Twixmas travel ideas and deals

Canny travellers know there’s value on offer in the traditionally ‘quiet’ period between Christmas and New Year. Here are 12 trips for Twixmas, both home and away


Three for two in Kerry
Enjoy luxury for less at the Sheen Falls Lodge in Kerry. Stay two nights B&B in a deluxe room, including three-course dinner on two evenings, and get a third night’s B&B free. Call it a late Christmas pressie, especially as two kids can share B&B free too, leaving you only to pay for their additional meals. The package, December 27th-29th, costs €695.

Jackpot at Leopardstown
Combine five-star rest and five-star recreation with a racing package from the Merrion Hotel in Dublin. The city centre hotel has top notch tickets to Leopardstown’s Christmas Racing Festival (December 26th-29th) plus overnight B&B from €201 pps. Stay even closer to the action at Bewleys Hotel in Leopardstown which has deals from €49.50 pps B&B, including admission ticket and racecourse transfers.;

Yule recovery in Marlfield
Magical Marlfield House in Gorey, Co Wexford has a three-night post-Christmas recovery package including afternoon tea, B&B accommodation, plus its three-course supper menu one evening and its five-course table d’hote the next. It’s available December 27th-30th, for €716 – about 20 per cent less than you’d pay in the summer.

Unplugged in Tullamore
If you’re in the market for entertainment that doesn’t revolve around television schedules, head to Offaly for an evening’s music with Sharon Shannon, Mary Coughlan and Francis Black at the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore, on Friday December 27th. Stay on a B&B basis including evening meal and ticket to the gig from €115 pps. Recover next day inside the Egg – a starlit orb in the hotel’s spa that offers total peace and relaxation for the festive fatigued.

Take a hike in Carlow
Brush away the Christmas cobwebs and stretch those lazy legs along the banks of the river Barrow and the foothills of Mount Leinster with a walking break at the Step House Hotel in Borris. Its Festive Treat Twixmas deal includes a glass of bubbly, one night’s B&B and evening meal for two from €129 per person.

Oh yes you should . . .
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the panto. If you were too busy in the run up to the big day, Twixmas is the time to put the matter to rights. The Limerick Strand Hotel has a panto package that includes tickets for Aladdin at the University Concert Hall, Limerick. Stay two nights B&B in a family room including panto tickets for €95 per adult sharing. Kids under 12 share free, and you get a 10 per cent discount on all other meals at the hotel during your stay.

Hit the shops in Galway
Head to the Meyrick, the grand old dame of Eyre Square, for a three-night Twixmas package, perfect for bagging a bargain around the corner on Shop Street. Available December 28th-30th, it includes B&B plus an evening meal on the night of your choice, from €289 pps.

Make the most of the hotel spa and the outdoor Canadian hot tub and you’ll be fresh as a daisy for the New
Catch a match in London
Abbey Travel has packages for Spurs V Stoke and Chelsea V Liverpool (both December 29th) from €219 and €329 respectively. The prices include one night in a three-star central London hotel and guaranteed match ticket. At time of writing Ryanair has return flights to suit from €83. Extra nights at the hotel cost €70 per person.

Luxury in Manchester
Stay a minimum of three nights at the super chic Lowry Hotel in Manchester (okay, Greater Manchester, it’s actually Salford) and have 25 per cent lopped off the bill in honour of the season that’s in it. The deal means B&B rates starts at just £138 (€165) a night for a double – great value for a five-star hotel.

Team at the theme park
Take advantage of the seasonal lack of queues at Alton Towers. Perfect for under 12s, it is running a festive package (December 27th-30th) that includes a night in one of its themed hotels, breakfast and a selection of park rides, plus entry to its Waterpark and evening entertainment, from £37.50 per person, based on four sharing. At time of writing Dublin/Holyhead ferry fares including car, two adults and two kids cost just over €400 over the same period.;
Be illuminated in Paris
Discover the real reason they call Paris the City of Light: spend a few days gawping at the illuminations along the Champs Elysees, Place Vendôme and Avenue Montaigne as well as the gorgeously decorated department stores. Hire skates at the public ice rinks, take a spin on one of the merry-go-rounds and browse the Christmas markets that stay open until early January. Three nights at the Crowne Plaza Place de la Republique (December 27th-30th) costs from €531, a saving of €220 on the prices at New Year.

Swap turkey for Turkey
For a different perspective, head to Istanbul for the post-Christmas period. Exclusive Escapes has a Twixmas package including a half day’s private guide for tours of the Blue Mosque, Imperial Treasury and Topkapi Palace. Hit all price points in a shopping trip from the designer boutiques to the Grand Bazaar and then sit back and watch the boats sail past from the Sumahan on the Water, a boutique hotel. Relax in the hammam or just curl up by the fire with a book. It’s a post-Christmas tonic from €1,200 pps, including flights and transfers.

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