Fly back to the UK this winter for some festive family treats
THOMSONFLY.COM, the low fares airline operating from Faro, makes it easy for you to fly back to the UK this festive season to spend some time with your friends and family. With regular flights operating to Bournemouth, Coventry and Doncaster, from as little as 36.99 euro one way including taxes and charges, there has never been a better time to brave the chill air and enjoy some quality time with those special loved ones.
Here is a range of special activities for both young and old to enjoy while there – all with a special Christmas theme.
Pudding stirs and grand parades in rural Dorset
Throughout December, the historic buildings at Stapehill Abbey, in Ferndown come to life at their special Christmas Weekends. Featuring a Christmas wonderland with choirs in the chapel, children’s entertainment, a craft market and Santa’s grotto, this is one for all the family to enjoy. For further information call +44 1202 861 686.
On December 9, it’s the Save the Children Festival of Christmas in the historic town of Wimborne Minster. This spectacular winter carnival, with Christmas music, morris dancing and a grand parade of floats starts at 2.15pm. The public can follow the parade and Father Christmas around the town, and then take the children to meet Santa himself in his grotto at the Tourist Information Centre.
Also on December 9, is the Great Pudding Stir, held at the award-winning Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne. Stir a bowl of Mrs Beeton’s Christmas pudding mix, make a wish and taste the finished product! A real return to traditional home cooking and part of the fun of the festive preparations. For further information call +44 1202 882 533.
Gruffalos and fantastic fireworks in Warwickshire
The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood … but one wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist … does he?
Tall Stories, the company behind the original stage production of The Gruffalo (“irresistibly charming” – The Times), brings Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s captivating sequel The Gruffalo’s Child to life in a new magical, musical adaptation at the Warwick Arts Centre on a number of dates over the Christmas period. Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged three to six years – see www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/events/christmas for details.
Dickens Night has become a longstanding festive event in the town of Atherstone, Warwickshire, which includes the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights. Due to take place this year on Saturday, November 25, Dickens Night attracts over 10,000 people, who enjoy the rides, tombolas, puppet shows, clowns, big bands, market stalls and a grand firework finale. If you enjoy a bit of history mixed with your yuletide treats, this is the place for you. See www.dickensnight.co.uk for further details.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s
The Birmingham Royal Ballet will be performing their magical Christmas treat, The Nutcracker, at the Birmingham Hippodrome for an especially extended season of 24 performances, starting on November 24. The Nutcracker is one of the most popular ballets of all time and Peter Wright’s beautiful production is guaranteed to cast an unforgettable festive spell over the entire family. For further details see www.brb.org.uk
Dames and decorations
“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me” – celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas at Chatsworth House this year, every day from November 4, to December 23.
In the splendour of this most evocative of stately homes, explore the origins of the well-loved song as you walk through the house, while enjoying the rich decorations, real Christmas trees, scented candles, music and beautiful lights. Family fun in the farmyard, fabulous seasonal shopping and good food will complete your visit. See www.chatsworth.org.
At Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre Sleeping Beauty is this year’s pantomime treat featuring Andrew Ryan (Dame Trot in last year’s hit panto, Jack and the Beanstalk) as the Dame. Joined by Sherrie Hewson from Emmerdale and Loose Women as the Bad Fairy, the show promises to be a true experience – oh yes it does! Call the ticket office on +44 114 249 6000.
Flights and accommodation can be booked at www.thomsonfly.com. Those without internet access can book by calling 214 159 122.