The Best Christmas Bars and Festive Spaces of 2021

The halls are decked, the bells are ringing out and the big man is on his way to town! Here we have selected some of our favourite Christmas venues to get you in the festive spirit, the cosiest spots to duck into after a long day’s shopping and party places to continue into the night.

Appearing alongside the Christmas Markets in mayor cities across the UK, we find pop-up alpine style bars, tipi tents and winter villages. Kitted out with a festive décor, cosy fabrics and twinkling lights, you’ll be sure to feel all fuzzy inside. Mulled wine & hot chocolate can be expected, with roaring fires and dancefloors at YurtBar, a DJ booth at Mysabar and even exclusive karaoke cabins at Bar Hütte.

Seasonal igloos have also proven to be a popular extension to many businesses, offering your own private space to cosy up in, dine in or just to simply take in your surroundings. Whether you have a view down the Thames at Coppa Club, overlooking Birmingham’s canals from Gas Street Social or are high up above in the Aviary, you will feel like you are in your own little snow globe.

Snug wooden cabins, to a similar effect, are great for small group bookings too. From beach hut hideouts at Brighton Music Hall, to dancing on the rooftop at Liberté in Liverpool or Black Forest lodges in the city centre at The Club House.

If you prefer to soak up the atmosphere and get involved with a crowd, try the laid-back shared tables at Junkyard Market or Pergola Paddington, both surrounded by an array of food stalls to choose from, with live music and DJs. For true party vibes, outrageous bingo and BBQ delights, try a book club with a difference at Hillhead Bookclub, Glasgow.

With full Christmas transformations into grown-up grottos, these pubs have gone all out! We have Christmas on Pilgrim Street at Market Lane in Newcastle and Miracle on Cross Street hidden within Salt Dog Slim’s in Manchester. Ivy Chelsea Garden in London however, are used to changing the front seasonally, and this year have welcomed what looks like the whole of Whoville to Kings Road with their Miracle on Mount Crumpet.

All about the festive food? Why not try the world’s first café dedicated to pigs in blankets in Bristol, Pigsty, or a private dining experience at Arta, Glasgow. Cold Town House, as well as having an Après ski inspired rooftop bar with the best views of Edinburgh Castle, also has a whole floor dedicated to pizza & prosecco, not to mention their on-site brewhouse!

Follow your favourites at Useyourlocal or type in your location on the homepage to find something a little closer to home.

Escape to the Pub for an overnight stay

City breaks and country getaways are well and truly back! But have you ever considered staying in the humble pub?

Whether you are visiting family & friends for a long overdue catch-up, exploring new places or stretching your legs along one of the many walking or cycle routes, we have a pub just for you…

  • The Hog’s Head Inn, Alnwick, is where it all started for me and is the perfect place to base yourself if exploring Northumberland’s countryside & coastline. Part of the multi award winning Inn Collection Group, comfort, charm and locally sourced food & drink is what they do. Renowned for being located in some of the best beauty spots across the North East, you can find a list of all their Inns and locations here:
  • The Bear & Ragged Staff, just on the outskirts of Oxford however, was my latest pub stayover. Again, great location for exploring the surrounding areas, well connected and helpful staff offering local knowledge. Also part of a small collection of multi award winning pubs, Peach Pubs are a group full of character, found in market towns across the heart of England:
  • As Glamping becomes more popular, I have Scotland’s highest pub on my wish-list, hoping to stay in one of their wooden pods at The Wanlockhead Inn. Located in Dumfriesshire rather than the Highlands, Wanlockhead Inn can be found 1531m above sea level – also the name for their locally brewed “Beer with Altitude” from the nearby Lola Rose Brewery.
  • If high peaks and long walks are your thing, where better to visit than the Peak District? The Old Nag’s Head in Edale, sits at the official start of The Pennine Way, just down the road from The Rambler Inn. Both steeped in tradition and history, The Old Nag’s head is where The Great Kinder Beer Barrel Challenge originated from in 1998 and was still going strong, celebrated yearly before the pandemic hit.
  • To find a coastal hidden gem however, you could to try The Badger’s Set in Hinderwell. Nestled in between the seaside towns of Redcar and Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast, these newly refurbished rooms are a great addition to The Badger Hounds. If landlords Andy & Stephen’s pride & passion is anything to go by – you know you can expect great things!
  • When it comes to city breaks, London has to be a top pick. With an array of traditional pubs to choose from, they can be competitive alternatives to city centre hotels. The Alma Wandsworth, close to Wimbledon Park, and The Pelton Arms in Greenwich are two fantastic choices for discovering the city. You might recognise The Pelton Arms from being featured in “Rock and Chips”, the prequel to Only Fools and Horses, where it became “The Nag’s Head”.
  • Also featured on TV, we have The Railway Inn near Hull, who starred in Channel 4’s Four in a Bed. With three generations at the helm of the pub, hospitality runs through their blood. It all started with Edith, one of the very first landladies in Hull, and the family business has continued to strive ever since – along with the family recipe’s homemade pies!
  • Talking of blood-lines, all pure-bloods, half-bloods & muggle-borns are warmly welcomed at Hallow & Crux. With 4 individually designed bedrooms, you can transport yourself to the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter right on the doorstep of where the first 2 movies were famously filmed. Situated above pub & restaurant The Dirty Bottles, who have their own luxury boutique rooms too, you don’t have to venture too far to be served delicious fresh food & fancy cocktails. Just try not to disturb the mandrakes on the roof top terrace!

Of course, these are just a select few of the many pubs & bars across the UK that have accommodation waiting to welcome you. Find a pub with rooms near you here: