6 Alternative Ways to Celebrate Christmas

With just 8 weeks to go until Christmas (yes, really!), we have put together a list of suggestions to help make this December truly extraordinary. Whether looking to ditch the UK for a dose of winter sun, hit the slopes in a far-flung destination or stick closer to home with a celebratory staycation, these ideas will ensure that this festive season is one to remember.

Feast on slope-side sushi

Skiing enthusiasts in search of fresh tracks should head to Japan where you can work up an appetite out on the legendary powder slopes before swapping the traditional brussels sprouts and stuffing for steaming bowls of ramen and sushi selection boxes with all the trimmings. Yum!

Powder Byrne (powderbyrne.com) offers a 10-day adventure through Japan from £3,750 per person including a complete itinerary of activities, luxury transfers between destinations and English-speaking guides along the way.

Learn to Play Polo in Sotogrande

Trade in traditional Christmas charades and monopoly to enjoy the run of the ranch with exclusive use of Polo Valley in Sotogrande. Let travel experts Powder Byrne introduce your family to the exciting sport of polo and spend your mornings learning from the best Polo Valley professionals, while afternoons can be spent indulging in local cuisine prepared by the ranch’s resident chef!

From £1,795 per person including 7 nights’ accommodation on a full board basis, as well as Polo Valley’s hosted riding programme exclusively for your party

Throw a festive bash to remember with a Cotswolds hotel takeover

Live out your Downton dreams and play Lord / Lady of the Manor with a takeover of the Calcot Collection’s Palladian House, The Painswick . With a full stock of classic board games to choose from, a pool table, two spa treatment rooms and plush sofas to sink into to enjoy a festive flick or two, you’ll never be short of activities to keep you and your loved ones entertained.

Prices available on request

Take a Cornish cold-water dip before dinner

Every community has its own festive traditions and every year in Falmouth, the 25th December sees a hoard of hardy swimmers make a beeline for the water for an invigorating (if a tad nippy) Christmas sea swim. Luckily for guests of St Michaels, the action takes place directly in front of the resort on Gylly beach, so you can dash directly from the sea (via the bar) to the spa to warm up afterwards.

St Michaels offers a 3-night Christmas break, arriving on Christmas Eve from £565pp or 4-nights arriving on the 23rd from £633pp including accommodation, breakfast and dinner each day and a festive lunch and evening buffet on Christmas Day

Add a touch of Christmas spa-rkle

Pip the January gym-goers to the post with a winter wellness break at La Réserve Geneva which will leave you feeling rested and rejuvenated before you ring in the New Year. After making the most of the hotel’s sprawling Spa Nescens facility, guests will be able to retreat to the Winter Lodge – an outdoor restaurant overlooking Lake Geneva, perfect for cosying up under thick fur blankets under the stars.

Superior Rooms at La Réserve Geneva start from 500CHF (approx. £410). For full details, please visit their website.

Santa, stockings and steel bands in Antigua

Just like back home in blighty, Christmas at Carlisle Bay means festive feasts, carol singing and long, lazy afternoons with your loved ones – albeit with a Caribbean twist! On Boxing Day, guests of Carlisle Bay are invited to enjoy a barbeque dinner at The Jetty Grill, accompanied by a live steel drum band to get the celebrations started. No cooking, no washing up, just delicious food served beach-side and bare-foot, infused with Caribbean spices and flare!

Powder Byrne offers any 7-nights over Christmas & New Year on a B&B basis with afternoon tea from £6,950 per person (020 8246 5300, powderbyrne.com)