Avoid a Royle Family Christmas

Bath Christmas Market

Psychology Today reported that an alarming 45% of people dread the festive season. If this is how you’re feeling, why don’t you revitalise things this year and take a Christmas staycation? There are many magical spots here in the UK just waiting to be explored. Take the family or don’t and have a festive season free of cringe-worthy cracker jokes...

“Why don’t you revitalise things this year and take a Christmas staycation? There are so many magical spots here in the UK.”

Bath

The Christmas market in Bath is truly enchanting – 170 wooden chalets teeming with exquisite gifts, mulled wine, mince pies and much more. While the markets run until 11 December, there is plenty to keep you in this spellbinding city up until Christmas day and beyond. Skate on Bath’s festive ice rink, listen to the carol service at the Abbey or take a tour of the Roman Baths. Make the time to dine at one of the city’s beautiful restaurants or rejuvenate in the UK’s only natural thermal spa.

Gloucestershire

Be charmed by the thatched roofs, tea rooms and warm, welcoming taverns of the Cotswolds region on Christmas day. Or rug up and visit the Bird and Deer Park over in Prinknash that has a winter wonderland extravaganza running until 24 December. The Cirencester Corinium Museum has some fascinating festive exhibitions running until early January. Or, for something really different, participate in the charity swim at Sandford Parks Lido on Christmas day.

Edinburgh

The arrestingly beautiful Scottish capital is the home to not one, but two Christmas markets, and if you really fall in love with the place, why not stick around for Hogmanay? The Scottish Market, which boasts tasty local morsels and gorgeous handmade gifts, can be found each year in St Andrews Square until 24 December. Alternatively, the European Market runs until 7 January in East Princes Street Gardens and it too is filled with trinkets, toys, food and entertainment.

Portmeirion

This picturesque spot in North Wales is ideal for a memorable festive getaway. Designed in the style of an Italian village, it was once the location for the 1960s spy drama The Prisoner. Christmastime sees it welcoming guests for 3-night-deals in boutique boltholes surrounded by snow-capped mountains, gorgeous tearooms, invigorating walks and cosy fireplaces. 

A country hotel of your choosing...

There are so many of these to be discovered, we are truly spoiled for choice. The Pig pubs are a perfect example, and can be found in various locales. Dubbed ‘a restaurant with rooms’, they pride themselves on providing delicious British food, largely sourced from their own gardens. Many country hotels have other attractions such as live music, spa rooms and provide luxury suites that still manage to possess a rustic charm.

Forget peeling parsnips, serving sherry and doing dishes - enjoy a relaxing Christmas. You’re welcome.

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