From cosy cottages to Christmas fairs there’s lots to do in Yorkshire throughout the festive period. Gorgeous Cottages (specialists in luxury Yorkshire self-catering holidays) take a look at some of their favourite things to see and do during December.

Special events

York Christmas Festival

The city of York really goes to town when it comes to Christmas with activities including an ice trail, a living advent calendar, a yuletidevillage and Thor’s Tipi where you can enjoy a glass of mulled wine in a Nordic style tipi complete with roaring log fires and cosy furs.

Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend

The pretty coastal town of Robin Hood’s Bay travels back in time to the Victorian period from the 8th – 10th December. With costumes, music and traditional activities this is a fun festival for the whole family.

Santa Special Trains

A great option for children is a trip on one of the NYMR’s special santa trains. Father Christmas himself will be travelling on the railway which take a very scenic route through the North York Moors and there’s an onboard grotto plus lots of fun festive activities.

Castle Howard at Christmas

December is a great time to visit this gorgeous stately home as the sumptuous rooms are beautifully decorated for Christmas. They really do go all out and its guaranteed to make you feel all festive!

Christmas Markets

There’s an array of Christmas markets to visit during November and December – perfect for getting some hand-made pressies for your nearest and dearest (and some tasty treats for yourself).

Harrogate Christmas Market
16th – 19th November

This annual four day event takes place on The Stray in the Montpellier quarter of Harrogate andincludes nearly 200 stalls.

Malton Christmas Food Market
9th December

Malton has become a hub for artisan food producers and their monthly food market has a Christmas special during December. The perfect chance to stock up on cheese, cakes, chocolate and other Christmas treats.

Knaresborough Christmas Market
2nd and 3rd December

The very pretty Yorkshire town of Knaresborough is home to a Christmas extravaganza on the first weekend of December. As well as an array of stalls there is live music, mulled wine and mince pies.

Skipton Yuletide Festival and Christmas Market
3rd and 10th December

Running the full length of Skipton High Street, the market is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year. The day will close with a procession to Holy Trinity Church and a traditional Christmas Carol service.

Beverley Festival of Christmas
10th December

One of the largest one-day Christmas festivals in the UK, you’ll find more than 100 Victorian Christmas Market Stalls plus entertainment including marching bands, dancing and santa on his sleigh.

Winter Walks

With two National Parks (the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors) plus a very scenic coastline, there are plenty of pretty walks to try at any time of year. There is something particularly magical though about a wintery walk and here are some great ones to try.

The Cleveland Way

You’re guaranteed wonderful views from dramatic cliff-tops on this path that runs from Saltburn to Filey on the Yorkshire Coast. Wrap up warm and enjoy a bracing walk in the sea air!

Fountains Abbey

There are miles of footpaths to enjoy at Fountains Abbey and because of its elevated position you’ll get some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Families can try the reindeer’s explorers map and then stop by the tea room for refreshments.

Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey (and back)

A lovely circular walk from Helmsley (the only market town in the North York Moors National Park) to Rievaulx Abbey. Enjoy the lovely view from Rievaulx Terrace and then treat yourself to a coffee and mince pie on your return – there are plenty of tearooms to choose from!

A cottage for Christmas

There’s something that is really magical about staying in a country cottage for Christmas, whether it is to just get away from it all with your other half or to gather the whole family together in a grand celebration property. Take a look at these options from Gorgeous Cottages:

A Spectacular Celebration


Skylark - Gorgeous Cottages Yorkshire

It will be a Christmas to remember in this fabulous six bedroom country estate which has an elevated position in the North York Moors. With grand rooms and gorgeous gardens you’ll feel like a Lord or Lady of the Manor. Check availabilty


Gilling Lodge - Gorgeous Cottages Yorkshire

You can gather your family and friends together for Christmas with a stay at Gilling Lodge as it sleeps up to 16. It’s a Georgian Manor House in the pretty village of Gilling West – there’s even a great gastro pub just down the road. Check availability

A Romantic Retreat


Ewelands Retreat - Gorgeous Cottages Yorkshire

This lovely little cottage is just a few miles from the Yorkshire Coast and has stunning views of the pretty Esk Valley. Light up the wood-burning fire and enjoy a cosy Christmas escape for two. Check availability


The Retreat - Gorgeous Cottages Yorkshire

The Retreat is a magical two bedroom cottage that’s set in half an acre of gorgeous gardens. Located near the seaside village of Sandsend it’s actually the oldest property in the area and the perfect place to spend Christmas with your other half. Check availability

Christmas for kids


Foxglove Cottage - Gorgeous Cottages Yorkshire

Enjoy a Christmas with all the trimmings at this beautiful 3 bedroom property that’s set in a pretty village in the North York Moors. There’s lots to explore nearby including Forge Valley Woods and Dalby Forest. Scarborough is only six miles away too! Check availability


The Haybarn - Gorgeous Cottages Yorkshire

With a hot tub, fabulous leisure suite and games room there is something for everyone to enjoy at The Haybarn. Located in the Howardian Hills it’s in easy reach of Castle Howard and Helmsley plus there’s a choice of country pubs nearby. Check availbility


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