London at Christmas..What do you think?

Feb 1st, 2009, 04:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 302
London at Christmas..What do you think?

I was thinking about planning a solo trip to London, possibly around Christmas 2009. I was wondering where would be a good base to stay(I like art, architecture, history, shopping,pubs pretty much everything). I know December may not be ideal weather wise, but truthfully, I don't much care for Christmas and would rather be away. I like to be able to walk as much as possible, but the tube is fine also. Thoughts on soho? I know this is sort of broad, but any info helps. Thanks!!
elcon is offline  
Feb 1st, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Type "london christmas" into the search box, and scroll down to the fourth thread for what is probably more than you want to know!
sf7307 is online now  
Feb 1st, 2009, 05:28 PM
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Pretty much anywhere in Central London is fine. There is NOT ONE AREA that is close to all the attractions, and most hotels in Central London are located within a short walk to the tube station and bus station anyway.

Of course, if you're someone who would want to visit National Gallery every day, then staying near Trafalgar Sq will be beneficial.

Your best bet would be a hotel in Bloomsbury, or Soho, or Covent Garden, or Mayfair - but they will be on the pricey side with the exception of Bloomsbury. These areas will allow you to walk to National Gallery, British Museum, Royal Academy of Art, National Portrait Museum; just to name a few.

Shopping in London before Christmas is a mad scene, so if you like shopping, you'd be better off going to London AFTER Christmas.

Everything closes on Christmas, and I mean everything! All public transportation, most restaurants, all shops, sights etc. So if you go, make sure you don't plan on arriving in London on Christmas day or you'll face a major nightmare of getting to your hotel from the airport. Also, finding places to eat on Christmas Day (ie, that are open, not outrageously expensive, and within walking distance from your hotel) can be a headache too.

Weather won't be nice, and daylight hours are very short. but if you're going to be indoors anyway, it won't be a huge deal.

Lastly, if you really like art, I highly recommend the BLUE GUIDE to London's Galleries and Museums. It definitely is one of the best guide books I've bought.
yk is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 02:05 AM
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Christmas pretty much sees London at it's worst. Prior to the big day it is mobbed in the day by shoppers and in the evenings by pissed-up office parties.

On the day itself it completely shuts down (there will no doubt now be some plungers along to say that there are Indian restaurants open in Southall, without saying how you're meant to get there).

Having said that; from the 27th on pretty much everything is open and yopu'll have the place to yourself as we locals will be at home watching Wallace and Grommit (again).
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 07:43 PM
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I agree with Cholmondley_Warner.

If you don't care for christmas the UK is not the place to be. It is force fed to you at every opportunity, makes shopping almost impossible (Not just gift shipping but food shopping too) and subjects you to Christmas music in every building.

But as CW says from 27th it is quite pleasant. When I lived in London I could set off to work 30 mins later between Xmas and New year because half the capital leaves town to visit relatives elsewhere.

Arrive on the 27th and you will have many places almost to yourself.
sashh is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
Check out the Rembrandt:

Directly across the street from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Science Museum with lots of restaurants nearby & excellent shopping within walking distance. You're also a couple of blocks from the S. Kensington tube station which will get you most anywhere as well as bus stops right at your door.

I think someone mentioned they have deals at the Rembrandt a lot of the time on if I remember correctly. They also have specials on their own site sometimes.
Carrybean is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for the input. Perhaps landing on the 27th would be the best option. Let the planning begin!
elcon is offline  
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