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Planning a Christmas day out by train in the North of England can be a delightful festive experience, combining the charm of winter with the convenience of rail travel. 

Join Northern as we explore some of the North’s most festive destinations, including some suggested itineraries for your festive day out by train. We’ve put York, Manchester and Blackpool in the spotlight for our Christmas days out by train, but there are so many destinations to explore in the North!

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Christmas Days Out in YorkChristmas decorations

Start your festive day out by taking a train to York, a quaint city rich in history and charm. York's Christmas Market, set against the backdrop of the iconic York Minster, is not to be missed. Stroll through the stalls adorned with twinkling lights, offering a variety of handmade crafts, local delicacies, and unique gifts. 

When it’s time for a spot of lunch, head to one of York's traditional pubs for a hearty Christmas lunch. Grab yourself a classic British dish and perhaps a festive drink to warm up.

Festive fun for train enthusiasts 

Once you’re well-fed and in the festive spirit, take a short walk to the National Railway Museum, a paradise for train enthusiasts. The museum houses an impressive collection of locomotives, carriages, and other railway memorabilia. During the Christmas season, the museum often features special exhibits and events, adding a festive touch to your visit.

Wind down your day with a festive afternoon tea. Many charming tea rooms in York offer special Christmas-themed treats and hot beverages. It's the perfect way to relax and reflect on the day's adventures.

As darkness falls, wander through York's cobbled streets illuminated by festive lights. The Shambles, a medieval street with overhanging timber-framed buildings, looks especially enchanting during the holiday season. Check if there are any outdoor carol singing events near the Minster to add a musical touch to your evening.

Christmas Days Out in Manchester

Begin your festive journey by taking a train to Manchester, a vibrant city with a rich industrial history. Head straight to Albert Square, where the Manchester Christmas Markets come to life during the holiday season. Explore the wooden chalets offering a wide array of crafts, gifts, and mouthwatering festive food. Don't miss the iconic Santa Claus statue and the beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the square.

Christmas market in ManchesterAfter soaking in the festive atmosphere at Albert Square, take a short walk to Deansgate. This bustling area is known for its shopping districts, including high-end stores and quirky boutiques. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many cafés or restaurants, and take the opportunity to pick up some last-minute Christmas gifts.

Skate on a magical ice rink

Embrace the winter spirit with a visit to Skate Manchester’s ice rink in Cathedral Gardens. Strap on your skates and glide across the ice in this magical setting filled with twinkling lights and the smell of gingerbread.

As evening falls, make your way to Manchester's Northern Quarter for a unique and eclectic dining experience. The Northern Quarter is known for its independent restaurants and bars, offering a diverse range of cuisines. Enjoy a festive dinner in this trendy and artistic part of the city.

Wrap up your Christmas day out with a short train ride to MediaCityUK. This modern waterfront destination often hosts a spectacular light show during the holiday season. Marvel at the illuminated buildings and waterfront views before catching a train back, reflecting on the magical day you've had in Manchester.

Christmas Days Out in Blackpool

Start your day by taking a train to Blackpool and head to the Winter Gardens. Explore the historic venue, which often hosts Christmas-themed events and shows during the holiday season. Afterwards, make your way to the iconic Blackpool Tower. Take in panoramic views of the coastline from the top and enjoy the festive decorations.

Blackpool is known for its traditional seaside fare. Head to one of the many seafront cafés or restaurants for a classic fish and chips lunch; nothing beats it! It’s a great time of year to appreciate the beachfront without the summer crowds. 

Blackpool illuminationsWorld-famous Blackpool Illuminations

Take a stroll along the promenade to marvel at the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations. These dazzling light displays run along the seafront and make for a magical sight. A trip to Blackpool isn’t complete without a visit to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for some festive fun. The amusement park often features special Christmas-themed rides and attractions.

Return to the Winter Gardens for a late afternoon pantomime or festive show. Many theatres within the Winter Gardens host seasonal performances that add to the holiday spirit.

End your Christmas day out with a visit to the Blackpool Tower Circus. Enjoy a spectacular show filled with acrobatics, comedy, and festive entertainment. After the show, take a leisurely stroll along the illuminated promenade to enjoy the festive lights and decorations.

Remember to check train schedules in advance and, if possible, book tickets in advance to secure the best prices. Whether you're a local resident or visiting the North of England, these Christmas days out across the North offer the perfect blend of festive cheer and historical charm. Don't forget to book your train tickets in advance to save up to 65%. 

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Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.