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There are plenty of incredible Christmas Getaway options right here in the UK. Photo: The Times

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year - whether you are celebrating it or not, it's the perfect opportunity to cozy up with loved ones and friends over the long weekends that take us through to New Year's Eve. If you are out of holiday leave or cannot work a trip to Europe into your schedule, it doesn't mean you're out of luck though.

There are plenty of incredible Christmas Getaway options right here in the UK, and this month KnowInsider.com is taking some time to review 7 of our personal favourites.

1. Cardiff

For one of the best places to go for Christmas for all-around festive fun, we'd recommend Cardiff. Funfairs, ice rinks and an alpine village all await you at Winter Wonderland, Cardiff’s premier Christmas event which runs from the middle of November until the start of January. It’s also the perfect city to get all your shopping done, with the city center’s Christmas market, department stores and high street chains selling everything you’ll need. If that wasn’t enough, Cardiff Castle also runs a beautiful fireside Santa’s Grotto, while the theatres are always chock-a-block with wonderful feelgood shows, Holidaycottages.co.uk cites.

2. Yorkshire

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Christmas Markets in Yorkshire. Photo: UK Christmas World

Yorkshire holds a spectacular blend of natural beauty, UK history and city attractions. If you or your family haven't been to York yet, there is no better time to appreciate it than the festive season leading up to New Year's Eve. The big Christmas tree in St. Helen's Square is a great place to congregate and plot your moves throughout the city, where museums, markets and specialty sites like the Jorvik Viking Centre make it a great city out in the countryside. The spectacular Yorkshire Dales are proud and beautiful in their snow-capped winter attire, giving you a chance to stretch your legs and work off the mulled wine and Yorkshire Pudding in some of the most picturesque settings in Northern England.

3. London

The capital city has so much to offer those spending Christmas in the UK, from the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park to the incredible Christmas shopping on Oxford Street. London hosts an array of Christmas markets, ice rinks, and events leading up to Christmas. Our favorites have to be the wintertime market at Southbank Centre, Somerset House ice rink, and Christmas by the River at London Bridge.

4. The Highlands

If it’s a white Christmas you crave, one of the best Christmas destinations would be the Scottish Highlands, which is one of the best places to find snow in the festive season. The northern reaches also offer a fantastic chance to spot Aurora Borealis – or the Northern Lights, as they are commonly known. What could be better than spending Christmastime in a cosy cottage, with snow feathering down outside the window and the Northern Lights illuminating the sky?

5. Lincoln

The medieval city of Lincoln is a hot pocket of local history, taking us back thousands of years through the local sites that have been preserved with pride and care. Lincoln Cathedral, which boasts the second-highest central tower in the UK, is simply magnificent; it's widely regarded as one of the most beautiful of its kind in the world. Over Christmas, the town heats up with a magical market that showcases the finest local cuisine and crafts. Landmark sites like the Cathedral and the Norman Castle set the scene for a vibrant, festive season in one of the prettiest urban settings in the UK, as said by Essentialtravel.co.uk.

6. Birmingham

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Birmingham Christmas market. Photo: Mummy Travels

Birmingham this Christmas is becoming home to pantomimes, parties, and steam train rides. Each winter, Birmingham city center bursts with the twinkling lights of the Frankfurt Christmas market that has run for over 15 years and is the largest of its kind outside of Germany, according to Citybase Apartment. This year it is set to attract over 6 million visitors, making it the place to be for those wanting to experience a truly incredible Christmas event.

7. Manchester

An Ice Village, a giant Santa clause, and the Winter Funland at Trafford City, Manchestertruly provides something for everyone during the festive season. Events are being held throughout November and through to the New Year, so guests can experience a whole range of things to do and see from a festive afternoon tea at The Monastery to the UK's biggest ice attraction in the Cathedral Gardens.

The Queen's Message

One Christmas ritual not drawn from an ancient tradition is the British monarch's broadcast on Christmas day. The tradition began in 1932 when King George V read a special speech written by Rudyard Kipling. The broadcast was an enormous success. It began, "I speak now from my home and from my heart, to you all...".

Queen Elizabeth II continues the tradition to this day. Every year she broadcasts her message on Christmas Day, and it is heard by millions of people all over the world. In England, most people watch or listen to it whilst digesting their Christmas Dinner!

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