Christmas events in the National Parks

Christmas is coming! And few places are better for getting yourself into the festive spirit than the UK's National Parks. There's just something magical about Britain's breathing spaces to put you in the right mindset. Think bracing walks on crisp, cold days followed by steaming mugs of tea (or something stronger) in a country pub. Snow-dusted hilltops. The smell of chimney smoke wafting through a village.

Additionally, the 15 members of the National Park family remain active year round, with numerous special events taking place to help you celebrate the holiday season. Below are a selection of Christmas-themed events to be found in each of the National Parks.

Brecon Beacons National Park

-- Abergavenny Christmas Food and Drink Fair: Around 90 hand-picked speciality food producers across four venues. Stock up your cupboards with every imaginable seasonal treat.
-- 8 December 2013
-- Four venues in Abergavenny: Market Hall, Corn Exchange, Upper Brewery Yard and The Priory
-- Find out more 

The Broads

-- Dragon's Hall Medieval Christmas Market: Traders from near and far come to sell their handcrafted, original and high-quality wares. Mulled wine, traditional ales, seasonal food and entertainment
-- 7-8 December 2013
-- Dragon Hall, Norwich, Norfolk
-- Find out more

Cairngorms National Park

-- Santa Express: Come along for a stunning winter trip through the beautiful, snow-covered Scottish Highlands. Santa will be on board with presents for children.
-- 7, 14, 21-24 December
-- Strathspey Railway, Aviemore
-- Find out more

Dartmoor National Park

-- Manaton Makers Christmas Exhibition: The Manaton Makers will be showing and selling local work - often made using local materials - including willow baskets and decorations, jewellery, weaving, ceramics, print making and wood turning.
-- 28 November - 1 December
-- Dandelion Cafe, Moorlands House, Haytor
-- Find out more

Exmoor National Park

-- Dunster by Candlelight: The remarkably well-preserved Medieval village of Dunster turns its back on the present and lights its streets with candles. Free street entertainment, live music, choirs, carollers, Father Christmas, and late night shopping.
-- 6-7 December
-- Dunster, Exmoor
-- Find out more

Lake District National Park

-- Christmas Party Fun: Festive fun for all the family including party games, performances and children's crafts.
-- 22-23 December
-- Brockhole, Lake District Visitor Centre, Windermere
-- Find out more

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

-- Farmers Market: Your last chance to visit the award-winning Loch Lomond Farmers Market and stock up on goodies before Christmas.
-- 15 December
-- Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch
-- Find out more

New Forest National Park

-- New Forest Christmas Fair: Visitors to the fair can get into the festive spirit by purchasing their Forestry Commission Christmas trees, browsing locally produced gifts, and sampling hot festive food.
-- 7-8 December
-- New Park, Brockenhurst
-- Find out more

Northumberland National Park

-- Christmas Wreath Making: Make you own Christmas Willow Wreath to take home and have lunch at the fantastic Carriages Tearoom in Belligham.
-- 23 November
-- Carriages Tearoom, Bellingham
-- Find out more

North York Moors National Park

-- Winter Woodland Walk: Join North York Moors National Park Rangers for a festive stroll around the woods, seeking out woodland carvings and hidden surprises.
-- 15 December
-- Falling Foss, North York Moors
-- Find out more

Peak District National Park

-- Christmas at Castleton: Discover the history of the popular Peak District village of Castleton and enjoy the Christmas lights.
-- 7 December
-- Castleton Information Centre, Castleton
-- Find out more

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

-- Christmas Fayre at Carew Castle: Meet Santa in his grotto. Stalls with Christmas crafts and presents, local produce, jewellery, face-painting, textiles, toiletries, Medieval Medley woodworking, papercraft, confectionery, hobbyhorses, knitware, memorabilia, local artwork, wirework, ceramic and glasswork, dollshouse furniture, decorations, pictures and much much more.
-- 8 December
-- Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire
-- Find out more

Snowdonia National Park

-- Portmeirion Food and Craft Festival: A celebration of Welsh food and craft, with live cookery demonstrations, food, and craft stalls. Father Christmas will be in his workshop!
-- 7-8 December
-- Portmeirion, Gwynedd
-- Find out more

South Downs National Park

-- Christmas Regency Dance: Easy-to-follow country dances will be led by the Hampshire Regency Dancers to live period music, with a warm glass of Negus and cold-fork supper.
-- 7 December
-- Gilbert White's 16th Century Hampshire Barn, Selborne, Alton, Hants
-- Find out more

Yorkshire Dales National Park

-- A Medieval Christmas: A festive show of songs, carols and stories from the Middle Ages played on authentic instruments such as cittern, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes and shawm.
-- 13 December
-- Reeth Memorial Hall, Arkengarthdale Road, Reeth
-- Find out more


To search for even more events happening in a UK National Park near you, check out our Events listing page.