by Rosie Benson
We all know how it goes: turkey is in the oven, potatoes are roasting, relatives are bickering and soon enough war is declared over the TV remote. Or perhaps your Christmas day is nothing like that (mine).
We all have our own various weird and wonderful ways of celebrating at this time of year. The problem is they never seem to change. Our Christmas days tick along regular as clockwork from start to finish. So with that in mind, we’ve put together six UK adventures for an alternative Christmas Day.
1. Relax in a Spa
Have a facial instead of a face-full of mince pies this Christmas. Champneys Health Spa, based just outside London, is offering a three night Christmas package this festive season from £595 per person. This includes a traditional Christmas lunch, the use of all spa facilities, plus plenty of specialist treatments to help you unwind in style.
2. Go For a Dip
This is a time-honoured tradition from north to south on Christmas Day. Join revellers in fancy dress at Exmouth beach, take the plunge for charity at Porthcawl in Wales, or take your chances with fellow Londoners at the annual Serpentine Peter Pan Cup. There’s nothing like a dip in ice-cold water to make overcooked turkey and brussels sprouts seem like something to look forward to.
3. Go to Church
This year, why not take some time to celebrate the traditional meaning of Christmas in two of the most beautiful churches Britain has to offer? Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral both have services and events going on right across December, including Christmas Day. The majority of events are free, however pre-booking is advised so as not to miss out.
4. Take to the Tees
It’s not unusual to see golf courses populated by chilly, red-nosed golfers on Christmas morning. If you’re not currently a member of a golf club, find someone who is and see if you can tag along with them. Alternatively you can book a Christmas Break at a golf hotel near you – both The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, and Careys Manor in the New Forest, are offering luxury Christmas packages this year.
5. Make Some Music
The Eastbourne bandstand will hold its annual concert on Christmas morning from 10:30 – midday. The highly accomplished Eastbourne Silver Band will treat the audience to Christmas favourites, guaranteed to get you in a festive mood. If you aren’t lucky enough to live nearby, there are many carol services taking place across the UK and TimeOut have helpfully published a list of carol services in London here.
6. Go Camping
You may not think December is the best time of year to be staying in a tent, but you don’t have to slum it in the cold. ‘Glamp’ it up at the award-winning Great Langdale campsite in the Lake District, where you can hire your own heated wooden pod. Alternatively, pitchup.com allows you to search campsites across the UK for a range of accommodation, including tipis, yurts, cabins, and domes.