Why York is the Number One City in England for a Christmas Shopping Break

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-11-2011

York is a city that is characterised by intriguing contrasts tantalizingly combined with a talent for the unexpected. Indeed, here is a city that understands perfectly the subtle matter of offsetting the traditional with the modern and colouring the commonplace with the unconventional. Sure to broaden even the most sophisticated of minds, York features some of the best museums around in addition to its celebrated local architecture and landmarks. Suffice to say, with the addition of the numerous quality hotels York is blessed with, this is a city well worth visiting at any time of year.

The labyrinthine cobbled-stone streets will enchant lovers of the old, whilst the more progressive will not be disappointed either. The city is in fact one of the fastest developing areas in the country and the vibrant cafe culture, the plethora of talented street entertainers and fun-packed festivals add to the sense that you are in the midst of a flourishing cutting-edge scene.

However, if you are specifically looking for somewhere special to spend this Christmas, whether it is for a short shopping trip or a full-on festive break, York has some special gifts up its Christmas sleeves that make this time of year an extra special time to give the city a visit. What is more, there is no need to wait for the height of the Yuletide season as the city is imbued with Christmas spirit from as early as late November.

It is then that the gloriously medieval streets are lined with bells and holly and a variety of festive stalls offering eye-catching exotic gifts. The finest of local produce is in abundance, well before the season begins in earnest. Search out areas such as Parliament Street, Coppergate and St. Simpson’s Square for the best of what is on offer here.

The most ardent shoppers among you will be left fulfilled and you certainly won’t be leaving with empty bags. In short, there is nowhere better for Christmas shopping than York. Quaint, independent shops and intriguing little antique gems are not afraid to mix with the established high-street favourites. If you have a penchant for the latest fashions, the fabulous Designer Outlet is where you can find some great, new top-brand outfits at impressive cut-price discounts. Alternatively, the city’s festive markets are the place to go to pick up something a touch more unusual.

Best of all, you can always plan your trip to coincide with one of the city’s much loved Christmas Fayres. Both the St. Nicholas Fayre (November 24th-27th) and York’s Festive Fayre that runs from December 3rd until the 18th will provide the perfect backdrop to your festive browsing. The former remains one of the finest on York’s festival calendar and features parades replete with traders dressed Victorian-style plus surprisingly tuneful carol singers. All display their talents amidst the charming aroma of roasted chestnuts and heart-warming, brandy-laced hot chocolate.

The two-week long Festive Fayre is no less delightful. Seasonal music fills the fresh December air as you take a pleasant stroll through the sweep of streets lined with enchantingly decorated wooden huts full of perfect gift ideas and tempting Christmas treats.

Suffice to say, whether you are set on spoiling yourself, picking up some quality bargains or simply planning to treat the kids, York has to be the number one city in England for that special Christmas break. If you are still not convinced, have a look here at http://www.mirror.co.uk/advice/travel/top-ten/2009/10/29/our-top-10-guide-to-the-best-christmas-shopping-breaks-115875-21765741/ for a second opinion.

What is the cruise talk of 2012?

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-11-2011

Cunard will be holding a ‘Royal Rendezvous’ in Southampton on June 5th 2012 as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Each ship then cruises from Southampton, the Queen Mary 2 for a short trip to France, Belgium and Holland, the Queen Victoria to the Adriatic and the Queen Elizabeth to the Baltic.

Cruises have traditionally been seen as a holiday more suitable for the retired, wealthy or staid traveller but are now becoming more popular each year, particularly with younger holidaymakers, the latest report by the Passenger Shipping Association showing a 6% increase overall in cruise bookings.

It is unusual for any leisure market to expand at a time of recession and many new cruise ships are being built to fulfil the demands of a growing market. There has been a much greater increase in interest in river cruises, including smaller luxury river cruise deals which offer a more intimate setting. The duration of a river cruise is usually shorter, which makes it particularly suitable for travellers who prefer to take several shorter breaks each year rather than one holiday of two or three weeks’ duration.

The most highly rated cruise lines are offering super value cruise deals, not only in the price but with added attractions and services included in the total package. Some cruise lines are offering more incentives like 50% reduction on the cost of selected cruises, or inclusive deals and special offers with free vouchers to be spent on on-board facilities and services like beauty treatments, or for excursions from the ports of call.
Exciting new itineraries have been devised, including a trip up the Amazon as part of a cruise sailing round Barbados and Iquitos and a four day trip to Japan as part of a voyage around Hong Kong, Beijing, Taiwan and other destinations in the Far East.