Where are the riders UK – 2021 festive special
Festive lights have been switched on in towns and cities up and down the country, and the Christmas markets have sprung up once again. Of course, Covid hasn’t gone away completely, but the outlook looks like Uber private hire drivers are set for a bumper festive period this December.
To make the most of a potentially busy festive season, it helps to know the likely rider hotspots where you are. With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the places where you can expect to get more trip requests in the run-up to Christmas across four major cities: London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds.
The following information is correct at the time of writing on 15 November 2021.
Winter pop-ups, from skiing-themed restaurants to outdoor drinking and dining events have made a welcome return to the capital this year. These include things like Winterland in Fulham, Skylight at Tobacco Dock and Peckham, and Pergola Paddington.
There’s also plenty of ice rinks for riders to choose from – a couple of the main ones are at the Natural History Museum and at Somerset House.
Driver tips: For drop off and pick up at Winterland, go to the PC World car park opposite the venue. For Pergola Paddington head to Sheldon Square (W2 6PY) and the security guard will direct you to the entrance.
For bigger attractions (and potentially more opportunities to earn), there’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and Christmas at Kew Gardens.
Driver tips: With parking hard to come by in and around Hyde Park, you might want to consider dropping people off at nearby tube stations, such as Marble Arch, Knightsbridge, or Hyde Park Corner. For Kew Gardens, there are three entrances: Victoria Gate, Brentford Gate, and Lion Gate.
The Manchester Christmas markets have been open for a couple of weeks now, with the main festive activities based in the Winter Gardens at Piccadilly Gardens. As well as bars, arts and crafts and food stalls, there’s a live music stage for the first time.
The Christmas markets themselves are at six city centre squares:
- St Ann’s Square
- Exchange Square
- New Cathedral Street
- King Street
- Market Street
- Cathedral Gardens (also home to Skate Manchester’s ice rink)
The Winter Gardens will be open until 3 January 2022, and the Christmas markets run until 22 December.
Away from the city centre, the Trafford Centre is likely to be busy in the run-up to Christmas. It is hosting the Tinsel Town outdoor attraction until 3 January, with a fairground, rides, the Snowstorm ice skating show, and more.
Driver tip: For drop-offs to the Trafford Centre, the postcode is M17 8AA. The car parks also include spaces for electric vehicle charging.
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The Frankfurt Christmas Market is back this year, in Victoria Square (with fewer stalls due to the ongoing works) and along New Street. It’s open until 23 December. There’s also a separate Christmas market in Cathedral Square which is running on 19 December.
Christmas at City Social, featuring DJs, live bands, and film screenings, is also holding events from 25 November to 18 December in Suffolk Street Queensway (near the Mailbox).
The Birmingham Hippodrome has a busy programme over the Christmas period, including the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker and the Goldilocks and the Three Bears pantomime.
Driver tip: For the Hippodrome, due to the recent roadworks access to Thorp Street is reversed and is now via A38 Bristol Street only. Several road diversions are in place around Southside, and there are more roadworks around Paradise Circus. You may want to warn your riders that trips to the theatre may take a while, especially if you’re coming from the north or west of the city.
The Chow Down Winter Village is at Temple Arches until 31 December. It features heated winter snugs, street food, live bands, and DJ sets, and a two-story bar. The venue closes at 11 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and 9.30 pm on Sundays, so expect it to be particularly busy around these times. Also, it’s worth being aware there’s no on-site parking.
Christmas at Harewood House looks set to be popular, particularly for families and those wanting some festive winter walks. Harewood’s festive season runs until 3 January, 10 am-6 pm.
There is also a festive light trail at Temple Newsam, which will be open between 26 November and 2 January.
Driver’s tip: For Harewood House, use the postcode LS17 9LQ – this will take you straight to the main archway entrance to Harewood off the A61.
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