Rachel Recommends… January Bargains

At this time of year many of us are feeling the pinch from an expensive festive season, so splurging yet more cash on days out or indeed weekends away might seem frivolous. Well my frugal friends, allow me to let you in on a little secret that will help to banish those new year blues… January is actually the perfect month to grab a bargain in some of the UK’s best restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions. Britain’s famous January sales aren’t exclusive to the high street you know, check out these great money saving offers, but hurry, (puts OTT advertising voice on) ‘These deals must end soon’!!!

Merlin Annual Pass – January Sale

Merlin operate dozens of attractions including Legoland, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Madame Tussauds, Alton Towers, Blackpool Tower and the London Eye.

EDF Energy London Eye operated by Merlin

Invest in annual pass and there’ll never be a dull moment! There are two types to choose from, ‘standard’ and ‘premium’, both offer entry to the attractions and perks like discounts at food outlets but the latter also include free parking and less date restrictions.

Me and Babs at Madame Tussauds

There are discounts on all annual passes until the end of January with savings of up to £74pp. I would head straight to Alton Towers with mine, I’ve not been there for years but always loved the white knuckle rides. I’d also be keen to return to Blackpool Tower where I had a very short but sweet visit earlier this year and was blown away by the ornate ballroom.

NE1 Presents Newcastle Restaurant Week

My good intentions to lose weight in January always go out of the window when NE1 (promoters of Newcastle City Centre) launch Restaurant Week. Seven days of fine dining at the most drool-worthy eateries my home town has to offer! The deals are just as mouth watering as the menus too, £10 for two course or £15 for three courses, some even include wine!

A lovely lunch from Marco Pierre White in Newcastle

This is great value when you consider that a three course meal at some of the participating restaurants would usually set you back about £30 – £45. This year, NE1 has some fabulous new restaurants taking part like the recently opened Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill (I went there for a pre-Christmas treat and both the food and service were fabulous). You’ll also find old favourites on the list like the highly acclaimed Blackfriars Restaurant, and when I say ‘old favourite’ that’s because not only is it hugely popular but it also claims to be oldest dining room in Britain! So make sure you head to Newcastle city centre 21-27th January.

Get in to London Theatre 2013

I love the theatre, ever since I was little girl standing in the chorus line of my local panto I’ve been smitten! So for me, no trip to London is complete without a visit to the West End but my budget doesn’t always stretch to the big shows. That’s where ‘Get in to London Theatre’ comes in… this unique ticket promotion gives you the chance to see ‘Big Shows at Small Prices’.

There’s a simple pricing structure starting at just £10 for shows between the 1st of January till the 15th of February. The website allows you to search by price or by show so you can work out the best deal for you. There are still £10 tickets available for Monty Python’s Spamalot which had me roaring with laughter when it came to the North East a few years back. So go on, grab a bargain and banish those winter blues!

All images by Rachel Kershaw.

Rachel Kershaw is 31 and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne but is originally from Rochdale. With parents who have never even owned passports, it was inevitable that Rachel would fall in love with holidays in Britain. It was her genuine passion that saw her win the opportunity to be VisitEngland’s Fan in a Van in summer 2012 – an adventure that involved ten weeks on the road in a vintage VW camper blogging about everything from bungee jumping, hot air ballooning and surfing to visiting museums, zoos and numerous British eateries! What a lucky lady!

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