During February, the francophone St Boniface district of the Winnipeg hosts the Festival du Voyager, western Canada’s biggest winter festival.Thanks to the seasonal weather, finding a place to chill in Winnipeg in winter isn’t difficult. However, chilling at Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature has a whole different meaning — it’s a chic spa with saunas and steam rooms ranged around a four outdoor pools of varying temperatures.
“Lumiere was born in Durham in 2009 and became a blueprint for later festivals elsewhere,” said Helen Marriage MBE, the director of Artichoke, the creative agency that initiated Durham Lumiere in 2009. The event spawned Lumiere London plus a festival of lights in Northern Ireland’s second city.
Even without a seasonal dusting of snow, there’s something magical about a visit to the traditional Advent markets of Salzburg in Austria.
The Golden Chariot is south India’s answer to the Palace on Wheels; this is a luxury train transporting tourists in five-star comfort between sites of cultural and historic interest.
Stress is a distant memory as we glide, in defiance of the passage of time, in a houseboat on Kerala’s placid backwaters. For centuries people survived on board these vessels without watches, mobile phones and laptops, so for the three day duration of this trip I’ve packed mine away and pledged to undertake a digital detox.
“I come from a family of five generations of loggers,” says Darren before explaining that meant working in the bush, bringing logs to the sawmill and processing them. “I’m carrying on the legacy…in the form on promoting it for tourism, team building and allowing people who wouldn’t normally have the chance to get a taste of what it’s like to be a lumberjack and do it for a day with their friends.”
Munich residents meet at the Advent markets to socialise over post-work mugs of Glühwein (mulled wine). The Christmas markets in Munich are by no means held only to attract visitors to the city.
Members of a band wearing Tyrolean style felt hats stand playing jaunty, accordion-led music under the entrance to the log cabin. The scent of pine makes me think of the Alps but this is the Roncalli Christmas Market in central Hamburg.
Meeting people is one of the great joys of travel. Of course, you can never predict when you’re going to bump into someone in an unusual or exciting job, but when it happens it can prove a real joy. I met Babu, a snake catcher, in Bangalore, India, and persuaded him to give me a call the next time he went out on a job, so that I could watch him at work.
Sedbergh is England’s official book town and a lovely spot to visit if you enjoy walking and cycling. On the western edge of Yorkshire Dales National Park, the attractive small town is well-placed as a base for visiting the nearby Lake District. Kendal is 11 miles away and Windermere is 19 miles from Sedbergh.