The Hot List: Bill-busting holidays, free gin bars and Japan's forest of ice

It says a lot about the UK’s cost of living that there are month long holidays abroad that will turn out cheaper than spending winter at home.

But hey, that’s the situation we are in at the moment, so thank goodness for the number crunchers who have developed an Escape The UK package that can take you somewhere abroad.

Not a fan of the cold? Another of our travel highlights is an artistic ‘forest of ice’ in Japan, with illuminated frozen structures.

If you fancy something closer to home, Liverpool has its spectacular River of Light, while London has an immersive experience based on a spin-off from the Accidentally Wes Instagram account.

Here, you can involve yourself in immersive 3D experiences and, did someone say a free gin bar?

Here are some of the events and travels in our top picks for Metro’s Hot List.

Hotel guests go Wes

To celebrate the launch of Accidentally Wes Anderson Postcards, the spin-off book from the Instagram account of scenes that could have come from one the idiosyncratic film-maker’s movies, London’s One Hundred Shoreditch hotel is offering guests an immersive experience.

A free, 3D exhibition curated with the Old Bank Vault gallery takes you ‘inside’ compelling photos of places from Tokyo to Ohio.

And if you want to feel 100 per cent part of it, stay in a themed Wes Anderson room, complete with complimentary gin mini-bar (£300pn, with all proceeds going to women and children’s charity Refuge).

The experience is available until November 13.

Time to get Off the beaten track

It’s more important than ever to avoid over-tourism and give the world’s busiest places a chance to breathe. Lonely Planet’s newest guidebook, Offbeat, reveals the top 100 places to avoid the crowds and discover alternatives.

Recommendations include swapping Madrid for the bewitching old town of Cáceres, or swerving Paris for the gastronomic city of Lyon.

Buy for £22.99 from Amazon.

Let there be lights

Liverpool has launched River of Light, which will illuminate the city’s waterfront daily from 5pm-9pm until Sunday.

Featuring colourful commissions from artists such as Yinka Ilori and Camille Walala, the theme is Unexpected Twist – a nod to the World Gymnastics Championships, which are currently taking place in the city. Entry is free.

Bye bye, bills!

The number crunchers at EasyJet say that because of the cost of living crisis, it’s cheaper to spend a month abroad in winter than stay in the UK.

That’s why they’ve launched a 28-day Escape The UK package, offering the chance to dodge sky-high bills and go somewhere warm.

Explore Antalya, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, with a self-catering stay at the three-star Sun City Apartments, with a pool and nearby beach. Includes flights, from £345pp.

Ice, ice baby

Turkey a bit too hot for you? Then head to Takayama this winter. Located in Japan’s Gifu prefecture (in the centre of the country’s main island of Honshu), it’s home to the beautiful and captivating Subzero Forest – an artistic ‘forest of ice’ originally created by the owner of the Akigami Hot Spring Inn in 1971.

Using sprays of water, a set of frozen structures are formed around the ten-acre site, which are then illuminated in different colours at night.

On display from January 1-March 31, see visitgifu website for more info.

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