Where would you go in the UK for a fabulous Christmas experience?

(52 Posts)
Venay Thu 22-Aug-13 22:16:32

Sorry - I know it is horrible to ask in August! My sister is visiting in December for 3 weeks, and I would like to take her to a traditional British Christmas event. I have tried googling, and it keeps suggesting things like we should visit Santa in Lapland or go to Germany for the Christmas markets, however we have 3 under 5s between us, and I don't think we want to leave the UK.

So, is there anywhere good in the UK that we could visit? My sister is especially interested in history, and would probably enjoy a Stately home - her children won't have seen reindeer or snow or Santa...

Does anyone have any advice?

BaconAndAvocado Wed 28-Aug-13 21:19:11

We are hopefully doing Lapland UK for the first (and probably the last, eek tres pricey!) time this Christmas.

It's at Windsor this year.

OldRoan Tue 27-Aug-13 17:24:11

The Somerset House ice rink has a smaller children's one at the back (like the baby pool if you go swimming) with penguins they can push around for support.

I feel very strongly that Christmas needs some sort of show, so maybe a panto but The Snowman is meant to be wonderful (and I see was mentioned upthread).

Stately homes often have Christmas events on - I know some do a traditional X period Christmas (for whatever era the house was built) with Father Christmas on certain days. Hampton Court carol singing - I think the historic palaces will update their Christmas things soon (doesn't Hampton Court have an ice rink?)

jamtoast12 Tue 27-Aug-13 08:35:25

Oh and of course an overnight stay in the alton towers or splash landings hotel.

jamtoast12 Tue 27-Aug-13 08:34:45

Purely for the kids....the alton towers santas sleepover is great.. Family of four about £200 but cheaper if kids under 2. Inc rides, full Xmas dinner, grotto, animals etc, splashworld, panto etc. we went a few years ago and it was brilliant

invicta Mon 26-Aug-13 20:51:31

Leeds castle in kent, and the Dickens festival in Rochester. Also, Xscape real snow ski centre in Milton Keynes is lways nice to visit.

joanofarchitrave Mon 26-Aug-13 20:46:46

I would look at going to a choral Advent service at a cathedral - maybe Salisbury or Wells if you are going to Bath.

oohdaddypig Mon 26-Aug-13 20:40:45

Sorry kiwi - your trip BTW - sounds fabulous! Just realised how negative my post looked after your happy one grin

oohdaddypig Mon 26-Aug-13 20:39:02

Chipping, if it makes you feel any better I'm not a massive fan of Christmas either. Unhappy memories as a child. I don't know many people for whom it's very joyous hmm

kiwidreamer Mon 26-Aug-13 11:09:02

We are going to LaplandUK this year, our first visit, this year its being set up in Windsor which is an easy train ride from London (change at Slough, but a little way from the train station at the other end)

I'm super excited, its expensive but supposed to be a lovely immersive experience. Their FB page says if you register on their website you will get early release option on tickets from Sept 10

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 22:09:45

ohdaddypig - No, I didn't think you were being insensitive, you didn't know, so I was just trying to explain why it's the way it is.

Trust me, I know that Christmas is everywhere from August onwards - shops, tv, radio... but MN is one place where you can escape most of that if you want to for the larger part of the year.

I am 'very old' to mumsnet - it never ceases to amaze me either grin

(Oh and to be clear, because my last post wasn't, I haven't lost a child, my reason for Christmas stuff upsetting me is different. I am dealing with it better this year and the random Christmas threads don't upset me so much, last year I just wanted them out of the way so I didn't have to see them. Apart from helping the bereaved parents (which is reason alone) the zillion billion million threads about Christmas do completely overtake the boards if they aren't in their own topic. People get very fed up of them and it's not pretty!!)

oohdaddypig Sat 24-Aug-13 21:48:15

Im sorry chipping. Im not trying to be insensitive - im sorry if you feel I was.

