Are you looking for something that extra bit special this Christmas? Hopefully, the following ultimate bucket list of 25 + Ultimate Christmas events in the UK 2020 will help you plan that very special experience. I have not experienced all of these myself (sadly), they are merely suggestions. Hurry, hurry, hurry because those that can be pre-booked are booking up fast…some may already be sold out! Listed in alphabetical order.
This post was updated on the 27th November 2020
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Please keep up-to-date with government guidance before booking or visiting. I am unsure of the following attractions policies on cancellations of events. Please check with them in advance. It may also be an idea to check with the attraction that everything is as advertised the day before you visit.
Santa Sleepovers are cancelled – Christmas at Alton Towers 2020 – Staffordshire
A Santa’s Sleepover is the most magical, wonderful Christmassy Escape. Jump onto specially selected rides, dive into the Waterpark, tuck into a lusciously festive evening meal, meet Santa – and more! There’s even more dates than ever before to experience your magical Christmas escape!
The package includes:
An overnight stay in one of our fabulously themed hotels.Alton Towers
A unique visit to Santa’s Grotto (with a delightful gift for each child).
1 Day Entry to the Theme Park & Gardens with a selection of family rides and attractions.
Entry to the wacky Caribbean themed Waterpark.
Entry to the NEW Garden Lantern Trail from 6 pm.
9 holes of crazy, zany Extraordinary Golf.
Light evening entertainment including Santa Farewell.
A fantastically festive evening meal.
A delicious buffet breakfast.
Address: Alton Towers Theme Park Alton Towers Resort, Alton ST10 4DB
When? Various dates from 27th November until 23rd December
How much? This experience includes a stay at Alton Towers. Prices vary greatly depending on where you stay. A family room for 2 adults and 2 children plus the package above costs around £400.
Bedgebury – Christmas at Bedgebury 2020 – Kent – Event still going ahead
Surround yourself with sparkle this Christmas as the after dark trail at Bedgebury lights up for it’s third year in 2020. You’ll find new moments to share with friends and family and brand new magical lights for winter nights.
Explore the light maze and look out for giant baubles and snowflakes where you least expect them. The tunnel of light returns with twinkling splendour and this year, why not pause for a moment of quiet reflection at the fire garden, aglow with hundreds of flickering flames.Christmas at Bedgebury
Address: Bedgebury ForestGoudhurst, Wadhurst TN5 7QJ
When? Various dates in December.
How much? First adult ticket including parking is £26.50 and £19.50 for each adult thereafter. Children age 3-16 are £13 and under 3’s are free.
Belton House – Christmas Trail 2020 – Lincolnshire – Event still going ahead
Following last year’s success, surround yourself with sparkle this Christmas as the after dark trail lights up for 2020. You’ll find new moments to share with friends and family – brand new bright lights for winter nights. Enter a world festooned with seasonal cheer enhanced by a soundtrack of festive classics and wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in Christmas colour.Belton House
Address: High Road Belton, Grantham NG32 2LW
When? Various dates from 27th November until 3rd January
How much? Adult ticket £27 for first adult including your car and £19 for each adult thereafter. £13.50 for a child aged 3-16 and 0-2 are free. Prebooking is essential.
Best Christmas Events in UK
Blenheim Palace – Illuminated Light Trail 2020 – Oxfordshire – Event still going ahead
2020 brings us new surpises from the Heart of the Stars scattering shards of light across the lawn to a scented fire garden that adorns the Water Terrace. Walk towards dynamic, colour-changing neon tunnels, lakeside reflections and onto a mesmerising place where, beneath the branches of a sprawling tree, softly glows the fairy-fire known as Will-o-the-Wisps.Blenheim
Address: Woodstock OX20 1PP
When? 20th November 2020 – 3rd January 2021
How much? An adult peak ticket is £21.50 and £15.00 for a child. Other pricing options are available. Parking is £10 and must be prebooked as well as your entrance tickets.
Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland – Wales – Yet to confirm if it is going ahead.
Chatsworth House – Christmas at Chatsworth 2020 – Derbyshire – Event postponed – may go ahead from the 16th depending on tiers
The house will be transformed with our annual Christmas displays to get everyone into the festive spirit. Keep an eye out in September 2020 when we’ll announce this year’s theme.
