Christmas Gift Ideas

Posted on December 14th, 2016

Christmas is fast approaching and while we’d all love to be one of those people who has long since done all their present shopping and has everything wrapped, it can sometimes be hard to know what to buy for everyone! Do you have a loved one or a family member who you seem to draw a blank with every year? Or perhaps you feel like you’re always buying toiletries, perfumes and aftershaves and would really like to treat someone to something a bit different or unique this Christmas? Why not consider treating them to some sort of activity or event, rather than thinking too hard about a physical present? For example……

Self-catering holiday cottage with hot tub

 

 

 

 

 

 

A holiday or a weekend away

Here at Remarkable Holidays, we obviously can’t think of a better way of treating someone than to whisk them away! If you think your significant other would love a cosy cottage holiday, why not search the Remarkable Holidays website to find your perfect retreat? Many of the cottages listed on our website are perfect for couples, and several even have their own hot tub for that extra touch of Romance. Or perhaps you fancy a weekend city break in a hotel, a spa break or even a trip abroad – the possibilities are endless! And if the idea of going away seems a bit extravagant, perhaps as a couple you could agree to buy it as a joint present to each other; sometimes your other half may be struggling to think of a present for you as much as you are for them!

supercar-experience-8798

Car driving experience

Do you know a car fanatic who would just love to experience driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Aston Martin for example? Many companies offer the chance to do just that! Or perhaps if off-road driving is more their thing, you could consider a 4 x 4 driving session. Whatever their dream driving experience, you’re sure to be able to find something to suit with a simple search of the web.

Concert or gig tickets

How about getting somebody tickets to see their favourite band or comedian? A quick search on ticket/event websites will bring up any upcoming tour dates.

Sporting experiences

Most of us know someone who just loves their football! What better gift than to treat them to a tour of their favourite team’s stadium? Or for the golf fans out there, you could pay for them a round at their favourite course, or perhaps a course they have previously expressed an interest in playing on. Of course, these ideas could be extended to many other sports!  

Beautiful woman receiving hotstone massage at spa

Spa gifts

Endless options are available when thinking about spa gifts. You could opt for a treatment such as a facial, an Indian head massage, or a full body massage, book a half or full spa day or even stop over for a full on spa mini-break. This would be a lovely gift to buy for someone special in your life, or anyone that you feel deserves a bit of relaxation. Many spas also offer relaxing treatments which are specially designed for mums to be, which could be a perfect gift for a loved one, family member or a friend who is pregnant – a last bit of ‘me time’ before their bundle of joy arrives!

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Hair and beauty vouchers

This could be the ideal gift for someone who loves nothing more than an afternoon in a hair or beauty salon, or just anyone who would love a bit of pampering. For example you could buy them a voucher for a manicure, pedicure, hair cut, or even all three if you’re feeling generous! Many big name salons will offer vouchers on their website, or you could simply pop into somewhere local to you and ask if they sell gift vouchers.

Restaurant vouchers

Is there someone you need to buy a gift for who loves a nice meal out with a lovely bottle of wine? Whatever their preference, whether it’s a rustic Italian, a nice juicy steak or a spicy curry, you’re sure to be able to pick up some gift vouchers at a restaurant they would enjoy. Maybe there’s somewhere they visit time and time again, perhaps you have been somewhere recently that you enjoyed or has a new restaurant opened in your area that you think they would love? This could be a brilliant gift for a couple with children who would love some quality time together, especially if you throw in the offer to babysit for the evening while they do some wining and dining!  

pour

Alcohol experience

Most of us have a favourite tipple and whether it’s beer, wine, gin or champagne, there are numerous experiences on offer involving a drink of choice. These may be a tasting experience, a tasting experience with for example, a vineyard or brewery tour, or may include a food element such as champagne tasting with afternoon tea or beer tasting with a pub lunch – there are so many options to choose from.

Go Ape Cannock Chase - Site 3

Active experiences

Have you got a partner, relative or friend who can only be described as an adrenaline junkie? Or do you know someone who has previously said they would love to try a certain activity? How about booking a bungee jump or a skydive? Of course you would have to be very certain that this would be welcomed by your chosen recipient! If jumping from a great height seems a bit full on, you could always opt for an indoor skydiving session. If you think they would prefer to stay a little closer to the ground you could buy a day at Go Ape; there are numerous locations across the UK which offer a very enjoyable tree top adventure including zip wires and Tarzan swings and also have segway experiences – a great day out for children and adults alike. Other ideas for an active gift include zorbing, paintballing, white water rafting, kayaking, abseiling or trampolining – phew, we’re feeling exhilarated just thinking about it! Whatever you decide for them, you can be certain you’re buying a unique gift which they’d be very unlikely to get in duplicate.

