Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: I want a UK Christmas holiday without the Christmas celebrations

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Q My sister has asked me to try and find her a Christmas holiday in the UK where Christmas is not celebrated.

Barry Bray

A Go north. Of the nations that make up the UK, Scotland is least afflicted by the Christmas closedown; there is even a Sunday service of trains running on Boxing Day in the Glasgow area, and the Willow Tea Rooms on Buchanan Street is open on 26 December.

If your sister aims for a distant island such as Rona or Carna, she should find hardly a soul. But the best compromise between escapism and comfort is probably to be found on the Knoydart Peninsula, a wilderness accessible from Mallaig by ferry and with a range of places to stay: ideal for a few days' peace and serenity. See the story I wrote - at - for information and, I hope, inspiration.

Additional research by Emma Munbodh

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