Christmas in the UK is a magical time of the year. From hitting the high streets for some serious Christmas shopping, to escaping the bright lights with a country getaway, there’s so much to see and do during Christmas. Here’s a selection of our favourites.

Go back in time

If there’s one thing the Victorians really knew how to do, it’s celebrate Christmas. Across the UK you’ll find Victorian Christmas events that bring the festivities of yesteryear alive. Across the country, stately homes and castles put on themed events, so you can find out what ‘wassailing’ really is, and the origin of mince pies. It’s great fun for all the family, and your hosts will even be dressed up in costume, so you can really immerse yourself in the experience.

Go skiing in the Cairngorms

You may associate skiing in Europe with the Alps, but Scotland’s magnificent Cairngorm mountains offer some of the best powder skiing you’ll ever come across. This wild, beautiful landscape comes alive in the winter months, with excellent snow from December onwards. To get to the main skiing area of Aviemore, pick up your Hertz rental car from Edinburgh Airport and take the A9 north for approximately 125 miles. The journey should take a little under three hours.

Get your skates on

Open-air ice rinks spring up across the UK, including right in the centre of London’s financial district, or at huge arenas. You don’t even have to buy your own skates, as the rink will hire you a pair to use. Whether you’re barely finding your feet or can pirouette likeTorvil and Dean, a trip to an ice rink is always a family favourite.

Discover the wonders of the winter countryside

Guided walks through frosty woods and along country trails is a popular way to spend an afternoon – as long as you wrap up warm! Head to great spots like Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, or take a stroll through the New Forest in Hampshire to see winter at its most beautiful. If you’re very lucky you may see the very earliest primroses poking their heads through the frost.

From London, the journey to Westonbirt Arboretum is a simple matter of hopping onto the M4 and driving west for around 99 miles. The journey, depending on traffic, should take around two hours. The New Forest is much closer, and can be reached within an hour or so by travelling down the M3 to the south coast. If you hire your car from Hertz Car Rental in UK you should be able to head to these and many other spots across the country within an hour of leaving London Heathrow or an hour and a half from our central London locations at Marble Arch and Victoria

Christmas markets

Originally a Germanic tradition, the UK has adopted the idea of Christmas markets wholeheartedly. Packed with wonderful products you won’t find in the usual shops, and delicious seasonal food and drink, they’re a great way to shop in a relaxed atmosphere that’s full of Christmas cheer. Hop on the M4 to Bath for one of the biggest with over 200 stalls to browse (and take the opportunity to check out the Roman baths and abbey while you’re there). Or take the M1 or M6 from London up to Birmingham to see the biggest German Christmas Market outside Germany and Austria.

Take the kids to a traditional pantomime

Pantomime is a unique theatrical experience unlike any other. With a fixed cast of characters including the Ugly Sisters and plenty of silliness, pantomime is a British institution that entertains audiences of all ages. From local productions of Cinderella to West End theatres filled with stellar stars of stage and screen, pantomime is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Get crafty

Christmas presents can be expensive, so why not make your own? Across the country you’ll find craft classes where you can make your very own personalised Christmas presents for someone special. From card making to jewellery, pottery to painting, there’s something to keep everyone occupied, and you get to give a loved one a very personal gift on Christmas morning.

See Santa

Santa can be seen up and down the UK in every high street, grotto, and street corner – he’s certainly a busy chap! The kids will love a trip to see Santa and his helpful elves, and it’s a great chance for parents to get a hint on what their little ones want for Christmas this year!

There’s no shortage of things to see and do this Festive season in the UK. Make getting around seeing family and friends easy – click here to book your Hertz car.