Posted 19th Nov 2015
Spend December in the warm embrace of a festive getaway and experience Yuletide through the eyes of somewhere new. Why not head to one of our fantastic locations rich in heritage and beauty this winter?
A Christmas romance
Steeped in heritage and boasting a romantic two AA rosette award-winning restaurant, Flitwick Manor in Bedford is a cosy retreat for couples. Lounge by the open fire, get lost in a good book and later sink into a four poster bed having tucked into a festive afternoon tea or hearty dinner, or, if you want to brave the chilly winter air, head into the surrounding Bedfordshire countryside to explore and get lost amongst the fallen leaves. Why not visit Woburn Abbey with its stunning Deer Park and Deer Farm, or simply enjoy the wonders of this picturesque setting? Head to Wrest Park and take in the sweeping views, explore the woodland walks and uncover the hidden treasures of the archaeology stores. Wander down country lanes and find pieces of Bedford's rich historic past, or learn about the Grade I listed Moggerhanger Park, a Georgian country house set in 33 acres of beautiful parkland.
For more information and to enquire about rooms, which are priced from £125 per night based on two people sharing, visit www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk.
A castle bursting with festivities
This Christmas find the joys of Cornwall and spot fallow deer at one of the only Grade I listed gardens in Cornwall, Mount Edgecumbe House and Country Park. Visit the mighty fortress of Pendennis Castle, built by Henry VIII, and find out about its history or take in the views of Carnglaze Slate Caverns and Woodland Garden. Experience one of Cornwall’s renowned walks by exploring Pentillie's spectacular autumn gardens as they change throughout December into a Christmas paradise of winter delights. Spend cold nights beside a roaring fire and indulge in Pentillie's new dinner menu, awakening to their hearty Cornish breakfast as the new head chef cooks up a storm with his delicious offerings.
For more information and to enquire about rooms, which are priced from £140 per night, visit www.pentillie.co.uk.
A cosy winter lodge
The Isle of Skye is a fairytale setting for a festive break, with snow lying on the ground, dusting the surrounding forests, and a frost sparkling on the tranquil Loch Na Dal, Kinloch Lodge is the perfect spot to enjoy a Scottish Christmas fit for a king. Feeling more like a home than a hotel, Kinloch Lodge was built in the 17th Century and boasts a beautiful balance of old and new. Enjoy glistening candlelight and beautifully decorated fir trees as well as family portraits and historic antiques. On Christmas Eve guests are invited onto the frosty lawn, where the island’s dark skies provide the perfect setting for stargazing. An astronomer will help guests look for the North Star, or perhaps a sack-laden sleigh, while warming drinks are served. A truly magical place, visitors can also experience nature and wildlife and history and heritage tours to engross yourself in the island. Make sure to scout out the best views including Neist Point, The Old Man of Stor and Kilt Rock, ensuring that you capture the breathtaking vistas of this sensational island first hand.
For more information and to enquire about rooms, which are priced from £600 for a three-night break, visit www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk.
Explore a historic town in winter
Shrewsbury is full of finds this Christmas with a 29-acre parkland surrounded by enchanting cobbled streets and leaning Tudor buildings. Head to the the first ever Christmas Festival in the Quarry (12th and 13th December), complete with 120 stall holders, ice rink, storytelling and a new Santa’s Grotto in the Darwin Shopping Centre. Or enjoy a Christmas Carol inspired weekend at The Parade Shopping Centre. This grand Grade II listed building will be hosting a celebration weekend on 21st and 22nd November inspired by the 1984 filming of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Recreating the winter scene from the film, a synthetic ice rink will feature in front of the building for the two-day event.
To find out more about Shrewsbury, including the historic hotels and inns you can stay in, visit www.originalshrewsbury.co.uk.
A magical Christmas in Shakespeare's England
Experience the birthplace of Shakespeare as the Tudor walls are illuminated from 26th November until 19th December, visit the Christmas market from 26th November to 17th December and partake in festive activities, watch festive plays and carol concerts, peruse handmade Christmas gifts for loved ones at craft stalls before making a Christmas cracker and foam wreath at Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Walk around Warwick Castle, meet Victorian costumed guides, and wander around the striking gardens of Stratford Upon Avon as the festive atmosphere sees you sip mulled wine and tuck into mince pies. Top off your visit by staying in the stunning countryside stately home of The Welcombe, nestled in the heart of Shakespeare's England, with idyllic landscaped gardens and only a stone's throw from the thriving centre of Stratford-upon-Avon.
For more information and to enquire about rooms, which are priced from £160 per room per night, visit www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk.
By Lauren Morton
Win! A set three pocket squares worth £50!