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Nice Christmasy towns within 2hr train journey from London?

(30 Posts)
LyrasOmlette Wed 16-Nov-16 21:21:13

Thinking of taking the kids, 4 & 5, on a 2-3 day trip outside London in the week before Christmas. Are there any nice towns that do festive/Christmas with real style - markets, etc, that we could reach by train, max 2 hours away?

UK only, pls, as our passports are in the process of being renewed, so we can't go abroad.


GuinefortGrey Wed 16-Nov-16 21:48:33

Bath has a very well established Christmas market in the Abbey courtyard and is a lovely city to visit. It does get very, very busy though!

NoSunNoMoon Wed 16-Nov-16 21:49:28

German Market in Birmingham

CatThiefKeith Wed 16-Nov-16 21:49:39

Dickensian Christmas weekend in Rochester is good

frenchielala Wed 16-Nov-16 21:49:53

Manchester has nice xmas markets and 2hrs 9mins from Euston

Biscuitsneeded Wed 16-Nov-16 21:51:04

I was going to say Bath. It's gorgeous. I think Lincoln has a Xmas market too but you might want to check that!

Tottyandmarchpane1 Wed 16-Nov-16 21:52:38

Winchester - lovely markets and traditional Christmas decorations in the centre.

Spindelina Wed 16-Nov-16 21:52:47

The market in Bath is being set up now though, and it only runs for two weeks / three weekends.

NicknameUsed Wed 16-Nov-16 22:00:00

Lincoln Christmas market is at the beginning of December. Personally I wouldn't take two small children to a Christmas market without another adult as they get very crowded, and it would be very easy to lose the children.

HappenstanceMarmite Wed 16-Nov-16 22:05:26

Winchester. Christmas market and ice rink. Plus the Cathedral carols.

PepeLePew Wed 16-Nov-16 22:06:31

I was going to say Winchester. It's pretty at Christmas time and the market is very festive.

123rd Wed 16-Nov-16 22:11:25

Bury st Edmunds has a fantastic Christmas market. It gets very very busy

Poppiesway Wed 16-Nov-16 22:13:25

Was just about to say Bury St edmunds too!!

I live an hour drive away and having lived here for 40 years I've only just discovered Bury for shopping. It's fantastic!!

rookiemere Fri 18-Nov-16 17:30:03

York is lovely in the lead up to Christmas and just within your 2hr train limit.

kelper Fri 18-Nov-16 17:31:59

I third Bury St Edmunds, its a lovely christmas market, and the town itself is really nice to walk around, the kids can have a charge around the abbey gardens too ;)

Ohtobeskiing Fri 18-Nov-16 17:33:04

Winchester- market , cathedral, ice skating.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Fri 18-Nov-16 17:33:41

York. Christmas market in the streets, and the Castle museum for a Victorian Christmas street.

rosesandcashmere Fri 18-Nov-16 17:33:53

Winchester, cathedral and Christmas market.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Fri 18-Nov-16 17:35:11

Oh, and you can meet Santa on a train in York railway museum too

stumblymonkey Fri 18-Nov-16 17:40:00

Another vote for Bath....we're going the first weekend of December and it has 170 stalls!

amicissimma Tue 22-Nov-16 21:35:11

A bit closer: St Albans or Kingston-upon-Thames.

Revealall Wed 23-Nov-16 17:56:11

Winchester is very very pretty but I'd the train is rubbish.

I'd get the direct train to Portsmouth from Waterloo and you are right next to the naval dockyard. They have HMS Victory and the others with their masts all lit up - looks fantastic on the water and the dockyard has plenty to see and do. Once you've paid to get in you can go on the boats, museums etc and obviously they are all wooden and old fashioned They do amazing Christmas events.
You are also right next to Gunwharf outlet for food and shops and again lovely views out to the Isle of Wight.

Flingmoo Wed 23-Nov-16 17:58:49

Go down to the Bluebell Railway whose stations have been used in various period dramas including Downton. They have Santa specials and the stations are decorated in a Victorian Christmas style smile

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Wed 23-Nov-16 18:00:52

I was going to say Rochester, I've just passed the castle which is all set up for the market and it looks amazing.

exexpat Wed 23-Nov-16 18:02:04

Bath is a lovely city to visit, and the Christmas market is huge and more exciting than most, but it only runs until mid-December (last day this year is December 11th), so no good if you are waiting until the schools break up.

But Bath could be worth a pre-Christmas visit anyway - the centre is pretty, there are other Christmas events on, and there is lots of shopping even without the market - and if you are there for a few days you could always hop on the train to Bristol, where the Christmas market (not as good as Bath, but still fun) goes on later, and there are also temporary ice rinks etc.

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