The enchanting twinkles of Christmas lights, the intoxicating scent of mulled wine, the whispers of carols floating in the air…If you’re an international student experiencing your first Christmas season in this historic city, you’re in for a magical time. We understand it might be a bit daunting, especially if you’re far from home, hence, we’ve curated a fail-proof guide to help you spend a great Christmas in Nottingham.
Take Part in Christmas Events in Nottingham
Every year, Nottingham has a wealth of Christmas activities. For international students, this is a great opportunity to experience British Christmas culture.
Immerse yourself in the warm, festive spirit of Nottingham this Christmas season. The city becomes a winter wonderland, adorned with twinkling lights and bustling with merriment. Take part in a variety of events, from enchanting Christmas markets filled with local artisan goods, to beautifully orchestrated carol concerts in the historic surroundings. Join in the joyous celebrations, meet the charismatic locals and create unforgettable memories. Nottingham, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers an authentic British Christmas experience that you will cherish forever.
Nottingham’s Christmas market
Fancy a quintessential British holiday experience? Allow Nottingham’s Christmas market to charm you. Situated at the heart of the historic Old Market Square, it’s a lively hub of festive cheer. Here, you can savour a tipple at the Après ski-themed bar or take a thrilling ride on the towering Ferris wheel, traditional carousel, or the whimsical Helter Skelter. A stone’s throw away, you’ll find the newly established Winter Village nestled into Trinity Square. It’s the perfect spot to take a breather in one of the cosy alpine igloos while sipping on warming holiday drinks from the seasonal bar.
If markets aren’t your cup of tea, the National Ice Centre offers a delightful alternative. Ice skate to the rhythm of popular Christmas tunes, and afterwards, warm your insides with a scrumptious hot chocolate, with an enticing student discount to boot!
St Mary’s Church
To top off your Christmas Eve, immerse yourself in divine harmony at St Mary’s Church, nestled in Nottingham’s Lace Market. Attend the Nine Lessons and Carols or the midnight mass, basking in the serene melodies. And don’t miss the Christmas Tree Festival, where the church brims with beautifully lit trees every day until Christmas eve.
Spend Christmas around Nottingham
If Nottingham’s activities don’t do it for you, or if you’ve grown tired of Nottingham’s familiar surroundings, there are many other popular places to spend Christmas in the UK.
Wherever your travels take you, the magic of Christmas remains, yet is imbued with the unique charm and traditions of each new place. This festive season, embrace the opportunity to create new memories, broaden your horizons, and encounter the unexpected delights of spending Christmas.
Spend Christmas in Edinburgh
Edinburgh, a city known for its stunning blend of manmade marvels and natural wonders like the Holyrood Park and the Edinburgh Castle, transforms into a winter wonderland as Christmas approaches. The city begins to twinkle with brilliant lights, bustling Christmas markets spring up, and a maze made entirely of Christmas trees becomes a centre of attraction. Starting from November, the city offers a variety of delightful rides – from thrilling roller coasters to fun bumper cars, and even a charming Santa Train. As winter sets in, an ice rink becomes a hotspot of activity, and the sky is lit with spectacular fireworks.
Spend Christmas in Leeds
Christmas in Leeds begins with the magical illumination of the city during the Leeds Lights Switch On event. The city transforms into a twinkling wonderland, featuring the dazzling 100-foot Leeds Wheel of Light, festive markets, Santa’s cosy corner, and breathtaking performances by the Northern Ballet and Opera North. As one of the top three shopping hotspots in the UK, Leeds offers an enchanting experience in its historical shopping arcades, where you’re bound to find gifts for everyone on your list, including a treat for yourself.
Spend Christmas in York
York stands as a quintessential destination to revel in the UK’s Christmas festivity. Enriched with history and captivating architecture, it’s like stepping into a living Christmas card. This year, an added sparkle is there with York’s debut Santa’s grotto along with the inaugural Christmas tree shop in the city centre. York, having earned the title of the UK’s most festive city in 2017, is pulling out all the stops this year, promising an even more magical array of festive celebrations and attractions.
From tempting churros to the indulgence of roasted chestnuts, Bath transforms into a veritable feast during the Christmas season. As you savour a hot cup of spiced mulled wine, the gentle ambiance of graceful ice skaters offers a relaxing backdrop. The city comes alive with a Victorian-style merry-go-round and timeless pantomime performances, making Bath truly enchanting during the festive season.
Spend Christmas at School in Nottingham
Although fewer students stay on campus during the Christmas break, universities in Nottingham still organize events to bring students together to celebrate Christmas.
Last year, for example, the University of Nottingham organized a Christmas dinner for students who stayed on campus to enjoy together. This was open to all students, whether they lived in on-campus halls of residence or off-campus student accommodation.
The meal was provided free of charge but you must book in advance.
🎄Here is the menu for last year’s Christmas dinner:
Embracing the Christmas spirit in Nottingham as an international student is a memorable experience that you’ll fondly look back on for years to come. From the vibrant Winter Wonderland to the serene beauty of the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Barnabas Cathedral, every moment spent here is a testament to the city’s universal appeal.
As you create your own traditions in this new home away from home, remember to savour each moment, build lasting friendships and spread the holiday cheer. After all, Christmas is a time of joy, love, and unity.
- The Christmas Tree Company, Beeston
- Nottscutts Wheatcroft Garden Centre, Edwalton
- Bawtry Forest Christmas Trees, Botany Bay, Retford
- Egmanton Christmas Trees, Juglans Farm, Egmanton
- Thompson Brothers Green Grocers, Sherwood
- If you’re in London, there are two main businesses in London that sell Christmas trees; Pines & Needles and The Christmas Forest. You can either enter your zip code on the official website to find the nearest store, or you can buy them directly online.
- You can also choose to buy an artificial Christmas tree, which is lightweight, reusable and cheap. Argos and Amazon both sell Christmas trees, with a wide range of options and delivery direct to your door.
Common types of Christmas trees are Abiesalba, Spruces, Firs and Pines. Of these, Spruces are the cheapest and Firs are the most popular and expensive.
Winter Wonderland is open from November 7 to December 31. It will be open every day except Christmas Day. In November the market will be open Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 6.30pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.