The countdown to Christmas has begun. Here’s our guide to some of the best ways to celebrate the festive season across the UK with some of Britain’s best Christmas events 2022…
From ornately decorated stately homes to festive shows, discover the events getting us into the spirit this December.
Britain’s best Christmas events 2022
Roll up, roll up for a circus extravaganza
Looking for a show that perfectly captures the thrill and excitement of Christmas? Book tickets for Circus 1903, which transports the audience back to a Barnum & Bailey-style American travelling circus, with lots of old-school (but still gasp-inducing) acts, from incredibly skilled jugglers to strongmen and an eye-popping contortionist. Charming and Christmassy – with life-size puppet elephants for added wow factor. Until 30 December.
Take in a festive light show at Hatfield House
Hatfield House, the Jacobean manor in which Elizabeth I grew up, is home to a brand-new light trail this Christmas. The extensive parkland features an array of dazzling light installations, with sparkling tunnels of light and twinkling trees illuminated in jewel-like colours, accompanied by a soundtrack of classical and contemporary festive favourites. There are also vintage-style funfair rides to get both big and little kids in the spirit.
Immerse yourself in the story of the Snow Queen at Blenheim Palace
Until 2 January, the State Rooms of Blenheim Palace will be decorated with garlands, Christmas trees and ornaments for its new Kingdom of the Snow Queen experience. Discover the glistening Land of Snowflakes filled with a silvery frost-covered forest and venture into the wintry Kingdom of Ice adorned with larger-than-life shimmering crystals. There’s also an illuminated Christmas trail in the grounds to round off the festive fun.
Gaze at the magnificent Christmas tree at Windsor Castle
Visit Windsor Castle until 2 January and you can see the magnificent 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir tree in St George’s Hall, taken from Windsor Great Park and dressed in twinkling decorations. The Waterloo Chamber, one of the largest and most impressive rooms in the Castle, will feature a sumptuous table display of decorative items from the Royal Collection beneath glittering chandeliers, and festive foliage and wreaths will adorn gates and lampposts in the Castle precincts, while spectacular garlands on the Grand Staircase will greet visitors as they enter the State Apartments.
Enjoy a royal Christmas at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Until 2 January, the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be decorated with twinkling garlands and a shining 15-foot Christmas tree in the Great Gallery, while the Great Stair leading to the historic State Apartments will be draped with twinkling velvet garlands, glistening berries and seasonal foliage. In the Royal Dining Room, the table will be laid with pieces from a silver service presented to George V and Queen Mary in 1935 to mark their Silver Jubilee.
See the Snowman at the Peacock Theatre
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without The Snowman. Raymond Briggs’ classic children’s book is wonderfully interpreted by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company at the Peacock Theatre until 31 December. Faithful to the original but with some lovely dance routines and additional comical and festive touches – such as the Fred Astaire snowman and Christmassy ballerina – this is essential pre-Christmas fare.
Feel the magic at the Barbican
Don’t miss the magical My Neighbour Totoro at London’s Barbican centre before the run ends on 21 January. This dazzling recreation of the Studio Ghibli classic by the Royal Shakespeare Company, with puppetry, spine-tingling music and a feel-good story, will delight adults and children alike and leave you with a Christmassy glow.
Enjoy animal magic at ZSL London Zoo
Visit Christmas past at Hampton Court Palace
Step into the festive spirit and with a visit to Hampton Court Palace’s dazzling after-hours lantern and light trail, Palace of Light, inspired by the Royal Beasts at the palace, until 2 January. Visitors can also enjoy the backdrop of Henry VIII’s former home as they skate back in time with the return of the ice rink to the palace’s Tudor West Front (until 8 January).
Have a colourful Christmas at the Eden Project
Christmas at the Eden Project in Cornwall promises to be a spectacular experience in an ever-changing landscape of shadows and light. Until 30 December, visitors will be met with pockets of glowing colour, a myriad of dancing lights as they make their way down towards the world-famous Biomes. Along the way they will discover playful light installations and effects and watch a moving kaleidoscope of colour projected across the lush slopes of the outdoor gardens.
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