It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the festive activities are in full swing but with all the expenses that come with Christmas, it can also be an expensive time.
Whilst it would be incredible to jet off to Lapland to see Santa Claus or hit the slopes at a ski resort in the French Alps, this isn’t the case for everyone. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the wonderful winter fun.
Here in the UK we are lucky enough to have so many staycations that allow us to experience what the rest of the world has to offer at winter time. If you’re looking to save on money or you simply don’t want the stress of going abroad this time of year, check out Regatta’s interactive map to discover festive things you can do in the UK.
Fun for the little ones
All aboard the Santa Express
If your little ones are fans of the magical Christmas film, The Polar Express, then they’ll love Llangollen’s very own version, the Santa Express. The small town in North Wales transforms their preserved railway station during the festive period and a decorated steam train makes its way from Llangollen to Carrog (renamed Lapland for Santa’s visit). Not only do kids get to meet Santa himself, but they’ll also receive a special gift from him too!
Take a cruise with Santa
For a quaint winter getaway, why not head to a UK favourite, the Lake District. Sail down the lake’s tranquil waters on a special Lake Windermere Christmas cruise. Little ones can play games, listen to Christmas music and meet Santa. There’ll be mince pies a plenty and adults can even enjoy a sherry while taking in the stunning scenery that surrounds them.
Meet Santa and his reindeers
You don’t have to fly to Lapland to meet Santa’s reindeer. Head to the Reindeer Lodge in North Wales where you can meet Santa in his grotto and explore the grounds of the Reindeer Lodge which is home to free-roaming reindeer. Visitors can pet and feed these magical creatures which will make the perfect photo opportunity before listening to an informative talk all about the animals. Don’t forget to check out the Elf Stage Show and try out the fairground rides and attractions.
Head to the safari park
We visited West Midlands safari park last Winter and had the best day. Wrap up warm and go and visit Santa and all the animals. Really recommend it for all the family.
Adventures for adults
One for the thrill-seekers
For those who are looking for a winter thrill and want to hit the slopes to ski, snowboard and sledge, Glencoe Mountain Resort is a must. Located on Rannoch Moor, it has 200 hectares of stunning scenery and something to suit all ski and snowboard levels, with 20 runs and 8 lifts. There’s also a sledging area with around 150m of groomed snow, whilst away from the slopes there’s plenty of fun to be had, from nature hikes and cross-country mountain biking.
Experience the Aurora Borealis
One of nature’s most beautiful spectacles, the Aurora Borealis really is a sight to behold and you can see them here in the UK. To catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, head north of Scotland to the Isle of Skye, where the lights are visible between October and March providing that the skies are clear. Be sure to take a long exposure lens to capture the remarkable colours as they only appear white to the human eye.
Hopefully you will find something fun and festive to do this winter. If you have visited any of these places or are hoping to, join in the conversation on social using the hashtag #HomeOrAway and tag @RegattaOutdoors.