Unique Magazines Blog

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Stacks of Fun for the Family this Easter

children's subscriptions

The Easter holidays are upon us. It's time for rest, relaxation and children hyped up on sugary chocolate eggs. 

Keeping the family entertained for two weeks can be tricky - the weather's unreliable at this time of year and the costs of activity-packed days out quickly mount up. Fortunately there’s a magazine out there for kids of any age - and even a few for Mum and Dad too. Take a look at some of the titles we consider to be the best family magazine subscriptions this holiday.

Preschool magazines
CBeebies Art Subscription

With stickers, stencils, crayons and adhesive googly eyes, every CBeebies Art magazine, featuring the talents of the channel’s bubbly Mister Maker, is the perfect cross-over pre-school publication. Simple, step-by-step, craft projects mean girls and boys can get making without expensive supplies and with minimal mess and fuss.  

For girls aged 2–5 try a Peppa Pig subscription.  Peppa and her gang of alliterate animals continue to be a pre-school phenomenon and each issue contains sticker scenes, activities and cover mounted figures which give this title added play value.  

For boys of the same age, keep the fun coming with a subscription to Thomas and Friends. He’ll love the stickers, colouring and spotting activities all based around the gang of steam engines and there are free character toys to add to his train set.
 

Primary School magazines

If you have boys aged 5–11, chances are the talk around the breakfast table veers from Match Attax trading cards to last night’s episode of Match of the Day, which means a subscription to Strike It! magazine makes perfect sense.  Inside the pages he’ll find epic posters of his footballing heroes, with which to decorate his bedroom walls and limited edition trading cards for the Fifa World cup, plus player profiles, crazy snaps, facts and stats.  

Go Girl Subscription

Girls of primary school age love to be busy and a Go Girl subscription will keep them creating and crafting long after the Easter Bunny has hopped off to his warren to put his paws up.  Fabulous activities she’ll love include make-its like door hangers, scrapbooking and movie star bunting.  There are recipes, tons of puzzles and competitions, plus fun cover mounted gifts such as stationery, all alongside safe tween star gossip to keep her amused for days – or a few hours at the very least!

Secondary School magazines

There is a vast difference between tweens, teens and strapping sixth-formers. But all can be tricky, so prove to your grunting, hormonal secondary schooler you love them and know what makes them tick, with a subscription to their favourite magazine.  
Heat Subscription

Give girls a regular celebrity gossip fix with Bliss magazine (tweens and early teens) or Heat magazine (mid-late teens).  Both titles are packed with the comings and goings of the glitterati, but the stories featured are age appropriate.  Where cover stars for Bliss include the likes of Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Little Mix discussing fashion and friendships, in Heat you’ll find everyone from the Kardashians to Katy Perry spilling the beans on their love lives to their weight battles. No holds barred!

For secondary school boys think sport, music or gaming.  Again, there are age-appropriate titles available for all themes.  For music enthusiasts you’ll find Top of the Pops at the very young end of the spectrum and MixMag, NME magazine and Kerrang magazine at the older end.   For younger games try a subscription to Nintendo magazine and for older boys, GamesMaster.

… and for frazzled grown-ups

Top Gear Subscription
After days crawling around soft play centres, doing endless craft activities, relinquishing control of the TV remote, wrestling with wet swim-wear and being Bank-of-Dad and Mum’s Minicabs, you too deserve a treat.  A subscription to your preferred magazine will ensure you can grab a few minutes of quiet reading time within the chaos or in the evening with whatever suits your reading tastes - be it a Top Gear subscription or Take a Break subscription.  

Simply type the title in to the search box, use the handy gift-finder tool, or finally, check out the archives of this blog for even more ideas to help you make the holidays a breeze.





Time To Get Green Fingered


Spring has sprung and it’s time to turn your attention outdoors.  Whether you’re the proud owner of a window box, a tiny back yard, a well-tended allotment or acres of majestic parkland, you’ll want to get the best from your outside space.  

You may be a total novice or a green-fingered God wanting troubleshooting tips - whatever your gardening pedigree, there's a magazine title on the market that can fit your needs. So, let us plant some ideas in your head now and see those grand plans begin to blossom.

