Self-catering holiday breaks in the UK during December and winter
Dominated by Christmas and New Year's Eve, December is a festive and colourful month. There are numerous events and activities around the country, some religious, many commercial and quite a few interesting historic traditions established by our forefathers. Scotland is renowned for its celebrations around New Year.
Christmas and December in Scotland
Stonehaven in NE Scotland is home to the New Year Fireball Ceremony which dates back to pre-Christian times, when marchers carry blazing balls of fire through the streets of the town to toss into the sea and float away as glowing orbs on the waves. As you know, the Scots celebrate New Year or Hogmanay in a big way. If you want to be part of the festivities then take a look at the cottages in Aberdeenshire, Grampian, each guarantees comfortable accommodation. Log cabins are included.
Perhaps A December holiday near Gleneagles in Auchterarder?
The Comrie Flambeaux procession takes place in Comrie, Perthshire, in Scotland, on New Year's Eve, where the local pipe band and costumed villagers follow eight flaming torches to an enormous bonfire held in the village square. Comrie is just a drive away from Gleneagles. Treat yourself and celebrate New Year with a round of golf on one of Britain's most prestigious golf courses; Gleneagles.
Christmas at Gleneagles
Christmas at Gleneagles in Scotland is magical as it is usually cold, clear weather and the surroundings are beautiful for walking and sometimes for golfing. Guests can visit the Hotel which is very warm and welcoming with a marvelous tree and decorations. Sampling whisky in the Bar or having afternoon tea is a great way to chill out. The piper serenades out in the grounds before dinner!
Find a cosy cottage or apartment to rent near Auchterarder. You may find tartan soft furnishings, a roaring open fire and red squirrels outside the window to the atmosphere. If you find somewhere to stay that overlooks the Ochil Hills, good views and plenty of wildlife spotting awaits - a family of young deer frequently stops to graze in the gardens. The small town of Auchterarder dresses up for the festive period with Christmas trees and strings of colourful lights. Discover boutique dress shops, antique and woollens shops and a cashmere mill shop that sells super warm sweaters to keep the chills away.
Book holiday accommodation in Perthshire near Auchterarder for a magical Christmas and New Year.
A Ceilidh is a 'must-do' for New Year in Scotland. Meet the New Year with dance and song. Ceilidhs are held during the festive period in many Scottish villages and towns. A live band supplies traditional Scottish dance music so that you can 'strip the willow' and dance the night away. A ceilidh should be an item on everyone's list of things to do before they die. Fun is guaranteed. It might be winter but there is still a lot to do and see in Svotland. The snow covered hills and forests of surrounding Deeside are a joy to behold during the winter. Skiing is available at the Lecht resort.
Edinburgh organises a five day Hogmanay festival to see the old year out and the new in with style and as much pleasure as you can manage. The programme includes live performances by top stars, fireworks, torchlit processions and much more. Scotland is highly recommended for sheer fun and entertainment at New Year, there are concerts, dances, street performances and parties, and if you're fortunate, there may well be snow on the hills and an opportunity to ski. Every village will hold a ceremony of some kind, and on the coast, the fishing boats and ships will sound their sirens at midnight, church bells will ring and the first footing will begin. Take a look at cottages in Scotland to find one that you like. View places to stay in Edinburgh.
December in the north of England
Shopping inevitably features high on the agenda in the run up to Christmas, so why not make it pleasurable and visit a town or city with a Christmas market.
Durham hosts a Victorian Christmas festival with street entertainers, festive food and an indoor Victorian market in the old cobbled part of the city.
Grassington in Yorkshire is not outdone in cobbles or Christmas cheer. It has a Dickensian Fair in the run up to Christmas with market stall traders dressed in period costume, carol singers and bands adding to the festive atmosphere. Step back in time for a short break to experience Christmas shopping and goodwill as it used to be.
York, that lovely city with an ancient heart plays hosts to many visitors with a St. Nicholas Fayre held within the walls of the old city. Cheered by mulled wine, mince pies and other festive treats, shop for crafts, traditional food and gifts. Visit the theatre for a traditional English pantomime and let the carol singers and street performers make your shopping and short break a real pleasure.
Lincoln is another location for a Christmas Market. Visit the Cathedral for some angelic carol singing, be tempted and indeed indulge in hot roasted chestnuts and other seasonal treats. The market traders will be dressed in Dickensian garb in the run up to Christmas. This is where you will find hand-made crackers, moist rich Christmas cake, mulled wine, all accompanied by the tuneful renderings of hand-bell ringers, carol singers and inebriated shoppers wending their way home.
Churches in every town and village in the land hold carol concerts and Christmas services to celebrate. All will welcome you, some with mince pies and drinks. Make it a Christmas to remember by participating in all these British treats and hospitality on offer.