Christmas can be a great time to catch up with friends and family and share your experiences from the year just gone, but it can also be a stressful time for the organiser. There's the Christmas dinner to organise - making sure there's enough food and keeping everyone's glass topped up while multitasking a million other things too. Trying to play with the kids and their new toys or just picking up all the wrapping! Being the host you'll want to make sure everyone's happy! Then there's the inevitable cleaning and removal of those empty chocolate wrappers from your afternoon slump. We feel you!
Maybe you should reward yourself in January with a short break to rcoup and unwind? January is a slow time for many businesses, so convincing the boss for a long weekend off shouldn't be too much of a challenge. We've compiled a few ideas for the organiser in your family or friends to enjoy, as a reward for all their efforts over Christmas, with rooms from just £25 at any of our hotels neaby.
Durham, County Durham
Treat your loved one (or yourself) to a stroll around Durham's rich and varied landscapes including some of it's heritage sites. The views across the Durham Dales are second to none for the outdoor explorer, and even for the casual day tripper. It forms part of the North Pennines and is noted as an area of outstanding natural beauty, and with winter in full swing there's no prettier sight than seeing the hills and landmarks dusted in snow (we can hope!).
Visit the High Force waterfall, one of England's most dramatic, featuring a 70ft drop surrounded by tall stone and falling into a huge plunge pool below and soak up the fresh air and beauty of nature. If walking isn't for you, there are a variety of historical sights including Barnard Castle, the Bowes Museum and for the more laid back you could do no better than a tranquil stroll around the Durham Dales Centre amidst the craft shops and award winning tea rooms.
Although recently blighted by the floods, there are still plenty of places to visit in Kendal, with a plethora of activities and excursions available across the region. The Brewery Arts Centre has a range of exhibits throughout January including the Intro Bar Exhibitions, Jo Powell's oil paintings of musicians doing what they do best. A must for anyone who appreciates both art and music. You can also catch the unique and inspiring photographic work from Daniel Shiel, exploring everyday objects' textures and patterns. An example of his work can be seen below. His exhibition runs until the 18th January.
The comedy club also kicks off there towards the middle of the month too which is always good for a laugh (see what we did there?). For days out, there are a number of places that might take your fancy. From the Lakeland climbing centre for the adventurous type, to more cultural visits including Levens Hall, Sizergh Casle and Kendal Casle. There truly is something for everyone.
Whilst not the first place that comes to mind when planning a city break, the city plays host to over 4 million visitors a year, boasting a range of cultural places of interest, a wide selection of restaurants, bars and nightlife and a range of gigs, events and festival taking place throughout the year. Not only does it offer many maritime events and museums, but a number of sporting events take place in the City and is popular with cyclists and runners.
Visit the Sea City Museum or Beaulieu - the National Motor Museum, surrounded by the New Forest with a monorail and cafe when you need a break. You can also take a stroll through the New Forest Wildlife Park and make friends with the sika and fallow deer, check out the otters, wildcats, wild boar and lynx!