Which UK Universities Have the Longest Christmas Breaks in 2020? | Top Universities

Which UK Universities Have the Longest Christmas Breaks in 2020?

By Chloe Lane

Updated December 10, 2020 Updated December 10, 2020

There’s no denying that 2020 has been a long year. Finally, the Christmas season has started, and students everywhere are looking forward to going home for the holidays. However, some will be going home for a lot longer than others…

We have selected 40 of the 87 UK universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2021, 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!)

1.University of Cambridge: 46 days

University of Cambridge

Holiday Start Date: Friday 4th December 2020

Holiday End Date: Tuesday 19th January 2021 

Although last year the University of Cambridge enjoyed only 36 days off during the Christmas holidays, it has upped its game this year with a whopping 46-day break. This puts it as the university with the longest Christmas holidays, beating the University of Oxford by three whole days. Although COVID-19 has halted many of the usual Christmas events, students can still enjoy outdoor activities such as the Wicken Fen Twelve Days of Christmas event, where you’ll find 12 trees all decorated with natural materials. 

2.University of Oxford: 43 days

Oxford Uni

Holiday Start Date: Saturday 5th December 2020

Holiday End Date: Sunday 17th January 2021

The University of Oxford might (just) beat the University of Cambridge in the QS World University Rankings (placing 5th to Cambridge’s 7th) but when it comes to Christmas, they are in second place. This year, the University of Oxford has 43 days off for the winter break. Despite COVID, there’s plenty to do in Oxford, such as the city’s Christmas lights festival.

3. University of York and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE): 38 days

 

London at Christmas

 

Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

University of York

Friday 4th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

LSE

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 18th January 2021

 With 38 days’ worth of Christmas holiday, we have the University of York and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Although COVID-19 may have put a dampener on things, London still has plenty for students to do at Christmas, including Christmas concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, a light show at Kew Gardens and pop up bars. York has travelling pantomimes, a magical illuminated light show outdoors at Castle Howard and festive afternoon teas to enjoy.

4. Coventry University and Nottingham Trent University: 35 days

 

Nottingham uni

 

Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

Coventry University

Monday 14th December 2020

Monday 18th January 2021

Nottingham Trent University

Monday 14th December

Monday 18th January 2021

In fourth place with an impressive 35 days’ holiday are Coventry University and Nottingham Trent University. Both Coventry and Nottingham have been placed in tier three under new coronavirus measures so they are unable to host in person events, but both are holding online events to put you in the Christmas spirit. Coventry is hosting a drive in Christmas movie event throughout the Christmas period and Nottingham’s Christmas at Wollaton Hall is a big hit for students looking for a good Christmas light show.

5. University of Leeds, Royal Holloway University of London, University of Reading, King’s College London and University of Aberdeen: 31 days

Leeds University
 

 

Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

University of Leeds

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

Royal Holloway University of London

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

University of Reading

Sunday 13th December 2020

Monday 13th January 2021

King's College London (KCL)

Thursday 17th December 2020

Monday 18th January 2021

University of Aberdeen

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 18th January 2021

These five universities each have 31 days holiday – an entire month off! However, the University of Aberdeen starts a week later and finishes a week later than the others. We’ve already looked at the Christmas activities going on in London, and Leeds is unfortunately in tier three so can’t host many festive activities this year. Despite this, you can enjoy a range of festive lights in each of the cities, which will help you feel Christmassy.

6. University of Warwick, Durham University, Lancaster University, University of Sheffield and Oxford Brookes University: 30 days

Sheffield Uni

 

Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

The University of Warwick

Saturday 12th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

Durham University

Saturday 12th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

Lancaster University

Saturday 12th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

The University of Sheffield

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 18th January 2021

Oxford Brookes University

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 18th January 2021

These five universities each have 30 days for their Christmas holidays. Warwick’s annual Christmas at the Castle event is still happening despite the coronavirus, with local crafts, sparkling Christmas lights and an ice rink! Although much of the North of England has been put in tier three, students can still enjoy the popular Sheffield Christmas market. Durham is offering an online Christmas festival as well as several socially distanced outdoor events.

7. UCL (University College London), The University of Nottingham, Newcastle University, University of Exeter, Loughborough University, University of Leicester, Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Manchester, University of Southampton, University of Strathclyde, University of Surrey, University of Portsmouth and Bournemouth University: 24 Days

Manchester town center

 

Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

UCL (University College London)

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

The University of Nottingham

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

Newcastle University

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

University of Exeter

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

Loughborough University

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

University of Leicester

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

Manchester Metropolitan University

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

The University of Manchester

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

University of Southampton

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

University of Strathclyde

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

University of Surrey

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

University of Portsmouth

Friday 11th December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

Bournemouth University

Friday 18th December 2020

Monday 11th January 2021

For our 40 universities featured, 24 days appears to be the most popular length of time for the Christmas holidays. This year 13 universities have just over three weeks off at Christmas, plenty of time to enjoy the various Christmas activities on offer. Most of these cities have Christmas markets happening – even though the majority of these are online. COVID-19 hasn’t stopped the Christmas lights, with several cities, such as Manchester, putting on special light festivals

8. University of Bristol, University of Glasgow, University of Birmingham, University of Bath , Queen's University of Belfast: 21 days

Glasgow town center

 

Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

University of Bristol

Monday 21st December 2020

Friday 8th January 2021

University of Glasgow

Monday 21st December 2020

Friday 8th January 2021

University of Birmingham

Monday 21st December 2020

Friday 8th January 2021

University of Bath

Monday 14th December 2020

Friday 1st January 2021

Queen's University of Belfast

Monday 21st December 2020

Friday 8th January 2021

Five of our 40 UK universities each have a total of three weeks off this Christmas. Amongst them is Scottish university, the University of Glasgow, where snow is almost guaranteed each year. If you’re spending Christmas in Glasgow this year, you can enjoy the range of virtual festive entertainment  on offer, such as the Secret Theatre Ballet and virtual whisky tasting

9. University of Edinburgh, University of St Andrews, University of East London, University of Liverpool, Birmingham City University (BCU): 14 days

Edinburgh

 

Holiday Start Date

Holiday End Date

University of Edinburgh

Monday 21st December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

University of St Andrews

Monday 21st December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

University of East London

Monday 21st December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

University of Liverpool

Monday 21st December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

Birmingham City University (BCU)

Monday 21st December 2020

Monday 4th January 2021

With a decent two-week Christmas holiday, we have the University of Edinburgh, University of St Andrews, University of East London, the University of Liverpool and Birmingham City University (BCU). Those staying around Liverpool this year can enjoy movie screenings of all your favorite Christmas films, drive in stand-up comedy and a virtual Santa dash.

Edinburgh also offers a variety of Christmas themed activities, such as virtual Christmas markets.

10. Canterbury Christ Church University: 12 days

Canterbury

Holiday Start Date: Wednesday 23rd December 2020

Holiday End Date: Monday 4th January 2021

The UK university with shortest Christmas holiday break this year is Canterbury Christ Church University, with students having only 12 days off at Christmas! Despite not having much time off around the festive season, students can enjoy Canterbury’s twinkling lights, cobbled streets, beautifully designed Christmas displays, as well as food, drink and gift stalls.

This article was originally published in December 2020 .

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Written by

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. She enjoys writing articles about a wide range of topics for a student audience. 

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