We are currently looking at plans for how we can run the Christmas market in 2020, ensuring a wonderful experience, and the safety of our visitors, staff and stall holders. As soon as a decision has been made about this year’s event, we will publicise details.Chatsworth House
Address: Bakewell DE45 1PP
How much? Yes you will have to prebook. Prices are TBC
Chessington Roarsome Festive Family Fun 2020 – London – Event still going ahead
Celebrate Christmas at Chessington. Enjoy safe, festive fun with your nearest and deer-est on selected dates between 5th December 2020 and 4th January 2021 with some of your favourite characters. Meet Father Christmas, team up with the cheeky Elves in the Magical Christmas Kitchen, and celebrate with The Gruffalo in our festive show. Plus enjoy a selection of rides and meet some of our amazing animals in our Zoo and SEA LIFE Centre.Chessington World of Adventures
Address: Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE.
When? Selected dates from 5th December – 3rd January
Event Cancelled – Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas, Thomas Land 2020 – Tamworth
Address: Drayton Manor Dr, Fazeley, Mile Oak, Tamworth B78 3TW.
When? 20th November to 31st December.
How much? TBC
Christmas at Drusillas Park 2020 – East Sussex – Event still going ahead
Experience the winter magic first-hand at Drusillas Park this year! We’ve hung up our stockings by our chimney with care, in the knowledge that Saint Nick soon will be there! Bring your little monkeys to visit Santa Claus in his cosy Christmas Cottage, meet our lovable husky dogs in the husky ice cave, sample some festive food and drink and marvel at our giant Christmas tree.
Don’t forget you need to book your Santa tickets online in advance!Drusillas
Address: Alfriston Rd, East Sussex BN26 5QS
When? Selected dates in December
How much? Currently SOLD OUT, keep checking back
Events Cancelled – Edinburgh’s Christmas 2020 – Scotland
“Edinburgh’s Christmas offers no shortage of things to see and do this winter. Enjoy panoramic views of the capital from the top of the Big Wheel, spin around on the charming carousel in East Princes Street Gardens or brave a twirl on the 60-metre-high Star Flyer.
Younger kids will love Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens, a festive fairground with six fun rides and a children’s market full of gifts and toys. Try to find the Elves’ Workshop hidden in the Christmas Tree Maze, or visit Santa’s Grotto to meet the man himself! St Andrew Square will be hosting an oval ice rink, looping around the Melville Monument – hire a pair of skates and spin across the ice behind a gorgeous backdrop of the glittering city.”Above information is from 2019 – 2020 information coming soon
When? From 16th November
Journey to the West Pole Westonbirt Arboretum 2020 – Gloucestershire – Event still going ahead
Set out on an adventure through the trees of the arboretum to find the West Pole and experience mesmerising light displays and stunning spectacles along the way. Meet the elves that help Father Christmas make the toys for the children, come across talking trees and make your way through the Candy Cane Forest on your quest to the West Pole. Who knows, when you arrive there you may catch a glimpse of a very special guest from the North Pole.Forestry England
Address: Westonbirt, Tetbury GL8 8QS.
When? Selected dates in December.
How much? Adults £16, children age 5-18 £8. Under 5’s are free and do not require a ticket. Other pricing options are available. Advanced booking is essential.
English Heritage – Enchanted Events – These events will sadly not be running in 2020
Great Central Railway – Santa Steam Trains 2020 – Leicestershire – Event going ahead with possible changes to the below
We’re delighted to confirm that Santa will be back at the Great Central Railway in 2020, and he’ll be visiting passengers in our beautifully restored compartment coaches this year to allow for social distancing.
All of our Santa Express and Winter Wonderlight train services have been fully risk assessed and are permissible under the current government regulations concerning the Covid 19 pandemic. As required we will be updating the risk assessments to cover any new regulations that the government may announce during the next few weeks on an ongoing basis.Great central railway
Address: Great Central Rd, Loughborough LE11 1RW
When? Various dates from 28th November until the 24th of December.
How much/Do you have to prebook? Tickets start at £69.00 for a compartment for up to 4 people and £76.00 for a compartment of up to 6 people, Bookings are being taken online only at present.
Best Family Christmas Events in the UK
Hogwarts in the Snow – Warner Bros Studio Tour 2020 – London – Event still going ahead
Join us to experience Christmas in the Wizarding World as Hogwarts in the Snow returns to the Studio Tour. The festive transformation will begin in the Great Hall, which will be lined with Christmas trees decked with golden baubles and topped with witches on miniature broomsticks. The long dining tables will be dressed as they were for seasonal feasts at Hogwarts, complete with Christmas puddings surrounded by real flames.Warner Bros
Address: Studio Tour Dr, Watford WD25 7LR.
