Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s time to get your Christmas tunes lined up…

Here at Darwin Escapes, we absolutely love Christmas and that means it’s time to start getting the decorations and Christmas tree up and most importantly start playing the best Christmas songs!

In our search for Christmas playlists we were left disappointed, so we thought why not create our very own ultimate Christmas playlist with carefully selected festive tunes approved by us all at DE HQ for both us and all of you to listen to.

From Christmas classics like Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, through to more recent tunes like The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York and The Darkness’ Christmas Time, we’ve got everything covered! So, if you love Christmas as much as we do, have a listen of our Ultimate Christmas Playlist.

The Ultimate Christmas Playlist on Spotify

Get yourself into the Christmas spirit and listen to our 30 carefully selected Christmas tunes…

We’ve not forgotten those of you without Spotify…

Fear not, we’ve also added our Christmas playlist to Youtube for those of who don’t have Spotify or prefer the video watching platform, check it out below!

And there you have it, our Ultimate Christmas Playlist to get you in the festive spirit! Did your favourite xmas song make the playlist, what would you add? Let us know…

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Christmas is here! It’s time to get the decs down and start getting into the Christmas spirit! We’ve picked out the best Christmas songs for you to listen to as you’re putting your decs up!

We all have our favourite Christmas songs that we like to listen and sing along to during the festive period. After much debate, the Christmas lovers here at DE HQ have managed to put together a list of what we believe to be the top 10 Christmas songs of all time. Take a look below and listen to our favourite picks!

 

01. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues


02. White Christmas – Bing Crosby


03. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley


04. Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie


05. Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano


06. Last Christmas – Wham!


07. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea


08. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid


09. Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade


10. Step into Christmas – Elton John

Voila, our top 10 Christmas songs of all time! But, do you need more Christmas tunes to get you in the festive spirit? You’re in luck, we’ve created an Ultimate Christmas Playlist in our post here.

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Do you love Christmas movies as much as we do? We’ve put together a list of what we think are the best Christmas movies

The festive season is coming around so quickly this year and what better way is there to get yourself in the Christmas spirit than watching some much loved Christmas movies? We’ve done the hard work for you and put together a list of what we believe to be the best films to watch during the build-up to 25th December.

Carry on reading to see what we think are the Best Christmas Movies to help get you in the festive spirit this year!

 

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol

The traditional tale of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol with a Muppets’ comedic twist. With Michael Cain as Ebenezer Scrooge and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s hardworking and unfortunate clerk, it is an absolute must watch during the festive period.

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2. White Christmas

A Christmas movie classic starring crooner, Bing Crosby. White Christmas follows the tale of two showmen and a sister act’s attempt to save a former army commander’s failing holiday inn by putting on the Christmas musical performance of a lifetime.

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3. Santa Clause The Movie

An 80’s classic, telling Santa’s tale of going from delivering toys to one small ancient village to becoming an icon delivering presents to all children worldwide. Starring Dudley Moore as Patch the elf who unintentionally puts the spirit of Christmas on the line by helping a deceitful New York businessman.

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4. Home Alone

A true fun family favourite film, with Macaulay Culkin playing Kevin McAllister who’s parents forget about him, leaving home alone whilst on a family trip to Paris. Deciding to try and still have a jolly Christmas by himself, Kevin ends up having to confront some dastardly burglars in the process.

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5. The Grinch

Jim Carrey’s interpretation of Dr Seuss’ Grinch is unforgettably funny and heartwarming. The Christmas loathing green Grinch decides to ruin Christmas for all the festive residents of Whoville, until he meets loveable Cindy Lou Who, causing him to have a change of heart (his heart literally grows twice the size).

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6. Elf

This heartwarming comedy follows the adventures of Buddy the Elf, portrayed by Will Ferrell, as he embarks on a journey to the big apple to find his father after growing up in the North Pole with Santa and his elves. This Christmas film is sure to provide laughter for the whole family.

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7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, wants to make sure his children and wife have the perfect Christmas, until he gets an unexpected visit from his hillbilly cousin and as you can imagine things don’t run so smoothly. The only thing keeping Griswold going is his expected Christmas bonus, but will he get it? This farce comedy will definitely entertain all ages.

