A new year signifies a fresh start for many people and it’s a great time to indulge in an unforgettable experience or activity that’s always been on top of your wish list. We’re put together a list of all the things you must do in 2014
1. I feel the need… the need for speed
Probably not content with his feet up watching Corrie, British speed record breaker, Donald Campbell, not only broke the land speed record in 1964, but also the water speed record in the same year, before he died in a hideous accident three years later in the Bluebird K7 (a jet-powered hydroplane). You could recreate his more successful attempt 50 years later, by going on a speed-fuelled trip in Southampton on a 300HP supercharged engine Saber Hypercat, one of the fastest powerboats in Europe, with the chance to take the wheel, and skim the waves. Go to www.treatme.co.uk and sign up for an experience you’ll never forget.
2. Lights, camera, action
Commit yourself to celluloid for ever more by being featured in a film as an extra. Whether it’s a short amateur production or a big blockbuster, not only will you get to ‘act’, it will also give you an insight into how a film works. And you may even be in shot with a big name star. There are lots of agencies out there, but they do take a cut or ask for money up front, so do your research. What’s not fab about being able to tell your grandchildren you were once in a film?
3. Let’s eat
Brits seem to be obsessed with food – look at all those cooking programmes that millions of people up and down the UK tune into, from The Great British Bake Off to MasterChef. So, surely, one of the things you should all do at least once in a lifetime is sample a Michelin-starred eatery? With over 100 restaurants with at least one star, going up to three stars – think Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair both in London and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn, both in Bray-on-Thames in Berkshire – you are spoiled for choice where ever you live. Remember to book early – a year before for some – to guarantee your place, perfect for a special treat.
4. A charitable move
This could be your year to be altruistic and feel great about being good. Whether it’s popping round to an elderly neighbour and having a chat on a regular basis, volunteering to help struggling children with reading at a school or simply phoning up your friends more often, there are changes everyone could make that will improve someone’s life, however small. And surely that’s what life is really all about?
5. Another brick
2014 marks 25 years since the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989, opening up East and West Germany and changing the face of Europe forever. Celebrate this anniversary by visiting what remains of the wall – you can visit Checkpoint Charlie, the famous east-west border control during the Cold War and now a tourist centre that includes exhibitions full of artifacts.
For more of a visual history, take a walk along the Wall by the Spree, where it runs between the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg districts. The one-mile stretch known as the East Side Gallery (and a ‘memorial for freedom’) is dedicated to art and preserves the paintings made on the eastern side when the Wall was brought down. You could combine your Berlin trip with the Oktoberfest, Germany’s most famous beer festival held in Munich from the end of September. Prost!
6. Remember World War one
One hundred years ago, World War One started, lasting from 1914 to 1918. There will be events and exhibitions throughout the anniversary years, but you could get a real feel for the biggest battle by touring the Somme Battlefields. Over one million people were killed or injured when the British and French empires fought against the German Empire on either side of the River Somme in France, in one of humanity’s bloodiest battles. Many of the arranged tours will have experienced guides who can give you the historical stories, facts and figures from this significant and humbling event.
7. Commonwealth people
Scotland will be transformed into a hub of sporting prowess with Glasgow 2014, the 20th Commonwealth Games, running from 23 July to 3 August. If you are a pillar of the community then you could be a baton bearer, just like in the 2012 Olympics.
Members of the public will be picked to carry the baton through Scotland from June until the start of the Games. You do need to have done something good for the community, so either nominate yourself or is there someone you know who does dedicate time and effort to help others? Go to www.glasgow2014.com for more.
8. Football crazy
Brazil – home of ‘carnival’, where the second most cosmetic surgery procedures take place (just behind the US) and of course football. Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, taking place from 12 June to 13 July. Now that England have qualified, book a ticket or two to watch quality international matches and then take an extended break and soak up the amazing scenery from the diverse Amazonian wildlife to the outdoor party lifestyle. This is one country everyone should visit at least once in their life, football or no football!
Words: Georgina Maric Image: Shutterstock