It seems as though the holiday season encroaches further into November every year, with a number of Christmas markets open for business almost six weeks before the big day itself.
In towns and cities around the United Kingdom revelers are invited to shop for trinkets while they nibble on traditional Christmas treats, or most likely indulge in some festive-themed boozing in the ubiquitous beer halls. Young and old alike can be found sipping on imported beers listening to holiday music, and some venues even put on shows.
The northern city of Manchester is not content with just one Christmas market, but instead has inaugurated German-, French- and international-themed spaces to cater to your gift buying needs. The spectacular venues also provide ample options for refreshment after you’ve ticked off every item on your shopping list.
Across the Pennines in Leeds, the Christmas market can be a raucous affair thanks to the enthusiastic sampling of German beers by the local population of students. For a more sophisticated experience, head to Cirencester, where the focus is more on gourmet food and antiques stalls.
The Scottish city of Edinburgh offers a German-themed market and a Scottish-themed market in the beautiful surrounds of the old town, while in London one of the most popular options is the Southbank Centre Christmas market. Those with children in tow should consider Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, a huge fairground with fun for all the family.
It’s 2019 and doing things alone is empowering. Gone are the days when treating yourself to a movie or dinner was looked at as strange or unusual. People are doing things for themselves and not waiting for others to be available. Hop on this train of independence and you’ll be better for it. It’s weird and awkward at first, but so are most things until you decide to dive in head first. After a few times, you’ll look forward to those meals alone. Until then, here are some tips to ease the process.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
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The Charles Darwin Foundation celebrates its 60th anniversary as a non-profit this year, making it the perfect time to head to the Galapagos Islands.