Getting Started?
If you don’t yet know your daisies from your dahlias and your hardy perennials from your herbaceous plants, then an Amateur Gardening subscription contains all you need to get you up to your armpits in soil – and loving it. For a start you’ll find a packet of seeds mounted on each issue of Amateur Gardening, with related cover features such as ‘Bright Ideas for Bulbs’, ‘Easy Annuals’ and ‘Pennywise Gardening’ designed to get you growing right away.   




Flexing Your Green Fingers?
For seasoned gardeners, a BBC Gardener’s World magazine subscription offers amazing value for money.  A partner to the much-loved series, this title offers advice from the great and the good in the industry on everything from pest control to pruning and compost.  Much admired experts such as Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don feature heavily in BBC Gardener's World and there is a handy month by month guide to vital jobs in the garden – so you’re not planting when you should be pruning or watering when you should be weeding!


Growing Your Own?
With food prices rocketing, there’s never been a better time to start growing your own fruit and vegetables. A Kitchen Garden subscription will help you ensure that you’re top of the crops when it comes to… well, your crops.  You’ll find unbeatable practical advice in Kitchen Garden – from pages for those gardening in pots on balconies or terraces, to getting the most from your raised beds or allotment.  Plus, there are specific features and growing guides on seasonal produce throughout the year.  A veritable treasure-trove.



Creating an Idyll?
The stunning photographic spreads in The English Garden magazine make this magazine a wonderful addition to coffee or bedside tables. It is a bible for those wanting to create an English country idyll or outdoor oasis of calm.  Focusing on beautiful, yet achievable gardens around the UK, The English Garden is packed with wonderful spaces to inspire.

Tips from head gardeners working on huge estates such as Sissinghurst sit side-by-side with practical advice from creative garden owners with years of experience under their belts.  You’ll also find reviews of garden hardware such as bootscrapers, benches and water-features. The title to pick for everything from attracting wildlife to your garden to planting your own meadow of wildflowers.


Keeping an Eye on Design?
If you see your garden as a stylish extension of your house, then you’re right on the money. We’re taking pride in our living space as never before, and that includes our gardens. A subscription to Homes & Gardens magazine will help you extend your own particular design vision from interiors to exteriors.

Each issue features ‘at-home’ shoots in stylish properties boasting stunning outdoor spaces where the onus is well and truly on fresh and exciting design.  Whether you’ve a roof terrace or a sizeable plot you’re keen to sculpt, you’ll find ideas for garden lighting, inspiration for garden entertaining and ways to generally blur the line between indoor and outside living. 


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A Mane For All Seasons



“If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle,” said Hilary Clinton once. Whether you’re famous or not, most of us are quite keen on the idea that our 'do can turn heads - for all the right reasons, of course. 

Whether you’re a deft-fingered DIY stylist or your hairdresser’s most regular regular, achieving  the perfect coiffure is a tricky business requiring research and preparation as much as creativity and skill. And where better to look than in the pages of your favourite magazine. Here's our pick of the crop (sorry!)


Hair Flair
If you’ve had more hair colours and styles than Rhianna and Jessie J put together, then than try a Hair Ideas subscription – the UK’s best-selling hair title.  This mag showcases fresh new trends for each new season and features an incredible array of cuts and colours to suit all hair types.  With pages of how-to’s focusing on re-creating celeb styles, you’ll never be stuck for inspiration. 

Crowning Glory
For those who think of their locks as their crowning glory and care as much for the health of their hair as the style, a subscription to a women’s title such as Red magazine could be just what you need.  This title features the finest hair and beauty tip, and reviews of the latest consumer products.  Each month you’ll find fabulous tips to keep your mane in tip top condition – from the best styling equipment to conditioning treatments.  You’ll also take inspirations for big events such as parties or weddings from the sumptuous fashion spreads.




Top of the Crops
If you’re either thinking of going for the chop, or are looking for ways to update your short crop then look no further than Short Hair magazine. Eight issues a year are packed with innovative styling tips, cool accessories, trend reports on everything from pixie crops to angular bobs. And there are pages of content featuring the latest celebs to ‘go short’ from Jennifer Lawrence to Miley Cyrus.


Belle of the Bouffe
For tips on hot hair spread throughout the year and tailored to the season try a Glamour subscription.  You’ll find twists on traditional styles, ideas on achieving the perfect interview updo, inspiration for a night-on-the-tiles tousled look, or even sleek and full-on sexy.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Day of the Comic

Beano magazine subscription
What comes to mind when you think of comics? Fun, irreverence, mischief . . . education? Perhaps not. But in actual fact comics are booming right now and never before have they had so much support from the educational establishment.

