Whilst the dark winter nights and heavy coursework deadlines may seem all doom and gloom, Christmas remains the light at the end of the tunnel. So while you are spending your days in the library, stacked under a pile of books, pining for freedom and festive fun, why not plan a visit one of the many Winter Wonderlands happening across the UK.

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Hyde Park, London
Our humble capital is home to the UK’s most well-known and most spectacular Winter Wonderland. Even just a cursory glance at the event on Google will show you the reason why; some of the attractions include an ice rink, a giant observation wheel, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Circus, live music, gift markets, a German Christmas market and much more. Not only is the event located in the glorious setting of Hyde Park, which as well as holding an important place in British history (it was Henry VIII’s hunting ground), won the 2013 Trip Advisor Award for best attraction in London – evidence that Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is above the rest. For us cash strapped students, fear not, entry to Winter Wonderland is free.

Manchester City Centre Christmas Wonderland
For those of you a bit further towards the North Pole, or who want to combine some last minute Christmas shopping with some festive fun – brace yourselves, as Manchester is hosting a spectacular Winter Wonderland. One of the UK’s largest indoor shopping centres has undergone a Christmassy transformation. Whether you are a nervous novice or a seasoned skater – jump on the ice at Hardman Square, Springfields in the City Centre, open from now until the 5 January. Why not combine your Winter Wonderland experience with late night shopping? And of course, for the festive loving, inner child in all of us, Santa will also be making an appearance, doing his bit in raising money for charity. If you enjoy a good carol or two, why not tune in to the local orchestras? For those of you due north of Norwich this Christmas, don’t miss out!

Bristol Winter Wonderland
A little further afield, though still closer than the North Pole, Bristol are going all out with the festivities this year. They’ve continually managed to wrangle some of the top bands to carol visitors into the Christmas spirit, and they’re continuing their streak with The Saturdays this year.

Whether you like The Saturdays or not, all the ticket sales have gone to Help For Heroes – a very worthy cause. The Winter Wonderland is open until 5 January and includes loads of attractions – Bristol boasts the largest Ice Rink in the South West, a Santa train, the switch on of the Christmas lights and much more!

So, whilst the deadlines may seem never ending, there’s light ahead at some of the UK’s best Winter Wonderlands!