Come to Britian for festive fun with new experiences opening in 2023 and new designs and innovations being added to some of the most extraordinary holiday season attractions.
Visitors can delight in new light trails, feast on fresh festive fare and be spellbound by new shows and spectacles, unique to Britain in 2023.
Enjoy the cities, coast and countryside at Christmas, make memories with old and new-found friends and try new experiences. We have selected some of the best of the new attractions below.
New in 2023
Wishmas at Wembley, London Now – 7 January
During the festive season, visitors can delight in the wonders of Wishmas as they explore captivating realms and encounter extraordinary characters in this immersive experience to enjoy a fantastical adventure. Produced by the makers behind the Back to the Future, Star Wars and Moulin Rouge and Secret Cinema, this spectacular experience leads participants through tales and into scenes where wishes take flight.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Lyric Theatre, London 23 November – 14 January
The creators of the multi award-winning sell-out success, The Play That Goes Wrong, are presenting a new riotous spin on Peter Pan which will land at the Lyric theatre in the West End for the holiday season. The production promises to create pan-demonium this Christmas as a slap stick turn on a classic tale unravels in front of the theatre goers’ eyes. This unique brand of hilarious comedy has found universal appeal on a global scale.
Coronation Christmas, Tower of London 29 November – 4 January
The Tower of London will be decked in festive imagery with a nod to the Coronation as visitors explore this iconic site with views over Tower Bridge and stories a plenty within the walled fortress. Visitors will wander the route with Yeoman Warders spotted along the way to discover which one of the Royal Beasts will be taking care of the Crown, Cloak, Orb and Sceptre. The visit can finish with a Christmas Day feast, Coronation style at the foot of the mighty White Tower and an opportunity to pose on a throne for the ultimate group shot.
Kingdom of Winter at the ExCel,London December – January
The Kingdom of Winter will be a huge new Christmas activation at London ExCeL which will include a circus, ice rink and fairground rides. Two food and drink villages each with a two-storey alpine-inspired chalet bar and street food vendors will add to the festive cheer. Dates and more details of this brand-new experience will be announced on the ExCel website later in the year.
Christmas Actually at the Royal Festival Hall, London 7 – 11 December
The world premiere of Christmas Actually, a variety extravaganza curated by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary), will run for 8 performances only at London’s Southbank Centre. This fun festive feast for the senses is the ultimate Christmas show and will feature a star-studded stocking stuffed with music and performance. The show raised funds for Comic Relief which supports charitable projects in the UK and internationally.
Christmas World at Dreamland, Margate, Kent 15 – 22 December 2023
Christmas is coming to Dreamland Margate with a brand-new experience at the iconic seaside venue which will create a magical, glittering, winter wonderland with a variety of festive food and drinks stalls, classic funfair games and specially selected rides. Dreamland’s famous Roller Disco will host a magical all-weather Snowball Fight zone. SLADE will appear on the 21 December to blast out their Christmas classics and Martin Kemp’s Back to the 80’s Christmas Party will be held on the 22 December. Steins By The Sea will bring the German Bierkeller to Margate on select evenings to create an ideal Christmas Party location with an evening of festive themed entertainment.
Leeds Christkindlemarkt, Leeds November – December
Millennium Square in Leeds is transformed for the city’s Christkindelmarkt German Christmas Market with the addition of more decorated wooden chalets displaying hand-crafted jewellery and festive decorations, authentic German food, a Christmas Carousel and a Bavarian style eatery offering a delectable selection of traditional food and drink and evening entertainment. The city has a range of shopping, shows and experiences on offer throughout the winter season. New in 2023 will be a Christmas trail through the city to discover festive delights and treats along the way, with details to be announced later in the year.
New 2023 immersive Christmas experiences
Chatsworth At Christmas, Derbyshire Now – 7 January
This Christmas there will be a new theme for the trail at this iconic property and estate which will be announced in September 2023. Chatsworth delights each year with innovative new experiences and events and is one of the uniquely British Christmas experiences not to be missed. Discover the magic of Christmas at Chatsworth in the stately home, explore the enchanting, illuminated walk around the gardens at dusk and enjoy the Christmas market full of gifts, festive fare, winter warmers and sweet treats.
