Mayday Travel has the answer to those pre-Christmas blues. What does Christmas mean to you? Desperately running around the shops at the last minute, looking for presents for obscure relatives and that latest ‘must-have’ novelty toy for your youngest? Or slaving over a computer ordering everything from Amazon and eBay? Has Christmas lost its magic for you? They say that Christmas is for children but at Mayday Travel we say that deep down, everyone still has a child’s heart in them, and it’s time you rediscovered the wonder of Christmas for yourself. And a Mayday Travel coach trip to Bruges can help you do just that.
Christmas Markets by Coach
The Christmas markets of Europe are special. None more so than that of Bruges, the historic city in North-West Belgium. Its medieval buildings, cobbled streets and picturesque canals make it a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, but when the days grow shorter and the Christmas lights throw their rosy glow across the Markt and the Burg, Bruges’ most famous squares, it becomes something truly magical.
The main Christmas market will be held in The Markt, where you’ll be able wander among the many stalls to buy gifts, decorations and seasonal clothing, kept warm by regular top-ups of Gluhwein, a herb and wine combination served hot and steaming. For the more energetic, there’s an ice-rink too.
But most of the centre of Bruges joins in the festive celebrations, so wander the streets and explore a little further afield.
Exploring the city in Style
You can take a horse-drawn carriage around the city, a marvellously old-fashioned way of exploring this picturesque cityscape, taking in the turrets, towers and spires of old Bruges, possibly dusted in snow, while remaining cosy under a blanket. And running until the end of November, a half hour canal trip will show you the city from a totally different angle, while saving your feet!
And for something completely different, the Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival on Bruges’ Stationsplein is this year celebrating the 20th anniversary of Disneyland Paris. 29 International artists have turned 400 tonnes of ice into 90 sculptures of Disney characters from Mickey Mouse to Buzz Lightyear, all exhibited in an Ice Palace kept at -10 degrees to stop them from melting. Something to take your kids to, no matter what their age. Don’t forget your warm clothing!
Lace, chocolate, beer and chips!
Like much of Belgium, Bruges specialises in lace and chocolate. Most lace is now machine-made, but in the afternoon at the Lace Centre (Kantcentrum) you can watch a demonstration of this delicate artwork being made by hand. There’s a chocolate museum, the Choco-Story, if you want to know a little more about what you’re eating, or just pretend to be cultural while waiting to drink and eat chocolate at the end of the tour.
Bruges is also a centre for beer, and the many bars serve a large range, including Brugse Zot and Brugse Straffe Hendrik which is brewed at the city’s own Halve Maan brewery. Incredibly, there’s also a museum here celebrating the humble chip, called the Frietmuseum! (Don’t forget, they’re eaten with mayonnaise here.)
Let Mayday Travel take you there in comfort and style
So Bruges really has something for everyone. And Mayday Travel run regular tours each year. With pick-up points including Streatham, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Sutton, Wallington, Croydon, Purley and Coulsdon, our fully equipped luxury coaches can transport you from the ordinary to the extraordinary in comfort and style. Your trip to a winter wonderland, via the Eurotunnel, comes with CD and DVD players, air conditioning and on-board toilet facilities. Forget the stress of traffic and parking problems, our skilled and knowledgeable drivers do that all for you. And as the coach heads back to London, you, weary but smiling, can push back your reclining seat and dream your way home.