The best Christmas family breaks in the UK and abroad

By Emily Waddell
© Alexey_Fedoren/ | Christmas in London

Take advantage of the holidays and create some memories with a special family Christmas break

Christmas can be overwhelming: planning dinners, buying presents, scheduling relatives, and keeping the kids entertained is a handful. So why not relax in the calm before the storm, or even bunk off the traditional stay-at-home Christmas and go abroad! There are lots of excellent choices for breaks with children over the festive period but we’ve picked the 7 that are guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

1. A Scottish Christmas Wonderland in Glencoe

Family Christmas Breaks Glencoe
Breathe in that winter air in Glencoe © john mcsporran/

The highlands of Scotland look like they’ve been pinched from a fairytale. Snow-capped peaks, frosty, misty lochs, and cosy cabins await you up north. Only a short plane or train ride away, the Scottish Highlands is the perfect trip for children of all ages over the Christmas period. Little ones can enjoy the actual snow outside, whilst older teens can get their share of adventure walking up the Pap of Glencoe.

2. Christmas break with Kids? Visit Santa in Lapland

Family Christmas Breaks Lapland
Meet Santa in Lapland © Dmitry_Chulov/

Nothing says ‘quintessential Christmas family break’ than a quick jaunt over to Finland to visit the famed grotto of St. Nicholas himself. Feeding snowy reindeer in one of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world will win over even the most ardent anti-Christmas moody teen. Stay at the Lapland Hotel Ounasvaara Chalets for an essential log cabin experience, complete with roaring fire at this 4-star gem.

3. Foraging in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Family Christmas Breaks Forest of Dean
Explore the magical Forest of Dean during your Christmas break © Afshin Darian/

According to The Guardian, the balmy south of England has only gotten a ‘white Christmas’ 10 times since the 1960s. So if you fancy more green woods with lush towering trees and frosty ground for prime hiking and exploring, then the Forest of Dean is the ideal family Christmas break.

4. Experience a Timeless Christmas in Paris, France

Family Christmas Breaks Paris
Paris is a winter wonderland perfect for a Christmas break © Mapics/

Ah, Paris. Looking like it’s straight out of a postcard, the city of Paris transforms into a glittering sea of lights that adorn famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Treat yourself to a Christmas hotel break, with locations like the Hôtel Mercure Paris Velizy starting at just £56 a night, and rated by users as a top family hotel (check out the indoor pool!).

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5. A Xmas Break Like Never Before in London, UK

Family Christmas Breaks London
Christmas in London, a classic for a reason © Alexey_Fedoren/

If you haven’t experienced Christmas in London, you haven’t truly experienced Christmas. Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Harrods, Hyde Park – the list of legendary London hallmarks that pull out all the stops around the Christmas period goes on and on. Perfect for children and adults alike; London is a great weekend getaway for a family Christmas break.

6. Christmas Magic in Cologne, Germany

Family Christmas Breaks Cologne
Visit a traditional German Christmas Market © Mapics/

Every year, Germany hosts Christmas markets all around the country, serving food, drinks (hard and soft), and entertainment in a fairytale-like atmosphere. Cologne’s Christmas market (27th Nov- 23rd Dec) mixes the traditional aspects of a German Christmas Market with modern activities for young international visitors.

7. Wishing You Wells, Somerset

Family Christmas Breaks Wells
A perfect slice of the British countryside town © Martin Fowler/

So maybe you’ve reached the end of our Best Christmas Family Breaks in the UK and Abroad list and you’re thinking, “I just want village Christmas trip to relax and have fun with the kids”. Wells is the answer to your silently asked question, although thanks to its cathedral, it is still technically a city. Expect Sunday markets, pubs, quaint inns, and cute Christmas crafts. Perfect.

Note: These rates are based on search queries made on on October 18th, 2017. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.