The UK can be dark and dingy over the holiday period. It’s hardly surprising as New Year’s Day is less than two weeks after the Winter Solstice, when we see less than 8 hours of daylight. With twice as much Night as there is Day, New Year’s Eve can be a depressing time for many. So in the third and final instalment of our series looking at alternatives to partying at New Year’s, we look at heading off to pastures more exotic – places where you might nip to for some winter adventure or simply as a cosy retreat.
Nip off somewhere Charismatic for a bit of RnR
Last minute mini-breaks abroad can be great value over New Year’s and there are hundreds of destinations to choose from. Often they’re cheaper than heading to another part of the UK, so can even offer a budget solution compared to staying on home shores. The biggest problem is choosing where.
If decent food and wine is your thing then Spain, Portugal or Italy are good bets. Both seem to offer reasonable value as their economies need all the help they can get – although the post-Brexit exchange rate isn’t helping. Whilst the daylight hours might not be massively longer than ours, a quick hop on a flight to Italy could quickly see you in a romantic medieval city such as Siena, or one of the more metropolitan wonders such as Turin or Rome.
Alternatively (and statistically for sun worshippers) you could head to Spain. If you’re after something a little different – the Atlantic Coast of Andalusia around Jerez and Cadiz is relatively easy to reach (fly to Gibraltar or Seville and hire a car). Cadiz is – considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe – it is a unique place, built on a rock peninsula and almost completely surrounded by the sea. It’s a great place to base yourself and see in the New Year overlooking the atlantic, whilst tucking in to some of the best Tapas or seafood dishes you’ll find anywhere in the world.
Hit the Slopes
Whilst a week away ski-ing is a luxury, a quick weekend break might be just the New Year’s dash you need. Whilst in most resorts you’ll likely struggle to find a way of avoiding the relentless partying of the holidaymakers, a few smaller ones you’ll find an altogether more understated affair. Try Pra Loup in France, Champolouc and Gressony or in the Monterosa ski area of Italy, or Dienten am Hochkönig in Austria for smaller less busy reports where you can enjoy an open fire and a chill-out on New Year’s Eve.
Stay in the UK – a remote Holiday Cottage
If you’ve got a bit of cash to splash then maybe head to a remote holiday cottage in the UK for the New Year break. Hunker down in front of an open fire, with a hamper of posh nosh, a bottle of bubbly and some quality wine, cheese and decent book. If you can find a remote country location you won’t even be bothered by those pesky fireworks at midnight either. Maybe you’ll find the perfect smugglers cottage in cosy cove along Dorset Coast, or perhaps it’ll be a former Fisherman’s haunt somewhere along the iconic shores of Kent. There’s plenty to choose from within a couple of hours driving from London.
Whatever you choose to do over New Year’s Eve, we hope you have a fantastic time – but more importantly – that 2017 turns out to be an unforgettable year for all the right reasons.