ENGLISH & SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS TRAVEL SPECIALS
Enjoy our special festive Discovery Tour in the heart of England. Enjoy excellent food, great company, plus daily excursions that explore the delights of the Peak District. We’ll visit Castleton with its festive decorations. We'll also visit the spa town of Buxton, walk back in time at the National Stone Centre and visit Arkwright’s historic mill and village at Cromford. Enjoy New Year's in a typically English way.
Spend 4 nights (or longer) in London this Christmas, staying at the Srowne Plaza St James, near Victoria. Rooms include tax and service.. Our Christmas travel program in London includes day tours
Dec. 23 Day free for sightseeing or shopping on your own.
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve - London by Night Tour on Christmas Eve Enjoy the wonders of the Christmas lights of London illuminating the most striking landmarks of the city as dusk falls. Prepare to usher in Christmas in style!
Dec. 25 Christmas - Christmas Day Lunch Cruise with City Cruises Immerse yourself in a panoramic tour of London, driving past Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and many more major attractions. Take photographs of the most exquisite landmarks for an unforgettable experience. Then embark upon a modern Millennium Riverliner and savour a delectable traditional Christmas Lunch, marvelling at London’s celebrated sights from the river.
Dec. 26 Boxing Day Oxford, Stratford and Warwick Castle with Lunch This tour will take you to Windsor Castle, one of the largest and oldest occupied castles in the world. Take a walking tour around Royal Windsor. You will drive past mystical Stonehenge, and will view this ancient monument that stands imperiously on Salisbury Plain, before savouring a delectable lunch. Finally, upon your arrival in elegant Bath, you will take a delightful panoramic tour.
Dec, 27 Program ends, or can be extended.
Price per person Dec. 23-27 4 nights
Sights and Sounds of London (Morning Tour) with Optional Traditional Christmas
Lunch Panoramic Tour of London - Luxury coach - Professional guide - Delicious
traditional Christmas lunch at a superb Brasserie (optional)
Sights & Sounds of London (Afternoon Tour) with Optional London Eye Panoramic Tour of London - Luxury coach - Professional guide - Flight on London Eye (optional)
Dickensian Christmas in Canterbury, Dover & Greenwich with Traditional Christmas Lunch Duration : Approx. 9 hours Drive through the beautiful Kent countryside - Attend the Sung Eucharist service at Canterbury Cathedral - Traditional Christmas lunch - See the White Cliffs of Dover - See maritime Greenwich - Luxury coach - Professional guide
Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury with Traditional Christmas Lunch Duration : Approx. 10 hours Walking tour of Windsor - see Windsor Castle - see Stonehenge - see Salisbury and its Gothic Cathedral - Traditional Christmas lunch - Panoramic tour of the Georgian city of Bath - Luxury coach - Professional guide
London and Christmas Day Lunch Cruise Panoramic tour of London by luxury coach - Cruise on the River Thames - Welcome drink on arrival - Sumptuous 4 course lunch - Coffee and mints - Christmas cracker - Cash bar open throughout - Seasonal decorations
Christmas Day Lunch Cruise with City Cruises Duration : Approx. 3 hours Welcome drink - Cruise on the River Thames - 4 course lunch - Coffee and mints - Christmas cracker - Cash bar open throughout - Seasonal decorations
Oxford, The Cotswolds and Stratford with Traditional Christmas Lunch Walking tour of Oxford, and see Christ Church and Oxford colleges - Walking tour of Stratford upon Avon - See Shakespeares Birthplace - See Anne Hathaways Cottage - Drive through the scenic Cotswolds - Traditional Christmas lunch - Luxury coach - Professional guide
Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge with Lunch Duration : Approx. 10 hours Walking tour of Windsor - see Windsor Castle - entry to mystical Stonehenge - 2 course lunch - Panoramic tour of the Georgian city of Bath - Luxury coach - Professional guide
Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury with Lunch Duration : Approx. 10 hours Entry to mystical Stonehenge - see the historic city of Salisbury and included entry to the splendid medieval cathedral - 2 course lunch - Panoramic tour of the Georgian city of Bath - Luxury coach - Professional guide
Oxford, Stratford and Warwick Castle with Lunch Duration : Approx. 10 hours Entry to Medieval Warwick Castle - Drive through scenic Cotswolds - Walking tour of Stratford on Avon - walking tour of Oxford - Luxury coach - Professional guide - 2 course lunch
Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, Greenwich and River Cruise with Lunch Duration : Approx. 10 hours Entry to magical Leeds Castle - See historic Canterbury with its Cathedral - See famous White Cliffs of Dover - See maritime Greenwich - Luxury coach - Professional guide - 2 course lunch
Picture the scene frosty, starry nights; the smell of pine burning in open fires; the crackle of chestnuts roasting; dancing, as well as a whole host of activities to entertain you. Youll find the very best of Scottish hospitality, with an attention to detail and personal touches that have become our hallmark. New Year Join our three night house party from 30 December to 2 January. Gleneagles is legendary for the style of its New Year celebrations in the finest Scottish tradition. Be our guest at the Hogmanay Ball, where pipers herald the New Year.
