Best Places to Visit in the UK in December

Explore the Best Places to Visit in the UK in December

Are you considering a trip to the UK in December? Maybe you want to explore outside the capital for a change? I hear you – London is of course a world city and an amazing place to visit, but if you dare to escape the Big Smoke you’re in for a treat.

December is a wonderful time to visit the UK, with plenty of exciting destinations to explore and unique experiences to enjoy.

From charming winter wonderlands to festive cheer, there’s something for everyone. Let’s get right into the best places to visit in the UK during this magical month!

Best Places to Visit in the UK in December


Best Places to Visit in the UK in December – Key Takeaways:

  • Visiting the UK in December offers advantages like fewer crowds and better deals.
  • York is a winter wonderland with enchanting Christmas markets.
  • The Isle of Skye showcases winter beauty in Scotland.
  • Bath provides a warm escape with its Roman Baths and Christmas market.
  • Edinburgh offers festive cheer and memorable New Year’s Eve celebrations.

York – A Winter Wonderland in the UK

York is a picturesque city in England that becomes particularly enchanting to visit in winter. With its charming Christmas markets, stunning architecture, and magical atmosphere, it offers a truly memorable experience.

One of the main highlights of visiting York in December is exploring the city’s Christmas markets. These markets are a feast for the senses, with charming chalets selling a wide range of unique gifts and delicious food. Stroll through the stalls, savour the festive scents, and immerse yourself in the joyful atmosphere.

Another advantage of visiting York in winter is the lack of crowds. With fewer tourists, you can fully appreciate the city’s historic landmarks, such as the famous York Minster and the well-preserved city walls. Take a leisurely walk along the Snickelways, the narrow historic alleys that wind through the city, and soak in the magical ambience.

In addition to its festive markets and historic charm, York also looks stunning in winter light. The streets come alive with beautiful Christmas decorations and twinkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere as you explore the city. The winter season adds an extra touch of charm to this already enchanting destination.

So, if you’re looking for a winter wonderland in the UK, York should be at the top of your list. With its Christmas markets, historic sites, and enchanting atmosphere, it offers a truly magical experience during the winter months.

Isle of Skye – Winter Beauty in Scotland

The Isle of Skye in Scotland is a true winter wonderland, offering breathtaking natural beauty and a peaceful escape from the bustling crowds. Although some attractions may close during the winter months, the island’s charm remains intact, providing visitors with a unique and serene experience. And that’s why it’s one of the best places to visit in the UK in December in my humble opinion.

One of the must-see attractions on the Isle of Skye is the Fairy Pools. These crystal-clear pools, nestled within the dramatic landscape, offer a picturesque setting for winter walks and photography. The snowy backdrop of the Cuillin Hills adds to the enchantment, creating a stunning contrast against the sparkling waters.

Another highlight of the Isle of Skye is the Skye Bridge, which connects the island to the mainland. This iconic structure offers panoramic views of the surrounding scenery, making it a perfect spot for capturing memorable photographs.

Winter Attractions in the Isle of Skye

During the winter months, the Isle of Skye is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can embark on scenic hikes, witness the majestic Storr rock formations covered in snow, and marvel at the seasonal beauty that blankets the landscape.

For those seeking tranquillity and solitude, winter is an ideal time to explore the island’s hidden gems, such as secluded beaches and remote viewpoints. The absence of summer crowds allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the island’s natural wonders.

Winter Attractions Description
The Fairy Pools A series of stunning natural pools nestled in the Isle of Skye’s countryside.
Old Man of Storr An iconic rock formation that offers breathtaking views of the Isle of Skye.
Quiraing A captivating landscape of dramatic cliffs and rolling hills.
Talisker Bay A beautiful beach with striking cliffs and unique geological features.

Winter is a magical time to visit the Isle of Skye. The island’s untouched beauty, combined with the tranquility of the season, creates a truly unforgettable experience.

Whether it’s exploring the Fairy Pools, marvelling at the snowy Cuillin Hills, or simply taking in the peaceful atmosphere, the Isle of Skye offers a winter getaway like no other. Embrace the raw beauty of the island and create lasting memories amidst the stunning Scottish landscape.

