Christmas is behind us, and as we look forward to a month of cold weather, dark mornings and (possibly) failing New Year's resolutions, we need to find ways to raise those flagging spirits.

We take a look at four ways to beat the January blues around the area this month.


Experience the glitz of The Cher Show - The Mayflower, Southampton, January 3-7

When it all goes quiet after Christmas, there’s nothing like a night out at the theatre to revive those flagging spirits.

Fans of Strictly Come Dancing will have seen the cast of The Cher Show performing during on Musical Week results night.

This January, you can turn back time by visiting The Mayflower in Southampton for The Cher Show, where you can enjoy 35 smash hits from one pop goddess - brought to the stage by three Chers!

So it’s three Chers for Cher as The Cher Show tells the story of Cher’s meteoric rise to fame in a dazzling glitter fest that includes some of her biggest hits, including If I Could Turn Back Time, Strong Enough, Gypsies Tramps and Thieves, The Shoop Shoop Song, I Got You Babe, and Believe.


Recapture your calm on a Sounds of the Sea Wellness Walk – New Forest, January 25

Walk for health, connect with the sea and lift your spirits in the darkest month.

The free Sounds of the Sea Wellness Walks across the New Forest have been organised by Forest Arts in New Milton, and are aimed at the over 65s and those with mobility issues.

The walks include a coffee and a chat at selected locations, and consist of stretches, meditative and breathing practices aimed at relaxing muscles, and encouraging connection with nature.

The walks run once a month until May. They take 40 minutes to one hour and locations are selected to meet specific requirements such as natural beauty, parking, toilet facilitates, and stops for people to rest or chat.



Take in history at Portchester Castle and enjoy a bracing beach walk

Blow the winter cobwebs away with a brisk walk along the beach at Portchester, followed by a warming hot chocolate at the retro coffee van in the grounds of the historic castle.

Portchester Castle is managed by English Heritage and offers the chance to find out more about its history as a Roman fortress, a Norman stronghold and even a prisoner of war camp during the Napoleonic Wars. Climb to the top of the 30-metre (100 ft) keep to take in breath-taking views over the Solent. There is an entrance fee to the castle itself, but you can walk around outside for free.


Visit the Weald and Dowland Living Museum – and The Repair Shop

The Weald & Downland Living Museum is a hidden gem in West Sussex – quintessentially British in a picture-perfect setting. It’s also the setting for the incredibly popular BBC show, The Repair Shop, and visitors can take a sneaky peek inside the famous barn when it isn’t being used for filming.

This is a museum that lets its visitors experience 1,000 years of rural life in one remarkable open-air site, so they can see, touch and even feel what life was really like for people living in years gone by.

Visitors to Wassailing Day on January 15 can watch traditional activities with a Wassailing theme, and join a procession with music, songs and short performances, from the market square to the orchard.

In the orchard an apple tree will be decorated – there is a ceremony with bread, salt and cider, where the audience joins in with the ‘Wassail’ shout and makes lots of noise with bells, rattles or whistles.