Pack the mince pies, the battery-powered fairy lights and the bottle of fizz, and you could be off for a relaxing Christmas or New Year break in your caravan.

No more listening to Uncle Ron guffawing at his own terrible jokes or Aunty Mabel snoring over the top of that Christmas afternoon film you were hoping to watch.

There are dozens of campsites across the UK open throughout the festive period so you can indulge just as you wish – some sites have got something extra laid on, too. Or kick back while the turkey crown is in your tourer’s oven and simply enjoy the view of somewhere different this Christmas or New Year.

No need to cook

Lincolnshire’s Tattershall Lakes offers plenty of space to get active and burn off the Christmas calories!
Lincolnshire’s Tattershall Lakes offers plenty of space to get active and burn off the Christmas calories!

For an active family Christmas with your caravan, you may want to head to Lincolnshire’s Tattershall Lakes. As its name implies, the country park is dominated by a series of lakes around which there’s masses of space to go for a walk or a bike ride.

The owners, Away Resorts, opened a new £4 million entertainment complex at Tattershall Lakes in 2017, and this still-sparkling complex will be the focal hub for the brand-new Winterfest activities this year.

Open throughout December, festive activities include non-stop themed entertainment, live performances from The Away Resorts Theatre Company, including Red Riding Hood as the 2021 family pantomime and a Christmas Spectacular Show, plus a Christmas Day dinner (bookings to be made in advance as space is limited). There’s Christmas music and carols for all, too. The Spitfire Bar, within the complex, will be open every day including Christmas and New Year.

But if you’re planning on cooking your own Christmas dinner and you need to get the kids out of the van while you prepare the sprouts, there are plenty of facilities open to keep them amused.

Collect your own Christmas tree

Select your own Christmas tree at Santa's Fields when staying at this Certificated Site
Select your own Christmas tree at Santa’s Fields when staying at this Certificated Site

Want to really get into the Christmas mood? Arrive at Evergreen Acres Farm, a Camping & Caravanning Club CS near Solihull, before the big day and choose your own tree at the on-site Santa’s Fields Christmas tree farm. There’s a selection of different fir trees and you can also buy water-holding stands, lights and tree trimmings, mistletoe and holly plus garlands and wreaths  – perfect to hang on the caravan door and welcome Father Christmas if he can’t get down the caravan ‘chimney’.

Your tree-buying experience will be a magical one. There’ll be spectacular Christmas lights, mulled wine, hot chocolate, singing reindeer and a large sleigh for family photos. The CS, which is open all year, includes hardstanding pitches with electric hook-up and is surrounded by beautiful fir trees.

If you don’t want to cook, The Orange Tree, which has an excellent reputation for good food, is within walking distance.

Make a splash!

Enjoy a family-friendly Christmas at Cofton Holidays in Devon!
Enjoy a family-friendly Christmas at Cofton Holidays in Devon!

The award winning Cofton Country Holidays, set within 80 acres of south Devon countryside, still has availability for stays of three nights or longer arriving on 23/24 December. The pitches include use of electric and have digital and analogue TV aerial connection.

Prices include access to a heated indoor pool with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, woodland adventure area and much more. Phew!

Guests also have the use of five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland, parkland and mature meadows to Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve. Guests staying over Christmas can enjoy Cofton’s parkland however, and walks to Dawlish Warren where every winter up to 23,000 wildfowl and wading birds visit from the far north, a birdwatching paradise.

There are decorations galore in the on-site pub, with mulled wine and mince pies to be had beside a roaring log fire and you can indulge in as many Christmas dinners as you have the urge for. Don’t forget to visit Santa in his grotto, too.

A child-free Christmas

Pitch at Somers Wood Caravan Park and pay a visit to Birmingham's big Frankfurt Christmas market
Pitch at Somers Wood Caravan Park and pay a visit to Birmingham’s big Frankfurt Christmas market

If you’re up at 4am on Christmas Day opening presents at Somers Wood Caravan Park, it won’t be because the grandchildren have woken you up. Sheltered by mature Forest of Arden woodland in the little village of Meriden, Somers Wood is an adults-only site so you can only blame your own excitement!

All-weather hardstanding pitches and top-notch creature comforts in the heated amenity building mean you won’t be left in the cold, whatever the weather.

And if you’d prefer someone else to baste the turkey while you’re enjoying a morning tipple, there are numerous pubs and restaurants within walking distance of the site.

Of course, what makes a stay at Somers Wood even more special at this time of year is Birmingham’s Frankfurt German Christmas Market, accessible via public transport from the site.

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market is billed as one of the largest of the German Christmas markets outside Germany itself. This year, the market is open from 4th November to 23rd December.

Over 180 decorated wooden chalets fill the city centre along New Street up to City Hall in Victoria Square. Visitors come from all over the country to sample the selection of seasonal food treats while a ‘stein’ of German lager or warming glass of glühwein sets the mood for browsing the continental gifts on offer.

But there is much more to the Birmingham markets than shopping. There’s a daily entertainment programme in Victoria Square until 23 December, while Christmas in Cathedral Square is a new market selling crafts.

And there’s more! Visitors can get a bird’s eye view over the markets from a big wheel located in front of the International Convention Centre and glide over the ice and the city’s popular outdoor ice rink; both are open until January 9th 2022.

A right royal party!

Carols and mince pies are the order of the day at The Camping and Caravanning Club's Sandringham site!
Carols and mince pies are the order of the day at The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Sandringham site!

While the royal family are picking over the remnants of the Christmas bird at Sandringham, you can have a good old stomp around their family estate.

OK, so you’re not going to be pulling crackers with Her Majesty, but you can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Sandringham campsite.

The estate is situated close to the north Norfolk coast. There are more than 500 acres of country park to roam around on Christmas morning. It’s free of charge to enter the park and, if you’re in need of last-minute goodies to fill those stockings, the gift shop and visitor centre are open every day except Christmas Day.

The restaurants within the park are also open in the days leading up to and after Christmas Day, so you don’t have to go cold turkey for Boxing Day.

The Camping and Caravanning Club has 25 sites open over Christmas and New Year, and, in the past, many of them have dedicated festive events. So if Norfolk doesn’t tickle your fancy, somewhere else almost certainly will. Details of Christmas and New Year events at individual club sites are posted on the website.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2022, wherever and with who ever you may be spending it!

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