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10 great winter walks in the UK: readers’ tips

10 great winter walks in the UK: readers’ tips Cold winds sweep marshes, hills, woods and moors from Rye to Pitlochry. But our tipsters are hardy and know the best routes – and some restorative pitstops Following days of Christmas inactivity, we head up for a long family walk in the Peak District. Mam Tor tops the list for me – a reliable route on which to be battered by all the elements to restoratively whip away the post-Christmas slump. Take a steep path up from Hope or Castleton and follow the ridge across the top of the moors before returning into the valley for a pint at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn in How Lane, Castleton. But beware…

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A festive outing to a fairytale French château: a day at Vaux-le-Vicomte

A festive outing to a fairytale French château: a day at Vaux-le-Vicomte Like Versailles but more manageable, this château turns into a winter wonderland at Christmas – perfect for a family day trip from Paris For most of its long and inglorious history, Vaux-le-Vicomte has been ignored. Shunned by the royal court after a jealous and vengeful king left its owner to rot in jail, overshadowed by its neighbour Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte has hidden for centuries in plain sight, less than an hour by car or train from Paris. Many of those driving south en route to the Burgundy vineyards, Alps or winter warmth of the Côte d’Azur won’t even know it’s there. This is a pity at any time…

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Six of the best UK New Year’s Eve parties

Six of the best UK New Year’s Eve parties See in 2019 amid pyrotechnics, Vikings and beach frolics – then crash in a hotel after the party Why go Those with young children will welcome Newcastle’s earlier, family-friendly celebrations. Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, is holding interactive sessions on traditions around the world on New Year’s Eve (£5pp, 11.30am and 2pm). Then the fun starts outside the Civic Centre, with a DJ at 5.30pm and fireworks set to music at 6pm. Adults can go on to one of the area’s many parties, from Sage Gateshead’s evening with the Divine Comedy (tickets from £38.20–£60) to a free bash at 97 and Social, a cocktail bar in Jesmond….

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20 cracking ideas for Christmas days out in the UK

20 cracking ideas for Christmas days out in the UK From traditional pantos and carols by candlelight to pop-up winter bars and a disco in an igloo, we round up sparkling festive events across the UK Edinburgh’s major new Christmas attraction is Silent Light, a silent party on George Street. It takes place up to five times a day under the Street of Light, an installation of archways lit by 60,000 lights synchronised to music that can be heard only through headphones. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Rachel Dixon Tweet

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24 great travel gifts for Christmas

24 great travel gifts for Christmas Stuck for an original Christmas present? With 24 days until the main event, we unwrap one great suggestion per day With a new, bigger site for March 2019, Crystal Maze Live in central London will include 32 new games inspired by the 1990s TV show. Guided by a maze master, teams (age 13+, from £54.99pp, 75 mins) face interactive mental and physical challenges across the Industrial, Futuristic, Medieval and Aztec zones, and collect crystals that buy more time in the final test in the Crystal Dome. And there’s a Maze Bar for a celebration drink afterwards.• the-crystal-maze.com Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Antonia Wilson Tweet

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Independent cinemas in the UK: readers’ travel tips

Independent cinemas in the UK: readers’ travel tips Over 1,500 of you recommended indie picture houses. Here are the top 10 – in stations, warehouses and rural villages Campbeltown Picture House on the Kintyre peninsula is amazing. Recently refurbished, it has retained all of its original charm (it has been a functioning cinema since 1913) but is now a welcoming, contemporary space offering two screens and a cafe. Screen 1 will blow you away with its atmospheric ceiling and half-timbered “wee house” features. It shows all the latest releases, great classics and streamed live theatre. It is a fantastic cultural hub in a remote, rural area and testament to the relentless hard work of the volunteers who fund-raised to…

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Christmas past: the charm of Dennis Severs’ House, London

Christmas past: the charm of Dennis Severs’ House, London A Spitalfields townhouse that immerses visitors in the 18th and 19th centuries is at its most magical at Christmas The hubbub of Liverpool Street station and Spitalfields Market is only a few hundred metres away but on the doorstep of 18 Folgate Street not much is stirring. There is only intermittent noise: the roar of Christmas revellers as the doors to the Water Poet pub opposite open and close. It is 4.58pm and having rat-a-tatted a brass knocker on the door, I’m waiting to be granted entrance to Dennis Severs’ House for a 5pm tour. The Grade II-listed Georgian terrace is a wonderful curio, offering a perspective on family life…

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Spooky places to visit in the UK this Halloween: readers’ travel tips

Spooky places to visit in the UK this Halloween: readers’ travel tips Serious history collides with fond imaginings in our tipsters’ tales of the unexplained, from a Spanish Armada wreck to a snuffling ghost pooch Windhouse, on Yell, is probably Shetland’s most haunted house. Last year, two 13th-century skeletons were uncovered at this 18th-century ruin, which is reputedly haunted by a lady in silk, a man in a top hat, a servant girl and a dog. There are reports of skeletal remains of a woman, man and child found in separate incidents between the 1880s and 1900s, as well as the story of the shipwrecked sailor who spent a night in the house one Christmas and had to fight…

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On the Mersey beat: a walking tour of Liverpool

On the Mersey beat: a walking tour of Liverpool A guided walk is a great way to take in the city’s architectural and cultural riches ‘It’s not just the history but the sheer chutzpah of these buildings that fascinates me,” announces Trevor Newton, my guide to Liverpool, as we meet under the looming portico of the Town Hall. An artist and architectural historian, Newton, 59, grew up here before heading south to work in London as a topographical artist in the early 1980s. He’s returned to launch Magnificent Liverpool, idiosyncratic tours of a city that’s captivated him since childhood. “There’s still an outdated view of Liverpool which dates back to the Toxteth riots and declining docks of the 1980s,”…

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20 of the best indoor family activities for half-term

20 of the best indoor family activities for half-term From the UK’s longest indoor ski slope to the Roald Dahl Museum, Rachel Dixon picks fun days out from her new book for childrenMore days out: 20 outdoor activities This fun-packed museum has six zones – covering topics such as the human body, nature and technology – with 400 interactive exhibits. The current temporary exhibition is devoted to digital art, and children can create their own animated creature. Over half-term, kids can enrol in Ghoul School, where terrifying teachers include Dr Frankenstein, a witch and a werewolf. Lessons cover potion-making and survival skills, and dressing up gets bonus marks. For adults, Halifax’s recently renovated, 18th-century Piece Hall is next door…

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