JGM’s Guide to Christmas in the North!
JGM’s work has global reach but our offices have always been based in the North West of England. We’ve brought together a truly creative bunch from around the UK, even nabbing a few from local Chorley, Manchester, Preston and Burnley (That’s right, even Burnley!). When you can pry us away from the Macs that many of us spend more time with than our actual children, we like to let our hair down in good ol’ Lancashire.
One thing we’ve noticed is how at one point or another, we’ve met someone new to the area that doesn’t know what to do with themselves when they wind up celebrating the festive season around our end.
“There’s nothing to do around here,” they’ve complained.
“How dare you?!” we’ve replied.
Okay, maybe we weren’t that emotional! But, it has to be said that even though Lancashire isn’t an up-all-night metropolitan, we’ve never been short of things to do. This is especially true during the holidays, when the towns and villages that make up our county come alive with lights and festive spirit. Did that sound a bit cheesy? It’s true, nonetheless! This year JGM thought it’d be a fantastic idea to round up some of the goings on in the local area, so each of our followers had a guide to getting the most out of December.
After all, most of us only get 7 days off in a row once a year. We’ve got to use them wisely!
- Have a go at climbing Pendle Hill, recommended by Nick Fish, a senior member of our team who knows so much about web development that we should call him Spiderman. “If you try it on the right day, the view is amazing, especially when the fields are topped with thick snow,” advises Nick. An added tip: Park up at Barley and enjoy a 4-hour round trip. Nick first tried this 3 years ago and got caught in a blizzard half way up the hill. Feeling a bit Indiana Jones-y? Crack out the wellies (and whip?) because you don’t even need tickets for this one!
- “Could you get enough of Ramsbottom Christmas markets?” Senior Artworker Faye fully plans on heading back this year. How could you not when it boasted an ice skating rink and real penguins? That’s right, real penguins. They weren’t wearing bow ties and serving drinks àla Who Framed Roger Rabbit? but you couldn’t deny how cool they were. Definitely one for families or flightless marching bird enthusiasts. If Ramsbottom’s a bit far for you, here’s a great list of local Christmas markets you can take your pick from.
- Did you know Lancashire has a floating village? Brockholes hosts entertaining seasonal events all year round and Christmas is no exception. Not only do you feel like you’re afloat in the ocean while sipping your gingerbread latte with extra whipped cream, if you head over this holiday season you could enjoy breakfast with Santa (realness not verified) or partake in some Christmas crafts. Not only that, Brockholes will host Xplorer Challenge, a festive-themed outdoor puzzle competition for those of you the cold air can’t keep indoors!
- We are huge supporters of the creatives of tomorrow. If you feel like taking in a show during the festive season, give a student production a go as opposed to the standard Christmas-themed film at the cinema. No offence, Adam Sandler. You’re a legend but undergraduates need the cash more than you do! Our new client, Manchester Metropolitan University, has a pioneering School of Art that allows graduates to experiment with their craft in Marketplace Studios. Explore what the community has been working on in 2016 at Made at Marketplace and join artists at drop-in workshops. Remember to follow us to keep up with JGM’s work with MMU throughout 2017!
- Of course, if you don’t have oodles of time to play with and just fancy getting out for a festive film, try the classics they have scheduled at Accrington and Rossendale College. There’s always time for a Frozen singalong! Preston Harris Library is hosting free films every weekend too and even Barrowford Booths is in on the action with a screening of Disney’s A Christmas Carol coming up.
- The team is pretty divided on this next one because technically, Santa would be travelling via sleigh not train. However, the festive magic is not at all lost when you’re aboard a steam train with the man himself spreading Christmas joy. Join East Lancashire Railway on their Santa Special and take a trip to Rawtenstall (in sight of the JGM offices!) and take in Lancashire’s undulating countryside with festive foods and entertainment.
- Finally, we’re huge fans of Lancashire but we had to mention a few events that are right next door in sparkling Manchester. If you feel like getting further out and dipping a toe in the city, you’ll never be lost for entertainment. Fancy an alternative burlesque show? How about a few indie films? And of course, we couldn’t forget a Northern Quarter Bar Crawl for those us that don’t need a Bovril and fleece blanket by 8pm!