Forget sleighs and hail the bus

Zella had a fantastic day at Titchfield Haven and wonders what other local gems she's overlooked      Picture: Gary Taw

ZELLA COMPTON: Looking afresh at our beautiful spot in the world

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This is a brilliant time of year to be a parent.

The magic and mystery of Christmas is still in abundance.

Every day seems to bring a party, present, or even a simple, hand-written card.

It’s the best time of the year and the excitement is growing daily.

Meeting Molly at the school gate, she excitedly told me that she wants to go to Matalan next year.

Now, I like a reasonably-priced outfit as much as the next person, but it’s not really the sort of visit I’d normally put in the diary.

On closer inspection, it transpires that Molly has got a little confused between Matalan and Lapland.

Very similar in many regards, I think you’ll agree.

A trip to Lapland for a family of four next Christmas – £3,500.

A trip to town for a day out cruising around Matalan, maybe the Cascades too, for a family of four (on the bus) – £7.80.

Number five from Portchester, here we come!