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British Culture, Events, Movies and TV

Places to experience a real British Christmas

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… In Britain we take Christmas time very seriously, and with the cold weather, dark evenings and even the chance of snow, there really is nowhere better to experience the festive season!

Here are 5 top ways to experience a proper British Christmas…

A country house full of Christmas trees

Waddesdon Manor at Christmas

At Waddesdon Manor you can wander through imaginatively decorated interiors filled with Christmas trees. There’s more outside, as the gardens and grounds host illumination trails, Christmas fair stalls and festive activities.

Waddesdon Manor is near Oxford. The nearest rail station is Aylesbury (1 hour from London).

A 1930s Christmas by a Viking burial ground

Sutton Hoo at Christmas

Sutton Hoo is known for its extraordinary Anglo-Saxon burial finds, and you can also visit the house of Mrs Pretty who instigated the first archaeological digs in her gardens in the 1930s. Every Christmas the house is adorned with vintage decorations and you can join in activities that recreate a 1930s English country house Christmas.

Sutton Hoo is near Woodbridge, Suffolk (1 hour 30mins from London Liverpool Street by rail).

A Downton Abbey Christmas

Alnwick Castle in the snow

The characters of Downton Abbey were seen holidaying at Alnwick Castle in the 2014 Christmas special of the TV series. The castle hosts special Christmas party nights from the end November and throughout December – enjoy a 3-course dinner in the historic surroundings of the castle and imagine you’re in a period drama of your own!

Alnwick Castle is in Northumberland, and the nearest rail station is Alnmouth (3 hours 40mins from London Kings Cross).

A candlelit Christmas in the city

The Victorian Christmas tree in Dennis Sever's House

Photo: Roelof Bakker

Dennis Severs’ House in East London is like walking into a storybook. You can tiptoe around all of this 18th-century townhouse by candlelight on their special ‘Silent Nights’ and see what secrets the house reveals to you.

Dennis Severs’ House is at 18 Folgate Street, London E6 6BX. Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street.

A traditional Christmas market in medieval surroundings

Lincoln Christmas Market

The historic city of Lincoln is famous for its majestic cathedral and ancient castle that overlook the historic quarter of the city, with medieval houses and steep, cobbled streets. And every Christmas this is where the city hosts a traditional festive market – soak up the sights as you linger over hot mulled wine!

Lincoln is 2 hours by rail from London Kings Cross station.

  • Cedric Walters

    I lived in London for just over a year. Two of my children were born there including my current wife . Great city and very historic . I would like to say hi to Harriet Harmon member of parliment who gave me a personal tour of the house of commons.Wishing all Londoners a happy & safe holiday season. Cherrio

  • Jeanie Lou

    I dream of visiting Great Britain. It looks like it’s beautiful in all seasons! I’m really hoping to win your contest! Merry Christmas to our brothers & sisters “across the pond.”

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