Last-minute Homemade Christmas Gifts

18th December 2013

The decorating and the wrapping, the mince pies and the mulled wine, the classic films and the cosy fires... Christmas Day is just around the corner and, here at Cotton Traders, the air is alive with anticipation. However, there are those of us who - as hard as we might try - still haven't finished ticking off our shopping lists. If, like some of us, you have a tendency to leave things till the eleventh hour there will still be stocking stuffers to source, baubles to balance on the end of branches, turkeys to get hold of...the list is endless and that's before we've even had time to think about what we're going to give that distant cousin at the annual family get-together.

6 Easy Christmas Craft Ideas

12th December 2013

Whether you’re looking to save money on gifts or adorn your home with unique DIY decorations, getting crafty this Christmas is a great way to spend these dark nights. Say goodbye to overpriced decorations, generic Christmas presents and manic Christmas shopping with these easy festive ideas.

We love these ideas that are great for even the most inexperienced craft-maker and don’t require lots of expensive materials either.

Exploring Britain at Christmas: The Best Events

3rd December 2013

Christmas is a time for family, friends, great food, exchanging gifts and, for most, taking the time to enjoy that much-needed rest and relaxation. A great way to get into the spirit of things before the big event is to head to a Christmas market or event near you, whether you’re looking for Christmas ideas or just want to soak up the atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re not sure what’s going on in your local area, we’ve hand-picked some amazing events that are not to be missed over December. Whilst this list is in no way definitive, here are a few that we have our eye on that we’re sure yule enjoy too!

Mulled Cider Recipe

29th November 2013

Nothing marks the arrival of winter like a cup of mulled something grasped firmly between mittened hands, slow curls of steam releasing the sharp scent of fermented fruit softened by the exotic warmth of seasonal spices.

This year, try a fresh take on a Christmas classic with our favourite mulled cider recipe. Take a full-bodied and slightly tart, traditional cider and combine it with spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger and star anise for a sweet and rich elixir that will warm you from head to toe.

8 Ways To Stay Active Over The Winter Months

21st November 2013

We’re sorry to inform you that the dark nights, rain and cold are here to stay for a few months more. So whilst many of us will find it tempting to curl up under our duvet and hibernate for the season, it’s more important than ever that we stay active during the winter months.

Shaking off the winter blues or a case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can be solved by regular exercise which releases endorphins and keeps our blood pumping!

A salute to our heroes

11th November 2013

Today, services and acts of commemoration will be held up and down Britain in honour of Remembrance Day. On this day, we are joining people across the nation in donning our red poppies and pausing for a moment, in memory of those who have sacrificed their lives for us in conflict.

Here at Cotton Traders, we are proud to show our support for our brave Servicemen and women by working together to raise funds for the wonderful charity, Help for Heroes. Through fundraising events and sales of our exclusive Help for Heroes collection, we have managed to raise over £450,000 so far, taking us even closer to our £1m target.

What Are The Ultimate Walking Essentials?

6th November 2013

Each walker is unique – from their preferred style of walking and the shoes they wear to what they pack in their rucksacks and who they take with them!

That’s why we not only wanted to share our favourite walking must-haves for gentle walks but we also spoke with a selection of people in the industry, all of who offer a unique outlook on walking for all abilities.

Are you ready to discover our ultimate walking essentials and some expert top tips?

Halloween at Cotton Traders

31st October 2013

Here at Cotton Traders, we’re big fans of Halloween. From wicked witches to ghastly ghouls, each year you’ll find us embracing the spooky spirit of the season by dressing up and decorating our offices to look like something out of a horror film.

This year, our Creative team and their families were given the challenge to decorate a Halloween pumpkin however their hearts desired. Despite a few early steps that were, to be quite honest, an abomination…from our Mexican ‘Día de los Muertos’ sugar skull to our silver studded ‘Damien Cursed’, we were very impressed with the results. Have a look and tell us what you think of our ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ efforts.

Best of British: Farm Shops

21st October 2013

From the highlands of North Wales and Scotland to the open fields of East Anglia, approximately 70% of land in the UK is used for agriculture. With this in mind, we have to ask ourselves why the food we buy on a daily basis travels halfway round the world before it reaches our tables. With unbeatable quality local food, farm shops are the perfect alternative to shopping in supermarkets...

Settle into sweater weather

16th October 2013

Although the temperatures are dropping by the day, you shouldn’t feel like layering up in cosy jumpers and cardigans is going to make you feel bulky and weighed down. Wake up your winter wardrobe with a fun and flattering statement knit that’s light enough to be layered, yet soft and snug enough for the cold weather...

Best autumn walks for the weekend

2nd October 2013

Now is the perfect time to explore our magnificent country by foot, but where to start? The South-West of England is a stunning place to pull on your walking boots and head out into the great outdoors this autumn; be it coastal ramblings or woodland trails there’s something for everyone.

We’ve put together a handy map of some of the best leisurely strolls to discover this autumn…

Top 5 Destinations To Visit This Autumn/Winter For Active Types

1st October 2013

Whether you’re looking for stunning scenery with fantastic walks, a bit of culture, quiet beaches or undiscovered natural beauty – here are our top five destinations for your autumn/winter getaway.

From stunning coastal walks in Catalonia to mouth-watering local cuisine in the markets of Marrakech, there are some fantastic options for a refreshing break over the coming months.

Stay Healthy This Winter

24th October 2013

The plummeting temperatures and shorter daylight hours that come with autumn can be a shock to the system after long days of warm sunshine. Over the coming months, the chances of catching nasty colds or the flu will sky rocket.

With some smart habits and small changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can enjoy everything autumn and winter have to offer without any runny noses or sore throats dampening your spirit.

Follow these simple tips for a happy and healthy winter:

About 'The Thread'

Here at Cotton Traders, we like to do things a little differently. Our reputation has been built on outstanding quality, a sense of community and keeping our customers interests at heart. The Thread is just that – a space for sharing things we know our customers enjoy, whether it’s travel, eating, staying active and healthy or enjoying sneak-peeks behind-the-scenes at Cotton Traders.

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