On Friday 10th February 2017 we called out Ingrid Holden’s name on stage at our Birthday Party – she had just won our first ever Captain Manchester’s Magical Tombola star prize: a trip to Iceland!

Ingrid recently took her holiday to Iceland; below she talks about what it was like to tick off this once-in-a-lifetime trip off her bucket list!


Firstly, let me say a huge thank you to Forever Manchester for providing the opportunity to win this fantastic trip, and to Regent Holidays for donating it as a prize and for giving such detailed, relevant information that enabled us to get the most out of our trip.

Having had the northern lights on my bucket list since I was about 13, you can imagine my level of excitement on arriving at Keflavík airport! Our hotel, the Radisson Blu, was about a 50-minute drive away which gave us plenty of time to admire the stunning, snow-covered landscape. The hotel itself was very comfortable and situated in the centre of Reykjavík, close to all the bars and restaurants and a 5-minute walk from the harbour. We arrived at the hotel at 5 pm and immediately changed into much-needed warmer clothing to venture outside to investigate our surroundings and have a hot meal before our first trip at 8 pm which was to see the Northern Lights – WOOHOO!

Our excursion to see the lights was with Superjeep. The staff were brilliant and kept us warm (it was freezing!!) with plenty of hot chocolate with vodka in, and thoroughly amused with their banter. The sparkling snow-covered scenery was incredibly beautiful and magical, and I have never seen stars so clear. We were lucky enough to see some small green northern lights which produced a lot of oohs and aahs, but it’s only made me eager to come back again to hopefully experience the full glory.

The next day was our whale watching trip but unfortunately it had to be cancelled as the weather was so bad. We were obviously very disappointed but took this opportunity to explore Reykjavík harbour and shops and visit the Whales of Iceland museum which housed about 30 full-sized resin whales and dolphins hanging from the ceiling which made you realise how incredible, and huge, they are.

Our final day was spent at the Blue Lagoon spa which was a surreal, stunning and incredibly relaxing experience – and a must if you ever visit Reykjavík.

Reykjavík is brilliant with tons of fantastic places to eat (the restaurant Messinn is an absolute must with the most sublime seafood dish I’ve ever eaten!!) and a wide variety of architecture both old and new, and is most definitely a place I want to revisit.


If you’d like to take part in this month’s Captain Manchester’s Magical Tombola, get your ticket for just £5.