It’s the magical memories made that make Christmas what it is. Amongst the stress of present planning, the commercialism, the weather, the not-that-song-again, you get those little moments that make you remember what the fuss all about. The ones that make us forget the cynicism every year and get excited for that one morning.
So, with the importance of special moments in mind, here are some of our favourite seasonal days out, perfect for spending with family and friends.
Picture – National Trust
Montacute House in Somerset – Anna, Marketing Assistant
Montacute is a beautifully intact Elizabethan mansion, and used in loads of period dramas and films. It’s special enough on a normal day, but at Christmas, the house is illuminated with coloured lights on the outside, and the inside of the house is entirely lit by candles. It’s an incredible opportunity to play a game of ‘imagining’, as the dim lighting makes you realise what Christmas would have been like way back when. There’s also a lovely little café with roaring braziers, and its setting in the Somerset countryside has all the perfect elements of winter.
Picture – Cotswolds.com
Holkham Beach, Norfolk – Sam, Regional Kitchen Trainer
In the winter, all the seals come up on to the beach to give birth. If you’re careful and quiet (make sure not to disturb them!) you’ll be treated to the sight of a beach he beach covered with tiny, fuzzy, cute seal pups. The adults do a great belly flop to maneuver themselves across the sand!
Stow on the Wold – Lucy, BTP Cheltenham
The Cotswolds are pretty perfect at any time of the year, but Christmas is particularly special. You could spend the whole season exploring the villages, but my personal favourite is Stow on the Wold. Start the day in quaint tea rooms, with mince pies fresh out the oven, and stroll round shops full of little delights – you’ll feel like you’re in a Christmas movie.
Carols on the Circus (Bath) – James, BTP Bath
Once a year, for one special hour, the people of Bath gather on the Circus (an already quite special place!) to sing Christmas carols with the Salvation Army band. Everyone brings a torch or a candle, and there’s even a pop-up mulled wine stall. It’s very British and just around the corner from the Alfred Street cafe!
Picture – Forestry Commission
Westonbirt Arboretum – Ben, Marketing Manager
I’m taking my daughter to see the lights at the Arboretum this December. There is an illuminated trail that brings the arboretum to life, which just looks incredible, especially when viewed from the treetop walkway. Plus there is the obligatory Christmas market too, so plenty of mulled wine to boot!
Picture – Portishead Lido
Clevedon Marine Lake and Portishead Lido – Shelley, Finance Director
We love to head down to the Portishead Lido or Clevedon Marine lake to watch the spectacle of those who are mad enough to hop in the sea in just their swimmers! This year, the lido will be heated, which makes it that little bit more tempting.