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8. Fred Claus

And finally, one of my personal favourite Christmas movies, Fred Claus focuses on Santa’s resentful brother, Fred, played by Vince Vaughn. The hilarious comedy is based around Santa and Fred’s turbulent sibling relationship, it eventually all comes down to Fred to save Christmas, but will he do it?!

 

So there you have it, a complete list of our top 8 Christmas movies. What do you think? Did any of your personal favourites make the list?

Why not start a new Christmas tradition this year and watch your favourite Christmas films in your very own holiday home? Darwin Escapes offers holiday home ownership at 8 gorgeous holiday resorts across the UK. To find out more about holiday home ownership with Darwin Escapes call our helpful team on 0800 717 707 or talk to an advisor via our live chat.

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Adults like to be spooked on Halloween just as much as children right? Well here is the ultimate list of adult fright nights 2019 to get your adrenaline going…

If you’re interested in an adult fright night experience the DE HQ have braved the perils of searching the web for the ultimate live scare events in the UK. We searched through endless clowns, monsters and zombies to find these frightful events near our locations – so you can book your event and accommodation all in one go!

Read on to find the best live scare adult attraction near you this Halloween…

Fright Nights

At: Thorpe Park / When: 28th – 3rd Nov / Open times vary / Prices: £55 day pass

Thorpe Park is back with its award-winning adult fright night event with 2 brand new experiences in 2019. Hold your nerve at the 20 minute, utterly frightening, Terror at Amity High show, where you’re invited to the prom but will you survive the brutal vampires who are out for your blood? Or maybe Creak Freak Massacre is more your speed, where you’ll enter the abandoned Creek Woods Saw Mill and get around the unhinged resident family of lumberjacks. Other live scare attractions include Platform 15, Do or Die and Screamplexx, with so many more to give you the fright of your life this Halloween!

Nearest Location: Tilford Woods Lodge Retreat

FEAR Scream Park

At: Avon Valley / When: 18th Oct – 2nd Nov / Times: 6pm – 11pm / Prices from £13.50

FEAR was voted the UK’s Best Scream Park 2018 and is one of the most popular fright night events. There are 4 returning scare attractions for FEAR fans which are X4, Anarchy Live, Phobia: Rebirth and House of Clowns. But a new terrifying scare maze will be live this year and enter at your own peril! As well as the attractions, soak up the screams from the Halloween Festival of Freakalicious, which has immersive street theatre, fire dancers, an escape room, stilt walkers and fairground rides.

Nearest Location: Bath Mill Lodge Retreat

Adult Fright Night: Scare by Night

At: The BIG Sheep / When: 24th, 26th, 29th & 31st Oct / Times: 6pm – 10pm / £8.50 per person

The 2019 event holds more live actors, more gore and more screams at The BIG Sheep, where you can see your nightmares coming to life. The Haunted Hayride is back to take you on a journey through the Gates of Hell, where dreadful demons are inflicting suffering on lost souls. The Haunted House is brand new for 2019 and is upping this adult fright night scare factor with each having an interactive terror waiting just for you! Jump on the Hell Train if you dare, then tackle Arachnophobia and the Twister Terror ride. This is a very popular event in Devon so make sure to get your tickets today.

Nearest Location: Beach Cove Coastal Retreat

Screamland

At: Dreamland / When: 18th Oct – 1st Nov / Times vary / Standard: £27 Fast Track: £42

Every year Screamland outdoes itself and 2019 is no exception, with interactive actors, sideshows and twisted mazes to scare you. This year they’ve teamed up with Hamer Horror, one of the most famous names in horror for the brand new Woman in Black attraction where you’ll find some of the horrors most infamous characters. Each scare attraction has a completely different experience to scare everyone, with other live scare attractions including the frightful Condemned Carnival, The Brotherhood and Submerged.

Nearest Location: Canterbury Reach Lodge Retreat.