Bath – A Warm Winter Escape in England

Bath, located in Somerset, England, is a delightful city to visit all year round but is particularly fab during the winter season. Known for its rich history and stunning architecture, Bath offers a range of festive activities and attractions that make it a perfect destination for a winter getaway. Heck, I’ve even written a full guide to Bath so go check it out when you’re done here.

One of the highlights of visiting Bath in winter is the Bath Christmas Market. Set against the backdrop of the city’s beautiful Georgian buildings, the market is a magical experience filled with over 150 chalets selling unique gifts, local crafts, and delicious food. Strolling through the market, visitors can immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere, sampling traditional treats like mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.


While in Bath, a visit to the Roman Baths is a must. Although the outdoor pool may be closed during the winter months, the indoor museum offers a fascinating insight into the city’s Roman history. Exploring the ancient ruins and learning about the Roman bathing rituals is a captivating experience that transports visitors back in time.

Aside from the Christmas market and the Roman Baths, Bath also boasts a variety of other attractions and activities to enjoy in winter. Visitors can take a relaxing dip in the Thermae Bath Spa, where they can soak in the warm, mineral-rich waters and enjoy panoramic views of the city. The city’s charming streets are perfect for leisurely walks, offering glimpses of Georgian architecture and hidden gems around every corner.

Festive Activities in Bath

Activity Description
Visit the Bath Christmas Market Explore the festive stalls selling unique gifts and local delicacies.
Discover the Roman Baths Step back in time and learn about the city’s ancient Roman history.
Indulge in the Thermae Bath Spa Relax and rejuvenate in the warm mineral-rich waters of the spa.
Explore the city’s streets Take a leisurely walk and admire the stunning Georgian architecture.

Edinburgh – Festive Cheer in the Scottish Capital

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a top destination to visit in the UK in winter. The city comes alive with festive cheer during the colder months, offering Christmas markets, ice skating rinks, and seasonal decorations.

The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, which include a torchlight procession, street parties, and fireworks, provide a memorable New Year’s Eve experience. The city’s historic attractions, such as Edinburgh Castle, are also less crowded in winter.

One of the highlights of winter in Edinburgh is the Christmas markets. Set against the backdrop of the historic city, these markets showcase local crafts, delicious food, and festive entertainment. From handmade gifts to traditional Scottish treats, visitors can indulge in the holiday spirit while exploring the festive stalls.

For those seeking a truly unforgettable New Year’s Eve, Edinburgh is the place to be. The Hogmanay celebrations are renowned worldwide, attracting visitors from near and far. Whether you join the torchlight procession, dance the night away at a street party, or watch the spectacular fireworks display, you’ll be immersed in the joyous atmosphere of Edinburgh’s biggest celebration.

Aside from the festive attractions, winter is also a great time to explore Edinburgh’s historic sites. With fewer tourists around, you’ll have more time and space to appreciate the city’s rich history and stunning architecture. Whether you visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle, stroll along the Royal Mile, or venture into the underground vaults, you’ll uncover the fascinating stories that make Edinburgh a captivating destination.

Edinburgh Winter Attractions

Attraction Description
Edinburgh Christmas Markets Experience the festive atmosphere and shop for unique gifts and delicious treats.
Hogmanay Celebrations Join the world-famous New Year’s Eve festivities, including a torchlight procession, street parties, and fireworks.
Edinburgh Castle Explore the iconic castle and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
Royal Mile Take a stroll along this historic street, lined with shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Underground Vaults Discover the eerie underground chambers beneath the city.

Immerse yourself in the festive cheer of Edinburgh during the winter months. Whether you’re exploring the Christmas markets, counting down to the new year, or discovering the city’s rich history, Edinburgh offers a magical experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

Canterbury – Charming Winter Delights in England

If you’re looking for a charming winter getaway, Canterbury in England is the perfect destination. This historic city, located in County Kent, offers a delightful mix of festive cheer, picturesque streets, and captivating attractions.

Whether you’re exploring the iconic Canterbury Cathedral, wandering through the Christmas markets, or immersing yourself in the city’s rich history, Canterbury has something to offer for every visitor.

One of the highlights of a winter visit to Canterbury is exploring the awe-inspiring Canterbury Cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only a stunning architectural masterpiece but also an important place of worship.