My perspective is more that I am amazed - shocked - by some of the stuff I read each day on mumsnet that the moderating of this thread stumped me. Im talking nasty nasty stuff.

Christmas, unfortunately, is everywhere after summer. There are christmas cards in shops already. So I felt a thread about christmas breaks would be relatively benign.

I am newish to mumsnet - it never ceases to amaze me.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 20:31:47

ohdaddypig - are you quite new to Mumsnet? It gets FILLED with threads about Christmas from August. Lots of MNers find Christmas a very very difficult time (mostly those who have lost a child) but for various other reasons too - it is just in consideration of those people.

Last year Christmas talk still really really upset me and having it shoved in your face from August to Dec is really, really hard. You might not understand, but please try to accept that that is the case for many people.

Of course the OP didn't know that, so Olivia is just nicely moving it over to the designated topic.

PoppyWearer Sat 24-Aug-13 20:26:07

OP, a previous poster has mentioned Lapland UK. Lapland UK will be in the Bracknell/Windsor area this year, so definitely doable for you from London. It's supposed to be expensive but worth it.

Otherwise, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and also the South Bank usually has a winter market/fairground/Santa IIRC.

MrsGubbins Sat 24-Aug-13 20:20:08

I think she just means this should go in the Christmas topic so people can avoid it if they want to

oohdaddypig Sat 24-Aug-13 19:54:40

Dear olivia

Are you joking that you cant have chat about xmas on
a chat thread in august?!

Im not trying to be difficult or a troublemaker - I promise! - but frankly that is ridiculous. The OP isnt even asking about christmas per se and instead seeking opinions on destinations for a xmas break.

Given the stuff I see on mumsnet daily - some of it downright offensive - I have realised the world is truly crazy!!!!!

Venay Sat 24-Aug-13 19:45:41

I am sorry OlivaMMumsnet. I only just joined, and I didn't know there were rules about Christmas.

Thank you to everyone for all the brilliant suggestions. I will go google them all once the children are in bed.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 23-Aug-13 23:08:30

Hello
We do have to be rather strict about Christmas as some people are a bit hmm about talking about it too early
(I've been xmassing in july but I do have a valid excuse this year grin)
so we will move this to our christmas topic now
Thanks
MNHQ

everydayaschoolday Fri 23-Aug-13 08:54:38

Another: my 4yo loved 'The Snowman' at the Peacock Theatre in London.

everydayaschoolday Fri 23-Aug-13 08:52:01

And free fireworks display each week.

Floralnomad Fri 23-Aug-13 08:51:36

There's a reindeer farm in kent that's nice for small children .

everydayaschoolday Fri 23-Aug-13 08:50:57

We're booked in Center Parks for a long weekend. They have a Santa grotto (last year was £10 but good value and good toy), short pony trek to the grotto (bit steep at about £10 for 5 mins but priceless for my then 4yo), live reindeer (free to visit), lots of Christmas decorations and lights. We love it but not everyone's thing. Extras can be expensive but swimming is free, badminton and climbing wall are cheap, we go for walks in the woods (collect pine cones), self cater and have one special meal out.

AnneUulmelmahay Fri 23-Aug-13 08:45:41

Your shop sounds lovely. Maybe see you in Dec, I meet mates in Bath for lunch/christmas shopping.

aphra - we're Ridge & Furrow - on bath street ( the new bit by bhs) doing garden and home stuff

Anne - no breakables here - I'm sure you'd be forgiven and not the first

AphraBehn Thu 22-Aug-13 23:28:42

Somerset House skating rink is also lovely, especially at night. You can get a coffee and go and watch for free if you don't want to skate.

I think Kew Gardens are doing special winter evening openings as well this year, with lights etc.

AnneUulmelmahay Thu 22-Aug-13 23:27:11

Oooh Prunella, I do hope your stall wasnt glass tree ornaments last year [clumsy clot]

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