Fright Fest

At: Poltimore Manor / When: 25th – 26th Oct / Times: 6pm – 11pm / Tickets to be released

In its first year, Fright Fest is sure to be a terrifying fright night in Exeter with a guided tour of the haunted Poltimore Manor. Explore the history through a scary horror maze, learn about the manor and how it ended up in a dilapidated state, but you won’t be alone… There will also be music and entertainment all night, including food vendors and a bar.

Nearest Location: Hawkchurch Resort & Spa

Hallowscream

At: York Maze / When: 11th Oct – 2nd Nov / Times: 6.30pm – 11.30pm / Ticket prices vary

Back with a bang, Hallowscream has over 100 actors and 5 separate live action haunted houses, as well as stage shows and creepy characters roaming around the maze. Based on a farm, legend tells us there was an awful tragedy 1873 and every year on Halloween the restless souls return to find who’s responsible. Head to the live scare attraction 2073 and get thrown into a ‘post Trump’ nuclear apocalypse, where zombies are running free and society has broken down. Corny’s Carnival has had a terrifying update, including shrinking rooms, rooms that spin and defy gravity, all filled with demonic clowns and mind blowing illusions!

Nearest Location: Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club

Terror Island

At: Blackgang Chine / When: 19th Oct – 2nd Nov / Times: 6pm – 10pm / Prices: £23.50 per person

Terror Island lets you explore one of the Isle of Wight’s most popular attractions in a fantastically frightful way! This adult fright night includes 3 terrifying attractions, The Blood Shed is a serial killers secret hideaway of rotting cabins and half human incumbents. The ancient spirits of the sea are angry with St Catherine’s Lighthouse and are out for vengeance and blood. A Pagan deity has invoked a hex on mankind in Hexcavation after being unearthed during an archaeological excavation. As well as the live scare attractions making you scream, there are two rides available, Cliff Hanger and Waterforce, along with tarot card readings, street food, entertainment and a DJ.

Nearest Location: Woodside Coastal Retreat

Ffear Fforest

At: Zip World / When: 25th – 31st Oct / Times: 7.30pm – 9.30pm / Prices: £25 per person

Head to the famous Zip World for a fantastic fright night in the wild! There will be scary characters hiding all over the woods, go for a ride on the Cursed Coaster and twist through the forest with a spooky surprise trying to steal your soul at every corner. Your ticket also gives you access to The Nets where you’ll bounce your way through the jungle while trying to survive an attack of the clowns in Europe’s longest net walkway. Are you brave enough to try Nightfall? A killer clown will be waiting at the bottom of a trapdoor just for you…

Nearest Location: New Pines Holiday Home Park

Farmageddon

At: Ormskirk / When: Selected date / Times: 7pm – 11pm / Prices vary depending on date

A terrifying and very popular adult fright night is waiting for you this Halloween. Brand new for 2019 is the Zombie Arms Freakston Brewery, where you can go after the 4 live scare attractions to slow your heart rate and enjoy the entertainment, including fire dancers, stage shows, music and high rise silk displays. The Zombie Outlaw attraction is a fantastic paintball experience where you’ll shoot anything that moves and stay away from the zombies. The Meat Locker will leave you running from Malachi’s slaughterhouse, as he’s found a way to be immortal by the consumption of human flesh, and it’s yours he wants next. Contagion will play with your mind as the insane clowns and freakish ghouls look to catch you and devour you. Welcome to Farmageddon!

Nearest Location: Talacre Beach Resort

Adult Only Fright Nights

At: Pirates Quest / When: Available All Year / Prices: £12.95 / Call to Book 01637 873379

A very popular walkthrough experience in Newquay. You can experience a real life horror movie Halloween, explore the Cavens and caves, while always on the lookout for those disease ridden Pirates, who are more than happy to get up close and personal with you! You’ll be entering a fully immersive, live scare walkthrough, sure to frighten you, while trying to navigate the dark and dank Pirate’s caves.
Nearest Location: Piran Meadows Resort

So have you found your live scare event for Halloween from our ultimate guide to the top 10 adult fright night attractions in the UK? Let us know which one you visit…and good luck!