Step inside and marvel at the intricate stained glass windows, ornate carvings, and peaceful atmosphere. The cathedral truly comes alive during the holiday season, with special services and events that add to its enchanting ambience.

The Christmas markets in Canterbury are another must-visit attraction during the winter months. Stroll through the charming stalls, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations, and discover unique gifts, handmade crafts, and delicious treats. From local artisans to international vendors, the markets offer a wonderful opportunity to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs and soak up the joyful atmosphere.

Aside from the cathedral and Christmas markets, Canterbury is also home to a wealth of historic attractions. Take a step back in time as you explore the city’s medieval streets, lined with half-timbered buildings and quaint cafes. Visit the Canterbury Roman Museum to learn about the city’s Roman heritage or delve into the Canterbury Tales, a fascinating museum that brings Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous stories to life. With its rich history and charming atmosphere, Canterbury is a true winter delight.

Top Attractions in Canterbury

Attraction Description
Canterbury Cathedral A magnificent cathedral with stunning architecture and a rich history.
Christmas Markets Charming markets offering unique gifts, crafts, and delicious treats.
Canterbury Roman Museum A museum showcasing Canterbury’s Roman past with interactive exhibits.
Canterbury Tales A museum bringing Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous tales to life through immersive experiences.
St. Augustine’s Abbey A UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring the ruins of a historic abbey.

With its captivating history, festive atmosphere, and stunning architecture, Canterbury is a delightful destination to visit in the UK during the winter months. Immerse yourself in the city’s charm, explore its top attractions, and create lasting memories in this enchanting winter wonderland.


Surprisingly – and probably controversially – I think Winter is one of the best times to visit the UK and experience its unique and magical charm. Whether you’re exploring the enchanting streets of York, marvelling at the stunning landscapes of the Isle of Skye, or immersing yourself in the festive cheer of Bath, Edinburgh, and Canterbury, the UK offers a plethora of delightful winter destinations.

During December, the UK is less crowded, allowing for easier exploration of popular attractions and a more peaceful experience overall. You can enjoy winter activities, shop for unique gifts at Christmas markets, and admire the beauty of the UK in its winter glory.

When planning your UK winter holiday, consider the following tips: dress appropriately for the British weather, be prepared for unpredictable conditions like the classic four seasons in one day, and take advantage of the attractive prices and sweeter last-minute deals on transportation and accommodation. The winter months offer a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the best of the UK with fewer crowds, shorter wait times, and better deals.

So, whether you’re seeking a cosy escape or a festive adventure, the UK in winter has something for everyone. I hope you’ve got some inspiration from this summary of the best places to visit in the UK in December.

Plan your visit, pack your winter essentials, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this captivating destination.


How is the weather in the UK during winter?

The British weather in winter is unpredictable, but with the right clothing, it can be enjoyed. Make sure to dress warmly and be prepared for rain.

Are there any attractions that are closed during winter?

Some attractions, especially outdoor ones, may close or have reduced opening hours during winter. However, there are still plenty of places to visit and enjoy.

Which places in the UK are particularly enchanting to visit in winter?

York, the Isle of Skye, Bath, Edinburgh, and Canterbury are all wonderful cities to visit in the UK during winter, offering festive markets, historic charm, and beautiful scenery.

What are the main attractions in York during winter?

York is known for its amazing Christmas markets, where visitors can explore charming chalets selling Christmas gifts and food. The city also has historic attractions like York Minster and the city walls.

What can I do on the Isle of Skye during winter?

Despite some attractions closing, the Isle of Skye offers stunning natural beauty all year round. Visitors can explore the Fairy Pools, admire the Cuillin Hills, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

What makes Bath an ideal place to visit in winter?

Bath is known for its Roman Baths, which provide a warm and relaxing experience. The city also has a beautiful Christmas market and offers numerous shops, restaurants, and cafes to warm up in.

What can I expect in Edinburgh during winter?

Edinburgh comes alive with festive cheer during the colder months, offering Christmas markets, ice skating rinks, and seasonal decorations. The city’s historic attractions are also less crowded in winter.

Why should I visit Canterbury in winter?

Canterbury is a charming city with its iconic cathedral and festive Christmas markets. Visitors can explore the historic streets, discover quaint shops, and enjoy the holiday atmosphere.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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