Best Christmas gift experiences 2023: Food, luxury and adventure days out to treat someone to
Have you been naughty or nice? Either way, we think you deserve one of these jolly gift experiences. Treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas to a present they’ll always remember.
Holidays are coming. There's just no getting around the fact that before you know it, it will be December, and we'll be knee-deep in gingerbread lattes, tangled up Christmas lights, and novelty wrapping paper.
So why fight it? This year, don't leave it until you're decking the halls and singing Mariah Carey to get that present list sorted. Instead, why not get it done early, and give yourself the chance to actually enjoy the run-up to Christmas?
To help, the elves at RadioTimes.com have put together this special guide to the best Christmas gift experiences. We've got everything, yes everything, you could possibly need. From wine tours and golf trips, to sky dives and West End shows, this list is suited to every interest, whether that be food, sport, gaming, exploration and more.
If you love cheese, we've got an afternoon visit to a cheese barge, or if you have a fussy shopper in your life, we've got a VIP trip to a designer shopping village.
Trust us, these experiences will go down so well on Christmas Day that you'll be swapping the usual family row for a chorus of Happy Xmas War is Over.
So, it's time for you to sleigh this Christmas by buying one of these amazing gift experiences.
- Food and drink Christmas gift experiences
- Cultural Christmas gift experiences
- Luxury Christmas gift experiences
- Outdoor Christmas gift experiences
- Adventure Christmas gift experiences
Best Christmas gift experiences at a glance:
- Tour and Tasting at Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery for Two, £28
- Cadbury World Entry for Two, £37.90
- Vintage Cinema and Cocktails Experience for Two, £45
- Rebel Book Club membership, £49
- Stargazing Experience for Two, £50
- Visit to Kew Gardens with Cream Tea for Two, £50.50
- Design your own Perfume Platinum Experience, £59
- Afternoon Cheese on The Cheese Barge for Two, £63
- Ultimate Free Roam Virtual Reality Experience for Two, £73
- English Heritage Joint Annual Pass, £76.80
- Sherlock The Official Live Game, £80
- Tickets for Two to a West End Theatre Show, £89.99
- James Bond Triple Drive, £98
- Sheepdog Training Day, £99.99
- The Comforter Hot Chocolate Scrub and Rose Massage, £100
- Liverpool FC Legends Q&A and Stadium tour for Two, £100
- Virgin Experience Days Gift Card, £100
- 30 Minute Flying Lesson, £110
- Evening Cookery Class at Gordon Ramsay Academy, £120
- Overnight Country Escape with Dinner for Two, £139.99
- Golf Day with Lunch at Luton Hoo Hotel for Two, £140
- Discover Scuba Introductory Quarry Dive in Wales, £149
- Jasmine Indian Afternoon Tea for Two at 5* Hotel, £150
- Three Night Glamping Break at Langstone Manor, £154
- Tandem Skydive, £199.99
- Platinum Designer Shopping Experience with Lunch at Bicester Village, £250
- A Taste of Borough Market Experience for Two, £250
- Build Your Own Watch with Bespoke Engraving, £329
- Mamma Mia! The Party for Two, £330
Best Christmas gift experiences to buy for 2023
We've not been elfish, we've listed 29 gift experiences for you to browse below. From food and drink experiences to adrenaline-fuelled adventure days, we've got a stocking full of treats!
Afternoon Cheese on The Cheese Barge for Two
Gouda tidings to you! Can you brie-lieve that there's a whole afternoon tea dedicated to cheese? On the Cheese Barge in Paddington, you'll be served a platter of six different British cheeses with a side of crackers and Coombeshead Sourdough. Stilton not convinced? You'll also be served a carafe of house red or white wine.
A Taste of Borough Market Experience for Two
Indulge in the delights of one of the best food markets in the world with the taste of Borough Market experience. Led by TV chef Celia Brooks, you'll be taken on a luxury tour of this iconic market getting treats from the dozens of stalls including charcuterie, cheeses, fresh oysters and scallops, hot street snacks, fine chocolate and much more. Along the way, you'll hear about the history of these various cuisines and there'll be plenty of chances to stop for a tipple or two.
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Cadbury World Entry for Two
We all know the feeling that comes with getting a Cadbury selection box in our stocking. Well now, you can upgrade this to the even better feeling of being surrounded by the world's best chocolate for a whole day. At Cadbury World, you'll have the chance to learn all about the chocolate-making process with an unrestricted tour of the factory. Then you'll get to meet some of the Cadbury characters, immerse yourself in a 4D experience and even create chocolate art. And, of course, you'll be stuffing your face throughout.
Jasmine Indian Afternoon Tea for Two at 5* Hotel
Another little twist on a British classic is this Jasmine Afternoon Tea at the Taj 51 Hotel in London. Blending together the rich flavours of Indian culture with the staple scone and sandwiches of the UK, this tea will include the likes of chicken tikka pantheras, fish masala choux roll, pistachio crusted fruit tarts and finally gulabi scones topped with mango compote and cinnamon clotted cream.