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This year we thought we’d weigh in on the Christmas advert debate, having been inspired by the wonderful John Lewis 2018 Christmas advert

By now you will have seen the John Lewis 2018 Christmas advert, who partnered with another British icon, Elton John (if not, take a look at this and all the other festive ads here). The retail giant tugged on the heart strings of the nation again this year with a story about how a gift is more than gift, with a little boy getting a piano for Christmas and it completely inspiring and changing the course of his life, the little boy is Elton John, and the gift was from his mum and his nan, who encouraged his talent.

We loved this message and it’s similar to our own, below we’ve jumped on the band-wagon and created our own version of the Christmas advert, have a watch about all the reasons why a caravan is more than just a caravan.

A caravan is somewhere you can escape to, your sanctuary away from the daily grind, where your kids can learn to swim and make friends who they will grow up with. It’s a place where you can have some quality family time together and relax, it really is your home away from home.

You’ll be joining a community of owners who will become your friends, you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy delicious food, take advantage of all facilities as often as you’d like and explore the local areas with your family.

A caravan is more than a caravan, the same way a gift is more than a gift. The power of a gift can inspire a career, the power of owning a holiday home can help you relax and explore new areas with your family!

Why not start a new tradition with us this year? Give yourself the gift of a caravan, an escape from the daily grind and see how it inspires and changes your life!

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What’s your favourite Christmas dessert? DE HQ have found the top 4 most popular Christmas desserts in the UK, did yours make the cut? (get it?!)

Christmas dinner is the time of year everyone waits for (or is that just me?) but what sets the meal off just right, is the dessert, when you have a good Christmas dessert, your evening is sorted. Does your family have a traditional dessert that you crack open once a year to gorge on? Or are you an adventurous lot and try something new every year?
Darwin Escapes HQ are all about the desserts, so we thought we would share our top 4 Christmas desserts with you all during this festive season…

Christmas Pudding

This is a traditional British dessert, originating from Medieval England with one of the earliest recipes found in a book written by Mary Kettilby in 1714! The custom of having a Christmas pudding was passed on to different part of the world by British colonists, and it is has become a common dessert in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Republic of Ireland. Traditionally a penny will be inside the pudding for you to find (be careful not to swallow it!), if you wanted to make it from scratch, follow this recipe.

Trifle

An English dessert made with fruit, which has become a popular Christmas dessert over the years. The bottom of the trifle is jelly, with a thin layer of sponge fingers (usually soaked in sherry), then a layer of custard and topped with whipped cream (the best bit). There are various versions of a trifle, from strawberry to a full chocolate version, and if you’re a Friends fan, you’ll know all about Rachel’s shepherd’s pie mix up! Avoid that horrible mistake and follow this recipe for a meat-free trifle.

Yule Log

This delicious treat is a traditional Christmas dessert in Belgium, Switzerland, France and former French colonies. Usually made from a sponge cake, which is iced and then rolled up before being topped with chocolate icing, a fork is then lightly dragged through the icing, to create a bark effect with powdered icing dusted on the top to create ‘snow’, all helping to make it resemble a miniature yule log. It is then decorated, usually with berries and sometimes with miniature ornaments to create a Christmas scene! Try the traditional recipe here.

Black Forest Gateau

Consisting of 3 layers of chocolate sponge cake (starting off well here), they are sandwiched with whipped cream and cherries. As well as being infused with speciality German liquor, called Shcwarzwalder Kirsch, from which the gateau takes its name, however other countries may change the alcohol used, or include no alcohol at all. The gateau is then decorated with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and maraschino cherries. This was a staple Christmas dessert for my family growing up! Take a crack at creating this beauty by following this recipe.

Is your favourite Christmas dessert in our top 4 list? Everyone has that one dessert that reminds them of the festive season, whether you gorge yourself on all the mince pies or splurge on a professionally made cake, we’d love to hear about your Christmas dessert tradition!

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our resorts in England and Wales are open. Please note, the opening times for all facilities and bistros/restaurants are subject to change throughout the 2021 season. All visitors and guests are asked to follow all government advice relating to Covid-19 whilst at our resorts.

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