UK has ‘world’s prettiest Christmas destination’ full of markets and ice rinks
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    London has been crowned the world's prettiest destination for Christmastime tourists beating out runners up like New York, Paris, Dubai and Chicago. The English capital was handed the top spot based on the out number of Christmas snaps of the city posted on Instagram each year.

    It seems that many people have fallen in love with London's winter atmosphere as lights are erected up and down parks and shopping streets, glittering trees are stood up in marketplaces and squares and Christmas markets lure holidaymakers into buying gifts, mulled wine and fair ground rides.

    A new study from long-haul holiday specialistsTravelbaganalysed Instagram hashtags for 100 of the best-rated cities worldwide, to reveal the most picturesque destinations at Christmas which showed our very own city coming out as number one. With over 270,000 Instagram hashtags it was a clear winner above New York in second place with just 255,000.

    READ MORE: Europe's lesser-known Christmas market has £1.76 mulled wine and flights under £90

    READ MORE: World’s best Christmas markets ranked – including two incredible UK winners

    It's clear that the thousands of Christmas lights hanging from the capital's high streets have wowed tourists who are taking in the sights and doing their festive shopping and you can even take a special bus tour to take them all in. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland will also get visitors into the holiday spirit, with its fairground rides and Christmas markets – it even came in the top 10 worldwide best markets in a recent study.

    But, it's not just Winter Wonderland which attracts holidaymakers to London each Christmas. Christmas at Kew at the Royal Botanical Gardens puts on a yearly light show installation where families can wander the gardens taking in shows made of lights, music and artwork that will blow families away. Plus, it's usually lined with hot chocolate and mince pie stands that make the festive event one to remember.

    There's also a number of ice rinks for those who want to put on their blades and skate surrounding by lights and laughter. You can find some of the best at Hampton Court Palace, Somerset House, Canary Wharf and Queen's House.

    Family favourite Hamley's toy shop is filled to the rafters with all the must-have toys of the season and offers Christmas events. This year they'll have Santa's elves within the store who you can grab a selfie or a dance with. Plus, of course the window displays up-and-down Oxford Street will blow shoppers away.

    Plus, Harry Potter fans will be able to visit Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros Studios. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the makings of the feel good films as well as sets and models all bedecked at Christmas.

    Sheryl Drane, Regional Destination Manager for the Middle East and Indian Ocean at Travelbag comments: "When it comes to the ideal Christmas destination, Lapland’s snow-covered landscapes, pine forests, and cosy log cabins might seem tempting. However, some of the most picturesque destinations on Instagram at Christmas find themselves on the other side of the world with warmer climates.

    "Dubai, for example, experiences 25°C temperatures in December but ranks as the fourth most picturesque festive destination with over 60,000 Instagram posts tagged #ChristmasinDubai. Between the impressive Christmas tree lights and renowned New Year fireworks, this destination will treat holiday-makers to a unique festive experience. Whether you choose a winter wonderland or a sun-soaked holiday, you will be sure to find the perfect destination to enjoy the festivities."

    • Holidays
    • Christmas
    • Staycation
    • London

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