Tour and Tasting at Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery for Two
We don't blame you if you think of wine making as restricted to hot, sunny places like Italy or the South of France, but it might please you to know that there's actually dozens of working vineyards right here in the UK. At the Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery, you can get an inside look at all the steps and processes that go into wine and beer production, while also getting a few samples on the way.
Evening Cookery Class for Two at Gordon Ramsay Academy
Unleash your inner chef and learn from the best with this evening cookery class at the Gordon Ramsay Academy. You'll have a series of 90-minute lessons to choose from ranging from classic curry to fluffy gnocchi to fresh pasta.
You'll be able to learn top baking tips, sharpen your knife skills and more.
Liverpool FC Legends Q&A and Stadium tour for Two
Christmas isn't the only thing we associate with red. This year, give the Liverpool fan in your life the ultimate present with this trip to Anfield Stadium, which includes an in-person Q&A with a top legend from the club. You'll have 60-minutes in one of the hospitality suites to ask any question you could dream of, before taking a self-guided tour around the stadium. Highlights will include a look at the changing room, the tunnel and a brand-new exhibition called The Boom Room.
If you love football but aren't a Liverpool fan, you can find our full list of best UK stadium tours.
Tickets for Two to a West End Theatre Show
Mamma Mia what a wicked present! This Christmas, give your loved one the chance to see a show at London's historic West End. With nearly 40 theatres to choose from, they'll feel absolutely spoilt and probably a bit confused – will it be an old faithful like The Lion King, or something new and fresh like Operation Mincemeat?
If you need help deciding, we happen to have this fabulous guide to the best West End shows going on right now.
Rebel Book Club membership
Ok time to 'fess up book lovers, we all know you've got a big stack of books on your bedside table, and an even bigger list of books you still want to buy. So for god's sake, make your loved ones' lives easier, by asking for this subscription to the Rebel Book Club. Each month, you'll receive a new book in the format of your choice (physical, Kindle, Audible etc.) which is voted for by the members. Then, you'll have access to regular meet ups and digital events in both London and Bristol, in order to discuss the book.
Sherlock The Official Live Game
Feeling elementary? This Christmas, put your detective skills to the test by having a go at Sherlock The Official Live Game. At a secret location in London, you and a group of friends will band together to complete this immersive escape experience by working to solve puzzles and crack the clues. Along the way, you'll be given help from characters from the show, including the Baker Street Boys themselves and will even get to make your way through some of the series' iconic sets.
We've got a full guide to this in What is Sherlock: The Live Experience?
Ultimate Free Roam Virtual Reality Experience for Two
Here at RadioTimes.com we love VR, in fact, we have a whole guide to the best VR experiences for you to try right now. But, if you're looking for something to treat the gamer in your life this festive season, we'd recommend the Ultimate Free Roam Experience for Two. With this, you'll have access to an enormous VR world which you and a friend can navigate in real time on foot. In the virtual world, you'll be dropped in a city overrun by zombies, with no choice but to fight your way out. Thrilling and fun, this 45-minute experience is perfect for new and expert gamers.
Mamma Mia! The Party for Two
This is the ultimate experience for a dancing queen such as yourself: Mamma Mia! The Party, takes you to the Greek island of Skopelos for a day of dancing, singing and drama. While you're sat enjoying a four-course meal at Nikos' Taverna, the actors will be going through a romantic and funny story that includes plenty of ABBA songs to get you moving.
Vintage Cinema and Cocktails Experience for Two
Swap the sticky floors and fizzy drinks of a regular movie viewing for cocktails and nibbles of Shoreditch's top vintage cinema. Showing cult classics from Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the Big Lebowski, this 52 seater cinema has 15 showings a month, each one coming with a menu of decadent cocktails and classy food.
And be sure to check out the best luxury cinema experiences.
Design your own Perfume Platinum Experience
Ever wanted to find your own signature scent? Well now you can, with this design your own perfume experience. On this day out, you'll have a consultation with a trained perfume expert, during which you’ll enjoy blending your own unique fragrance. Once you've discovered the perfect smell, you'll get to bottle it up and take it home to wow your friends with.
The Comforter Hot Chocolate Scrub and Rose Massage
For some, the perfect Christmas gift is the chance to relax and unwind after what's been a stressful year. If that's you, or someone you know, then try this 60-minute massage treatment from LUSH Spa. Over the course of your massage, you'll be exfoliated with a warming hot chocolate body scrub, while the smells of rose and lime permeate the room. Afterwards, you can sit and enjoy the taste of a sparkling cloud cocktail, feeling perfectly blissful about the year ahead.
We've got more of this in the best spa experiences.
Overnight Country Escape with Dinner for Two
Get away from ordinary life with this luxurious overnight stay in the countryside. Available at Red Letter Days, this voucher has hundreds of quiet and quaint locations to choose from, including spas in Shropshire and manors in the Scottish highlands. Simply enter your voucher code and you could be experiencing a night away anywhere in the UK.
