Festive fun in Host Unusual places / Dare we say the ‘C’ word yet?

6 November 2016

When to start talking about Christmas, feeling festive oreven uttering the words ‘mince pie’; it’s a hot topic in itself isn’t it? Many of us feel inclined to throw a temper tantrum in a public place when we seethe first signs of yuletide creeping into our Indian Summer.  Others loveto embrace the spirit of Santa Claus and all things baubly whilst we’re barelyout of sandals and shorts.  Seemingly for the most part, an acceptablethreshold is Bonfire Night, after which the sparklers have fizzled out and it’stime to start thinking of substitute shininess. So in we step, with some uniquedestinations, events and nearby Host Unusual properties that will put youfirmly in Noël mode!
Candleight Tours of Holkham Hall | Stay at The Control TowerB&B, Norfolk
Above: The Control Tower B&B feeling festive
Our lovely friends at The Control Tower B&B have confirmed thatfestivities will be well and truly underway in their fascinating converted vintageRAF tower from 2nd December.  We can just picture the scene now – sittinground the open fire in the art deco surroundings of the former MetrologicalOffice (now a large living room) with a finely decorated tree twinkling away.Whilst you’re staying there, nearby Holkham Hall will be hosting candlelighttours where you can see their stunningly decorated state rooms, complete with amagical 3-foot tall gingerbread Big Ben-inspired treat!
Hug a Husky at Drusillas Park | Stay at Belle Tout Lighthouse B&B, Eastbourne
Above: The Lantern Room at Belle Tout Lighthouse B&B
Alfriston is a quintessentially British village in Sussex,and is extra quaint and charming during the lead-up to Christmas. Combine avisit here with a ‘Hug with a Husky’ experience at Drusilla’s Winter Wonderlandand you’ll be feeling more Christmassy than Tinseltown. After a full-on day offestivities you can then retreat for a unique and comfortable stay at the nearbyBelle Tout Lighthouse B&B and marvel at sublime 360 degree panoramic viewsfrom the original Lantern Room. You may even be lucky enough to catch a gloriouswinter sunset over the English Channel. 
Victorian Festival of Christmas | Stay at Solent Forts,Portsmouth
Above: Solent Forts
How about travelling back in time, quaffing Fagin’s Real Alein the historic Dockyards of Portsmouth?  This is the atmospheric settingfor their Victorian Festival, complete with snow-covered Dickensian streets,carol singers, chimney sweeps and other Victorian characters. Why not completeyour experience of the era with a truly memorable stay on the Victorianman-made Solent Forts, where their Moulin Rouge Christmas parties promise fun,frolics, high kicks and petticoats. 
Tregothnan Christmas Tree Forest | Stay at Rosehill Lodges,Cornwall
Above: Cosy interiors at Rosehill Lodges
Take even the most bah humbug of people and escort them to Tregothnan’s10 acre sustainable Christmas tree field and they’ll be instantly reaching forthe Christmas hats and party poppers.  And if they don’t, there is alwaysthe estate, which is the home of British Tea!  Couple your visit with a warmand cosy stay in the comfort of one of Rosehill’s luxury lodges, withlog-burners and hot tubs to keep those winter chills fully at bay. 
Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival | Stay at The Guest Roomand Owl House, Hightown
Above: sunset from the Owl House
This year the city’s iconic waterfront hosts the LiverpoolChristmas Ice Festival 2016. It features a whopping 45-metre ice slide, magicaland atmospheric Ice Bar, ice skating and an Apres lodge in what promises to bea mesmerising venue. Speaking of mesmerising, afterwards why not head up toHightown to stay with the 2015 winner of George Clarke’s Shed of the Year. Thestunning eco-build garden room known as the Owl House is at your disposalthroughout your stay for that perfect winter chill-out time, and when it’s timeto turn in you can enjoy the comforts of a truly unique hand-made driftwood bedin your guest room in the main house.
Aurora Nights at the Kielder Observatory | Stay at HiddenRiver Cabins, Cumbria
Above: classic cabin interior at Hidden River’s Roe Deer Cabin
Finally, one for the tinsel-haters and those whose halls areemphatically sparse of holly!  If escaping the chaos of a Christmasprelude has huge appeal, then why not do something very different?  Eachyear in December Kielder Observatory hosts Northern Lights evenings in theCumbrian countryside, where you will tour the Observatory and its manytelescopes, learn about the phenomenon of Aurora Borealis and how to spot it.Retreating back to your remote and beautiful wood-carved lodge in the LakeDistrict could not be better suited to escapism, so lie back, relax in your hottub and say ‘ho ho, NO!’


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