When? 14th November 2020 to 17th January 2021
How much? £47 for an adult and £38 for a child aged 5-15, under 5’s are free but tickets are still required.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – London – Cancelled for 2020
Christmas at Kew 2020 – Richmond, London – Event going ahead
Join us for the most magical time of year at Kew Gardens as our after-dark trail lights up for 2020. Returning for its eighth year, our enchanting winter trail takes a new route, leading you for the first time through the beautifully illuminated Rose Garden.
Old favourites and brand new light installations will sparkle and glow around you, bringing festive cheer to you, your family and friends.Kew
Address: Richmond TW9 3AB.
When? Wednesday 18 November 2020 – Sunday 3 January 2021
How much? Standard advance adult: Off peak £19.50/ Peak £24.50. Tickets must be booked in advance.
Knowsley Safari Park Enchanted Zoo 2020 – Merseyside – Event still going ahead
This festive season you can enjoy the safari after dark at our fabulous Christmas time event, but don’t worry your path will be lit with magical lights guiding you through our enchanted trail, and that’s not all…
It’s time to get in the festive spirit with a range of festive food, magical music and amazing illuminated animals! Make those wonderful memories and fill the whole family with Christmas cheer.
Add a magical Santa Experience for an extra £10 for a family of up to 6 people and meet Father Christmas from a safe distance. This includes meeting Santa in his beautiful sleigh plus an opportunity to capture the memory on camera and take your very own framed photo home with you.Knowsley Safari Park
Address: Prescot L34 4AN
When? Selected dates from 21st November – 23rd December
How much? Enchanted is £8.00 for both adults and children. Under 3s and 1:1 carers are free of charge. This includes the Enchanted Light Trail Only. Meeting Santa Experience can be booked separately.
LaplandUK 2020 – Berkshire – Event still going ahead
LaplandUK is an original adaptation of the Father Christmas story and the secret world of the elves brought to life through a 4-hour immersive experience of unprecedented scale and quality, as well as stories and interactive activities.LaplandUK
Address: Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot SL5 8BD.
When? Dates are not currently visible on their website
How much? The second round of tickets will be available soon. Prebooking is essential.
Legoland at Christmas – Berkshire – Event still going ahead
Join us at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort to make memories that will last a lifetime as we celebrate the most special time of the year with ‘LEGOLAND at Christmas’. Our festive event transforms the Park into a winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights, snow dusted trees, and of course…a sprinkling of LEGO® magic!
This year we have exciting new festivities to enjoy including LEGO Friends Carol Singing, a fun DUPLO Puppet pantomime and an amazing Holiday Harbour lights show featuring a very special guest – all never been seen at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort before. We also have our amazing rides and attractions for all the family to enjoy together making this one bumper Christmas day out!
Whilst Father Christmas won’t be able to invite anyone into his Grotto this year due to social distancing, you and your family will be able to see him as he makes his way through the park on his very own magical sleigh – a sight to delight all the family!LEGOLAND, Windsor
Location: Winkfield Rd, Windsor SL4 4AY
Dates: Selected dates from 28th November
How much? Prices start from £29 per person.
Lightwater Valley – Alice in Wonderland 2020 – North Yorkshire – Event going ahead
“This immersive Christmas lights trail is perfect festive fun for all the family, whatever your age. From a life-size chessboard with an Alice pawn to the iconic Mad Hatter’s tea party, there’s ways to get involved throughout the experience.
These giant illuminated light sculptures will illustrate stories from Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass. Watch the Mad Hatter prepare for his crazy tea party, marvel at a four-metre tall Alice lantern and come face to face with the infamous Queen of Hearts herself.”Lightwater Valley
Location: Water Ln, North Stainley, Ripon HG4 3HT
Dates: Weekends from 21st November until 20th December and then the 21st, 22nd and 23rd December.
How much? Adults and children £12.50. Under 2’s are free.
Longleat Land of Light 2020 – Wiltshire – Event still going ahead
The famous Festival of Light will not be going ahead in 2020. Instead it is the new Land of Light.
Illuminate your senses in a dazzling land of light, this winter. The Longleat Estate will spring to gleaming life, creating a spellbinding sensory walk of discovery for everyone to enjoy.
