Christmas/New Year ideas in UK

Old Nov 20th, 2000, 09:45 AM
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Christmas/New Year ideas in UK

Hi Everyone,
I just got a bee in my bonnet today and impulsively booked a flight to London, 9th December to 9th January. My single kids are living over there and I decided to spend Christmas with them, leaving hubby at home to spend Christmas with our mothers (he can't complain, he's there now, on business but who's keeping score! haha!
I'll be staying in St.Albans, 20 minutes from Kings Cross... but that was before the mess with the trains!
Ok so here's the question, anyone have ideas for fun things to do over Christmas and New Year. My kids are 21 and 24 years old and there are a few more from home (now living there) that will be joining us on outings.
I was thinking of maybe booking Christmas dinner somewhere nice, but not too expensive, ideas?
Anyone know of anything going on over New Year?
How about the after Christmas sales, when do they start?
I will be very grateful for anything and everything you can tell me.
Thanks everyone.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 01:57 AM
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Some of the sales start on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas day. Other shops don't start their sales until 1st Jan.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 03:25 AM
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Carol . . .

Bad news, the London NYE celebrations have just been called off:

Shame, the 2000 fireworks were superb! I'll be in Paris with friends for the Real Millennium, I think . . .

But check this out for London Christmas plans:

; )
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 04:02 AM
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Joke, I presume,
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 06:51 AM
Ben Haines
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The trains between St Albans and Kings Cross aren't bad. I think they are now every 30 minutes rather than every hour.

I was thinking of maybe booking Christmas dinner
somewhere nice, but not too expensive, ideas?
For Christmas Day, one of the hotels. But it's a bad idea, as there are no tubes or busses, and prices are very high indeed to cover cost of staff that day.
Rather, until about 22 December many pubs offer Christmas lunch on weekdays, and some offer Christmas dinner. I'm sending you with the e-mail version of this message a note on such pubs. Your family or you will need to ring through to book a table: they get busy with office parties.

Anyone know of anything going on over New Year?
On New Year's Eve a huge party around Trafalgar Square, full of noisy drunks. The fireworks are off, but I doubt they'll stop the booze-in. And concerts on the Vienna style in the Royal Festival Hall and I think the Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall. I have the detail for the Festival Hall. They'll play at 3pm, and have a Strauss orchestra, and Strauss dancers in costume. You'll find detail on, and on web sites for the other two halls that your web searcher can find you. In the evenings the Festival Hall has a dance version of "A Christmas Carol".

How about the after Christmas sales, when do they start?
They vary, but some on 27 December, and many on 28 December

I will be very grateful for anything and everything you can tell

Until about 23 December there are lunchtime carol and Christmas concerts in old city churches, with mince pies and mulled wine. I hope to put detail onto Fodors forum by 2 December. If you don't see it please would you ask me then ?

I don't know whether you've seen pantomime, a slapstick play, with music, based on a such a children's tale as Cinderella or Aladdin. So long as you don't mind becoming a child again they are great fun. The best ones are in the suburbs, and have no television stars.

There are some good, thinking, plays just now, including "Copenhagen", "Another Country", and assorted Shakespeare. Much of the best is on the fringe, so if you buy "Time Out" at your arrival airport you can pick your fancy and book by credit card. It's good to ask the box office about nearby meals, as they are often a better buy than in the West End.

The Hampstead Everyman cinema usually has a season about then of great comedies -- Chaplin, Ealing, or what they choose Good tea and cakes in the cafes opposite.

For a few days around Christmas and New Year museums and galleries are closed, but generally they're open as usual.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to London

Ben Haines

Old Nov 21st, 2000, 08:48 AM
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X-mas sales in London start very early: I could not exactly tell when, but I bet they're already happening. December 23rd to January 2nd is the dreariest time of the year in London - I promised myself I would NEVER do it again! There is no transportation for whole days, no cabs to be found; all stores, restaurants and theaters close. Try to go somewhere out of London at least 12/23 to 12/26, and 12/31 to 1/2. Your kids will probably know better what to do, take their word.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 09:51 AM
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Thanks everyone for the great advice.
I'm really looking forward to the sales, hope I don't get trampled in the stampede. Any particular stores that are good? I've heard Harrods sales are good, not sure I'm prepared to queue for hours though.
Tracy, thanks for those urls, they've kept me busy for the last hour
Thanks too Ben, your pub idea sound wonderful, so I think I'll book one of those and cook Christmas dinner, sure the kids will thank you for that idea
Keep the ideas rolling, thanks.
Old Nov 22nd, 2000, 01:56 PM
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I'm not looking to rain on your parade, but the January sales are pretty lame. Any of the decent stores have huge lines of people just waiting to get IN the store. Then, if you actually choose to wait, you'll discover that the sales merchandise truly wasn't not worth the wait, nor are the discounts very large. It's kind of like waiting for 90 minutes in the rain to shop at an outlet store.

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