There is no better way of bringing in the Christmas cheer than moseying around a festive market while sipping hot chocolate or mulled wine and then munching down on some bratwurst or roasted nuts.
Also wandering around some of the fabulous light displays and Christmas fairs sends a happy tingling sensation to the soul.
Of course if you are one of the lucky ones to secure your Lapland tickets you are in for the most magical day. It’s one of the few places that can rekindle your inner child.
With so much choice available it was hard to narrow it down to just 10.
So here are my 10 activities to do in and around Berkshire this Christmas
Ascot Christmas Fair
16th November to 19th November – Admission £5 pp
The Christmas fair at Ascot racecourse is a great day out. With over 100 stalls form local suppliers and talented artisans. You will be spoilt for choice with unique gifts, decorations, food and drinks stalls, fashion and accessories.
With ample parking it’s a great way to kick start Christmas. Tickets valid for any day and are available at ukgrandsales . I couldn’t seem to find out if you can purchase tickets at the gates.
Christmas at Blenheim Palace
17th November to 31st December. Prices vary per attraction
Christmas at Blenheim Palace is a fun filled day out. There is plenty to keep young and old entertained. New for this year is the illumination light trail.
The Christmas market is available from Friday 17th November till Sunday 17th December. It offers an array of festival goodies and tasty treats.
If that wasn’t enough in addition to the markets there is a retelling of the classic tale sleeping beauty with a modern twist.
There is free entry for the Christmas market, for everything else all tickets must be purchased in advance. There is also a parking fee for all customers and of course some perks for annual ticket holders.
Christmas at LEGOLAND Windsor
Selected dates from 25th November. See website for prices
If you have a few Lego fanatics in your household then take a look and the LEGOLAND Windsor resort. They have a whole load of festive activities organised over December. On top of that a selection of your favourite rides will be open for some festive screams. Additions include a visit to santa and an overnight stay in the LEGOLAND Hotel.
The magical Lapland Uk is unfortunately sold out. “However” remember things happen, and someone else unfortunate circumstance could become your last-minute surprise. Sign up to their mailing list for possible cancellations, and for ticket sales for 2024. Could you just imagine pulling your kids out of school to tell them you are taking them to Lapland!! How awesome would that be? You’ve got to dream hey!!
The Festival of Light Newbury
Sunday 10th December 16.30. Free
The Festival of Light is always one of the highlights of the Newbury calendar, where the town centre is transformed into a candlelit wonderland. Northbrook Street comes alive with handmade lanterns, music and celebrations, It really is a sight to behold.
If you want to make one of your own lanterns, join one of three lantern making workshops in late November early December.
Windsor on Ice
Friday 17th November to 7th January 2024. Individual and family tickets available
Regardless of the weather Windsor on ice offers a great value day out for all the family. We all associate snow and ice with Christmas. So skating on ice surrounded with festive magic is a great way of igniting the Christmas spirit.
Windsor Great Park Illumination
16th November to 2nd January 2024. Peak, off peak and super off peak prices available
Prepare to be captivated. The Windsor great park illumination is back and promises to be better than ever. Mesmerising light, illuminated water displays, it can only be described as a feast for the eyes. Speaking about feasts, with all that walking enjoy some delicious food and hot drinks along the way. Firstly make sure you wear comfortable footwear and dress for the elements. The most popular dates sell out quickly so be sure to book early.
Check website for entertainment dates
Christmas is all about giving. This year the Lexicon embraces the spirit of Christmas. Nominate your own shining star, someone who you think deserves a special treat. There will be 12 days of entertainment with live music and activities. With plenty of options for shopping, Christmas markets and even selfie stations where you can easily make a donation to Bracknell food bank. With ample parking and great dining options the Lexicon is a great place during the festive weeks.
Henley Christmas Festival
24th November 4pm to 9pm. Free
Henley’s Christmas festival is looking to be bigger and better than ever.
The town centre will be closed to traffic. The streets will be filled with stalls for food, gifts and stocking fillers. Add music, entertainment, and also the annual switching on of the lights. It is sure to be a great day out.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
17th November to 1st January 2024. Book tickets in advance
We are stretching out a bit further now. A generous handful of stops on the train and an hour or so of your time will land you at London Waterloo. You just need to scurry across the Capitals streets to Hyde park.
Ice skating, Christmas markets galore, the big wheel, entertainment and so much more awaits you at winter wonderland. With so much to see you could easily spend the whole day there.
However It does come with a mixed bag of reviews, also it is London so it won’t be a bargain day out. But it has been on the go for nearly 20 years and with 2.5 million visitors a year, they are obviously doing something right. It does get busy so be prepared for lots of queuing on the peak days.
European Christmas Market
I know I said in and around Berkshire but this is also a lovely option. There is something magical about seeing these picturesque European cities burst into colour and festive spirit. It maybe a little last minute for this year but it’s definitely something to stick on your bucket list especially if you love Christmas.
With options for short stays to some of Europe’s best markets it’s another great option. The earlier you book the more affordable it will be.
Check out this article in the Times by Mary Novakovich and Qin Xie on the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Christmas is a time for giving so please support your local shops, businesses and traders as best you can. I hope you enjoyed this blog. For more things festive check in on our blog page on our website or join the mailing list to be the first in the know!