A myriad of magical light installations will emerge across the Park and its sprawling grounds in seven unique zones. In the Land of Light, you can discover motion-detected splashes of playful colour and movement and immerse yourselves in enveloping blankets of soft, synchronised light and sound.Longleat
Address: Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7JS
When? 7th November 2020 to 10th January 2021
How much? Tickets will be released in the autumn.
Lotherton Hall – Christmas Experience 2020 – West Yorkshire – Event still going ahead with some minor changes
“Steeped in traditional Christmas magic and excitement, Lotherton is pleased to host The Christmas Experience once again for families to enjoy a festive trip out.
Enjoy the interactive 12 Days of Christmas Woodland Walk through the Captains Wood. Sing along and count the dancing ladies, calling birds and drummers drumming as you wander through. Upgrade your ticket to meet Santa and his elves.”
Location: Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB
Dates: 27 November 2020 – 3 January 2021
How much? Christmas experience from £4.15 per person and Santa’s elf village from £12.95 per child.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway – Santa Reimagined 2020 – North Yorkshire – Event still going ahead
Your ticket includes:
- See Santa organise his Elves and Helpers on this special Santa Train.
- Interaction with Santa’s Elves.
- Photo opportunity to remember your visit.
- Reserved private compartment on a decorated steam train.
- Travel from Pickering to Levisham Station, return journey (Approx. 60 min).*
- Present for each child*.
- Snow Bound Express newspaper.
Location: 12 Park St, Pickering YO18 7AJ
Dates: 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24 December 2020, 4 trains a day.
How much? Private compartment: £100 for up to 4 people. £25 per additional adult or child (Max 6 people in total). Child 1-16 years old.
25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Paultons Park Christmas 2020 – Hampshire – Event still going ahead
There’s plenty to discover this year at Paultons and it’s all included in your standard admission ticket:
See Peppa Pig World decorated for Christmas.
NEW! Santa’s Special Christmas Show! Singing, Dancing and fun!
Frosty’s Snowtime Show – Join Frosty and friends as they sing festive classics whilst enjoying a large sprinkling of festive snow for the whole audience.
See Magical Illuminations around the Park, then watch the Marvellous Musical Christmas Tree – with its own light show every 15 minutes.
Meet Frosty the Snowman and so much more.
There will be no Santa Grotto in 2020.Paultons Park
Address: Ower, Romsey SO51 6AL
When? 21st November – 23rd December
How much? Tickets are £29.50 per person and must be prebooked.
Event Cancelled – Polar Express Train Ride Wensleydale 2020, North Yorkshire
The Telford and Norfolk Polar Express trains will not be going ahead in 2020.
“Your journey begins just like the 2004 motion picture when THE POLAR EXPRESS™ will pick you up at Leeming Bar station to take you to the North Pole. You will get to meet the characters from the film including the conductor, the singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself Father Christmas. You and your family, hopefully dressed in PJs, will experience a fun filled theatrical adventure as you make your way to the North Pole.
Throughout your journey, you may tangle with the caribou and other magical happenings, as you have the original story of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ told to you by the singing Chefs. Don’t forget to have a bite of your cookie and authentic hot chocolate before arriving at the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. Santa will join you on board and, if you are on the nice list, hand you your first gift of Christmas, a Silver Sleigh Bell just as in the motion picture we all love. You will get to speak with Santa”
Location: Leeming Bar Station, Leases Rd, Leeming Bar, Northallerton DL7 9AR
Dates: 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th, 29th November and 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December. Tickets are selling fast.
How much? Tickets from £24.95.
Enchanted Journey of Light 2020 – Thursford Norfolk – Event still going ahead
We are holding the Enchanted Journey of Light as a one-off event for 2020 here at Thursford, after sadly having to postpone the Christmas Spectacular until 2021 due to Covid-19.
Your journey will begin in the main auditorium, an all new indoor Wonderland Trail: a maze of engines, fairy-tale characters and an immersive experience of light and sound including one of the UK’s biggest kinetic light displays. Wander through an enchanted trail partitioned by magical steam engines and marvel at the vast decorations covering each corner of the building! Click the link above to find out more.Thursford
Address: Thursford, Fakenham NR21 0AS.
When? Selected dates from 19th November to 3rd January.
How much? Tickets are £15 per person. Booking is essential.
