Category Archives: Calendar


Twixmas for Singles from Lancashire
The Fourth of July
Pancake Day – andyroberts – Storify
Amazing Alex Calder Logo on Google
February the Fifteenth
St Andrew’s Day
Ten More Things to do in London on Bank Holidays

Twixmas for Singles from Lancashire

Twixmas : Thursday December 27th to Sunday 30th December 2012

Twixmas – was there really such a great a need to coin a single word phrase to describe the period between Christmas and New Year? Well it’s better than just calling the whole festive season “The Holidays” I suppose like they do in the US. Twixmas is more precise anyway, it’s less than a week long for a start whereas “the season” can go on for months, starting from when all the mad shopping and planning begins and continuing right through the January Sales and pantomime season. I’m not terribly keen on the whole build-up and fuss myself, but I’m not opposed to the idea of taking a holiday at this time of year, if only to get away from all that.

I’ve spent several Christmases, late Decembers or Twixmases in Spain where they don’t make quite such a big deal of it all, or at least didn’t used to, until three Kings on January 6th by which time most of the UK has thrown away the tree and been back at work for a few days, and some have already started booking up next summer! It’s all just about bearable as long as you have somebody to spend the time with, usually. I spent a few festive seasons as a single person alone on alternate years during my kids’ childhood, mercifully not too many though. I hung about with own parents and their friends once, at a bit of a loose end, and I’ve also used the time to throw myself into new work projects with the promise to myself of a better holiday in the springtime. That can work, but one thing I never took advantage of is the opportunity to join a group on a package holiday type thing, to go away with a bunch of strangers where everything is laid on and just take it as it comes. A change of scenery, away from the same old four walls, somebody else doing the cooking and washing up, with a little bit of luxury and cultural interest are what’s on offer with one such North Wales Twixmas 4 day coach holiday offered via Omega Holidays and TBM Readers Offers, which is a new site in addition to our existing Theatre Breaks offers.

The Dreaded Single person Supplement

The single person supplement is only £40, that’s just £10 per day1 for a single room instead of a double in the 3 star Celtic Royal Hotel, at Caernarfon. I know, it feels a bit like persecution to have to pay any single person supplement at all, especially if it applies to travel – that just doesn’t seem fair – so to find one so low is almost like finding a specially designed single person package – except it isn’t – and that’s probably just as well because you can imagine what some of those might be like. No, on this one there are likely to be mainly couples and small groups as per usual, but with a good smattering of single people taking advantage of the much more single-friendly pricing than that often offered more as a disincentive than an enticement.

Things to do In North Wales

Welsh Highland Railway in Snowdonia

Welsh Highland Railway in Snowdonia

It’s not just about the pricing though, what exactly is there to do in North Wales at the top of the year? Well if it was me I’d be keen to take a ride on the newly restored Welsh Highland Railway which can take you from Caernarfon itself right down alongside Mount Snowdon, through the wonderful Aberglasyn pass all the way down to Porthmadog by the sea. That would make a brilliant day out. You’d have to find a way of fitting it in with the busy itinerary already laid on for you though, with visits to Llandudno, Conwy, Bets-y-Coed and Llanberis. I suppose it all depends how you get on with making new friends quickly in such a conducive environment. There’s nothing to stop you opting out of the coach tour day trip and go off on your own instead. There’s still the evening entertainment to catch up with everybody else on the Twixmas holiday. It’s a lovely part of the word and I think this would make a deeply enjoyable winter holiday break for anybody regardless of family status.

This has been an advertorial post by Andy Roberts about Twixmas in North Wales – 4 days by Coach via Theatre Breaks Magazine Readers Offers.


Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon - Theatre Breaks Magazine - Omega Holidays

Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

The prestigious Celtic Royal Hotel is a 3 star luxurious hotel in the famous town of Caernarfon, near Bangor in Gwynedd. It’s right in the town, between a nice green open space behind and the little harbour/marina in front and  has 110 en-suite bedrooms, a fine dining restaurant, a chic Art Deco bar, conference/meeting facilities, and a superb leisure club. Also:

  • Gym
  • Indoor heated pool
  • Sauna, Jacuzzi & steam room
  • Wi-Fi in public areas
  • TV
  • Tea/coffee making facilities
  • Hairdryer

Forget the trouser press, this is meant to be relaxing!  The 4 Day Coach Package designed by Omega Holidays can be joined from any of the following departure points, mostly in East Lancashire, North England:

Accrington, Blackburn,Blackpool, Burnley, Chorley, Clitheroe, Colne, Darwen,

Leigh, Leyland, Nelson, Padiham,

Preston, St Helen’s, Wigan.


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  1. a bit more per night, as it’s only three nights. []
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The Fourth of July

Today is the fourth of July. This is a date which holds no significance to me whatsoever, so here’s a picture of a lift at Broadstairs.

Lift at Broadstairs

Lift at Broadstairs

How about you though. Does the 4th of July mean anything?

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Pancake Day – andyroberts – Storify

Storified by Andy Roberts
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Pancake Day


Shrove Tuesday is also known as pancake day. One of the few days in the year when you are almost obligedbto eat a particular food item, like hot cross buns at easter and all sorts of things at christmas.

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    #yummy #pancake #love
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February the Fifteenth

February the Fifteenth

Originally uploaded by AndyRob

February the Fifteenth

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St Andrew’s Day

Today, 30th November is St Andrew’s day. So in some countries, this would be my namesake saint’s day, which is like a kind of second birthday.

Happy Birthday me.

St Andrew’s Day in Edinburgh, however, has been cancelled due to snow!

Tomorrow’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations have been cancelled.

Organisers said the snow damaged two of the marquees, creating a potential public safety issue, and with the extreme weather set to continue, all events, including Tuesday evening’s Ceilidh Finale, have been cancelled.

Edinburgh Snowed Under at St Andrew’s Day

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Ten More Things to do in London on Bank Holidays

Things to do in London August Bank Holiday Weekend

Things to do in London

Things to do in London

With another Bank Holiday coming up and the weather looking typical for August, I thought I’d compile another inspiring ten things to do in London. Some are obvious but worthwhile, while others are more unusual things to do in London that you might not know about and some are relatively topic so check the dates before you make detailed plans. Here’s the jump list:

Ten Things to do in London

  1. Visit the Maps Exhibition at the British Library
  2. Take the ferry from Richmond to Twickenham
  3. Visit the biggest Apple Store in the World at London Covent Garden.
  4. Eat Vietnamese food in Kingsland Road, Dalston
  5. See the ship in a bottle at Trafalgar Square
  6. See a hundred objects at the British Museum
  7. Go on a Skyscraper hunt
  8. Hire a blue bike
  9. Eat authentic Mexican food at Wacaca
  10. Travel on the new London Overground to Croydon

Visit the Maps Exhibition at the British Library

There’s a free exhibition at the British Library which is next to London St Pancras Station. Called “Magnificent Maps – Power, Propaganda and Art”  the exhibition features plenty of old historical maps which are fine works of art as much as political history.

Magnificent Maps

Magnificent Maps

Of interest in particular to Londoners is a modern work called “The Island” which is a giant sketch map of London depicted as an island with all sorts of strange comments and illustrations written on top of your favourite neighbourhoods. Where I live for example is written most curiously “Wikipedia, yeah right!” I’ve no idea why. Zoom in and scroll around at the site below:

Take the Ferry from Richmond to Twickenham

One of my favourite destinations for sunny days out in London is Richmond on Thames, because the tide never goes right out thanks to a weir across the river. It’s also possible to take a pleasure boat circle trip up around teddington locks, past all the islands which is nice, but my recommendation this time is to go a bit further on foot then cross the river by passenger ferry. This is just a little boat with an outboard motor that crosses the river Thames from one bank to the other. Cost £1 single. You may have to wait around for the boatman if the crossing is not busy. The reason why I would recommend this is because it’s a lovely way to approach the old part of Twickenham, which has many delights. The walk along the river upstream from Richmond to where the little passenger ferry docks is about one mile, and once on the other side you are only a few hundred yards from the beginnings of Twickenham with York House gardens a must see. There are several nice places for lunch or refreshments too. Returning to the Richmond side, you might visit Ham House as well if you like these sort of grand places.