From enduring and well-loved titles such as The Beano to new, exciting publications like the Jacqueline Wilson magazine, there are a raft of magazines out there that have all the ingredients needed to turn a reluctant reader into an avid bookworm - or should that be "comicworm". If you want to get your young one working on their literacy skills without overfacing them with full-size novels or dry, dusty textbooks, here's our guide to some of the best in the business.



For Little Princesses (Pre-school girls)
Sofia the First magazine subscription

The allure of Disney coupled with the enchanting idea of a little girl who suddenly becomes a princess when her mother marries a king. It’s a marriage made in heaven. and a sure-fire hit for little girls.

Building on the success of the TV series of the same name Sofia the First magazine is a pre-school title aimed at girls aged 3 – 6 years. All content, from the sparkling new stories and perfectly-pitched puzzles, to the branded cover mounted gifts is specifically chosen to help reinforce learning in the early years and to deal with developmental stages from sharing with siblings to trying your best. A Sofia the First subscription is not just a great way to entertain a child, it's also a title they'll crave as a treat.


Mir Men and Little Miss magazine subscription
For Bump-prone & Ticklish Tots (Pre-school boys & girls)
A cross-over title which cleverly speaks to both girls and boys is a rare gem, and Mr Men and Little MissMagazine is exactly that. In fact, such wide-reaching appeal is part of what has made this such an iconic brand. Fans of Mr Tickle, Mr Bump, Mr Topsy Turvy, Little Miss Sunshine and friends will love the chance to read more of their exploits in the brand new stories contained in each issue. There are also puzzles, posters and branded gifts, all featuring traditional illustrations and based around Roger Hargreaves fun and colourful world.

Pauline Cooke, Publisher of Immediate Media Co’s Pre-school titles, said:
“We have had lots of fun producing this fantastic magazine with such an iconic brand. A great addition to our robust pre-school portfolio, we know each beautifully designed issue will delight both children and parents with its interactive content and irreverent humour.”


For Growing Girls (Girls 7 – 12)
Jacqueline Wilson magazine subscription

When your 9 year old girl is already texting and snapping and What’s Apping, it can be hard to find a story-teller with sufficient power to break the technology spell. Step forward Jacqueline Wilson, former British Children’s Laureate and queen of tween fiction. 

Strong characters such as Hetty Feather, Ruby and Pearl and Tracy Beaker make for memorable reading experiences and common themes of friendships and sibling rivalry are often coupled with controversial issues such as the care system, loss and illness. JacquelineWilson Magazine presents the lighter side of the author’s work, all with signature illustrations by Nick Sharratt and combines stories with craft and writing projects such as making and writing your own journal, are designed to motivate and inspire readers to tap into their creative juices.


Lego Legends of Chima magazine subscription
For Lego-Mad Lads (Boys 7 – 11)
Lego is another brand which continues to excite and in recent years clever partnerships with huge franchises such as Marvel, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean have seen its appeal soar. 

Lego Legends of Chima is a new magazine based on the iconic toy and its new theme Chima, a fantasy domain inhabited by warring animal tribes. Young readers will fall head-first into the world, lured by the striking imagery and eye-popping design, coupled with stunning interiors, packed with comic strips and puzzles. Few things help parents to build on their popularity with kids than a Lego Legends of Chima subscription.


For Family Fun (Boys & Girls 6 – 12)
Simpsons magazine subscription



For a traditional style comic you can enjoy with your children, or pass round for family enjoyment, choose The SimpsonsComic. The hilarious capers of the canary-coloured and vaguely dysfunctional Simpson family have been delighting audiences of all ages laugh since the mid 1980s. Now fans can check in on Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie on a regular basis with this monthly publication. TV episodes from the extensive archive are translated into action-packed comic-strips and readers will also find behind-the-scene info and fun-facts to amuse and inform.

Not found the perfect comic for your young reader? There are many more comics subscriptions to be found on the Unique website.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Petrol-heads are cheese connoisseurs in disguise


When it comes to car magazines, choice is the order of the day. Like a good old-fashioned cheeseboard, the market is filled with something to cater for everybody’s taste. There are the flashy publications for young thrill seekers who are all about body kits made from recycled Babybels; then there are those titles aimed at the more mature, cultured palate – those who like nothing more than eyeing up vintage vehicles before a spot of stilton on crackers.