Santa Spectacular – Willows Activity Farm 2020 – Hertfordshire – Event still going ahead
Christmas is coming! Our elves are working hard to complete the plans to adapt our Santa experience to ensure it’s covid-secure and the scheduling of our tickets supports social distancing. As soon as this is complete tickets will be on sale, initially to our Members and then on general sale for everyone. Please bear with us and keep an eye on our social media and before you know it we’ll be counting down to Christmas!Willows activity farm
Address: Coursers Rd, St Albans AL4 0PF.
How much? TBC
Santa’s Winter Wonderland, Snowdome 2020 – Tamworth – Event Cancelled
Santa’s back at the SnowDome this Christmas… for his 16th year of festive fun! His magical winter wonderland in the snow returns along with an extended reception area plus a larger theatre for a Covid secure experience. With real snow, real animals and the ALL NEW winter wonderland show, it’s the ultimate Christmas adventure for all the family!Snowdome
Address: Leisure Island River Drive Tamworth Staffordshire B79 7ND.
When? Selected dates from 14th November to 31st December.
How much? Tickets are £20.95 per person and must be prebooked online in advance.
Stockeld Park – Christmas Adventure 2020 – North Yorkshire – Event going ahead
“See our award-winning Enchanted Forest come to life after dusk as our Winter Illuminations, Yorkshire’s premier light event, transforms Stockeld Park into a dazzling, twinkling wonderland!
At Stockeld Park, we always like to make Santa feel at home and so as always, we have prepared him a beautiful, cosy log cabin ready for his arrival all the way from Lapland! Everything is set up so that your visit will comply with all of the latest social distancing guidelines. So get your family together and throw yourselves into the spirit of Christmas!”
Location: Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN
Dates: Santa’s Grotto From 21st November (various dates)
How much? Grotto additional £12 per person, Standard tickets which you also need to book are not yet released.
Warwick Castle Christmas at the castle 2020 – Warwickshire – Some events going ahead
Experience the magic of Warwick Castle this Christmas. Gaze upon glittering lights in the Great Hall, explore winter markets and skate across the ice within our beautiful grounds.Warwick Castle
Address: Castle, Castle Ln, Warwick CV34 4QU
How much? TBC
Event Cancelled – Sundown Adventureland – Glorious Christmas 2020 – Nottinghamshire
Here at Sundown Adventureland, We’re not going to be beaten by this pesky Corona Virus, so the whole team have devised a Christmas event that we think you’re going to love. There will be a few small changes from previous years but you can rest assured that all of the favourites will be there and it’s going to be great fun for kids and families alike.
You’ll be greeted by the elves and the ever friendly Mrs. Claus and when it’s your time, you’ll be invited to meet the big man himself. When you meet him, you’ll find out whether you’re on the naughty or nice list and if you name’s on the right list (it normally is, so don’t worry!), you’ll receive a lovely individually wrapped present and the chance to share your wishes with him.Sundown Adventureland
Address: Treswell Rd, Rampton, Retford DN22 0HX
When? 21st November to 24th December
How much/Do you have to prebook? An adult ticket is £16-18 and £18-20 for a child 90cm-10 years. Other pricing options are available. Prebooking is essential, they sell out fast. (a lot of tickets have already been sold)
The Chill Factore Santa Grotto – Manchester – No event information for 2020 has been announced
Tour Cancelled – The Snowman Tour 2020 – Various Venues
Something magical happens each Christmas. The classic animated film of The Snowman, accompanied by live orchestra. Alongside other family-friendly stories, it makes the perfect family Christmas show! All venues are Covid-secure venue and appropriate procedures will be implemented to ensure your safety at our performances. If a performance is cancelled, you will receive a full refund minus any booking fees.
On selected dates at various venues.
The Train to Christmas Town – Devon and Durham – Possibly cancelled for 2020
Event Cancelled – Winterfunland 2020 – Manchester
One price endless fun !! Your ticket includes:
HUGE real ice ice-skating rink
A magical festival circus – The Circus of Truth
A gigantic indoor funfair
Gigantic outdoor funfair
Sessions last 4 hours, please arrive early so you are able to go on as many attractions as possible in your allotted session.
Address: Manchester, Eventcity, Opposite intu Trafford centre.
When? 3rd December 2020 to 3rd January 2021.
How much? Adult and child tickets are £23.50 each plus £1.50 booking fee. Other pricing options are available. Tickets must be prebooked.
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland – near York – Event Cancelled
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