Falconry experience

A gift which would appeal to many people is the chance to get up close and personal with some magnificent birds of prey such as falcons. Many venues offer half or full day experiences; they give you the chance to learn all about these beautiful birds and fly them in stunning countryside.

Remember the above list could also apply for birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s day. If you still think the idea of not physically having a present to hand over on the big day feels strange, remember that most of the ideas we have suggested will come with some sort of gift voucher, or failing that why not get creative and design your own?
These sorts of ideas often appeal to people much more than giving and receiving wrapped presents, especially if the recipient’s hobbies or interests are really considered carefully. It takes away the stress of trailing round the shops looking for that perfect something, the recipient is less likely to get something they don’t like, need or have the room for, and they’ll more than likely end up with memories to cherish and talk about for years to come!

Christmas Cocktails

Posted on December 22nd, 2015

Christmas is almost upon us, our social calendars are filling up and many a night out is being organised. However, just as much fun can be had in your own home; how about making your own cocktails? You could organise a cocktail evening with friends, with everyone bringing a different spirit along – much cheaper than a night out drinking cocktails! Or you could just make Christmas dinner that little bit extra special and serve a fancy cocktail for the family, and mocktails for the kids of course so everyone feels included!

Here’s some inspiration to get you started, or you could of course invent your own!
pouring martini into glass from shaker

Bucks Fizz

Simplicity itself – just combine 3 parts champagne to 1 part orange juice.

Snowball

This is a well known classic associated with Christmas. Simply make from approximately 2 parts Advocaat to 3 parts lemonade with a squeeze of lime and mix. Add a couple of cocktail cherries for a final touch. Yummy!

Baileys Espresso Martini

Instead of the same old post Christmas dinner coffee, how about mixing 2 oz Baileys, ½ oz vodka and a shot of espresso coffee for a lovely coffee flavored cocktail. Serve in Martini glasses and for an added touch of sophistication, place a couple of coffee beans on top.

Strawberry Daiquiri

For a fruity cocktail, blend 4 strawberries, 2 tsp sugar, 1 ½ oz white rum, 1 tbsp strawberry liqueur and 1 oz lime juice. Serve in a Martini glass and add a fresh strawberry to garnish.

Mojito

This one’s always a popular choice. Crush 6 fresh mint leaves with 2 tsp of sugar and 3 parts lime juice. Add 4 parts white rum and top up with soda water. Garnish with more fresh mint leaves.

Long Island Iced Tea

This is a great cocktail to make if you have a variety of spirits in the house. Mix 1 part vodka, 1 part tequila, 1 part rum, 1 part triple sec, 1 part gin, 1 ½ parts sweet and sour mix and a splash of cola.

Pina Colada

For a lovely creamy cocktail with a tropical twist, simply blend crushed ice, one part white rum, one part coconut milk and three parts pineapple juice.

 

Tis the season to be merry but remember to drink responsibly. Happy Christmas!

Christmas Cottages With Log Fires

Posted on December 1st, 2015

There is nothing better than spending Christmas with family and friends, so why not search for a cosy Christmas cottage with a log fire. It’s not too late to book a last minute Xmas break!

There are hundreds of 7 night Christmas breaks still available for you and yours to enjoy a self catering cottage holiday. Search cottages across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for your perfect Xmas getaway.

Relax beside a roaring log fire and celebrate the festive season.

Cottage With A Woodburner

 

Simply search using the Remarkable Holidays search engine and select the Log Fire feature.

UK Christmas Markets 2015

Posted on November 21st, 2015

There are numerous Christmas Markets taking place across the UK and whether you are looking for a unique gift or just a day out, you’re sure to find something. If you are going on a UK cottage holiday over the festive season, a Christmas Market provides a lovely day out for couples and families alike and you may even be able to pick up some lovely local products. Or if you prefer produce from further afield, many of the markets have a continental theme. There are so many markets to choose from but here are a selection to give you some inspiration…..

Glasgow

Running from 13th November 2015 – 20th December 2015, the Glasgow Christmas Market takes place at St Enoch Square and features many continental traders from across the world. It also features a Bavarian bar, providing the opportunity to sample some traditional beers.

Christmas Market in Edinburgh
Edinburgh

The Christmas Markets at Edinburgh start on the 20th November 2015 and run into the New Year until 4th January 2016. Attractions include the Children’s Market, the European Christmas Market and The Scottish Market.

Ambleside

Ambleside’s Traditional German Markets at Hayes Garden World provides the opportunity to buy a variety of lights, decorations, trees and crafts, as well as sampling German inspired food, drink and entertainment. The market runs from 7th November 2015- 23rd December 2015. Children can meet Santa in his igloo on 14th November2015.

Grange-over-Sands

Holker Hall and Gardens hosts a two day Winter Market on 7th and 8th of November 2015, providing the opportunity to purchase local produce and gifts as well as the chance to sample some local meats at the Holker BBQ.