Build Your Own Automatic Watch
Time for a change? This winter, you can design your own automatic watch from scratch at Watch Supply's store in London. With the help of a master watch builder, you'll learn all about the history of watch making before browsing and choosing from a range of watch components. You'll be able to select everything from case design to strap material, and will have an expert helping you the entire time.
Platinum Designer Shopping Experience with Lunch at Bicester Village
We all know someone who wants everything but keeps nothing, who has high expectations that never seem to be met, in short, someone who's really difficult to buy for. Well, for this person we now have the perfect solution: buy them a VIP pass to a day at Bicester Village. With this voucher, they'll have more than 150 boutiques at their fingertips and £225 to use in all of them, plus a refreshment voucher for one of the village's many cafes.
English Heritage Joint Annual Pass
Discover the UK's best historical landmarks with the English Heritage Annual Pass. From the mysterious Stonehenge to Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, you could purchase 12 months membership for two seniors and up to six children. And, with over 400 sites available, it's well worth the money, as you're guaranteed a whole year of fascinating trips up and down the country.
Stargazing Experience for Two, £50
Is there anything more majestic than the night sky? We don't think so. Whether you're an amateur astronomer or just want to be at one with nature, this stargazing experience is the one for you. Surrounded by the beautiful Brecon Beacons, you'll be given two portable telescopes and can head out onto the grass to inspect the heavens. Astronomers will be on hand to talk you through your experience and help you make sense of the stars above, plus you'll get to fully explore the inside of the observatory.
Sheepdog Training Day
Come-bye and experience this Sheepdog Training Day on the Yorkshire Moors. With the help of professional, Barbara Sykes, you'll learn exactly what it takes to control and train the UK's cleverest breed of dog. Across the day, you'll be able to put your calls into practice and attempt to wrangle the herd of sheep for yourself. Unique and uplifting, you'll be bleating on about this day for years.
We're too baaashful to admit it, but we've got a lot more of the best animal experiences here.
Visit to Kew Gardens with Cream Tea for Two
Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a whopping 326 acres to explore, it is home to a diverse range of plant life from around the globe and over 250 years of history behind it. Now, you can explore the famous greenhouses for a day and even take a look at it's latest exhibit The Hive: an immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by the movements of bees. Plus, you can end the day with a traditional cream tea.
Golf Day with Lunch at Luton Hoo Hotel for Two
Putt your skills to the test with a day at the 5* Luton Hoo hotel golf course. Surrounded by 250 acres of countryside, this stunning 18-hole golf course is a real challenge for pros and amateurs alike. After a turn around the greens, you'll also enjoy a delicious lunch for two at the award-winning Adam’s Brasserie.
We've got more fore you in the best golf gift experiences.
Three Night Glamping Break for Two at Langstone Manor, Dartmoor
Get out onto the great lands of Dartmoor and experience a wild beauty like you've never seen before. With this experience, you can grab a three-night stay in a state-of-the-art glamping pod in Dartmoor's Langstone Manor Park.
You'll have all the glorious sights and sounds of nature without having to give up those creature comforts we all need.
30 Minute Flying Lesson
Let's take 2024 to new heights with this introductory flying experience. For 30-minutes, you can see the world from a whole new perspective as you pilot from the cockpit of your very own plane. Over the course of the lesson, you'll receive one-to-one tuition from a Civil Aviation Authority-licensed instructor and get the chance to control the plane from thousands of feet above the ground. If you want, the lesson will even count as minutes towards a Private Pilot's license, so this doesn't have to be just once in a lifetime.
For more, check out the best UK flight experiences.
Why see the beautiful UK countryside from the safety of a cockpit, when you can plummet towards it at 120 miles per hour? This tandem skydive experience is an ideal present for adrenaline junkies as you can experience the ultimate thrill of falling out of a plane at 15,000 feet. While strapped to an instructor, you'll go from the stomach-lurching feeling of free falling to the graceful descent of parachuting, all before gently touching down on the grass with an immense sense achievement.
Or, take a look at the full list of best skydiving experiences.
Discover Scuba Introductory Quarry Dive in Wales
From the highest highs to the deepest depths. With this introductory scuba course, you can submerge yourself in a magical underwater kingdom found in the Vivian quarry in North Wales. With the help of a qualified PADI Instructor, you'll learn the basics of scuba diving and get to go on a short dive featuring incredible underwater attractions including a sunken boat. From this, you'll be able to carry on with a PADI qualification and could soon be taking yourself on dives all over the country.
Splash around some more with the best UK water sports and water activities.
James Bond Triple Drive
We just love fast cars here at RadioTimes.com, in fact we have a whole piece devoted to the best driving experiences and best F1 experiences. In this day out you can be Bond, James Bond himself by driving three classic Aston Martins for three laps each around a racecourse.
Virgin Experience Days Gift Card
Is this all a bit much? Is there just too much choice? Well let us simplify things for you. This Christmas, buy your loved one a Virgin Experience Days Gift Card and let them choose the perfect day out. That way, there's no pressure on you to pick the right day, all you have to do is show up and smile.