Merry Christmas 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

An alternative belated Merry Christmas from me to you…

Typical, I had a message prepared and then I went and caught THAT bug that’s been going around which stopped me from posting it.

And, I’m actually really pleased it did. It was just too darn fluffy and not realistic, so here’s a shortened re-worked edit for all of you in chrimbo limbo out there.

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Bright Lights Big City is featured on CNN Travel

Bright Lights Big City is featured on CNN Travel

Happy Winter Solstice!

Celebrating the shortest day of the year at Stonehenge in Wiltshire is a real privilege. Winter and summer solstice is the only time of the year you can go into the stone circle and touch them. It’s totally incredible and my second year spending solstice at the stones.

The unique experience is one to tick off the bucket list for many people and CCN Travel were interested in my trip and images to share with their readers…

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Festive Aesop’s Fables at Hinton Ampner in Winchester

Festive Aesop’s Fables at Hinton Ampner in Winchester

A day date to Hinton Ampner was everything I needed to embrace all the festive feels this winter!

Classic childhood tales were brought to life through decorated Christmas scenes in each room of the elegant country manor house based in the heart of Hampshire.

Here’s a few snaps of the beautiful rooms and stories from the day…

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An evening at Winchester Christmas Market 2019

An evening at Winchester Christmas Market 2019

In the crazy countdown to Christmas every weekend in the lead up was fully booked and this year’s annual trip to the Winchester Christmas Market was in jeopardy!

It always makes me feel festive and as it’s so close to home and I was gutted at the thought of missing out on it.

Spontaneity struck and Friday night after work I picked up Henry and surprised him with a visit in the evening.

Take a look at how stunning the market is as night…

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Etsy Made Local Festive Market Southampton 2019

Etsy Made Local Festive Market Southampton 2019

How hard is it to find unique gifts for that special someone? You know, that person that’s super difficult to buy for, the one that has everything. I always find that a local Christmas market is usually the place to buy a gift for these people you might get stuck trying to find a gift for.

The third annual Etsy Festive Market in Southampton was the biggest yet!

Local independent Etsy makers showcased some incredible gifts in real life in The Spark Building at Solent University.

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How to make homemade recycled Christmas crackers

How to make homemade recycled Christmas crackers

I love a seasonal ‘how to’, and if you do too you’ll want to check out my festive makes from previous years under the ‘Seasonal’ section in the menu.

This year I knew I wanted to make some of my Christmas gifts and crackers are a little luxury that really lend itself to a festive make and gift that goes down well.

I don’t know about you but I loathe spending money on Christmas crackers because they are really expensive, usually rubbish and a horrible drain on the environment.

I first tried making recycled crackers last year and they went down a storm with friends and family, so I’ve decided to make them again and refined the process a little.

There’s plenty of things you can use from your home to make these, and the key to making sure they are made from recycled materials is good preparation.

Here’s my step by step guide to making your own Christmas crackers…

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Winter Solstice at Stone Henge 2018

Winter Solstice at Stone Henge 2018

You can travel the world but some of the most awesome adventures really are right on your doorstep.

I joined the Pagans, Wiccans and Druids, for the magic of Winter Solstice, and it was the perfect end to 2018 and a way to totally re-energise for 2019.

Heading to Stonehenge in Salisbury for the solstice celebrations, made me feel spiritual, present and connected.

In many ways this experience helped me in ways I can’t ever thank it for. Yes, it sounds totally hippy but, it really healed some wounds and besides that, it was a truly incredible experience.

If you’re looking for epic experiences in the UK, this has to be on your list.

Take a look at my trip in 2018…

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20 years of The Victorian Christmas Festival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

20 years of The Victorian Christmas Festival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

ad*  This year the Victorian Christmas Festival returned to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to celebrate 20 years of the iconic event that’s become a landmark event in the countdown to Christmas.

As November drew to a close and the first day of advent dawned I knew it was time to get a hearty dose of festive spirit.

And, what better way to capture some of that seasonal magic than with a little bit of Christmas cheer, historic attractions and plenty of entertaining characters!

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Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market 2018

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market 2018

It’s well known that Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is one of the best, regularly getting featured in top 10 festive markets guides nationally and internationally.

I go every year and it always helps kick start the festive spirit, take a look at this magical market…

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Gunwharf Quays Light Show Spectacular 15-23 November 2019

Gunwharf Quays Light Show Spectacular 15-23 November 2019

Well, well, well Gunwharf Quays is pulling it out of the bag this winter and we’re only in November.

Last night I caught the first public showing of the new Light Show Spectacular at the outlet shopping centre in Portsmouth and I’m so glad I did!

Pull on a cosy coat, grab family and friends and go and see this great free show that’s going to spark the start of those festive feelings.

Here’s a slice of the magic to give you a sneak peek…

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