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Thursday, November 1st 2012

On today's Mooney,

Travel writer Philip Nolan has advice on where to go for Christmas if you’re single. And the National Concert Hall finds their Friedrich for The Sound Of Music!

Christmas Holidays For Single People

This email came in to us last week:

Hi Derek,

Just wondering if you would do a "thing" on Christmas breaks for single people. I am in my mid-forties and single. Christmas Day is always awkward. My parents are dead, and where to spend the day is always complicated. I am looking for an alternative this year, especially hotels or resorts that will cater for singles for a few days over Christmas - here or abroad. I have trawled the web and can’t really find anything appropriate. Can you help?


John’s experience must be one felt by many people up and down the country who don’t quite fit into the happy couple or happy family categories. Yesterday we talked to John, and today Philip Nolan, travel journalist and author of Ryanland, give us his recommendations:

Option 1: Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Little Island, Cork. Sunday 23rd December-Thursday 28th, B&B, €497 www.radissonblu.ie

Option 2: Berlin city break, staying at the five-star Westin Grand in the Mitte district, close to many of the city’s main attractions. Accommodation for three nights (Dec 24, 25, 26) €387, return flights with Aer Lingus, €126, total €513. www.westingrandberlin.com www.aerlingus.com

Option 3: Three nights at the four-star Donington Valley Hotel and Spa in Newbury, Berkshire on full board, €595.

Option 4: Seven nights at the four-star H10 Lanzarote Princess Hotel in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, on half board and including flights from Dublin, €1,695

Option 5: Seven nights skiing in France, staying at the Chalet Hotel Berengere in Les Deux Alpes, including flights from Dublin, from €1,220

(Options 3-5 available from Friendship Travel in Co. Antrim www.singles-holidays.ie Telephone from the Republic: 048 9446 2211)

Option 6: Cruise in the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises, departing Miami on Christmas Eve for five nights, calling at Falmouth, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman. Single occupancy in balcony room €1,622, flights with BA from €1,497 return ex-Dublin via Heathrow. www.celebrity.com www.ba.com

Option 7: Stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, departing December 23rd for seven nights B&B, €992 www.falconholidays.ie

* All prices and availability correct at 10am on October 31st

Ryanland, by Philip Nolan, was published by Hodder Headline Ireland in 2007. The ISBN is 9780340935934 and the RRP is €10.55.

The travel websites suggested by our listeners include www.solosholidays.co.uk and www.leger.co.uk.

A Friedrich Is Found!

Almost six years ago, Derek spoke to Dame Julie Andrews on Mooney, about starring in The Sound Of Music. And last week, director Tony Finnegan came into studio to tell us about his search for a Friedrich, for his forthcoming production of The Sound Of Music at the National Concert Hall in Dublin this December. So we launched a mission to find Tony two Friedrichs! Last Sunday lots of young boys auditioned for the role, and the part will now be shared by Jac Mordaunt and Callum Martin - Callum and Tony join Derek in studio today to chat about the show, and Callum performs My Favourite Things, from the musical. Plus we hear versions of Edelweiss by Derek, and Daniel O'Donnell!

Passion For Dancing

At what age are you too old to take up a new hobby? In your twenties? Thirties? Could you start up a new hobby in your forties? Well Renee Warschawski from Germany, now living in Co Kerry, has taken up a new hobby - dancing - in her sixties, and has taken to it like a duck to water. Such is her passion for it that once a week, she leaves her cottage in Killorglin, and makes an eight-and-a-half-hour round trip journey to her dance class in Newbridge, Co Kildare! Our reporter Brenda Donohue found her old tap shoes and went down to the class..

Renee Warschawski, in the orange-coloured outfit!
Renee Warschawski, in the orange-coloured outfit!

Win €3000 with Mooney's Money!

Today, you can win €3000 - just answer a simple question by phone or text for your chance to win. Click here to find out today's question...

The Island Landscape

RTÉ Television, in association with Mooney, is currently producing a major new documentary series on the history of the Irish landscape. The series will tell the story of how our landscape was created after the last major climatic event – the end of the last Ice Age, over ten thousand years ago.  And we want your help! Would you like to contribute video towards the TV series? Click here to find out what we're looking for!

Today's Podcasts - To Follow

Follow-Up: Christmas Holidays For Single People, & Holiday Scams
The Sound Of Music
Passion For Dancing

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