With a smorgasbord of options, where to begin? Well, let us help you work your way through some of the finest flavours to help you decide which publications make your cut:


The Premium Cheddar: BBC Top Gear Magazine


Very much in the driving seat when it comes to sales, BBC Top Gear magazine is Britain’s top motoring magazine. Loved by millions, well rounded and with the perfect balance of flavours it combines interviews with reviews, tech insight with layman’s articles and entertainment with expert advice. 

A BBC Top Gear subscription is much-like home delivering your monthly cheddar supply. Order it in and put it out on the coffee table and it will always be a crowd pleaser.


The hard-edged Gruyère: What Car? Magazine


Not sure which car to buy? Then look no further than What Car? magazine, Britain’s biggest and best car buyer’s guide. What? Car is about the hard facts and efficiently dispatches advice on the motors to invest in and those to avoid like the plague. If anything, What? Car is the Swiss gruyère of the car magazine market.

Matured over 40 years What Car? magazine offers an unrivalled insight into the pros and cons of every car on the market in a language that is easy to understand. Not only will you learn where to buy, what to pay, and how best to raise the cash you need, you will also be treated to a run-down of all the soon-to-be released cars.



The Matured Stilton: Classic & Sports Car

Some things grow better with age. And alongside fine wines and cheeses, there are some vehicles that only look more attractive as they reach the autumn of their days. Classic & Sports Car magazine is the publication for that most cultured of palates. Leading the way in all things classic and vintage, no other magazine covers the detail and the beauty of automobiles of the past with such insight.

With articles covering everything from feature restorations to car and product tests, buyer’s advice and plenty more, a Classic & Sports Car magazine subscription is all a classic car enthusiast needs.


The Applewood Smoked: Motor Sport


For the very best in motor racing, both past and present, then look no further than a Motorsport magazine subscription. With an impressive array of content covering everything from Formula 1 to Moto GP, Le Mans to NASCAR, Motor Sport magazine is designed around the smell of burning rubber, smoke and high-octane gasoline.


Every issue is jam packed with exclusive interviews, industry insights, historical articles, and fantastic photography that will keep you coming back for more.


Can’t find anything to your taste here? There’s a host of other motoring magazines at www.uniquemagazines.co.uk


by Tim
Image courtesy of Morio

Five Magazines to Avert a Mother’s Day Nightmare

Mother's Day Magazine Subscriptions

She pushed you out into this world kicking and screaming, fed you, clothed you, changed you and ordered you around for the best part of two decades. So, the least you can do for your dear old mum this March is spoil her rotten on Mother’s Day.

And while flowers, chocolate and perfume are all fine and dandy, choose the magazine of her dreams and you’ll provide her with months of pure joy rather than just a few short minutes.
Here are a few of our favourites to get you thinking . . .

The Small Screen Queen
If she loves nothing better than a night (or day for that matter) in front of the gogglebox, then make sure she never misses a televisual trick, with a subscription to a TV listings magazine.   TV Times magazine may have been around for years, but these days it’s a thoroughly glossy and modern read. 

Besides up-to-the-minute listings for terrestrial, satellite, cable and radio programmes, mama will find reviews and a low-down on scheduled movies pre-rated to help guide her through her viewing choices.  Page upon page of exclusive interviews with actors, presenters and screen-writers and directors all come together to make a TV Times subscription the only small screen entertainment guide she’ll ever need.


The Knitting Nut
Knitting is having a revival – seriously! The age-old craft is hot news these days with women of all ages being bitten by the knitting bug.  Whether you’re buying for a young mum, who spends her week-nights at ‘stitch and bitch’ sessions or an octogenarian famed for creative Christmas, she’ll love a Knitting magazine subscription. 

This monthly title boasts at least 25 new patterns per issue, many from the world’s leading hand-knit designers.  Practical and style-conscious it bridges the gap between hand-knitting and fashion with clear step-by-steps, leading designer profiles and interesting features.  Essential reading for the discerning knitter.



