If you’re eager to listen, you’re likely to spot them in major shopping centers or on the high streets in the days before Christmas. The York Minister Carol Concerts are among the top carol concerts in the country, and a must-see if you’re visiting around 12 – 13 December. Stay at the Queen’s Hotel, for a cozy Christmas experience.
The King’s Speech
It wouldn’t be Christmas day without an address from the royal family. For the last few decades, the annual Christmas address has been delivered by Queen Elizabeth II. However, since her passing on 8 September 2022, her successor, King Charles III will now deliver the speech. The Christmas speech dates back to 1932 when the Queen’s father, George VI, recorded a Christmas broadcast for radio. The speech will be televised all over the country in the middle of the afternoon. Eager to see where the speech will be filmed? Take a tour of Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace.
Christmas day in the UK is a family event. After festivities end on Christmas Eve, parents wake up in the wee hours of the morning to make sure Father Christmas has left presents for the children. Traditional Christmas Day rituals include morning service at Church, followed by Christmas lunch or dinner with roast turkey and Christmas pudding. For those who prefer to spend the day differently, modern traditions have evolved into watching a family movie, walking on the high street, or going for a drive.
Inspired to spend this Christmas in the UK? Experience it with a Flightgift, and prepare for a memorable holiday season.