England Trip: Christmas 2013

It’s no secret that I went to England over the Christmas period.

There is something really magical about the UK at Christmas time, I have yet to experience the same coziness and Christmas spirit in Canada. Saying that, Canada is usually too cold to allow for collective, outdoor fun times, unless you are happy to brave seriously brutal minus temperatures.


It was delightful celebrating in the UK with my family, it was the first time since 2009 that we had spent time together at Christmas.

Christmas in the UK is awkward, things close, tourism isn’t at its best but there’s still so much to love. The festivities seep through everything from the incessant Christmas music to the roasted chestnuts sold on street corners. In the end, The Canadian and I rented a car and split time between visiting my family and friends and exploring Yorkshire, this included a quick trip to Ilkley to see the Moors and pick up macaroons and egg custards from Betty’s.

We flew from Ottawa just before a massive ice storm, so we spent 10 hours (with delays) in Philadelphia. Turns out The Canadian comes in handy, occasionally, and we managed to get access to the business lounge as part of a military appreciation program and/or the efforts of the lovely receptionist who took one look at our exhausted faces and took pity on us. It was definitely a good way to spend a 10 hour layover.

We had a lot of fun in Leeds and Yorkshire, generally. I will be posting more photos from our trip (and, eventually, a video!), so I won’t go into too much detail here, but here are the photos from the ‘good’ camera.

One of the many, many things I love about Yorkshire is the large number of small towns and quirky history. When we were little, my mum was always taking us to Hebden Bridge to visit the clog factory and post letters to Santa (there was a Christmas themed exhibit), so it seemed only fitting that I share a little of that with The Canadian. Unfortunately, many of the museums and exhibits have since shut down but there was still so much to share about the area, especially the old fashioned railway station and signs.

¬†Although the entire experience was amazing, it really was getting to spend time with one of my besties that made it all perfect. My sister and I have quite a significant age gap, and, once we got over the whole ‘older sibling’ /bossy thing, we seemed to have developed quite the wonderful friendship.

When I first told her I’d be visiting for Christmas, her first response was ‘board games are going to get played!’. We played 3 games of Monopoly and I was shamed into realising that I am no longer any good at this game. I still put that down to the freely flowing alcohol and The Canadian’s sneaky ways of beating us both, multiple times. He just sits there quietly and wins, with no warning whatsoever. not cool.

I am so grateful for those Christmas memories. In the past few years, I have missed out on so many beautiful experiences and this Christmas was really needed. I wanted to spend time with my, now grown up, sisters and be a part of my adult-family holiday, and the opportunity afforded to me leaves me feeling very lucky.

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