Best Christmas events and festivities in the local area this year

Christmas is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year than with a festive break to one of our stunning parks around the UK.

To help get you in the festive spirit, we’ve put together a guide of some of the best Christmas events and festivities taking place in the local area this year. From fairy tale-like craft stalls to stunning illuminations and winter wonderland experiences… You won’t want to miss these!

Christmas Market

Mersea Island:

From fabulously festive Christmas markets to immersing yourself in the Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo’s exclusive event, there’s plenty to explore in the local area when visiting Mersea Island this festive season. From mouth-watering festive refreshments to beautiful local arts and crafts, The Colchester Town Hall Christmas Market is a brilliant venue to get all of your Christmas shopping done locally whilst supporting the area’s small businesses.

Looking for a day out with the littl’uns this Christmas? Just a 20 minute drive from the park, the Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo is the perfect event to soak up the festive atmosphere with the family. From seeing Santa’s reindeer in their stables and visiting the elves’ workshop, to browsing their Outpost Gift Shop and enjoying some festive treats, there’s plenty to get stuck into at Colchester Zoo this Christmas.

Barmouth Bay:

A magical experience for all the family, the Bala Lake Railway will once again be visited by Santa this year on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December 2021. Two of the railway’s festive steam trains will be embarking on the magical journey to Santa’s grotto, where all children on-board will get to meet Santa and receive a special gift. With festive treats on offer for the adults, the Bala Lake Railway makes a holly-jolly day out this Christmas.


Mill Rythe:

Hayling Wonderland is back for 2021 at Funland, Hayling Island. Just a short drive away from Mill Rythe, Funland is the perfect day out this December to truly harness the Christmas spirit. A popular amusement park on the South Coast, join the elves at Funland this Christmas for a spectacular wonderland experience. From enjoying a breath-taking walk through Wonderland (as well as exploring the Elf Village and magical decorations via the Funland Express), to meeting Santa Claus (and maybe even receiving a special present from Santa’s workshop!) – Hayling Wonderland is a must-visit when joining us at Mill Rythe this Christmas.

Southampton Christmas Market (40 minute drive) – Start your festive fun with a trip to Southampton Christmas Market. You can expect a traditional German fayre, an array of quirky stalls, alpine chalets, bratwurst sausages, waffles and all the festive goodies! The market also hosts an interactive Flying Santa Show, ideal for those magical memories with your little elves! 18th November ‑ 23rd December 2021.

Sandy Balls:

Whether you’re looking for traditional Christmas activities in the local area during your break or something with a little extra excitement, there’s something for everyone when visiting Hampshire this festive season. Visit the The Artisan Collective Fair (10th November 2021) for a spectacular day out featuring delicious artisan food and drink, seasonal arts, crafts and gifts, as well as a wide selection of festive stalls from local creators.

Keen to explore the beautiful New Forest surroundings during your getaway this Christmas? Join New Forest Activities for a festive paddle on the Beaulieu River this winter. With a 90-minute tour of the stunning nature reserve, the Canadian style canoes make a fantastic day out to take in the spectacular scenery. Plus, you’ll even get to meet Santa on the river in his boat full of Christmas gifts!

Christmas markets more your thing? Head down to buzzy seaside town, Bournemouth, for some festive fun with friends and family. 

Be dazzled by the magical Christmas Tree Wonderland, with over 100 glittering trees and illuminations all the way down to the seafront. Indulge in mulled wine or a stein of beer in the Alpine Lodge Bar. Wander along the various stalls in the Alpine Market, to find little Christmas treasures for your loved ones. Cosy up in a Snow Dome, for a dining experience to remember. And don’t forget to hit the ice rink for some festive fun!
18th November (Ice Skating only) / 19th November 2021 (Christmas Market, Snow Domes, Alpine Lodge Bar, Christmas Tree Wonderland) ‑ 2nd January 2022


Tattershall Lakes:

The perfect festive experience this December, Lincoln Christmas Market is home to over 200 stalls throughout the medieval square and surrounding area. With a stunning cultural location including Norman castle and gothic cathedral, Lincoln Christmas Market offers a spectacular festive day out for all the family.

Looking to add some real-life sparkle to your Christmas break? Visit Belton House this festive season for an after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens. With over a million lights illuminating the gardens, independent street food vendors offering delicious spiced winter warmers and endless festive fun to get stuck into, Christmas at Belton House is like no other.

Whitecliff Bay:

If you’re looking for a brilliant day out with both activities and entertainment, then the Ryde Fire Station Winter Wonderland Christmas Market on the 4th December 2021 is the perfect event for you. With a fantastic variety of seasonal stalls, crafts, warming treats, and festive fun for all the family, this Christmas Market offers everything a festive day out should… including Santa’s Grotto and an Elf Workshop for the kids!

Fancy adding a bit of adventure to your Christmas break? Join the Wight Winter Wheeler on the 5th December 2021 for the chance to cycle around the Isle of Wight and absorb the stunning winter scenery. You can find out more and enter by visiting the Challenging Events Website – there’s even a fancy dress competition so you can truly harness the Christmas spirit!

*Markets subject to change and dependent on government guidance at the time. Away Resorts have no affiliation with the listed events.

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