The 10 most festive Christmas towns in the UK
While the UK can’t guarantee a white Christmas, there’s something to be said for its picture-perfect towns and villages. You know the ones: those quaint spots with cobbled streets, mock-Tudor high streets, weekly farmers markets and all that good stuff. The best part? Throughout November and December many of these towns turn into something out of a Christmas movie, with everything from Shakespeare-themed candlelit walks and renowned light shows to festive railway rides and good old pantomimes on show. Don’t worry, we’ll spare you the dodgy panto jokes. RECOMMENDED:🎄 The best places to visit at Christmas in the UK🎅 The best Christmas shops in the UK🛍️ The most magical Christmas markets in the UK🏘️ The cosiest winter cottages to stay in the UK Richard Franks is a travel writer based in Birmingham. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. This guide also includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The best places to visit at Christmas in the UK
Some places are just made for Christmas, and we think the UK is right up there. For a couple of crisp winter months, its leading cities, castles and palaces all spread their own versions of Christmas cheer through light shows, markets, wreath making workshops and traditional fairground rides for the entire family on offer – and then some. Spanning Oxfordshire to The Cairngorms and Northern Ireland to Wales, our list has plenty of festive spots to add to your bucket list. For cobbled streets, wintery castles and those all-important Christmas markets, here are ten of the best places in the UK to ramp up that Christmas spirit. RECOMMENDED:🎅 The best Christmas shops in the UK🎄 The most magical Christmas markets in the UK💡 The most dazzling Christmas light trails in the UK🏘️ The cosiest winter cottages to stay in the UK Richard Franks is a travel writer based in Birmingham, specialising in Scotland and the West Midlands. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. This guide also includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 26 best bars in Birmingham
Birmingham may be best known for its classic Victorian boozers and real ale pubs, but its newer wave of cocktail spots and homely lounge bars are certainly worth their salt too. Revolutionary craft beer, endless gin lists, locally-themed cocktails and even a groundbreaking zero-waste bar: England’s second city really does have it all. From the city centre’s heady mix of class and heritage to the Jewellery Quarter’s laid-back atmosphere and industrial past and Stirchley’s forward-thinking cocktail and brewing prowess, this city is no longer overlooked. So, head here with an open mind. These are the best bars in Birmingham right now. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Birmingham
How Birmingham has transformed for the Commonwealth Games
Birmingham has, at long last, awoken from its slumber. Often dismissed and long ridiculed, the UK’s second city – and proud 2022 Commonwealth Games host city – has splashed its squares in colour, wrapped its buildings in branding and left its people quietly optimistic. Truth is, there are umpteen reasons for Brum to be proud. Its diverse cultural offering will be seen by an estimated one billion viewers at its opening ceremony tonight, with local legends Duran Duran and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi among the performers, while its official song harks back to Birmingham’s rich heritage: ‘It’s a Brum Ting’ by Friendly Fire Band is a catchy reggae love letter to the city. ‘Birmingham is a brilliant city, with a young, diverse and talented population, a world-class food scene, a thriving cultural sector, and of course an array of brilliant sporting teams and venues,’ said Ian Ward, the leader of Birmingham city council. ‘For too long Birmingham has been shy about itself,’ he continued. ‘Thanks to the investment over recent decades, and of course the £1 billion that has come into the city through the Games, Birmingham is now looking like a global city. Our “Be Bold Be Birmingham” branding ensures the city is dressed to host the Games, with colourful additions across the city.’ Photograph: Courtesy of West Midlands Growth Company Birmingham has indeed undergone somewhat of a vibrant transformation. Stroll through the city centre and it’s impossible to avoid larger-than-life