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If you're off to France don't take the train....

Snow and ice closed Manchester and Gatwick airports and the Eurostar started losing trains in the tunnel; is this the year to stay at home, pop on your Christmas jumper and head down the local for a pint?

But, if you do need to travel this Christmas, fear not; after three days of travel misery on Channel rail services, empty test trains gingerly started running this morning as Eurostar engineers worked to solve the puzzle of multiple breakdowns between London and Paris.

There are heaps of break-downs on motorways all over the country - so best to hire a donkey, sled, camel or whatever you can get your hands on and, with your winter woolies and the price of an evening's quaffing, head on down to the likes of The Lutrell Arms, in Somerset or The Square and Compass in Dorset for a Christmas you can rely on.

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