Britain’s best places for Christmas cheer

Edinburgh Christmas market
Edinburgh: transformed into a winter wonderland this festive season

“It’s official,” says Luke Abrahams in the Evening Standard. “Kew Gardens is the prettiest place in London this Christmas.” Glowing orbs, trails of delicate lights, sparkling trees and some “cracking light shows” are on display at the iconic Unesco-listed botanical gardens in southwest London until the New Year.

There are more than a million twinkling lights, crystals galore, a few art installations, as well as fairground rides and Father Christmas himself for the little ones. But best of all, all the trails are full of the smells of Christmas – roasted chestnuts and mulled cider – and you can toast your own marshmallows over an open fire.

• Until 1 January – adults £18.50, children £12, Kew.org

Bath’s festive markets

Bath is renowned for its Christmas markets, says Julie Delahaye in the Daily Mirror, and this year it is holding its biggest yet. Some 200 “chalets” have set up shop in the city centre, selling gifts and locally made festive treats. Bath Abbey is running festive tours every 45 minutes that include a climb to the top of the Abbey’s tower: it’s well worth the 212-step slog for a bird’s eye view of the city, says Harriet Noble in Bath Chronicle.

Don’t miss the Après-Ski Bar either, a “sparkling festive chalet” offering mulled wine and hearty food. “Expect festive music, blankets, and tonnes of atmosphere.”

• Until 10 December – tower tours: adults £6, children £3, BathAbbey.org

Edinburgh’s winter wonderland

Visitors to Edinburgh will be stumbling on a winter wonderland this year, says The Scotsman. The Christmas markets are split between East Princes Street Gardens and George Street, where revellers can pick up everything from festive gifts to handmade Christmas decorations and cashmere scarves.

“Ice Adventure: A Journey Through Frozen Scotland” is a new attraction, giving visitors “a magical, icy look back at Scotland’s history”, a story told through a series of stunning ice sculptures. Warm up with a traditional German bratwurst and mulled wine, then head over to the Spiegeltent in Festival Square, where cabaret troupe La Clique is laying on festive entertainment, including comedy, music and burlesque shows.

• Ice Adventure runs until 24 December, from £7 – EdinburghsChristmas.com