Christmas in England – the best places to visit

Christmas at Castle Combe in England

Once Christmas songs are in the air, a lot of magic happens in England. London’s festive displays are world renowned, but have you ever ventured to England’s beautiful villages and shires during Christmas time? With so much country charm, it’s bound to be an instant love affair.

We’ve made it a bit of a tradition to indulge in a staycation during the holidays. And every year I’ve loved taking in the sights and sounds of Christmas festivity in quintessentially British towns all across the country. Here are some of my favourite recommendations for a memorable Christmas in England.

PRO TIP: A great way to enjoy a luxury staycation over the Christmas to New Year break is to look on Secret Escapes. We’ve been doing this every year and end up staying in some pretty plush hotels and beautiful listed buildings for half the cost (sometimes less!)

A very Cotswolds Christmas in England

The Cotswolds, an area famous for its stately houses and manors of honey coloured stone, is a must see at any time of the year. Christmas, however, gives it that little bit extra. As one of Britain’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Cotswolds is a protected area and runs through several English regions including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

For our Cotswolds stay we chose to stay at the Queen’s Hotel in Cheltenham, a four-star luxury boutique hotel with splendid interiors, giant rooms and scrumptious breakfast. We chose Cheltenham because this is roughly an hour’s drive from Castle Combe, one of the prettiest villages in England (even prettier at Christmas!).

Castle Combe should be on everyone’s list. It’s like a moment out of time, standing still and pretty even in the year 2020! There isn’t a tall building in sight, and you thank the heavens for that. Think sweet little cottages lining the streets covered in Christmas wreaths and cozy coffee shops selling Christmas lattes and bakes.

Once you’re done walking around the village and taking in its beauty, book afternoon tea at the Manor House. A cheerful fire burns in most of the rooms, warming you right up whilst you snack on finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and herbal (or other) tea. A very English afternoon well worth it!

If you’re staying an extra day, drive to the Broadway Tower in Worcestershire (40 min drive from Cheltenham) for beautiful views across the Cotswolds. Tickets are £5 for adults and include the tower and deer park! You can book tickets from the official website here.

Christmas at Rushton Hall Hotel – Kettering

Spending Christmas in one of Englands’s many countryside luxury spa hotels is a great way to unwind. Another trip we booked through the Secret Escape gods. I have to admit I hadn’t ever considered visiting the small English town of Kettering in Northamptonshire. A stay at Rushton Hall Hotel that I found through a deal on Secret Escapes drew us in. Picture luxury hotel located in a Grade I listed county house surrounded by 25 acers of greenery, SWOON. To say their rooms are majestic, grounds story book worthy and interiors dripping in vintage glam is an understatement. Everything about Rushton Hall was perfection.

Staying in a hotel located in a country manor of this size has a lot of perks. Here’s all the things to do:

  • Wake up to a beautiful winter day and enjoy a long walk through the hotel’s fantastic grounds.
  • Book afternoon tea at their famous Orangery.
  • Enjoy cosy nights after dinner in their grandly decorated lounging areas with a night cap. I thoroughly pounded my other half in SCRABBLE whilst chugging on my hot chocolate (we’re both non-drinkers).
  • Spend an indulgent morning at their in house Stableyard Spa. Book a relaxing massage and take a dip in the indoor heated pool.

During our two night stay we also ventured out to the nearby town of Kettering with its cosy Christmassy vibes. Just down the road from Rushton Hall is the Thornhill Arms, a great gastro pub with charming cobbled interiors and delicious food.

All in all, a fantastic way to spend part of your Christmas break in England.

Feast in festive Bath, England over Christmas

Bath is one of the UK’s most picturesque towns with an equally rich history to match. Its biggest draw is its Roman built baths and hot springs. The town centre itself is bustling with life and cultural heritage that makes for a great weekend or short trip at any time of the year.

Tourism is one of Bath’s biggest industries so there are a number of excellent hotels to choose from.

If you do only one thing in Bath, then make it this – visit the Roman Baths for their lush green hot springs. But if you’ve got that far you might as well see Bath Abbey which is right next door. And once you’re done with that, go ahead and stroll around Bath’s beautiful town centre with its plethora of small independent shops and cafes. Bath Christmas market is one of the most famous in England. Be sure to check out the many bespoke crafts on offer, take in the crepe filled air and get on a ride or two.

Where ever you go, make sure you experience all the magic England has to offer during the festive season. Christmas it up in England’s countryside, you won’t regret it!


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