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Are you tired of depending on a disliked TV schedule and the typical boardgames for holiday entertainment? Why not think about taking a Christmas trip that offers a variety of activities and entertainment options?
Many hotels have special deals during the Christmas season that include different types of activities, such as singing carols, attending midnight mass, participating in holiday-themed quizzes, and enjoying spa treatments.
There will also be ample leisure time for you to explore the charming thatched cottages and peaceful streams of the Cotswolds, or climb Ben Nevis if you would prefer to stay in Fort William.
You can also consider visiting Finland to see the Northern Lights and participate in traditional winter activities. Alternatively, you could spend Christmas on a sunny Lanzarote beach.
There are numerous hotels filled with fun activities waiting to greet you this holiday season, no matter what you prefer. Here are some top picks.
One of the UK’s most beloved regions is a beautiful place to spend Christmas. Filled with characterful market towns, scenic walking trails and honey-hued villages, the Cotswolds is an alluring countryside destination that provides a peaceful Christmas retreat. With Warner Leisure hotels, you can stay at the magnificent 18th-century Heythrop Park, close to the charming town of Chipping Norton, for a great blend of relaxation and entertainment.
During the four nights that you stay at this location, your visit will begin on Christmas Eve with a welcoming serving of mince pie and a drink. This will be followed by dinner in the evening. On Christmas Day, you can start off with a refreshing bucks fizz and breakfast, followed by a leisurely lunch and a more relaxed dinner in the evening. There will also be festive entertainment and activities available, such as tribute acts, dance workshops, themed quizzes, and various sports. Additionally, you will have access to the pool, sauna, and other leisure facilities.
The price of £979 per person includes a four-night stay, meals, drinks, and listed activities. Optional extras like spa treatments and afternoon tea can be included at checkout.
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Fort William, Scotland
Fort William sits on the shores of Loch Linnhe in the Scottish Highlands, acting as a gateway to Ben Nevis for would-be climbers. Though the main activity here is an ascent up the UK’s highest peak, there are other natural sites to explore, offering dozens of more relaxed walking trails, cycling routes and even ski runs at the nearby Nevis Range Mountain Resort. Morning cruises run along the Loch even in December, while the Ben Nevis Distillery remains open for those wanting to try a dram or two.
For a warm and enjoyable holiday experience surrounded by the beautiful Highlands, choose the three-night deal at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel. Along with all meals and a delicious Christmas Day lunch, you’ll also be entertained with live music, trivia games, a chance to make cocktails, and a special visit from Santa for children. As a bonus, guests have complimentary use of the spa and pool amenities, and pets are welcome for an additional £20 per night.
For the price of £405 per adult, you will receive three nights of lodging, all meals, and the listed activities.
Where better to head for Christmas than the home of Santa Claus himself? Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, is also home to the Santa Claus Village, the ‘official home’ of Father Christmas, which is decked out in festoon lights and sparkling decorations all year round. The Christmas spirit is palpable, with reindeer, igloos and plenty of snow guaranteed, plus the added bonus of snow-based activities and the opportunity to see the Northern Lights.
Responsible Travel customizes its trips to showcase the top activities in the area. Their five-day ‘Best of Lapland’ trip offers an immersive experience in this magical winter destination. The trip includes four activities centered around the Northern Lights, such as a snowmobile tour and a photography lesson. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit a reindeer farm, go husky sledding, take a snowshoeing excursion, and explore the Santa Claus Village.
The price for this package is £1,217 per person and includes five nights of lodging, all dinners, specified activities, and transportation to and from the airport.
Ryanair and easyJet offer non-stop flights to Rovaniemi from London Stansted and Luton, respectively. The round-trip ticket for Ryanair flights on December 23 and 28, 2023 costs £303.
The Canary Islands in Spain are the warmest spot in Europe for winter due to their position off the western coast of Morocco. In December, temperatures on the volcanic island of Lanzarote can reach up to 23C, making it perfect for activities like discovering the beautiful shoreline, visiting active craters, and exploring charming towns like Arrecife, the bustling capital city. Some of the must-see natural attractions include the rugged landscapes of Timanfaya National Park, the Los Hervideros cliffs, and the Jameos del Agua, a unique natural area that also serves as an arts and cultural hub.
Choose the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel in Playa Blanca for a Christmas vacation that will satisfy both parents and kids. This luxurious resort, located on the southern tip of the island, offers a festive package through British Airways Holidays. The stunning property features a collection of whitewashed buildings with a blend of Mediterranean and Moroccan influences. Guests can indulge in the amenities, which include eight restaurants, six swimming pools, and a spa. The hotel also organizes day trips and various activities, such as wine tours and kayaking excursions.
For just £1,518 per person, this package includes a six-night stay at a bed and breakfast, round-trip flights from London Gatwick, and one checked bag per traveler. Valid for departure on December 23, 2023.
While Staffordshire is often associated with popular attractions like Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, and the Potteries, there are also many opportunities to explore the vast countryside away from these theme parks and bustling towns like Burton and Stafford. The northeast region of Staffordshire includes a portion of the Peak District and, combined with the Cannock Chase Area of Natural Beauty, offers numerous hiking paths and breathtaking landscapes to discover.
The beautiful grounds of The Tawny offer a serene Christmas escape with stunning views of rolling hills and calm lakes. Your Christmas vacation will begin on Christmas Eve with a warm cup of mulled wine and the delightful sounds of carolers. This will be followed by a delicious three-course, a la carte dinner accompanied by live singers. The next morning, enjoy a cooked breakfast and a glass of champagne to start your Christmas day. With plenty of free time before the 8pm dinner, you can relax and unwind. After dinner, cozy up for a Christmas movie. The following day, you can expect a similar schedule with evening entertainment and a barbecue dinner to end your Boxing Day festivities.
The Boathouse is priced at £950 per night, the Hillside Treehouse at £1,010 per night, and the Retreat at £1,050 per night. These rates include all meals and listed activities.
The New Forest, located in Hampshire and Wiltshire, is a well-preserved natural expanse. It encompasses the famous New Forest National Park and spans 566 square kilometres of unspoiled forests, heathlands, and river valleys. This area serves as a sanctuary for local wildlife and is a paradise for hikers. The coastal regions of the New Forest, including marshes and beaches near Milford-on-Sea, offer additional scenic views. The towns of Hythe and Lymington, situated by the river, also add a bustling atmosphere to the area.
Macdonald hotels offers various packages in different locations across the country. A stay at the Elmers Court resort in the New Forest is a fantastic option for a lively and enjoyable holiday season. The hotel staff will handle all meals, including daily breakfasts, a five-course Christmas dinner, and evening buffets. There will also be evening entertainment such as carol singers, bingo, a festive quiz, and live performances of popular music.
Starting at £745 for one room, this package includes a three-night stay, all meals, and the specified activities.
Please refer to our reviews on the top hotels in Europe.