Plan A Christmas Getaway in 2018


Holiday season is on its way as Santa’s grottos and Christmas trees are popping up in all of the usual places, but across the UK there are some lesser-known treats for an alternative city break, still with all the Christmas feels.

If you’re searching for somewhere away from the crowds to enjoy the perfect wintry getaway during your time off, filled with shopping for gifts, seasonal food and festive frolics, we’ve highlighted our favourite undiscovered finds to leave you feeling ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Our collection’s stunning hotels are strategically placed across the UK, and this year we’ve looked at the Christmas attractions in some of our smaller cities; at each of which you’ll be spoilt for choice!



Brighton is normally known for summer breaks, with fantastic beaches and the iconic pier, but its winter offer is just as special, for couples and families alike.

Staying at The Old Ship you’ll have panoramic sea views from Brighton’s most historic hotel, seamlessly combining modern design with the building’s original period features. A short distance from the remarkable Brighton Pavillion, Brighton Pier and the Lanes Shopping Centre, The Old Ship provides an excellent base for exploring this friendly seaside city.

Families can experience a magical Christmas at the Royal Pavilion. The palace is transformed with festive decorations and glittering trees at this time of year. A replica of Queen Victoria’s sleigh awaits you and your family in the Music Room, where you can create your Christmas photos to remember the day. There is also an ice rink to skate away the hours, followed by hot toddy drinks for the grownups at Thor’s Tipi.



Durham is one of the prettiest cities in the UK easily reached by train from London, or Edinburgh in under two hours. With its skyline dominated by the statuesque Durham Cathedral, its winding cobbled streets are filled with independent shops and perfect spots for a coffee or cocktail.

Staying at our fabulously grand Redworth Hall Hotel you’ll feel like a Christmas VIP in this stunning 17th century Jacobean Manor House situated in the blissful tranquility of 26 acres of landscaped grounds.

Not far away at Beamish Museum, you can experience the magic of a traditional Christmas as you join in the celebrations at 1820s Pockerley Old Hall, 1900s Town, 1900s Pit Village and 1940s Farm, then visit Father Christmas and his magnificent reindeer and enjoy the Winter Fun Fair.

Tradition continues in Durham city itself, with the Durham Market Hall bringing a Victorian festive vibe, then why not take a break from shopping to have brunch at the locals’ favourite Flat White Kitchen on Saddler Street?

For something a little stronger, head to “probably the smallest gin bar in the world” Tin of Sardines for an aperitif then round your Christmas trip off with dinner by the river at Coho Durham.



Harrogate is one of the most affluent towns in the UK, nestled in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. Originally a spa town, it still has a traditional Turkish baths that make a wonderfully toasty retreat when it’s cold outside, and this Christmas it is offering late night tours and taster treatments.

The Majestic Hotel certainly lives up to its name as our palatial and stately Victorian property sits in the heart of this beautiful town.

With Christmas lights sparkling in the trees along the Stray and glowing in the towns across the district there is a truly magical, festive feel and a Christmas markets to visit.

RHS Harlow Carr just outside of the town centre shows Christmas in a different light this winter as special lighting effects bring a touch of magic to the garden. You’ll find an illuminated trail around the magnificent trees and shrubs as dusk falls.

If the appeal of the bigger cities still takes your fancy, The Cairn Collection has hotels in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff among others – check out our hotel destinations across the UK here

Made your mind up? Let us know how you plan to make the most of the festive season on Twitter @CairnCollection.