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Christmas 2018: The top 10 BEST Christmas markets in the UK revealed | Travel News | Travel

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Christmas sees traditional markets coming to life up and down the UK, offering the perfect opportunity to squeeze in last minuter Christmas shopping for loved ones as well as treating yourself to delicious food and drink as well as even some fairground rides or impressive shows. Some of them only have a few days left so now is the best time to go and soak up the best of the festive atmosphere. Here the top 10 Christmas markets in the UK

Edinburgh

16 November – 5 January

Edinburgh celebrates Christmas at Princes Street Gardens with a plethora of bespoke and traditional Christmas stalls. There’s a festive atmosphere and a huge range of artisan gifts and traditional food and beverages.

From 17 November to 24 December children can enjoy Santa Land with festive fairground rides, a Christmas Tree Maze and even a visit to Santa’s grotto. Alternatively, head to St Andrews Square to take a spin on the ice rink with a gorgeous backdrop of the glittering city.

Manchester

9 November – 23 December

Manchester Christmas market was ranked number one, according to research by travel website Booking.com. Famed for its shimmering Santa Claus, this year will be the last time the market graces Albert Square for at least the next four years.

Spread across the city, the stalls are bustling with gift ideas and culinary delicacies – guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. Once you’ve shopped for homemade crafts, toys, gifts and garments, treat yourself to a traditional bratwurst, Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast.

Winchester

17 November – 20 December

Coming in at second place in Booking.com’s rankings and set next to Winchester’s breathtaking cathedral is the Winchester Christmas Markets.

This is the perfect event to take in the local architecture and history. Inspired by traditional German markets, the pretty wooden chalets, enchanting nativity scene and open-air ice rink make for the perfect family day out.

York

15 November – 23 December

With a beautiful medieval backdrop, York Christmas Festival boasts stalls bursting with local produce, ice skating and even festive pantomimes.

Check out the market stalls of St. Nicholas Fair, explore the alpine chalets on Parliament Street or sample food and drink at St Sampson’s Square with tasty treats such as hot chestnuts and warm mulled wine.

Lincoln

6 December – 9 December

Voted the third best Christmas market by Booking.com, Lincoln Christmas market is set in the heart of the medieval city.

The historic and enchanting gothic cathedral makes the perfect backdrop to the 200 stalls there are to explore – offering everything from handmade presents to hand-poured candles, hand-crafted wooden toys and locally created art, as well as excellent fresh produce from the local area.

London

22 November – 6 January

Although the capital offers numerous Christmas markets, the King of them all is undoubtedly Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

This Christmas extravaganza is a festive event not to be missed with market stalls, Santa Land, funfair rides and an ice kingdom. This year there are new attractions including Ice Sculpting Workshops and Peter Pan On Ice. The Magical Ice Kingdom is returning with a sparkling new theme – “The Secret Forest”.

Bath

22 November – 9 December

Bath’s Christmas Market is brimming with local designers showing off their artisan products making it the perfect place to find unique homeware, Christmas decorations and special gifts for your loved ones across 180 twinkling chalets.

There are sights and smells throughout to satisfy any appetite, including burgers, hog roasts and mulled wine.

Cardiff

15 November – 23 December

Cardiff Christmas Market has been around for over 20 years and offers an alternative shopping experience. Each year, there is an extensive rolling programme of over 200 individual businesses selling a wide variety of diverse arts and crafts interspersed with seasonal food and drink. Make a day of it, buy someone something special and enjoy some delicious and heart-warming Welsh cuisine.

Birmingham

15 November – 23 December

Birmingham German Christmas Market was ranked the fifth best Christmas market in the UK by travel website Booking.com.

Stalls can be found scattered around the Victoria Square and New Street areas. If you’re looking for the ultimate German market experience, this is the place to visit, due to its close ties with Frankfurt, with Pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds as well as glühwein, weissbeer, or hot chocolate all there to tempt your taste buds.

Swansea

16 November to 20 December

At Swansea Christmas Market there are over 40 traders offering a fantastic selection of arts, crafts, fine foods, beautiful decorations and unique gifts. There’s also a selection of festive food to fuel you up and a Christmas Bar where you can relax with a mulled wine.

There’s also a Christmas Parade and Waterfront Wonderland. Fill your day with ice-skating, Santa’s Grotto, a fun fair, and scrumptious food from the Alpine dining cabins. The Swansea Christmas Express and Father Christmas himself are just some of the many exciting things to see during the parade.