Christmas Kingdom at Bamburg Castle, Northumberland Now – 7 January
Newly redesigned and inspired by Northumberland’s myths and legends, the Christmas experience at Bamburgh castle takes a journey through the staterooms steeped in stories and folklore to discover a world sprinkled full of fairy magic. Fantastical creatures fly through frosted forests tinkling laughter while mermaids and shape-shifting selkies dive through shell-encrusted lagoons. There is also an extra option to meet Father Christmas for little ones.
Christmas at Kew, London Now – 7 January
The iconic Kew Gardens will illuminate the tree lined avenues, gardens and glasshouses to create a spectacular light trail. In 2023 there will be new bespoke installations that will include: Lili, a series of abstract, illuminated flowers that will tower 3m above the trail, Spark Ballet with 24 sparkling light filled lanterns, Candles which will see 100 suspended floating candles and Trapezoid, one of the longest light tunnels to ever appear at Kew. Book early to secure a place as there is a limit to tickets and key dates will sell out.
Dunham Massey, Cheshire Now – 31 December
This year, the after-dark illuminated festive trail will have spectacular new creations including colour-changing batons of light stretching out into the distance. One example is Nova, a huge silver shrouded in mist as if fallen from the sky and star-shaped arches along the trail. The stunning house, gardens and deer park will be adorned with seasonal sparkle. There are independent street food vendors with spiced winter warmers and hot chocolates available, and a bespoke marshmallow stall where visitors can toast their sweet treats over an open fire.
The Story of Sleeping Beauty at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire Now – 1 January
The exceptional after-dark trail will have a new lights theme for 2023 as the Sleeping Beauty tale will be reimagined inside the Palace. Christmas at Blenheim Palace is a place where new memories are made as a multitude of twinkling lights and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun. Explore the Palace rooms transformed by the story of Sleeping Beauty as this classic fairy-tale is created for a new audience. In the Great Court outside there is a range of gifts available from the Christmas Market.
Christmas Lights at Leeds Castle, Kent Now – 31 December
The delightful experience at Kent’s Leeds Castle returns with a new trail and twist for 2023, following the huge success of last year’s first event. Sony Music has announced new installations and a new route to provide magical scenes, set to create lasting festive memories. New displays include sparkling chandeliers suspended in the trees, a laser garden filled with beams of light, a route through twinkling mirrored hearts and Feast of Light bedecked with multicoloured glowing strings. Street food vendors will be on hand with spiced winter warmers, hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows.
Castle of Light, Edinburgh, Scotland Now – 3 January
The iconic and spectacular after-dark trail at Edinburgh Castle is being transformed this festive season with new projections which will animate the walls and there will be immersive, enchanting installations that will guide visitors through a sea of twinkling lights displays in the castle grounds. Festivities take place outdoors at the iconic castle in the heart of the city at the top of the Royal Mile.
Christmas at Bute Park, Wales Now – 1 January
The award-winning experience is the biggest festive light trail Wales has seen and in 2023 it is set to shine brighter than ever with a host of new installations, including a hypnotic laser journey and a display with an epic orb of iridescent colour. The park will be lit up with a stunning array of lasers, neon trees and flame-lit festive installations. Along the route there will be food and drink stalls with delicious festive treats.
Luminate at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne 29 November – 24 December
This year the event has been re-imagined and will take in a sparkling array of fun new interactive elements and light installations along a new route around the Botanic Garden. A mesmerising mile-long walk, with stunning lighting elements will be set to seasonal ambient music to create a timeless experience not to be missed.
Cardiff Christmas Festival, Wales 6 – 24 December
New for 2023 this festival will have a performance of Welsh of the West End which will see the Britain’s Got Talent musical theatre group appear in the intimate surroundings of the Spiegel tent for one night only on the 17 December. The festival is this year in a larger festival site in Sophia Gardens and throughout the season will also include returning shows: Castellana, a jaw dropping blend of world class cabaret, circus, burlesque, and comedy and Santa’s Wish, a magical Christmas musical adventure for all the family.