For All the Family The festive holiday is a time for thanksgiving and celebration to be shared with your family. Its a time when traditional values are upheld and magical stories are bought to life! At Gleneagles, youll find an array of activities to inspire and delight the whole family.
Ask for pricing.
Christmas in a Scottish Castle
"Where fairytales come true". Stay in a Scottish Castle this Christmas. New Years, too. We can assist in arranging transfers by chauffeur driven cars, small coaches or helicopters.
What could be nicer that spending Christmas or New Years (or both if you can manage it!) at a fantastic historic property across in England or Scotland? Let somebody else have the stress of preparing Christmas lunch or a dinner to die for as you count down the hours into 2012! Relax by cozy log fires as you enjoy a wee dram before retiring into a sumptuous 4-poster bed, offered by many of our castle properties. Book as a group with family and friends.
To rent: Some private castles for you Have you always dreamt of living in a castle, if only for a few days? Live like royalty of old in baronial splendor. Rent an exclusive use castle in Scotland, complete with staff, and in some cases, all meals. Here are our recommendations:
EXPERIENCE THE HISTORY, VARIETY & BEAUTY OF SCOTTISH LIFE FROM THE LUXURY OF YOUR OWN EXCLUSIVE USE CASTLE
Fully staffed Fernie Castle 20 rooms. Centrally located within easy reach of Dundee, Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow and St. Andrews
Castle Stuart - near Inverness Exclusive Use. Entire Castle (8 bedrooms, maximum 16 people). This includes afternoon tea, evening banquet, full Highland breakfast and government tax (VAT).
Scottish Castle Accommodation - Our 5 star lodgings in this romantic castle, set magnificently on the Moray Firth near Inverness, and just 20 minutes drive from Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. Fully restored and furnished in Jacobean elegance, our Scottish castle is ready for entertaining in traditional grand manner or modestly with your chosen guests in regal comfort (8 bedrooms). The entire castle or individual bedrooms, each with their own private facilities, may be reserved or hired for your exclusive use. Maximum 16 guests (4 twin and 4 double rooms). All meals included
Castle Venlaw is not available over Christmas.
Christmas in England and New Years in the countryside
Christmas in Whitby
Whitby is dominated by the cliff-top ruins of a beautiful 13th century Abbey. This quaint maritime town, with its old cobbled streets, picturesque houses is set among fine stretches of coast with spectacular cliffs and bays. 199 steps lead down from the Abbey to the old town where you find yourself in an array of unique shops offering local crafts, maritime memorabilia and antiques. Typically held the first weekend in December, the event gives all visitors and residents the opportunity to dress up in traditional Victorian costume. The village also benefits from a flurry of Christmas decorations from lights to window dressings, Christmas trees and festive wreaths.
All prices are in USD per person and include ALL MEALS, en-suite accommodation,
holiday program, transport costs, services of leaders and 17½% VAT.
