National Mining Museum of Scotland

Day 3. Visiting the National Mining Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

The rain clouds of the previous day seemed to have vanished but had been replaced by a strong wind so we wrapped up warm and after coming to life with bacon sandwiches and coffee, we wandered along Princes Street to visit Jenners. This famous department store has been part and parcel of Edinburgh's history since …

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Edinburgh's Christmas sign

Day 1. Edinburgh at Christmas

It had been exactly three years since my last visit to Edinburgh and as it's one of my favourite cities, that was far too long. So, to remedy the situation, we managed to squeeze in a short break to the Scottish capital just before Christmas.  We travelled on a Cross-Country train that was over-crowded all …

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Christmas at Lotherton Hall

Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience

The weather may have been dull and dreary but what better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than to attend a festive event.  When an invitation dropped into my inbox to preview the Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience, I was excited to find out more. The Lotherton Estate is situated in the north of …

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Day 2. The Kremlin, Moscow

Another surprise awaited us when we went downstairs for breakfast, as on giving our room number we were diverted to the Executive Lounge which was a raised area along one side of the restaurant.  Here we found lots to tempt us, setting us up for the day ahead.  Using the coffee machine initially appeared problematic …

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Coloured houses, Bristol waterfront

Day 1. Bristol city break

After enjoying city breaks in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham we decided to head to the south west of England for our next weekend away.  My journey on board a CrossCountry train was pleasant, having an interesting conversation with an Edinburgh green keeper, learning about life on one of Scotland's premier golf courses as we journeyed …

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Christmas in Abbey Square, Bath

Day 2. Exploring Bath

We were up bright and early as we had planned to spend the day in neighbouring Bath, 10 miles (16km) from Bristol.  Getting there was easy as trains depart frequently from Bristol Temple Meads taking just over 10 minutes to Bath Spa station, adult off-peak day return fares are £8.60. From the moment we left …

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Christmas Baubles at Harewood House

Harewood House at Christmas

As we'd recently had the pleasure of viewing the exquisite toys and dolls on display at the Ilkley Toy Museum we couldn't resist the temptation of seeing them once again whilst they were on loan to Harewood House. Harewood is a stately home in North Yorkshire, located mid way between Harrogate and Leeds and it's …

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Illuminated trees at RHS Harlow Carr Glow event

RHS Harlow Carr Glow Winter Illuminations

What better way to lift our spirits on a dark, damp evening than with a visit to the RHS Garden Harlow Carr to view their Glow Illuminations. It's the first year that lights have been installed in the gardens, and as we have visited Harlow Carr on numerous occasions in daylight we were eager to …

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Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre, Malham

A Winter’s Day in Malham

Boxing Day walks are popular to work off the excesses of Christmas Day but as we entertained family visitors then, our bracing walk took place the following day.  Setting off from home towards the Yorkshire Dales National Park it was a bright morning but as we approached Gargrave we encountered fog which made driving difficult …

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Illuminated Santa 'Zippy', Manchester Christmas Market

Manchester’s Magical Christmas Markets

It wouldn't be Christmas for our family without a visit to our beloved Manchester, a northern city that certainly knows how to put on the sparkle over the festive period.  Christmas markets are to be found all over the city centre and when darkness falls the little wooden huts take on even more of a …

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