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The best Christmas markets and grottos to visit by train this winter

York Christmas Markets, copyright VisitYork

St Nicholas Christmas Fair, York

14 November – 22 December 2019

Winner of the best Large Speciality Market at the Great British Market Awards in 2019, the St Nicholas Christmas Market in York is one to be remembered. With all the atmosphere of this medieval city, the market is full of festive charm and enchantment.

Located around Parliament Street and merging into The Shambles, you will find independent producers of food and drink, old fashioned wooden toys and Christmas decorations – all set up in pretty alpine chalets.

Jump on a train to York station, grab yourself a mulled wine and munch on a bag of hot chestnuts to instantly get into the spirit!

Santa’s Grotto at Milton Keynes

15th November – 24th December

This year’s Grotto at Middleton Hall got a scientific twist. Kid’s visiting Santa’s Snow School at the centre:mk will get the opportunity to meet Professor Freeze – Santa’s chief scientist of course – to discover his festive lab, learn his magical Christmas secrets and take part in experiments to create real snow!

The kids will also try their hand at making their own ‘snow-nog’ using delicious cocoa and sprinkles, which they can drink before they head off to see the big man himself.

Southbank Centre Winter Market

8th November – 5th January

Bringing a modern take on the traditional Christmas market – The Southbank’s Winter Market is an international feast for the senses. With foodie stall offering British, Indian, German and Greek cuisine, you certainly won’t come away hungry. Choose from classics such as fish and chips and hot dogs or opt for something more refined like a pair of freshly-shucked oysters washed down with a glass of champagne!

When it’s time to get cosy, head to Bar Under the Bridge – an alpine-style lodge where you will find hot cider and craft beer, as well as board games, ping-pong tables and fleecy rugs to keep your legs warm while you play. There is also a pop-up secret cinema for watching holiday classics while nestled down on a bean bag. Whether you’re a fan of Love Actually or The Grinch, you are sure to be entertained in true festive style.

Book a train into London King’s Cross Station and get the underground to Waterloo station to be right in the heart of the action.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach Christmas Grotto

2nd November – 15th December

For bauble making, reindeer food making, letter writing to Santa and magical tree wishes, treat your family to a trip to Santa’s Grotto. Located in the Pleasure Beach Arena, this is a fun day out for kids under 11 and all Grotto tickets include a gift from Santa as well as hot chocolate with marshmallows. What a start to the holiday season!

There is also a magical Christmas Cinema showing all the kid’s favourite Christmas films, as well as an ice-skating rink for the whole family to enjoy. If you fancy showing off your skating skills, then this is the perfect opportunity for you.

Whichever Christmas Market or Grotto you decide to visit – we hope you have a festive-tastic time!

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