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Best Christmas Towns in the UK

Have you ever wondered where the best Christmas towns in the UK are to enjoy that true festive feeling?

Wonder no more. We have discovered the most popular towns for a Christmas holiday, based on our customers’ booking habits. No matter where you are in the UK, the Christmas cheer is alive, but these 12 UK towns are better than most at providing that magical feeling. Whether you are looking for the best places to spend Christmas, or seeking some Christmas inspiration, this guide is ideal for you.

Step into Christmas and discover the UK’s best Christmas towns…

The Best Christmas Towns in the UK… unwrapped

To discover the 12 best Christmas towns in the UK, we looked at the bookings breakdown for holidays that took place during the festive period over the past five years.

After analysing our data, we found some interesting similarities between the towns, as well as some fascinating facts:

best christmas towns infographic

Ready for the results? Let the countdown commence! These are the 12 best Christmas towns in the UK, as chosen by you…

12.  Amble

amble town in winter

Boasting an idyllic position on the Northumberland coast and claiming 12th best Christmas town in our countdown is Amble. With its friendly atmosphere, it is little surprise that many of our customers choose Amble as their place to go for Christmas in England.

Mornings can be spent meandering the Harbour Village, which is home to a collection of independent shops, brimming with gifts for that special someone. A perfect haunt for last-minute shoppers!

Come evening, wrap up warm and marvel at the streets that have been lit up by hand-made lanterns and light installations for the annual ‘Amble Festival of Light’. Find them on every doorstep, window, back lane and lamppost. A magical way to spend time as you wait for the big day.

Find further holiday inspiration with our Northumberland travel guide.

11. Settle

Settle town

Settle is a special market town, placed between the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Forest of Bowland.

Crowned the 11th best Christmas town in the UK, those visiting Settle can expect plenty of heritage and culture, along with plenty of traditional Christmas cheer to enjoy.

Christmas lights illuminate the town, framing its array of independent shops, intimate restaurants and historical buildings.

This charming Yorkshire town promises to be one of the best places to spend Christmas in the UK.

10. Ludlow

ludlow in winter

Just making it into the top 10 is one of the most picturesque towns in Shropshire.

Ludow is a medieval market town with a bustling atmosphere to enjoy all year around. It has gained a reputation for its quality food and drink producers and sees thousands flock here for the annual Ludlow food and drink festival.

What’s more, the festive season sees the town transform into one of the most magical places to visit in the UK. The Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre  is your chance to mingle with medieval jesters and virtually explore 100s of stalls selling seasonal wares and historical goods. Be sure to pick up a unique gift for a loved one during this online event!

9. Conwy

conwy castle and harbour

What is more magical than seeing one of the best castles in Wales, a quaint harbour, the smallest house in Great Britain and the silhouette of Snowdonia?

With all that in mind, it will come as no surprise that Conwy is on our list of best Christmas towns in the UK. From the moment you cross the Telford Suspension Bridge, you know that you are in one of the UK’s most Christmassy towns.

Imagine meandering the medieval walls before warming up with a hot chocolate in one of the cosy cafes on the high street. Then venturing to the harbour, where you’ll find the little red painted house measuring just 3.05m x 1.83m, before returning to the warmth of a quaint holiday cottage in Conwy. Bliss!

8. Bakewell

River Wye in Bakewell

Famed for being the home of the Bakewell tart, the Peak District town of Bakewell is sure to get a little sweeter at Christmas.

With a plethora of quaint cafés, snowy riverside walks and cracking Christmas displays, it is easy to see why so many of our customers love it.

As well as the attractive town centre, the magnificent Peak District National Park is waiting to be explored. And of course the nearby Chatsworth House, which always has a beautiful Christmas display to enjoy.

With plenty of charming things to see and do, Bakewell is definitely one of the best places in the UK to spend Christmas.

7. Ambleside

Rydal Water in winter

During the summertime, the pretty town of Ambleside is full of tourists wishing to explore the beauty of the Lake District National Park.

Come wintertime, the crowds of tourists are replaced with endearing fairy lights, while independent shops and eateries fully embrace the Christmas spirit.