The New Mum/Expectant Mum
New Mums and Mums-to-be rarely get time off for good behaviour. When they do get a precious five minutes to to relax or read, it’s not usually enough time to get stuck into War & Peace.  A women’s weekly makes a perfect gift for time-poor, sleep-deprived girls – and a Bella subscription is one of the best.

Inside mummy dear will find the perfect mix of gossip, celeb interviews and real-life stories to provide easy-reading and light relief. There are also quick and healthy meal planners and best buys. It’s the perfect dip in, dip out mag to suit an exciting but exhausting time in her life.

Dads of the world take note: this is your opportunity to win brownie points for buying thoughtful presents that aren’t even officially from you!


The Yummy Mummy
Yes she’s a mum, but she’s also a woman – and a gorgeous, stylish, independent one at that.  For self-confessed yummy-mummies, there can only be one type of magazine subscription this Mother’s Day – a fashion mag.

There are many excellent titles on the market but twelve monthly issues of In Style magazine will keep her feeling fabulous all year long.  In Style has a heavy fashion and beauty bias, with pages of glossy, inviting and informative designs to help her make the most of her God-given assets.
 
High-octane cover shoots are a given with the glitterati queuing up to feature in the magazine.  Recent cover stars include everyone from Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore to home-grown beauties like Michelle Dockery and Rebecca Hall.

Dads of the world take note: if you’re helping your littl’uns to choose a gift with purpose, this one’s always a winner.


The Matriarch
If your mum effortlessly presides over the family, bringing people together, making the house a home and creating beautiful traditions and memories, she deserves a magazine which plays to her strengths.  And a Good Housekeeping subscription is the most perfect of fits. 

This monthly glossy features in-depth interviews with gorgeously accessible celebrities that Mumsy is familiar with, such as Fern Britton, Mary Portas, Kirstie Allsopp and Claire Balding. 

But it’s the take-out value of such a title which she’ll really appreciate.  Each issue is stuffed with advice on every area of modern life: from managing finances to de-cluttering the home; boosting your immune system to revolutionising your diet.  Truly, a read which packs a punch.


Can’t find a match made in Mother’s Day heaven? Use our Gift Finder to make things that bit easier.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Get Hitched Without a Hitch: the guide to planning the perfect wedding





As the romance of Valentine’s Day fades for another year, a lucky few might have emerged from the annual slushfest with more than just a box of Thorntons and a plastic rose.  If your engagement finger is now sparkling with fresh diamond bling then here’s a little early inspiration to whet your nuptial appetite.

Best for a Standout Wedding

A Martha Stewart Weddings subscription is exactly what you would expect from this stable of excellence in all things entertaining.  As well as top drawer advice from professionals in the know, this is a magazine to help you take care of the little details.  Packed with ideas and ways to make your wedding unique, there’s everything from serving cocktails to sourcing the most artistic of wedding favours in Martha Stewart Weddings.  The suppliers list (US based) is extensive, making for a great addition to your little white wedding planning book. 


Best for the Bride on a Budget

It might be small but a Perfect Wedding subscription packs a mighty punch for the everyday bride.  Full to the brim with ideas to suit every budget, Perfect Wedding is ideal for the practical bride looking for suppliers, photo ideas and most of all real-life wedding examples to suit a range of budgets from £5,000 - £30,000.  Great for UK brides, most businesses and suggested suppliers are based in Blighty. 




Best for the Novice Bride

Don’t know your cake topper from your cala lily bouquet?  Then a Wedding subscription might be just the ticket.  A cover all bases magazine, it doesn’t just focus on the wedding event itself but the whole package from hen party suggestions to honeymoon destinations.  One recent issue even included an informative piece on managing cross-cultural weddings with input from real-life brides and grooms. High fashion shoots also feature, showcasing the latest wedding gown styles from 50’s starlet glamour to sunshine style. 


Best of the rest

Of course there are a number of other titles available to give your big day that special touch.  A Wedding Cakes subscription is not only a chance to find some of the best cake designers available but brims with stunning wedding cake photos that defy reality. 


A Brides subscription does what it says on the tin, putting the blushing beauty centre stage with a strong focus on creative ideas for a stylish day of celebration.  Featuring fresh new wedding looks and exclusive collections from internationally renowned designers, this is a magazine for the bride who knows that when planning a wedding, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, ‘It was the dress; it upped the ante.’  


by Tim
Image courtesy of Jonata

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