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08th Dec 2022

Newcastle crowned UK’s ‘capital of Christmas’

Jack Peat

It has the best markets, an iconic tree and is the city most likely to experience a white Christmas

Newcastle has officially been crowned the UK’s inaugural ‘Capital of Christmas’, following the publication of new national research to celebrate the festive season.

A study by budgeting experts Park Christmas Savings, assessed the festive activity of every town and city across the UK, revealing Geordies to be the nation’s ultimate Christmas revellers.

Park data shows Tynesiders are best prepared financially for the festive season, with residents putting away more pounds ahead of the annual celebration than people in any other area.

Newcastle also boasts a host of the nation’s most popular and famous Christmas attractions, gets its Christmas lights on bright and early – and has a 33 per cent chance of snow this December.

Front and centre of the city’s festive delights are its three buzzing Christmas markets, containing everything from Santa’s grottos to live festive music and locally sourced festive treats.

This year, they are bigger than ever extending into Grey’s Monument and Grainger Street, with mulled wine, mince pies, bratwurst, and plenty more on offer.

The city is also home to one of the country’s most iconic Christmas trees each winter.

The ‘Bergen Tree’ has been presented to Newcastle by the residents of Norway every year since 1949, to symbolise the nation’s gratitude to Newcastle for its support during World War Two.

Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Karen Robinson said: “Newcastle’s has always enjoyed a close relationship with Bergen, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to accept their generous gift of a tree on behalf of the people of our city.”

The Park Christmas Savings research also looked at other variables including the average cost of a weekend visit in December, number of tourists and social media appeal.

This year, Newcastle also stepped into the festive spirit earlier than most other UK regions – on 15 November – when the city’s Christmas lights were switched on.

Elsewhere, the Tyneside town is the joint favourite to enjoy a white Christmas in 2022, with a 3/1 chance alongside Glasgow and Edinburgh, according to latest odds.

Ian Thomas, Destination Director at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which promotes tourism in the area, said: “Christmas is a time to make memories for life and spend quality time with loved ones, and there is no better place to do that than in Newcastle, and this accolade is testament to that.

“Our partners across the city work hard every year to ready the region for Christmas and give people from around the world the famous Geordie welcome.

“This year is out our biggest and best, with Christmas markets showcasing local traders and bringing local landmarks to life, such as Old Eldon Square, Grey’s Monument and the historic Grainger Market – the city is absolutely buzzing with festivities.

“We will be wearing the Capital of Christmas crown with pride as a destination where everyone is welcome, at Christmas and all year round.”

On top of a variety of festive delights in the city, when it comes to spending, Park data shows one in 35 Newcastle households uses its Christmas savings scheme to budget for the big day.

A considerable 73 per cent of early bird Park savers in Newcastle’s actually confirmed and activated their Christmas 2022 savings plan before Christmas Day, 2021!

By paying what they can when they can on a regular basis, Park customers get to manage the cost of Christmas over the course of a year by starting early; the residents of Newcastle are more prepared for the festive season than people in any other city.

Katherine Scott, Director of Marketing at Park Christmas Savings, said: “We are delighted to today unveil Newcastle as the UK’s Capital of Christmas 2022.

“At Park, we already know that Geordies are savvy savers who get ahead of the curve because they are true Early Birds. Combine that with the huge draw of incredible Christmas markets and the nostalgic atmosphere it brings, the beautiful Bergen tree and the city’s festive lights and attractions and we have found our first ‘Capital of Christmas’.

“In true tradition, we also love that residents of the city are more likely than those in any other area to experience a white Christmas. There’s no other place that deserves the crown more!”

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