With a panorama of mountainous fells and majestic lakes as your backdrop, you can see why this is one of the most magical places to visit in the UK at Christmas.

6. Buxton

Buxton Park Pavilion in the Snow

Next up on our guide to the best Christmas towns in the UK is Buxton. This idyllic spa town is at the centre of the Peak District National Park and offers that Christmas charm that you are dreaming of.

During the winter months, the ornamental gardens are covered in snow, a picturesque sight to behold. And what better way to work off the Christmas calories than with an easy Peak District walk?

Furthermore, enjoy candlelit tours of Haddon Hall, the snowy beauty of the Peaks and the many lovely cafés for an indulgent drink.

For further inspiration, take a look at our free Peak District travel guide.

5. Skipton


Taking 5th spot on our best Christmas town in the UK list is the Yorkshire town of Skipton.

With welcoming locals, independent shops galore and a majestic countryside, what is there not to love about Skipton?

It is a lovely place at any time of the year, but during December you will find the Christmas charm that you are seeking. Enjoy the twinkling lights and towering Christmas tree with a mulled wine in hand, before returning to the comfort of a cosy Skipton cottage.

4. Llandudno

Llandudno Pier

Our data revealed this coastal town to be the 4th best Christmas town in the UK. Llandudno is loved by all who visit, so is sure to fill you with some holiday glee!

This Victorian gem has a sense of elegance throughout the year, but when the Christmas lights adorn the streets, Llandudno turns on the charm.

The town hosts a chance to have breakfast with Santa, an array of festive lunches and festive afternoon teas, all with the view of the North Wales coast. This is what Christmas dreams are made of, right?

After filling up on tasty festive snacks, why not enjoy the fresh air of a North Wales coastal walk?

3. Scarborough

Scarborough in snow

Another coastal spot to celebrate the festive season? That’s right, Scarborough has claimed the title as the 3rd best Christmas town in the UK.

The popular seaside resort rests on the North Sea coast in North Yorkshire and is loved by families of all ages and tastes. The town hosts many Christmas events; you can see Santa at the harbour, as well as pick up excellent festive gifts at the shops.

Add to this a stunning coastline that looks particularly beautiful during the winter. Wrap up in your winter woollies and enjoy a walk along the Yorkshire coast.

With wintery strolls along the beach and enchanting festivities to admire, Scarborough is undoubtedly one of the best Christmas towns in the UK.

2. Bowness-on-Windermere

Jetty At Windermere

Our penultimate best Christmas town in the UK is the ever-charming, Bowness-on-Windermere.

This sprawling tourist town rests next to England’s largest lake and is surrounded by wonderful mountain scenery, which is calling out to be explored.

The annual Windermere Christmas Celebration is an exciting family-friendly event, boasting over 40 local produce stalls, all with a Christmas twist. You will also find live entertainment and a welcoming community spirit; a true Christmas feel indeed.

1. Whitby

Whitby in winter

Finally, taking at least three times as many bookings as any other destination on this list, Whitby takes the crown as the best Christmas town in the UK.

Magical at any time of the year, Whitby has a wide and varied culture that even the Grinch would love. From its traditional Christmas tree competition at St Mary’s Church to its lantern parade, there is something for everyone.

Venture to the market for some lovely gifts, which in true Whitby style is a collection of beach huts selling the most beautiful crafts and produce.

Beyond the Christmas markets are winding cobbled streets, an array of perfect pubs and the unique things that Whitby is famous for.

As a result, the festive events, cosy pubs and enchanting scenery makes Whitby the ultimate Christmassy place to visit in the UK.

Book your next UK break up to 24 months in advance

book now for 2020 and 2021

Which of these best Christmas towns in the UK would you like to visit? Take a look at our best places to visit in the UK in winter and secure your Christmas 2020/2021 holiday today. Alternatively, use our free UK travel guide to discover more things to do on your UK Christmas holiday. For a Christmas Day with a difference, try our alternative Christmas ideas.

Image Credits: Dr Neil Clifton(CC BY-SA 2.0); Shropshire&TelfordTSB(CC BY 2.0); Toubunshin(CC BY-SA 3.0)

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