BritMum’s travel guru Karen Beddow at Mini Travellers blog rounds-up the best festive travel experiences from cool Christmas markets to skiing trips for those yearning to get away from it all this yule and those planning to escape next year.
Lots of us like to escape at Christmas, whether that be for a last-minute getaway or a planned longer break. Research even shows that it’s about now that people start to book a Christmas break for next year as they decide a Christmas at home is not for them.
So where do you, our readers, recommend?
Celebrating Christmas in New York City has got to be on most people’s travel bucket list, right? Spending the most wonderful time of the year in one of the most iconic cities in the world is an unforgettable experience.
From Christmas lights to magical Christmas markets to iceskating and sledging in the famous Central Park and onto a traditional festive theatre show and indulging in the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity’s 3 – there is something for everyone in New York at Christmas.
Il Magico Paese di Natale in Piedmont, Italy – there is so much for kids to do at this traditional Christmas festival and the setting is incredible for a winter holiday. Known as ‘the magical Christmas village’ in Govone, northern Italy. There we go blog’s favourite part was the Christmas market, which is basically an excuse to eat your way around the Piedmont region (and as you can probably tell from the video, we dutifully obliged).
Eastside Cottages are a stunning set of cottages set in the Pentland Hills to the West of Edinburgh.
They are the perfect place to cosy up and enjoy Christmas together with plenty of walks in the surrounding hills for after that big Christmas dinner. However it’s only a short journey from Edinburgh itself, so you can enjoy the Christmas markets and visit the Castle of Lights in the lead up to the big day.
It really is a magical location for Christmas in Scotland with both countryside and city.
Bruern Cottages are set in the heart of the Cotswold countryside. It really does make the perfect Christmas retreat which is an easy drive from London.
Bruern is a small complex of 12 stunning cottages, each varying in size, with a style that can only be described as ‘English Country Living’ with log fires and four poster beds in every house. They are elegant, yet completely family friendly offering cots, highchairs, and stair gates in all their cottages.
Despite their elegance, Bruern boasts a host of other child friendly facilities including 3 outdoor play areas a play cabin, two storey playhouse, an array of ride-ons and bicycles for all sizes as well as a heated indoor swimming pool. Massages are also on offer – a true treat anytime of the year!
The perfect Christmas getaway for many is a festive Christmas market trip. But what about if you are traveling with kids? In this guide Leona rounds up the best Christmas markets to visit for kids.
Sarah also suggests that river cruising is the perfect way to explore European Festive markets, with River Ships stopping in central city locations, families are able to walk off and explore Christmas Markets. This also allows you to embrace cultures throughout Europe, including visiting Santa in another country.
Looking to head for a sunny escape at Christmas? The UAE is an increasingly popular winter escape with its stunning weather and beautiful beaches. But do they even celebrate Christmas in a Muslim country? Will you be getting your roast turkey and brussel sprouts on Christmas day?
Fear not! British expat Keri shares with us exactly how Christmas is celebrated in her adopted home of Abu Dhabi. From carols in the desert to Christmas tree lightings and the inside scoop on where to get the best Christmas Day feast – delivered or indulgent brunches in 5 star hotels, with Santa on a camel, of course!
The palm-fringed beaches of Goa are twinkling with fairy lights over the Christmas season (the Portuguese religious influence is strong here) and if you’re looking for a tropical paradise for the festive season, Goa is a fantastic choice. Indeed expected temperatures hover around 30 degrees this time of year, and the sea is beautifully warm.
The beaches of this Indian coastline offer an eclectic mix catering to the raver, the yogi, the package sun-seeker and everything in between. So it can be a bit tricky finding the best beach to suit you. But if you’re looking for something quiet, away from the crowds, and especially if you’re visiting Goa with kids, I recommend Agonda.
Do note that you will be very lucky to find turkey and brussels sprouts for dinner. Instead it’s more likely to be grilled goat (a Christmas speciality here) or a good South Indian curry.
If you’re thinking of the whole turkey-and-tree day with the horrors, why not think about Morocco for Christmas?
Out of season you can enjoy lower prices, warm days, and a definite lack of other tourists to allow you to explore the sights without the jostling.
Marrakech is a Muslim city, so December 25 and 26 are normal working days. There’ll be no sitting around the tree or eating mince pies – instead go shopping for slippers, lanterns & leather goods, stock up on spices in the souk and simply soak up the night atmosphere in Djemaa el-Fna square.