The festive season is fast approaching and if you haven’t already decided how you’ll celebrate New Year’s Eve, now’s the time to get planning. To shake things up a little, why not try something completely new? Here are some alternative destinations that could make the perfect setting to see in the new year.
Explore the great outdoors in the Lake District
If you fancy burning some of those Christmas calories, why not book a trip to the Lake District? England’s largest national park, it is home to the country’s highest mountain, deepest lake and an array of other attractions. Rental agencies such as Lakelovers offer a selection of picturesque holiday cottages that provide the ideal bases from which to explore the area.
Providing the weather’s on your side, you can take to the slopes for a spot of skiing. The Lake District Ski Club operates a 360-metre button tow at the Helvellyn mountain range, allowing you to test your skills traversing the ridge. The Raise fell offers the best snow conditions in the Lake District and, depending on the conditions, you can find up to nine pistes there. The longest of these stretches out for nearly a mile.
If skiing isn’t your thing, you can explore the beautiful landscape on foot. On a crisp winter’s day, the area is at its most beautiful. There are plenty of challenging routes to explore, but if you’re after something a little gentler, take a trip to Tarn Hows. Set in the hills above Coniston, you can drive up to the waterway and then wander around the 1.5-mile circular pathway. You’ll get to see some of the best mountains in the Lakes for minimal effort.
Enjoy the very best of Cumbrian hospitality
The Lake District is also the perfect place to enjoy some fabulous food and drink. If you’re after an indulgent New Year, check out some of the area’s acclaimed eateries. Cumbria’s food scene has made great strides over recent years and you can now find an array of fine dining establishments dotted across the region. Menus showcase the best of local produce and you’ll get to tuck into the likes of tattie hotpot, Herwick lamb and Cumberland sausage.
One establishment that has earned a reputation for serving up mouth watering dishes is L’Enclume. Led by Michelin starred chef Simon Rogan, this Cartmel restaurant offers an imaginative take on modern British cuisine. There’s no set menu and dishes are determined on the day by the produce available. Another top-class eatery is the Holbeck Ghyll near Windermere. This 19th-century former hunting lodge also has a Michelin star and it offers gourmet dishes with a Gallic twist.
Head for the bright lights of London
If it’s bright lights and action you’re after, perhaps a trip to London would be ideal this New Year. This bustling metropolis always has plenty going on over the festive season and a highlight is the world-famous firework display over the Thames. The show is now ticketed, but at only £10, it’s well worth the money.
Another must-see if you’re in the capital is the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Entry to this outdoor attraction is free and you’ll find a select of fairground rides, a 60-metre observation wheel, an ice rink and two circuses. Meanwhile, the Victorian bandstand is brought to life with the addition of 100,000 twinkling lights. If you work up a thirst, you can check out the themed bars and warm yourself up by their real fires.
These are just a few of the myriad possibilities open to you this New Year. With a little imagination and some research, you should be able to arrange the perfect celebrations to welcome in 2015.