What's included...virtually everything Wonderful meals - including
breakfast, picnic lunch, evening meal, afternoon tea and cakes and plenty of
treats. A program of organized walks and social activities. Any transport to
and from walks or sightseeing. Services of Leaders. 17½% VAT. Airfare may
be added at extra cost
ask about 2013
Happy New Year from Edinburgh's HogmanayThe World's Best New Year Celebrations
Hogmanay in Scotland New Years in Scotland
Hogmanay and New Year in Scotland is immortalised, needs little introduction to most, and there is simply no better way to experience it than to indulge yourselves in one of the great selection of Scottish New Year breaks and hotel deals on our site. Whether you decide to join in one of the great street parties, notably the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, or want to escape to a traditional Scottish highlands Hogmanay retreat theres something for everyone.
Hogmanay is a more important festival in Scotland than Christmas . Perhaps because at one stage in its history, the celebration of Christmas was banned in Scotland, the Scots have always made New Year's Eve something special. The traditions associated with this pagan mid-winter festival are repeated not just in Edinburgh, the capital city, but in towns and villages throughout the country. Great events, festivals and celebrations take place every year in Pitlochry, Dundee, Aberdeen Stirling, Inverness and Perth to name but just a few.
An integral part of the traditional Hogmanay partying, which still continues very much today, is to welcome friends and strangers alike, with warm hospitality - and of course a kiss - to wish everyone a Guid New Year. The underlying belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note! The origin of the word is somewhat cloudy! "It is ordinary among some Plebians in the South of Scotland, to go about from door to door upon New Year`s Eve, crying Hagmane." Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence, 1693. Opinions differ as to whether it originated from the Gaelic oge maidne ("new morning"), Anglo-Saxon Haleg Monath ("Holy Month"), or Norman French word hoguinané, which was derived from the Old French anguillanneuf ("gift at New Year"). It's also been suggested that it came from the French au gui mener ("lead to the mistletoe") or a Flemish combo hoog ("high" or "great"), min ("love" or "affection") and dag ("day").
Some Scottish Christmas and New Years traditions:
Special Christmas Celebration at Dalhousie Castle
Traditional Christmas at Dalhousie Castle and Spa
Christmas at the perfect Castle Retreat. 13th Century Dalhousie Castle and Spa is the ideal retreat to enjoy an enchanting, traditional and relaxing Christmas break. While away Christmas Eve by the fire in our traditional Library with log fire glowing, celebrate a traditional lunch on Christmas Day and there will also be a special visitor dropping in from Lapland on Christmas morning. Celebrations continue into the evening with our popular live entertainment. You leave us on Boxing Day after a hearty Scottish Breakfast served in our Orangery Restaurant. We look forward to welcoming you to the Castle this Christmas!
24th December 2013 - Christmas Eve 3.30pm 4.30pm Owls, Myths and Legends (optional extra - additional cost £20.00 per person) Participate in the ancient art of Falconry. You will be welcomed to the Castle Chapel by our Falconers, dressed in 13th century costume, where you will meet some of our wonderful owls. Take part in flying these graceful creatures and listen to fascinating owl facts as you marvel at their silent flight 2.30- 4.30pm Full Traditional Afternoon tea will be served in the Sir Alexander Room. 5.00pm Welcome to the Castle and greetings from the Management and Staff of the Castle 5.15pm Historical tour of the Castle by our Castle Steward. 6.30 pm Pre dinner glass of Champagne or Bucks Fizz served in the Library. 7.00pm 8.30pm: An indulgent 5 course Dinner, including Coffee will be served in our 2 AA Rosette Dungeon Restaurant or The Orangery. Please note that due to limited availability within The Dungeon Restaurant and the Orangery we strongly advise you to pre- book your table reservation at the time of reserving your room in order to avoid disappointment. 7.00pm -11.00pm: Clarsach playing back ground music within the Library 9.30pm- 10.00pm: Join our Carol Singers from the local Cockpen Church on the Quarter Deck 10.30pm: Enjoy a warming glass of mulled wine before bed, to wait for Santa's arrival!
