Here’s our round-up of the best Christmas attractions in the UK...
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Now in its 10th year, London’s Winter Wonderland remains one of the biggest Christmas attractions in the country – and it’s not surprising to see why. From German-style Christmas markets, spectacular circus shows, festive rides and attractions, to a huge open-air ice rink, an amazing dancing show, The Nutcracker On Ice, and the all-new icy arctic adventure at the Magical Ice Kingdom, there’s plenty of festive fun on offer.
When and where 18 November to 2 January 2017, from 10am-10pm (except Christmas Day), at Hyde Park, London.
Hogwarts In The Snow Tour
The Harry Potter studio celebrates Christmas again this year with a magical festive season. On your tour you’ll see the Great Hall filled with Christmas trees, decorations and a replica seasonal feast, and the stunning scale model of Hogwarts in its wintry makeover. There are special-effects displays, so you’ll find out how experts created snow that never melts and flames without fire. The highlight is The Goblet of Fire, which will be beautifully lit with colourful flames.
When and where 19 November to 29 January 2017 at the Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden, Hertfordshire.
To celebrate a child’s belief in Father Christmas, LaplandUK recreates Father Christmas’s arctic homeland for one month each year at Whitmoor Forest, Ascot. The tour takes you through secret enchanted woodland paths to a snowy Lapland-inspired set, where you can help the elves in the toy factory, decorate gingerbread men, go ice-skating, and meet husky dogs and reindeer. The highlight is a magical visit to Father Christmas’s woodland home, where children will receive a gift to take home.
When and where 19 November until Christmas Eve at Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 8BD; tours depart 9-5pm.
Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival
Liverpool’s Pier Head will be turned into a winter wonderful for this year’s festival. The ice-themed event is home to the UK’s largest ever ice slide, which has been supersized this year with an extra run, providing three super-speedy 30m runs 6m above the park! Don’t miss the ice bar, with its hand-carved ice sculptures and seasonal cocktails, which you can sip in sub-zero temperatures, or the event’s main attraction – the open-air ice-skating rink.
When and where Until 3 January 2017, from 11am-9pm weekdays and Sunday (10pm Saturdays), at Liverpool’s Pier Head.
Manchester Christmas Market
If there are Christmas markets you’re planning on visiting this year, make sure they're in Manchester. The main market hub is in front of the town hall in Albert Square, presided over by Santa on his rooftop perch. You’ll soon get into the festive spirit as you browse the stalls offering international food, including Spanish paella, Hungarian goulash and, of course, a classic British roast. Sweet tooth? Choose from an enormous selection, including Dutch mini pancakes and French profiteroles, and warm up with mulled wine or hot chocolate as you soak up the festive atmosphere.
When and where? Until 21 December 2016, 10am-9pm daily, in Albert Square, Manchester.