Discover The Magic of Christmas This Festive Season

Why not add some sparkle to the end of 2019 with a visit to one of the UK’s many magical Christmas markets?

Spend a long weekend sipping hot chocolate, sampling an array of festive delights and gliding across ice rinks with your friends and family. With no luggage fees to worry about when you travel with us, you can shop till you drop, filling your bags with special gifts for your loved ones.  

We’ve whittled down some of our favourite festivities the British Isles has to offer this celebratory season – and all within easy reach from Heysham by car or by train –  so all you have to do is sit back, relax and book your seasonal getaway!

Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square, home to the German Christmas Markets. Credit: www.markwaugh.net

  • Heysham to Manchester drive time –  1 hour 20 minutes
  • Heysham to Manchester fastest train – 1 hour 56 minutes

Every year Manchester pulls out all the stops in the lead up to Christmas and 2019 is no exception. People flock from all over the UK and beyond to experience the magical festivities and mouth-watering speciality foods, which are dotted all over the city centre.

Ice Village will again transform Cathedral Gardens with a theme this year of mythical beasts and royal regali. The immersive walk-through experience will feature a mini ice slide, large ice bar, Santa’s grotto and sheltered ice rink – sounds cool right?

Find out more about Manchester Christmas Markets.

Chester Christmas Market

Chester Christmas Market
Credit: Celynnen Photography
  • Heysham to Chester drive time –  1 hour 45 minutes
  • Heysham to Chester fastest train – 2 hours 35 minutes

Not too far away in the delightful historic city of Chester, the streets around the Town Hall and Cathedral come to life with festive cheer at this time of year. Its Christmas market features more than 70 wooden chalet-style stalls wrapped around the sparkling Christmas tree in the heart of the city centre and opposite the iconic landmark, Chester Cathedral.

As well as an array of seasonal gifts to browse, there’s also plenty of locally produced treats including warming mulled wine, festive cocktails and hog roast baps. You’ll find there are lots of wonderful hotels in the centre too so you can get a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed and ready for your journey home.

Find out more about Chester Christmas Market.

Christkindelmarkt, Leeds

  • Heysham to Leeds drive time –  1 hour 55 minutes
  • Heysham to Leeds fastest train – 3 hours 4 minutes

For an authentic German Christmas Market experience, get yourself to the bustling city of Leeds where more than 40 wooden chalet stalls selling a wide range of delightful goodies await.

You can bring the little ones into the heart of the scenic winter village to enjoy a delicious German breakfast with Father Christmas, get cosy by the log fire in the popular Kuh Stall, enjoy an après-ski style atmosphere in Ski Hutte bar and taste some Bavarian-styled eats at the Alp Chalet restaurant.  

Find out more about Christkindelmarkt.

‘Christmas at Chatsworth’, Derbyshire, Bakewell


©VisitBritain/Tomo Brejc
  • Heysham to Bakewell drive time –  2 hours 30 minutes
  • Heysham to Chesterfield fastest train– 3 hours 33 minutes

For something a little different, how about Chatsworth House in Bakewell? Here you’ll be guided through a festive adventure around the globe – from a Nordic winter wonderland to blossom trees in Japan – in the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. There’s also more than 100 stalls to explore at the Christmas Market in addition to the picturesque surrounding gardens.

Visit between the 5th– 20th December for a ‘Christmas twilight evening’ and enjoy mince pies, a warming drink and live music from traditional bell ringers. 

Find out more about ‘Christmas at Chatsworth’.

Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market

Credit: Winchester Cathedral
  • Heysham to Winchester drive time –  4 hours 25 minutes
  • Heysham to Winchester train time – 5 hours 5 minutes

If you fancy venturing a little further, how about the historic city of Winchester’s annual Christmas market? Recognised as one of the best in Europe, even the most ‘Bah Humbug’ of people will struggle not to get swept away in the festive spirit. 

Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, you’ll find a great range of unique gifts and decorations from a hand-selected group of quality exhibitors, along with some tasty festive favourites to indulge in. There’s also an open-air ice rink so you can don your skates and glide into some festive fun.

There are plenty of great spots to stop off on your drive to Winchester to help you pack more into your trip too. Worcester Cathedral for instance, situated on a bank looking majestically over the River Severn is a popular tourist attraction, and a great place to stop to help you break up your journey and make it part of the fun.

Find out more about Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market.

If you are feeling inspired by any of these suggestions you can book the ferry for your seasonal getaway now.

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