Visit the biggest Apple Store in the World at London Covent Garden.

Opening hours Mon – Sat: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Noon – 6:00 pm on Sundays

I might just forgive the Apple Store in London’s Regent Street for being a bit chaotic, overcrowded and understocked recently if the new Apple Store at Covent Garden is the culprit. Said to be the biggest in the world, the Covent Garden shop is Apple’s 300th retail outlet worldwide and 28th in the UK. The Apple store in Covent Garden has 300 staff, and certainly looks the business, with a glass roof, two imposing glass staircases, and huge York stone arches. And of course loads of demo Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPods to play with, along with dedicated rooms where training and workshops on Apple products take place.

Eat Vietnamese food in Kingsland Road, Dalston

Best place to eat Vietnamese food in London, with a choice of nearly a dozen authentic Vietnamese restaurants and cafes in close proximity, near to the Geoffrye museum and not so far from Columbia Road flower market which is open on Sundays. The food in these places is wonderfully fragrant with special herbs, fresh chilli and lime juice. Go for the green papaya salads, lotus root salad or Beef noodle soup. Yum.

beef noodle soup

beef noodle soup

See the ship in a bottle at Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar square is worth a visit anytime, and there’s often something different taking place within the landmark. For example quire recently, the amazing walk-in life size maze of green hedges. The different events at the heart of the maze included a showcase from some of the cast of the West End show Priscilla Queen of the Desert, a giant paper dragon show from Chinatown and a Carnaby Street-inspired 60s party.
While you’re at Trafalgar Square, check out the giant ship in a bottle on the fourth plinth. If there’s a rainshower, nip in to the National Gallery and have a posh afternoon tea snack in the rooftop restaurant with views across London.
Ship In A Bottle Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth

See a hundred objects at the British Museum

The BBC Radio 4 programme “A history of the world in 100 objects” has brought a whole new interest into any visit to the British museum, and if you’ve been listening, then you’ll want to track down some of the 100 objects on display, which are all well signposted. On the outside of the building there is the South African garden planted by Kew but on my last visit I though it was already just past its best, so once the bank holiday is over this may not be the best attraction.

Go on a Skyscraper hunt

London skyscraper
There are several new skyscrapers in London in the process of being built and it may be of interest to catch the changing skyline by spotting as many as you can during one visit. Eventually the public viewing gallery in the Shard at London Bridghe will become one of the most spectacular things to do in London.

Hire a blue bike

blue bike hire

The much talked about London blue bicycle hire scheme is now live in London and you will see people getting around on these contraptions and wonder what it’s like to pick up a bike in one place and then just leave it somewhere else instead of having to worry about it. Well you can’t try it out as a guest yet, unless you have to foresight to register for a card beforehand, so why not visit the TFL site and get signed up now.

Eat authentic Mexican food at Wahaca

Wahaca is a mexican food chain started up by the same people who originally ran Wagamama, the Californian/Japanese noodle bars that were all the rage in the 1990s. This isn’t your average tex/mex greasy fast food mince and beans though, it’s more like a genuine Mexican market cuisine with interesting flavours and contrasting textures including plenty of fresh citrus and salad. The service is also very congenial without being intrusive, which I like.

Wahaca Covent Garden
66 Chandos Place
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4HG

Travel on the new London Overground to Croydon

The old East London Line Tube has been revamped and extended as part of the London Overground network with a new station at Shoreditch High Street from where you can travel to either Dalston Kingsland to the North, or way across to West Croydon, south of the river.

More Things to do in London on Bank Holidays

The ideas listed above may not be original but they’re mine. For loads more ideas of things to do in London, you might read the blog “Tired of London, Tired of Life

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Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about Calendar on the DARnet Blog