Christmas Market in Manchester
Manchester

The Manchester Christmas Markets will be open between 14th November and 21st December 2015. They are spread across the city centre at Albert Square, Brazennose Street, King Street, St. Ann’s Square, Exchange Street, Market Street, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square, Corn Exchange and Cathedral Gardens. There are over 300 stalls selling a wide variety of international food, drink, crafts and toys to name but a few.

Harrogate

Situated in the Montpellier Quarter of the town, the Harrogate Christmas Market takes place over four days from 19th November – 22nd November 2015. It features approximately 200 traders selling products from Yorkshire and across the UK, as well as Santa’s Grotto and real reindeer for the kids.

York

Held on 19th November – 23rd December 2015, The St Nicholas Market in York has numerous stalls at different sites in the city centre including The Judges Lodgings, Parliament Street, Coppergate and the Shambles Market and will be selling goods from handmade jewellery to local farm produce. The first night will include the switching on of the Christmas lights and marks the official opening of the market.

Whitby

The Whitby Christmas Market runs on the 27th, 28th and 29th of November 2015. Along with a variety of stalls and food outlets, there will also be a stage area for local choirs and musicians and Santa’s Grotto in a beach chalet.

Christmas Market in Leeds
Leeds

The Christkindelmarkt in Leeds is an established German Christmas market. Set in Millennium Square and running from 13th November – 20th December 2015, the market features carousel rides, traditional wooden stalls and the Alp Chalet Bavarian eatery providing authentic German food and drink.

Cardiff

Taking place from 12 November – 23rd December 2015, the Cardiff Christmas Market is situated throughout the city centre. It features over 190 exhibitors over the 42 days, selling numerous varieties of gifts, crafts, artwork, food and drink to name but a few. It is also a short stroll form the city’s Winter Wonderland which features an ice rink, a funfair and the Alpine Village.

Derby

Market Place in Derby will be host to the Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair, taking place on 27th November – 23rd December 2015. There will be a range of goods on offer from independent crafters, providing the opportunity to purchase unique Christmas gifts.

Norfolk

The Deepdale Christmas Market will be held on the 4th, 5th and 6th December 2015 in Burnham Deepdale on the North Norfolk Coast. There will be the Deepdale Street Food Festival on the Friday evening and entertainment throughout the weekend. The market will feature over 100 stalls offering decorations, gifts, food and drink.

Christmas Market in Bath
Bath

There will be over 170 traditional wooden chalets lining the streets surrounding Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths at the award winning Bath Christmas Market, held on 26th November 2015 until 13th December 2015. A high proportion of the stall holders are from Bath and the surrounding area and will be selling a range of food, drink, toys and arts to name a few.

Canterbury

The Cantebury Christmas Market features over 35 cabins selling festive products and is held at the Whitefriars Shopping Centre from 28th November 2015 – 24th December 2015. There will also be Santa’s Grotto from the 5th December for the kids.

Exeter

Running from 19th November – 19th December 2015, the Exeter Christmas market takes place in the heart of the city centre at The Cathedral Green. There will be both local and continental goods on offer including food, crafts, gifts and decorations.

Padstow

The Padstow Christmas festival will be taking place from 3rd – 6th December 2015 and includes a Christmas market selling food, drink, arts and crafts and will also feature a selection of pop up stalls. The Festival boasts demonstrations from numerous chefs, a visit from Father Christmas, a firework display, music, a Santa fun run and a carol service.
Why not search for your perfect self-catering holiday cottage and visit one of these fabulous markets on your winter getaway? There are so many markets to name but there is sure to be one not too far away over the next month or two; you may even stumble across a hidden gem in a local village.

 

Happy New Year 2014!

Posted on January 1st, 2014

Happy New Year from Remarkable Holidays!

Have you made any resolutions for the year ahead? Getting fit is often at the top of many people’s lists and a great way to kick-start a new fitness regime could be to plan a walking break. Here on the Remarkable Holidays website, you can browse numerous self-catering holiday properties in areas of stunning scenery which are ideal for walking holidays, some even have their own hot tub – a perfect relaxing reward after a day of exercise! Many of the properties advertised also allow pets so the dog owners amongst you can bring your best friend along too for some lovely long walks.

 

Have a remarkable 2014!

countryside walk

Christmas 2013

Posted on December 24th, 2013

Merry Christmas from everyone here at Remarkable Holidays. We hope that Santa brings you everything you want this Xmas!

If you’re still looking for a last minute present for that special someone in your life, why not book a holiday cottage break. It’s a little late to go on holiday now – Father Christmas won’t know where to deliver your presents – but you can book a holiday cottage for 2014.

Use the Remarkable Holidays website to search over 4,000 holiday cottages in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

To get you into the festive spirit even more click here to use the Google Santa Tracker. Which allows you to follow Santa’s journey around the world with Google Maps.

 

Google Santa Tracker