Around the UK

  • @simonekane

1. Until 6 January, join the fun at the Christmas Family Festival in the grounds of the Sandringham estate in Norfolk (norfolkchristmasfestival. Ice skating, a twice-daily pantomime, husky dog sleigh rides, circus workshops and a fun fair promise to keep the family amused.

2. Festive Fright Fest is a seasonal twist on the City of the Dead guided ghost tours of Edinburgh, taking in Greyfriars Graveyard, where Dickens was inspired to create Ebenezer Scrooge ( Suitable for children accompanied by an adult, meet at 7.30pm or 8.30pm nightly at the City of the Dead sign, St Giles' Cathedral on the Royal Mile or book in advance (0131-225 9044).

3. For a different take on New Year celebrations, head for the annualAllendale Tar Baal Fire in Northumberland tomorrow ( Guisers (tar barrel men) in pagan costume parade through the town with lit tar barrels which they throw on a pyre to say goodbye to the old year. Then the streets come alive with music and dancing.

4. Experience public transport from yesteryear on King Alfred Buses Running Day, left, which takes place in Winchester on New Year's Day ( uk). Enjoy a free ride on one of the restored heritage buses and coaches and take a look at the collection of transport memorabilia.

5. The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich will be paying tribute to Admiral Lord Nelson, left, with Nelson's Navy, a free family event on Saturday and Sunday ( Kids can learn what life was like aboard one of Nelson's ships. They can even enlist and get a certificate to prove it.