London at Christmas

Old Oct 8th, 2002, 07:47 AM
brian hughes
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London at Christmas

Will be in London from Dec. 24th to Dec. 31st. Any suggestions? I will be travelling with my wife and a three year old son.
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 08:25 AM
bad idea
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Tons of posts on this recently - London is shut down, dark, cold, short days and terrible at Xmas unless you have family. Even then it is dull. Ski Austria and live it up instead.
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 08:41 AM
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Someone asked this question yesterday and I suggested taking a Thames River Christmas Day Cruise. The price includes a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It sets sail from Westminster Pier at 12 about noon and it returns at about 3:00. They have a website. You could also find about attending a Christmas Day church service. London is a virtual ghost town on Christmas Day and even the underground takes a break. The 26th is also a holiday there. It's called Boxing Day.
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 08:54 AM
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I disagree. I live in London and have travelled extensively and always return to london for xmas. If you enjoy the xmas feeling that goes with the cold weather, y oud love London. Sure there is a mad rush of shoppers in the central shopping area of Oxford Street, but still the atmosphere is very xmassy if a bit crowded. Its great to go and see the xmas lights, (the streets are decorated with fairy lights), i recommend taking a trip to the big departmental stores to check their windows as they are often beautifully decorated, particularly selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and especially Hamleys the "biggest toy shop in the world", your Son would love it. Very crowded with children but not to be missed if you are a child.

And contrary to the other response. Shops are open until late on Xmas Eve. On Xmas day they are all closed. Boxing day usually closed, but the 27th - 31st they are open, with a possible early closing on 31st.

Alot of hotels do xmas dinners etc, so search the web to find out what is available. As far as I know the tourist attractions should still be open. Try and take a trip on the London eye, its like a giant ferris wheel that moves very very slowly but you can see the whole of London. Website is But you must book well in advance as it may be busy during the week you will be arriving and may not be open on xmas day. (if the website doesnt work, try

hope this helps.

Dont let bozos like the post above put you off, London is very pretty during xmas.If you can manage it, go to Edinburgh in Scotland for new years eve, hogmanny, its meant to be brilliant

hope this helps
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 09:05 AM
Geoff Hamer
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The problem with London at Christmas is that the UK shuts down on Christmas Day. If you are in Amsterdam or Paris, say, there is public transport and a far bigger choice of restaurants. They still have Christmas lights like London. The few restaurants open in London on Christmas Day are expensive: the lunch cruise on the Thames is £65 a head (
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 10:51 AM
still think you can do better
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I also lived in London. The cruise mentioned on December 25 sounds okay but not sure a 3 year old will find it too delightful. The 26th is completely shut down and you will be at a loss with a small child. Why are you set on being in London this particular week.
Old Oct 9th, 2002, 01:44 AM
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I stayed in London on 24th, 25th and 26th on December 98. It's completely shut down. No transportation. Be prepared for long walks. Even cabs are difficult to find. Even Victoria Station is closed (lockers/restaurants/etc).
Old Oct 10th, 2002, 12:55 AM
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My husband and I were in London last year 12/28 to 1/4/02 and the city is a baze with lights and decoration. Don't know where you live but for us it was very cold. No matter how many layers we put on, we were cold so if you are not used to cold weather, bring lots of warm stuff! New Years Eve was rather quite we thought for such a big city. I recommend a train ride to Hampton Court Palace. We were there on Janary 2, 2002 and saw lots of parents with their children. There were people in period costumes, things for chidlren to see and do as well as adults. It was by far the best Palace we have ever toured. Shar
Old Oct 10th, 2002, 03:02 AM
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Well, of course everythings shut on the 25th of Dec. It's Christmas Day!! And the 26th is Boxing Day which is a public holiday. The English are very keen on celebrating Christmas and need to be at home with their families.
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