Everywhere always looks more magical under a layer of snow or glistening in an early-morning frost and this season there’s plenty going on to help you celebrate Christmas in the UK in style!
London Eye, London
The mighty London Eye stands at 135 meters tall and peers over the London skyline, peeking down on Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. Book your pod for a 30 minute ‘flight’ all over the Christmas period (except Christmas day itself) and witness the sparkling rooftops for yourself. You can make the season all the more special (especially if you have a certain question to ask) with a trip in one of Cupid’s Capsules, complete with champagne and chocolates. And this winter visitors can experience the Eyeskate skating rink as well as a Frosty Guided Experience onboard a themed capsule.
Harry Potter Studio Tour, Hertfordshire
Everybody loves Harry Potter and all on the studio tour, you can uncover some of his secrets. The magical schoolboy has been entertaining adults and kids alike for over a decade now and the ultimate experience has to be Hogwarts at Christmas. The Great Hall set is decorated in Potter-esque festive style, with costumes, props and food of the season. Two massive dining tables are heaving with turkeys, hams and snow cakes underneath a sparkling Christmas tree and springs of mistletoes. Don’t miss the Hogwarts in the Snow, where the castle is caked in magical snow. Hogwarts at Christmas runs until 6th January 2014 and Hogwarts in the Snow runs until 12th January 2014.
Cardiff Castle, Cardiff
Over 2000 years of history are on display at the magnificent Cardiff Castle. The Welsh heritage is in evidence within the marble, wood and gilded installations. Visitors can be a part of the vivid re-enactments and kids can try on some medieval and Victorian costumes. And of course Christmas is celebrated with aplomb here too; with a Santa’s Grotto, a wreath making workshop and special Victorian Christmas tours which explores traditional Christmas’ of yesteryear. Don’t miss the opulent Banqueting Hall with its lavish feast all laid out and join in with the Christmas carols in the Library. And to really get into the festive spirit, partake in some mulled wine and mince pies.
London Zoo, London
OK so it may not have the giant pandas of Edinburgh Zoo, but London Zoo has its own bevy of winter wonderland creatures, with penguins and reindeer in residence. From now until Christmas visitors can meet Santa, his troop of helpers and even his reindeers. There’s a daily talk all about the antlered creatures and kids can even get involved with making treats and gifts for the animals of the zoo.
Jorvik Viking Center, York
The magnificent city of York can trace its history back to the 9th century when it was under Viking territory. The Scandinavians knew it better as ‘Jorvik’ which then became York. And the best place to get to grips with the fascinating history and heritage is via the Jorvik Viking Center. Learn a little at the interactive event which runs until August 2014; ‘Colours of Conflict: The Wars of the Roses in Yorkshire’. And this Christmas visitors can meet Father Christmas and take a Jorvik Gallery Tour.
SS Great Britain, Bristol
The greatest engineer in British history, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), is honoured at the SS Great Britain site in Bristol. The mighty SS Great Britain was his greatest achievement – it was the very first iron steam ship to navigate the Atlantic. Step on board and wander the decks and head into the hull – the video below shows the full splendour of the ship. And the Christmas season is marked with a special festive market and visitors take part in Brunel’s Victorian Christmas dinner, whilst Dickensian carol singers entertain you.