The history of pub names
History-lover and GetOutside Champion Mary-Ann Ochota explores some of the history behind Britain's much loved pub names – and ways that you can tell what's occurred in the years before.
Get crafty for Christmas with these outdoorsy festive decoration ideas – suitable for the whole family!
One of the loveliest things about Christmas is the opportunity to incorporate natural elements into the decoration of the home: holly with its shiny green leaves and fat, red berries as a centrepiece on the dining table; fresh-scented pine branches slung over the mantelpiece and that clichéd but oh-so-essential sprig of mistletoe hanging above the door.
If you’re looking for some new, outdoorsy ideas – possibly ones that the whole family can create – then we thought we’d share a few of our favourite homemade Christmas decorations for inspiration.
At this time of year, you shouldn’t have too many problems finding some pine cones lying about on the ground. With some twine and your imagination, you can transform them into Christmas elves, angels or Father Christmas himself.
You can use spray paint to add colour or shimmer, or a simpler variation is simply to string the pinecone with twine or ribbon and hang as is – trés chic.
This staple part of (now) the Christmas menu is thought to have originated with German Pagans, who possibly burned a real log to symbolise the return of the sun and the lengthening of the days at the Winter Solstice. Though few of us have open fires these days, you can make your own and illuminate it with candles.
You can use as many or as few candles as you wish and arrange the greenery as you like. To add the effect of snow, spray with some flame resistant paint or sprinkle with icing sugar. Do make sure that you only take a log and greenery that have already fallen or are from your own garden.
You see these a lot in coastal areas – particularly in the Southwest, where driftwood regularly washes up smooth on the beaches. Embrace your coastal location and create this environmentally-friendly tree alternative
You can string lights on the tree or cover with lametta, maybe even with a few of the fabric trees mentioned above - just remember the tree can only bear light weights.
A quick search online will reveal hundreds of great ideas for homemade decorations, each of which will help you bring the outdoors inside and render the shop bought stuff useless! Go on, bring back the real spirit of Christmas this year and make your own!