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How to win the lottery — 7-time lottery winner shares 5 important tips

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Incredible as it may seem,the odds of matching all the winning Powerball numbers are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. It means you’re much more likely to date a supermodel, get bitten by a shark, become the president of the United States, get struck by lightning, amongst other incredible feats than win the lottery.

However, despite the high odds of winning the lottery once, Richard Lustig has won the seven lottery grand prizes. Due to the rarity of his feat, Lustig wrote a book titled: Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery, where he discusses the do’s and don’ts of playing the lottery and how to better your odds of winning the lottery.

Here are some of the useful tips shared by Lustig to better your chances of winning the lottery.

1.  Avoid “quick-pick” numbers that are autogenerated from the stores

While it might appear like every number carries an equal amount of “luck” in the quick pick method, but according to Lustig, it is advisable to not be lured by this.

“Every time you buy a quick pick, you get a different set of numbers; therefore, your odds are always going to be at their worst in that particular game, whatever game you’re playing. In this case, the hype, of course, is all about the Powerball right now,” said Lustig in a Forbes interview.

2.  Exhaust all your options

For many people who play the lottery, they typically limit their choices to “special dates” like anniversaries, birth month and dates and the likes.

While these dates carry precious memories, choosing them means you’re limiting yourself to less than half the numbers available from 1 through 31. Therefore, ensure you exhaust all of your options in terms of picking numbers.

“If you pick your own numbers and only play birthdays and anniversaries, you’re splitting the pot with 20-40 people. If you spread the numbers out across the whole track, you’ll either be the only winner or will split it with only one or two people,” said Lustig.

3.  Ensure you stick with your guts

In his book, Lustig recommended a specific way to find the numbers that you’re most comfortable with, but ultimately, never go back on a group of numbers that you believe would win you the jackpot.

“Remember, a set of numbers wins the grand prize, not individual numbers,” notes Lustig.

Therefore, while it is alright to repeat one or two numbers, it is necessary when playing multiple cards to have enough variety when grouping selected numbers. Doing this helps maximize your odds.

4. Maintain consistency

If you want to increase your chances of winning a particular game, it is important to consistently follow past and future drawings to get an insightinto the winning patterns—if any.

“Never miss a drawing in the game you’re playing. Every Saturday, every Wednesday, every week,” said Lustig.

5.  Know your limits and don’t be carried away

Winning the jackpot can be a life-changing experience for not only you but your loved ones, however, it is important not to invest so much money into lottery tickets than you’re willing to lose.

While buying 100 tickets gives you a better chance that buying 10, but only do this if you’re able to afford a loss—as lottery tickets are not a regular investment.

“One of the things that I preach to people all the time is budget, budget, budget,” Lustig says. “Set a budget of what you’re going to spend. Do not get caught up in what’s called lottery fever”

“Don’t spend grocery money. Don’t spend rent money. Figure out what you can afford to spend. Don’t worry about how much Joe Blow down the street is spending. … Figure out what your budget is, what you can comfortably afford to spend, and stay within that budget,” he continued.

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48 hours in . . . Bruges, an insider guide to Belgium’s city on water

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Little Bruges, the perfect pocket-sized medieval city, was a Sleeping Beauty. Laced with canals, it was one of the great North European trading ports in late medieval times. The magnificently detailed paintings of its artists, such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, record its wealth in clothing, jewellery and ornament. Then it fell rapidly into decline and slept until rediscovered and restored to glory in the 19th century.

Today its new riches are in tourism, carefully managed and constantly refreshed by year-round cultural events, so that it retains the dynamism of a living city. The best way to appreciate all this is to stay a few days, luxuriating in the dreamily romantic boutique hotels, and visiting the rewarding museums and churches at your leisure. Above all, this is a place to walk and wonder, and there are still plenty of quiet corners to discover, where historic Bruges sleeps on.

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Europe’s most incredible cosy cabins for watching the Northern Lights

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The Northern Lights are a phenomenon likely to appear on the wish, bucket or to-do list of any intrepid traveller. And what better way to experience them in Europe than by bunking down in cosy cabins, surrounded by miles of forest, still water or the peaks of mountains. They might be pared-back but still boast polished elements, whether it’s a heated hot tub in Sweden, an ‘igloo’ extension in Norway or a glass roof above your bed in Finland. Nothing distracts as the Aurora Borealis flames across the sky – curl up under a blanket and take a look inside. . .

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