Take three: sweet days out for chocoholics
Calling all chocoholics! It's National Chocolate Week from 8 to 14 October and although we've never needed an excuse to tuck into the sweet stuff we thought it would be the perfect time to explore some of Britain's chocolatey hotspots for a day out the kids and adults can enjoy.
There will be events and chocolate promotions all across the country - but National Chocolate Week aside, did you know that the village of Bournville in Birmingham was where Cadbury chocolate was born? That York is home to Kit Kat and Smarties? Or that Brighton is creating its own chocolate history with a decadent boudoir for chocoholics?
In York you can take a chocolate tour of the city and discover how its rivers, railways and Quakers brought chocolate here. The Chocolate Trail passes York Cocoa House, a must for those with a sweet tooth to indulge in chocolate afternoon tea and have a go at making chocolate. It also takes in quaint shop Chocolate Heaven and chocolate chain Hotel Chocolat.
York Cocoa House, York
If you want to know more about the delectable treat, explore the rich story of chocolate and confectionary at York's Chocolate Story. Here you'll learn to taste the sweet treat like a professional, get hands on at a virtual chocolate factory and watch chocolatiers in captivating demonstrations. Don't leave without learning how chocolate is made from bean to bar or discovering its secrets.
Head to the model village of Bournville in Birmingham for a indulgent day trip with the kids at Cadbury World. The real-life Willy Wonka chocolate factory is the place for an ultimate chocolate experience, where the kids can visualise themselves as Charlie, learn how the confectionary is made and splash around in the chocolate rain. It's fun for the adults too, as you can create your own delicious chocolate with popcorn marshmallows and biscuits covered in warm liquid Cadbury Dairy Milk, plus stock up on sweets at the world's biggest Cadbury chocolate shop.
Cadbury World, Bournville. Getty
In the south, Brighton is a haven for chocolate lovers and is home to the Choccywoccydoodah shop and boudoir. The chocolaterie lives and breathes chocolate, so you can browse the fantastical cakes displayed in the boutique, stop for a hot chocolate or tuck into a large piece of chocolate cake before resting on a chaise longue.
Other top spots for chocoholics in Brighton include The Chilli-Shop in Brighton Marina with its free tasters of chilli products, such as chilli chocolate and chocolate brownies - great for those who like their chocolate spicy! And Laughter Alive offers laughing workshops that can be combined with chocolate making - ideal if you're visiting as a group of friends and really want to have a giggle in the city by the sea.
The Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth
Looking for a tasty place to sleep after a day out? Mercure Spa Hotels is offering indulgent getaways at nine of its hotels across the country throughout October. The Chocolate Unwrapped package includes a Chocotherapy spa treatment, a Choctail in the bar and a dining experience rounded off with a chocolate twist, from £160 for two people.
Alternatively, boutique bolthole The Chocolate Hotel in Bournemouth has 13 chocolate-themed rooms, which come with chocolate fountains! The Grade II-listed hosts chocolate workshops and chocolate parties all year round.
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