Fly away to festivities

Festive gift
Festive gift

Jeremy Gates rounds up the 10 best breaks to give loved ones as a Christmas gift to remember

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping a bit late, don’t panic; step away from the socks, and give your loved ones something they will remember, for all the right reasons, with these top ten travel gifts.

1. See the Northern Lights: Travelbag vouchers can be spent against a range of short and long haul holidays, but perfect for a festive break is a three nights’ B&B break in Iceland at the four-star Grand Reykjavik Hotel, with flights ex-London and regional airports, from £299, if booked by January 31 for February/March travel.

Information: 0845 543 6615/ www.travelbag.co.uk.

2. London’s West End: Superbreak vouchers for £5- £100 are redeemable on short theatre breaks, like the Jersey Boys weekend for £160 in December/January. Package includes tickets to the hit musical, plus two nights’ B&B at the four-star Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, on the South Bank - near to the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and Tate Britain.

Information: 0871 700 4834/ www.superbreak.com

3. Premiership Soccer: Get into the World Cup mood with a ticket for the Manchester United v. Manchester City clash on March 1, with B&B at the three-star Novotel Manchester West, costing £256 at Thomas Cook Sport.

Information: 0844 879 8799/ www.thomascooksport.com.

4. Live like a Lord and Lady: Brit Movie Tours vouchers from £15 can be spent on the Downton Abbey Country Film Locations Tour - or £95 each for group visits - taking in Oxfordshire villages seen in the hit TV show, plus Downton Village and tea in the home of the Dowager Countess.

Information: 0844 247 1007/ www.britmovietours.com

5. Wanderlust: The celebrated travel magazine, Wanderlust, is 20 years old this December, and is still as inspiring as ever for those planning - or simply dreaming about - an exotic holiday. Annual subscription (£30) buys ten issues, plus a ‘Round the World in 500 Festivals’ guide.

Information: 01753 620426/ subs@wanderlust.co.uk

6. Ride on luxury train: Take the luxury Orient Express day trip around UK from £310 in January/February using Railbookers vouchers worth up to £100 each. Vouchers can also be spent on Eurostar and rail travel worldwide.

Information: 0203 327 0760/ www.railbookers.com; 0845 077 2222/ www.orient-express.com/uktrains

7. Perfect for Petrolheads: Leger Holidays offer return coach trips (B&B basis) to top motoring events include Formula 1 Grand Prix in Spain, Monaco, Belgium or Austria, the endurance-testing 24 Hour Le Mans event or the German Motor Show, with tickets to qualifying and main events included. From £279 for German Motor Show (March), from £299 for Le Mans (June) and from £399 for four/five day Grand Prix tours (May-September).

Information: 0844 324 9256/ www.legerbreaks.info

8. Painting in Barcelona: An artist couple run painting courses in the Catalan capital from their B&B penthouse, from £675 for six nights, from £1,150 per couple, including five days of tuition and transport to/from painting sites, plus breakfasts and lunches.

Information: www.la-terraza-atico.com

9. Best of British History: Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), an independent charity looking after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace, offers a Christmas Gift Membership (from £45) giving free and unlimited access, year round, to all five palaces.

Information: 0844 482 7788/ www.hrp.org.uk

10. Child friendly: Take the family to explore Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park, with B&B accommodation at New Forest country house hotel Bartley Lodge for £219, includes tickets for two days’ entry to Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World. For this offer price, book by January 9 to stay during February half-term.

Information: 0871 360 2034/ www.paultonsbreaks.com