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3 Ways to smash January (NSFJ)

WARNING: This blog is NSFJ (not safe for January)

Struggling to stick to those lofty new year’s resolutions? Moaning through a month on mineral water. We’re here for you! We think its time for you to break those New Year’s resolutions, and break them in style.

1. Don’t go dry, head to a beer festival!

No Alcohol? All January? That sounds awfully difficult. If you’re about to cave in, be civilised about it! January boasts some marvellous drinking events to wet even the thirstiest whistle. Why not try Manchester’s Beer & Cider Festival, featuring over 300 cask ales along with traditional ciders and perries, real ale in a bottle and both bottled and draught foreign beers. Check out trains to Manchester.beer flight

2. Don’t go to the gym, head outdoors!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 13.02.02 Forget that pricey gym membership, changing room awks and protein shakes (you know it’s not going to last). So what if its cold! Man-up, grab your duffel coat head to the Lake District for your exercise fix. Who needs central heating and talcum powder anyway? Take a look at trains to the Lake District.

3. Don’t save money (except on train travel) Its time to treat yourself!

Eat

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Down with the Detox! Its time to chomp your way to victory with some serious pig outs!

Shop

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Blow your first pay cheque in style!

Treat yourself to a West End Weekend

There’s no business like show business. Catch a show in London and make a night of it with a free hotel stay when booking through thetrainline.com, with awesome shows including from ‘Thriller’ to ‘The 39 Steps’.

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destinations funny and humour ideas january new year on the train travel

Top UK Christmas shopping destinations, as chosen by you

We asked you for your top Christmas shopping destinations across the country, you sent us your favourites, and here they are!

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Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre is one of the largest in the UK, but this 21st century shopping mecca isn’t all the West Midlands City has to offer. Head over to The Mailbox for a taste of cutting edge fashion paired with contemporary art and furnishings. If the hustle and bustle isn’t for you, why not browse through some of Birmingham’s best independent offerings in the Grand Western Arcade or pick up something sparkly in the Jewellery Quarter.

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10417520_720232888059867_20834247332345839_nFrom the somewhat Dickensian St Nicholas Christmas Fair to a bustling city centre and beautiful architecture, a shopping in York is a must this festive season. York city centre is pedestrianised, making browsing the wide array of boutique shops and markets easy. If you’re feeling really adventurous, check out the Medieval Market at Barley Hall for some truly one-of-a kind gifts.

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With the likes of The Arndale centre with 240 shops, and even more in the bustling city centre, it’s clear that shopping is a topic taken very seriously in Manchester.  Head to the Northern Quarter, for the biggest selection of independent retailers outside of London, for that really special gift, and take advantage of late night shopping as hundreds of stores open their doors for longer hours at Christmas.

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In addition to Edinburgh’s excellent Christmas market, there are some great places to shop in the vibrant Scottish capital this Christmas.

Check out our Top 5 Christmas Markets Countdown

Start off in the city centre, passing through all the essential shops on Princes Street and St Andrews Square. Move on to George Street and get your groove on with an exclusive selection of boutiques, showcasing the top names in fashion and jewellery. Don’t forget to stop for lunch in one of the many eateries in the area (shopping is thirsty work). Finally, for those who are a little harder to buy for, pick up some unique fashion or a rare book in one of the vintage boutiques of Grassmarket.

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Okay, so you can find all the big names on London’s Oxford Street… but London has so much more variety to offer you intrepid Christmas shoppers this season. Carnaby Street, birthplace of the swinging sixties, features a great selection of bars and retail stores set back from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street. A short walk through Soho will land you in Covent Garden, with its vibrant selection of high street names and boutiques, as well as some stunning Christmas lights. For the more intrepid shopper, London’s regular markets become a buzz of activity over the festive period. Try Portobello Road Market (West London) or Spitalfields Market (East London) for something different.

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3 Cool things happening in London this weekend

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It’s getting colder out there, but that’s no excuse to batten down the hatches! There’s always a great selection of things to do in the Capital. Here’s our 3 favourite picks for the weekend.

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3. Hyper Japan Christmas Market, Kensington Olympia

Dive into the best of Japanese culture at this unique take on the Christmas market. Browse unique toys and gifts, or bop along to some live music, including J-Pop and traditional drumming. Tickets from £8, nearest station: Kensington (Olympia)

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2. Ja Ja Ja Festival

This Nordic festival showcases the best music that Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland have to offer (not to mention some traditional tasty food). Enjoy a full day of quirky live electro-pop at Queen Mary University of London on Saturday. Tickets from £25, nearest station: Mile End.

1. Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Rides, Scandinavian Cider tents and a Christmas market, all with a beautiful view of the River Thames. Get your gloves on, entry is free! Nearest station: London Waterloo.

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destinations ideas on the train travel