Instead of an overpriced Christmas holiday abroad, do something magical just a couple of hours drive away.
For thrill seekers: Skiing in Scotland
Aviemore, nine miles from the Caingorm ski area, offers thrill seekers an opportunity to take part in a wide variety of activities. Dog-sledding, quad biking and clay pigeon shooting can be swapped for whiskey tours, spa treatments and poker nights for those looking for a more relaxed holiday. The scenery is beautiful, the locals friendly and you can do as much or as little as you like!
For culture lovers: Christmas shopping in Birmingham
Birmingham’s German Christmas market is an extremely popular affair being visited by people from all over the UK and Europe. It’s the largest outdoor Christmas market in the country, consisting of handmade toys, jewellery and Christmas decorations, and has been running for the past 11 years. Birmingham is twinned with Frankfurt which goes some way to explaining the copious amounts of Bratwurst (German sausage), Gluhwein (mulled wine) and Bock (traditional German beer). See if you can find a half-litre of Aecht Schlenkeria Rauchbier, a beer said to taste similar to beef jerky!
For outdoor enthusiasts: Rambling in Cornwall
Cornwall’s mixture of beautiful beaches, towering cliffs and rolling hillside mean it’s a walkers paradise, perfect for that boxing day walk to burn off the Christmas calories! Short and easy walks include a seaside stroll from Newlyn to Penzance where you’ll be able to visit the Newlyn Art Gallery, and Rinsey which contains three beautiful, world-heritage status engine houses as well as the chance to see dolphins playing. If you prefer a longer walk the seven-mile Lizard coastal walk will give you a chance to stretch your legs!
For pamperers: Bathing in Bath
The Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only thermal spa, is a good spot to warm up this Christmas. It combines the historic Roman spa buildings with the contemporary New Royal Bath for the ultimate relaxation experience. Outside the spa, there is much to see, Bath being designated at a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Architectural highlights include The Circus, inspired by the Colosseum, Pulteney Bridge and Lansdown Crescent. With log fire warmed cottages available to rent, this is certainly a trip for those looking to pamper themselves.
For romantics: Dining in Paris
The city of lights does not need to be a budget buster. Price per passenger from London to Paris is about £25, so if you hop in a BlaBlaCar with your loved one, you can both do a round trip for a hundred quid. Take a good pair of shoes and some earmuffs, then walk the streets, rent a bike for a couple of Euros a day, visit the monuments, play in the parks, kiss on bridges and hope for snow. Possibly the cheapest, most romantic, romantic getaway in history! The best things in life are… affordable.
…or, if you’re planning to drive there, offer a ride and save money!
Offer a ride