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Itching for a magical and snowy vacation

As the chill starts to settle in and fairy lights adorn our favourite stores and shops, you may start to get the itch for a magical and snowy vacation.

The below destinations represent some of the best places for a winter ski holiday.

Cypress Mountain in Vancouver, Canada

Cypress is an easy 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver and offers a stunning variety of runs, moguls and backcountry skiing options. It’s a great place for learners and also for those who are more experienced. One of the best things about Cypress is its proximity to downtown Vancouver, so if you can’t afford to stay in the resort you can still drive up and spend the day skiing, tubing, and / or sledging and then spend the evening in a lovely lodge bar before you make your way back to Vancouver. 

Aviemore in Scotland, United Kingdom

Aviemore is a good place for beginners as the conditions in Scotland can be flexible. The beginners section is at the top of the mountain instead of the bottom – giving you stunning views and real-life experience. If you can cope with the Scottish icy wind, you will find skiing elsewhere relatively comfortable, noting that there is a café adjacent to the beginners area, in case you need a well-earned hot chocolate break.

Bialka Tatranska in Poland

Another great place to learn skiing or snowboarding is at Bialka Tatranska, a small mountain resort around 2 hours’ drive from Krakow. The resort has a nursery slope, beginners slope and multiple runs. If you’re an experienced skier, you may find the resort a bit small but if you are a beginner there is plenty to keep you occupied as you learn and progress.

Aprica in the Camonica valley, Italy

Aprica is a beautiful place with charming hotels and apartments and fabulous scenery. There are 50 km runs available, with the runs being a variety of easy, intermediate and difficult. The slopes are perfect for skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and cross country skiers. So what are you waiting for? 

​Tiny churches to visit around the UK

If you are looking for a peaceful place to worship / meditate or are just wanting to admire some English architecture, then we have some tiny churches below that are far from the beaten path.

St Thomas à Becket in Fairfield

Located in a rather lonely but lovely corner of Romney Marsh, you will find this church which is surrounded by beautiful desolate surroundings. The church was recently featured in a TV adaptation of Dickens’ Great Expectations. Overall, the church is as it would have appeared in the 18th century, with minor adjustments due to time and its conservation.

The Italian Chapel in Orkney

In 1942, the small isle of Lamb Holm became home to around 1,200 Italian soldiers who were brought to Orkney. The prisoners lacked a chapel and, after some persuading, they were given permission to build one. They did a magnificent job by fashioning an alter out of concrete and installing windows with painted glass.

St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate in Winchester

Often overlooked by visitors due to its location – tucked away in a side street – this Medieval church is a place of peacefulness which may come as a surprise as it is located in the very heart of Winchester. The first record of the church was in 1264 with a report stating that it was burnt down by citizens during an argument with the local priory. In 1539 it was rebuilt as a parish church.

St Fursey’s in Sutton

St. Fursey’s is the smallest, and probably the strangest, working church in England. It was built in a garden which belonged to its priest, Father Stephen Weston. The church was constructed in 1998 after Father Stephen became disillusioned with the Anglican Church and decided to join the Antiochan Orthodox church. However, as there was no English-speaking Orthodox church in his district, he set about constructing his own.