25th December 2013 - Christmas Day 8.00am - 10.00am: Enjoy a relaxed Christmas Morning Breakfast in the Orangery. 10.00am- 11.30am: Archery (optional extra ) Try your hand at this ancient sport on the Castle Lawn. (30 minute booking slots available Booking essential- please call 01875 820153) 12.00noon: The Celebrations will begin with a Champagne reception in the Alexander Room. Santa will arrive and be seated on the Quarter Deck with presents for the Children. 12.30 - 2.30pm: Christmas Luncheon will be served in the Dungeon Restaurant and the Orangery a truly indulgent 5 course menu! Please note that due to limited availability within The Dungeon Restaurant and Orangery we strongly advise you to pre- book your table reservation at the time of reserving your room in order to avoid disappointment. 4.00pm -4.30pm Tea, Coffee and Christmas cake will be served in the Library and Dalwolsey 7.30pm Enjoy a Festive Buffet Dinner served in the Ramsay Room and perhaps take home a sketch memento created by our caricaturist (Half Bottle of wine per person included) 7.30pm- 11.30pm Entertainment by the wonderful Le Jazz Hot
26th December 2013 - Boxing Day 8.00am - 10.30am:A hearty farewell Boxing Day Breakfast will be served in the Orangery ''Fond Farewell and Haste Ye Back''
PRICE FOR CHRISTMAS ACCOMMODATIONS AT DALHOUSIE ONLY FOR 2 NIGHTS - $1226 - PER PERSON SHARING A TWIN ROOM.
Hogmanay Traditions (New Years)
Traditionally, the Scots were a superstitious race at the best of times and for an event as significant as the dawning of a new year, customs, rituals and traditions inevitably arose around the country. Many of these have now disappeared but others have carried on down through the years and some have even become essential ingredients of today's celebrations.
Cleaning the House The last day of the year was traditionally regarded as a time of preparation: business would concluded to let the new year start afresh and houses were thoroughly cleaned (known as 'redding'). Fireplaces in particular had to be swept out and in a variation on reading tea-leaves, the ashes of the last fire of the old year were believed to show what lay ahead in the new year.
First Footing One of the major Hogmanay customs was 'first footing'. Shortly after 'the bells' - the stroke of midnight when public clocks would chime to signal the start of the new year - neighbors would visit one another's houses to wish each other a good new year. This visiting was known as 'first footing', and the luckiest first-foot into any house was a tall, dark and handsome man - perhaps as a reward to the woman who traditionally had spent the previous day scrubbing her house (another Hogmanay ritual). Women or red heads, however, were always considered bad luck as first-foots. First-foots brought symbolic gifts to 'handsel' the house: coal for the fire, to ensure that the house would be warm and safe, and shortbread or black bun (a type of fruit cake) to symbolise that the household would never go hungry that year. First-footing has faded in recent years, particularly with the growth of the major street celebrations in Edinburgh and Glasgow, although not the Scots love of a good party, of which there are plenty on the night!
Regional Variations Each area of Scotland often developed its own particular Hogmanay ritual. In the east coast fishing communities and Dundee, first-footers used carry a decorated herring while in Falkland in Fife, local men would go in torchlight procession to the top of the Lomond Hills as midnight approached. Bakers in St Andrews would bake special cakes for their Hogmanay celebration (known as Cake Day) and distribute them to local children. Other Scottish towns and cities had their own celebrations, as did institutions. For example, amongst the Scottish regiments, the officers had to wait on the men at special dinners while at the bells, the Old Year is piped out of barrack gates. The sentry then challenges the new escort outside the gates: 'Who goes there?' The answer is 'The New Year, all's well.' Sadly, almost all of these regional traditions have now lapsed although a number of Scottish communities still retain their own very distinctive ways of celebrating Hogmanay, notably Stonehaven, Comrie and Biggar. Other Traditions Two further Hogmanay traditions that have survived are the singing of 'Auld Lang Syne' and the making of new year resolutions. It's not clear when joining hands with your neighbor for the singing of the Burns' favorite became associated with Hogmanay particularly, although it's now a world-wide phenomenon. Because of this widespread popularity, the song's rather touching lyrics tend to get reduced to a spirited repetition of the chorus which is a shame. So impress your friends and learn at least a verse or two, particularly if you're planning to take part in the world's biggest 'Auld Lang Syne' as part of this year's Edinburgh's Hogmanay.
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