Where the Riders are in the UK in December

Where the Riders are in the UK in December

With Christmas looming, we’ve reached the peak time of year for riders across the UK.

Good business is where you find it, but where you look is critical. At INSHUR we look for ways to help you make more money – revealing where the crowds are is one of them. Many Uber drivers will be cruising for riders in all the same old places. But that’s way too competitive. Instead, we’ve searched for different ways to cash in on the big events and make the most of other busy spots that may get overlooked. Scoop up the riders that the others never see.


Christmas in the capital is extremely hectic. Thousands of events, millions of people on the move. However, most of the action happens in the city centre, where abundant public transport and the highest concentration of Uber drivers in the country makes competition stiff. Instead, we’ve steered towards the city’s edges, where rich pickings can be had for drivers who look beyond the obvious.

Christmas Lights at Kew Gardens

Event: Seasonal light show.

Where: Kew Gardens, Richmond.

When: 20th November to January 5th.

Times: 5.00pm to 10.00pm every day.

Lights, lasers, dancing water jets, a twinkling treetop walkway  and the famous Palm House make Kew Botanical Gardens a must for tens of thousands during the festive period. A firm favourite with families, the ticket-only event is always a sell-out. No tube station and poor over-ground trains make this location an ideal place for Uber riders. Expect peak traffic around 8.00pm.

Insider’s scoop: Visitors access the Christmas walk via Victoria Gate on Kew Road. Meet your riders in Lichfield Road opposite the entrance to avoid the heavy traffic on Kew Road.

Winter Forest at Broadgate Circle

Event: A party in a snow-covered woodland.

Where: Broadgate Circle, City of London.

When: November 6th to December 20th.

Tucked into the western edge of The City is Broadgate Circle’s winter wonderland. More than 300 snow-covered trees, lights, bars, food, music, shows and free access, ensure this event is always packed. Open from midday every day, but with most action after dark, it’s a perfect spot to find weary riders seeking a fast way home, or exuberant riders heading for the West End.

Insider’s scoop: Most of the roads into Broadgate Circle are closed to traffic. Meet your riders on Eldon Street near the entrance to The Fulcrum.


The nation’s second largest city is not short of special Christmas events. From markets to funfairs and snow scenes to train rides, there are abundant opportunities for drivers to make the most of the season. However, Brum is very much a car city, so the best sites for riders are where parking is tough or highly expensive. The city centre is the only place to be.

Birmingham Frankfurt Market

Event: Huge German-style market.

Where: Victoria Square and New Street, City Centre.

When: November 7th to December 23rd.

Times: 10.00am to 9.00pm every day.

Yes, every Uber driver knows the annual German Market is a magnet for riders. It attracted over five million visitors in 2018. However, picking up riders who have had a few too many beer steins late at night may not be ideal. Instead, make the most of special events held mostly in the day, when families attend to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Check the schedule to get the latest news.

Insider’s scoop: The city centre is notoriously bad for car access. Many riders will move  away from the market to hail an Uber. Meet them at Colmore Row on the north side, Hill Street to the south, or Moor Street in the east.

Polar Express Christmas Train Ride

Event: Steam Train to see Santa.

Where: Moor Street Station, City Centre.

When: November 22nd to December 23rd.

Times: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with trains departing from 4.40pm.

The Polar Express Train Ride to see Santa is a huge draw for families. Trains depart and return to Moor Street every Friday and weekend. Tickets for the final week before Christmas are already sold out, so expect huge crowds and train-goers who left their car at home to avoid the Christmas traffic.

Insider’s scoop: The train rides last an hour. Time your appearance to their return to Moor Street by using the train schedule.


Manchester knows how to celebrate Christmas and there are festive events across the whole metro area. Riders will be out in droves, but once again, we’ve concentrated on city centre opportunities.

Manchester Ice Village

Event: Outdoor market, ice-show and ice skating.

Where: Cathedral Gardens, Corporation Street Manchester M4 3BG.

When: November 8th to January 5th.

Times: 11.00am to 9.00pm every day.

The Ice Village presents an ice cavern, Santa’s grotto, ice tiki-bar and ice-skating. Never mind a polar train ride, this is a polar extravaganza. Expect a throng of families during the day and hordes of party-goers at night, (many of whom will need a ride to take them on for further fun).

Insider’s scoop: Cathedral Gardens is a maze of blocked access and pedestrian-only streets. Meet your riders on Todd Street near the Indigo Hotel.

Manchester Christmas Markets

Event: Outdoor festive markets.

Where: Scattered across the city centre.

When: November 8th to December 21st.

Times: 10.00am to 9.00pm every day.

Eight markets make up Manchester’s Christmas shopping festival. Across the Central Retail District, the Northern Quarter and Chinatown, they offer food, drinks, gifts and fun. Hundreds of thousands visit every year. Peak time begins at dusk when the lights come up. Market organisers are asking visitors to leave their cars at home. Many will prefer to ride with Uber instead of using bus or tram.

Insider’s scoop: Riders leaving the markets often have heavy shopping to carry. Locations at King Street, St. Anne’s Square and Market Street are furthest from public transport. Stay on the west side of the centre to pick up shoppers who cannot walk too far.


Scotland’s biggest city also has no shortage of events to attract the crowds at Christmas. Markets, shows, funfairs and things to entertain the kids keep the city humming. Shopping is a big part of the Christmas experience. We look at the best markets to catch elusive riders.

Etsy Made Local Christmas Market

Event: Artisan’s Christmas market. Where: The Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, Glasgow G1 5HZ. When: November 3rd and December 1st. Times: 11.00am to 4.30pm each day.

Etsy brings its pop-up Christmas Market to Glasgow for just two days. It offers items that shoppers won’t find in the big central markets. Free entry, a short time window and over 60 unique stalls make this event a hot spot for daytime traffic. Expect riders who came by bus but bought too much to carry home.

Insider’s scoop: The Market is in the south-east corner of the Briggait. Meet your riders on Stockwell Street and Clyde Street.

Riverside Christmas Market

Event: Christmas market inside a museum. Where: Riverside Museum, 100 Pointhouse Road, Glasgow G3 8RS. When: December 7th and 8th.  Times: 11.00am to 4.00pm each day.

The Riverside Museum turns its Victorian Street into a special Christmas Market again this year. Gifts, food and drinks, plus a funfair in the museum’s event square all boost the numbers of visitors. Far enough from public transport to make a return walk daunting, this is a great location to find riders who didn’t come by car.

Insider’s scoop: Expect the Govan Ferry and Govan Pier to be extra busy on market days. Some shoppers who came to the riverfront by public transport will need Uber to take them home.

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