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Which UK Universities have the Longest Christmas Breaks in 2019?

Which UK Universities have the longest Christmas breaks in 2019? main image

Approaching the end of November, there’s only one thing on every student’s mind – the Christmas break! But have you ever wondered which universities in the UK have the longest Christmas break (and why you didn’t go there?!)

We have selected 30 of the 84 UK universities featured in the World University Rankings 2020, to find out once and for all which UK universities have the longest time off at Christmas. We also reveal which UK universities have the shortest Christmas holidays (hint: it’s less than two weeks!). Read on to find out more…

1. University of Oxford: 42 days

Oxford University in the snow

Holiday Start Date: Saturday 7th December 2019

Holiday End Date: Sunday 19th January 2020

In first place, for both the length of university Christmas breaks and the university rankings index in the UK, is the University of Oxford. Only at the University of Oxford can students can enjoy an incredible 42 days holiday – six whole weeks! Oxford has a wide range of Christmas activities to enjoy, from wreath making workshops, Christmas dinners, Michael Bublé tributes and much more.

2. University of Cambridge: 36 days

The University of Cambridge in the snow

Holiday Start Date: Saturday 7th December 2019

Holiday End Date: Monday 13th January 2020

Not far behind, either in the university rankings or in the length of the Christmas break, is the University of Cambridge. University students can enjoy Cambridge’s famous Mill Road Winter Fair, which contains a variety of craft stalls, buskers, circus performers, poets, storytellers and dancers to keep you entertained.

3. Queen Mary University of London: 35 days

London's Natural History Museum ice rink

Holiday Start Date: Saturday 14th December 2019

Holiday End Date: Sunday 19th January 2020

In third place we have Queen Mary University of London, located in London’s East End, with a Christmas holiday spanning 35 days. With this long break, you’ll have almost enough time to enjoy all the incredible Christmas activities London has to offer. If you’re looking for some ideas, check out a student’s guide to Christmas in London here.

4. University of Manchester and Kings College London: 30 days

Manchester Christmas market

 
Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

The University of Manchester

Wednesday 18th December 2019

Saturday 18th January 2020

Kings College London

Saturday 14th December 2019

Thursday 14th January 2020

With 30 days’ worth of Christmas holiday, we have the University of Manchester and Kings College London, in fourth place this year. We’ve already established how many Christmas activities are available in London, but what about in Manchester? University of Manchester students can enjoy the city’s Ice Village this Christmas, which includes an ice cavern, the -10 degrees Ice Tiki Bar and a brank new ice-skating rink.

5. UCL, LSE, University of Warwick, Durham University, University of Sheffield, University of Birmingham, University of Leeds, University of Nottingham, University of Leeds, University of York, University of Reading: 28 days

Nottingham christmas market

 
Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

UCL

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

University of Warwick

Saturday 7th December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2020

Durham University

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

The University of Sheffield

Saturday 21st December 2019

Sunday 19th January 2020

University of Birmingham

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

University of Leeds

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

University of Nottingham

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

University of York

Saturday 7th December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2020

University of Reading

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

 28 days appears to be the most common length for university Christmas holidays, with 10 of our 30 UK universities having a lengthy four-week break. Many of the universities on the list are situated in cities offering excellent Christmas markets, as well as other festive fun. University of Sheffield students can visit the famous THOR’s Tipi bar; serving ale, mulled wine and hot cider as well as delicious wood-fired pizzas. Students can also enjoy the city’s popular Christmas Market, which is open from 14th November and has a range of unique products and tasty treats.

6. Lancaster University: 27 days

Lancaster city

Holiday Start Date: Thursday 12th December 2019

Holiday End Date: Thursday 9th January 2020

With just under four weeks, Lancaster Uni ranks sixth in our list of the UK universities with the longest winter breaks. Lancaster hosts an annual three-day Christmas market in the Lancaster Brewery, with food, drink and plenty to do (it’s also dog friendly). Lancaster also plays host to ‘Lancaster on Ice’, an event in which the historic garden of Dalton Square is transformed into an incredible ice rink. 

7. The University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, University of Portsmouth, University of Brighton, Newcastle University, Cardiff University, the University of Exeter: 21 days

Edinburgh Christmas Market

 
Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

The University of Edinburgh

Saturday 21st December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

University of Bristol

Saturday 21st December 2019

Sunday 12th January 2020

University of Portsmouth

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2020

University of Brighton

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2020

Newcastle University

Saturday 14th December 2019

Monday 6th January 2020

Cardiff University

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2020

The University of Exeter

Saturday 14th December 2019

Sunday 5th January

 Seven of our 30 featured UK universities have a decent three-week break from lectures. Amongst them is Scottish university, the University of Edinburgh, where snow is almost guaranteed each year. If you’re spending Christmas at Edinburgh this year, you can expect to experience the city’s 24 doors of advent – a real-life advent calendar around the city. On the other end of the country in Brighton, students staying around the city at Christmas can enjoy the well known ‘burning of the clocks’ event on 21st of December, where local people make paper and willow lanterns and parade through the city to mark the shortest day of the year.

8. Imperial College London, University of Glasgow, Bournemouth University and University of Liverpool: 19 days

Glasgow City Center at Christmas

 
Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

Imperial College London

Saturday 14th December 2019

Friday 3rd January 2020

University of Glasgow

Saturday 21st December 2019

Friday 10th January 2020

Bournemouth University

16th December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2019

University of Liverpool

Monday 16th December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2020

With 19 days holiday are Imperial College London, the University of Glasgow, Bournemouth University and the University of Liverpool. Those staying around Bournemouth this year can enjoy the Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland; a spectacle of over 100 sparkling trees and illuminations, as well as live music, an enchanted walkway and plenty of festive bars. Glasgow also offers a variety of Christmas themed activities, including your choice of Christmas themed afternoon teas, tucking into a delicious three course Christmas meal onboard a vintage Routemaster bus and watching the big band play in the city’s concert halls.

9. Ulster University: 17 days

Belfast town hall

Holiday Start Date: Monday 16th December 2019

Holiday End Date: Friday 3rd January 2020

Located in Northern Ireland, Ulster University students have a 17-day Christmas break. With four separate campuses across Northern Ireland (Belfast, Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee), Ulster University has a for its students to do around Christmastime. If you’re a student in Belfast, be sure to visit the Belfast Christmas market, or try some Shortcrust Christmas cocktails in the distillery.

10. University of St Andrews, Sheffield Hallam: 12 days

Ice skating at St. Andrews

 
Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

University of St Andrews

Monday 23rd December 2019

Sunday 5th December 2019

Sheffield Hallam

Monday 23rd December 2019

Sunday 5th January 2020

The two UK universities that have the shortest Christmas holiday breaks are the University of St Andrews and Sheffield Hallam, with students having only 12 days off at Christmas! Despite not having much time around the festive season, 12 days is more than enough time to stuff yourself with mince pies and enjoy some mulled wine. University of St Andrews students should wrap up warm as they enjoy the festivities, such as the university’s annual Alumni Carol Service, as it’s bound to be chilly up in Scotland at Christmas.

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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