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Most of us have far too much stuff. While a new phone/perfume/bag/book is certainly a treat, it’s likely not really needed.
So, if you’re keen to buy less things this year, an experience is a great shout.
Whether you’re shopping for an animal-lover, adventure-seeker or someone in need of some serious R&R, there’s an experience to suit everyone.
From soaking up unforgettable views in a hot air balloon, driving a supercar at high speed or enjoying an afternoon tea with a twist, here’s our round-up of experiences that will beat any other present this Christmas - and leave your loved with one many happy memories.
The Champneys Spa Day | £99 (per person)
For that one person who needs some TLC, why not treat them to a spa day? Champneys is the ultimate relaxing getaway.
You can spend a day of R&R at the Henlow Grange Luxury Spa Resort in Bedfordshire for only £99.
The day includes unlimited use of spa facilities including the steam room, sauna and pool, plus a three-course buffet lunch and welcome drink.
The National Trust Pass | £72 (per person)
If you know someone who loves pottering around gorgeous, old properties and exploring beautifully manicured grounds, this is the present to buy.
A National Trust membership gives you entry to over 500 unforgettable places in the UK, from historic houses and castles such as Lindisfarn Castle or Clivedon House to walking around Stourhead’s lake or the grounds of Hanbury Hall.
The Ultimate Zoo Experience | £99 (for two people)
Take a zoo trip to the next level with the ultimate ZSL Zoo experience.
Two adults can explore the famous London zoo filled with over 650 animals and critters all day long and finish off the day with a dinner at Camden’s Asian fusion restaurant, Inamo.
For The Art Enthusiast | £70 (per person)
For the art lover in your life purchase a National Art Pass. They will gain access to over 240 museums and galleries, including the Tate, V&A and Museum of Scotland. Plus, get 50% off entry to major exhibitions in 2020, including Bridget Riley, William Blake and Olafur Eliasson.
The Hot Air Balloon Ride | £99 (per person)
For the adventure-seeker in your life, why not purchase the gift of a hot air balloon flight?
Available from seven locations in the UK, including Devon, Cornwall and Norfolk, the sunrise voyage will see you soar to heights of up to 3,000 feet and soak in the unforgettable views of Britain.
The Ultimate Racing Driver Experience | £79 (per person)
Always wanted to drive a supercar at high speed? Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to drive three elite supercars (car options include Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mustang and Aston Martin) for three miles each, topped off with a high speed passenger ride.
The experience is available in 37 locations around the UK.
The Gin Masterclass | £99 (for two people)
Experience London’s highest gin masterclass at The Shard with epic views over London from level 68.
You can taste three varieties of premium gin during the 60-minute class.
If you’re feeling brave you can then head up to level 72 for panoramic sights from the open-top viewing platform.
The Royal Tour Of Buckingham Palace | £98 (for two people)
Monarchists - and those with a fascination with the Royal Family - will relish a visit to the Queen's official London residence, Buckingham Palace.
The tour includes a peek into the most recognisable State Rooms including the Throne Room, Ballroom and White Drawing Room.
Your visit will be followed by a regal Viennese Afternoon Tea at iconic London restaurant The Delaunay.
The Dinner Experience | £100
The Pig hotel chain (from the founders of the Hotel du Vin group) is one badly kept secret.
The boujee boutique hotels, located in Kent, Devon, Bath, Southampton, The New Forest and Dorset - with more locations launching in 2020 - is a so-called 'restaurant with rooms'.
All of the food is sourced locally (a 25-mile menu is in operation) and seasonal and the house wine really is good. A £100 voucher will cover lunch or dinner or two or the person you're buying for can use it towards a night's stay (which starts from around £109).
The Candle Making Workshop | £50 (per person)
Experience a 90-minute class with an expert candle maker who will step-by-step take you through the process of making your own candle. Test out a selection of fragrances and essential oils before creating your own perfect fragrance into a 170ml/ 6oz scented soy wax candle.
A Potterhead's Perfect Present | from £47 per adult, £38 per child
Make a Harry Potter fan’s Christmas by purchasing a tour of the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios London.
Walk through the iconic sets of the Great Hall and Dragon Alley, learn how the magical creatures were brought to life and have a frothy Butterbeer in the Backlot Cafe.
The Afternoon Tea With A Twist | £90 (for two people)
Experience an afternoon tea like no other at the 5-star Taj 51 in London.
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s much-loved literary classic, Alice In Wonderland, the tea includes everything from Queen of Hearts mango tarts to a ‘Drink Me’ strawberry potion and, of course, a glass of champagne.