London between Xmas & New Years

Old Nov 28th, 2001, 06:56 AM
  #1  
amy
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London between Xmas & New Years

I am contemplating a trip to London between Christmas and New Years. This will be my first trip to London and I'm very interested in the basic tourist attractions, theater, and shopping. I've read a few comments referring to the number of businesses that close during this time. Any perspective out there would be appreciated!
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 10:04 AM
  #2  
Matt
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-- visit the Leister Square ticket center to purchase "day of" theater tickets at cheap prices

-- absolutely see: Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, St. Paul's -- all the basic sights...

-- Oxford Street is a main shopping street. Herrod's is a must. Try to catch Camden Market on the weekend.

-- I wouldn't worry about things being any more closed in London than they are in the US -- Things will be closed on Christmas day, but generally open as usual otherwise.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 11:45 AM
  #3  
Merilee
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The 25th and the 26th will be quiet days in London...there is (or was a few years ago) a boat ride on the Thames River on Christmas Day that offered a midday holiday dinner...I'll see if I can find the name and post again...Must sees are Harrod's, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace...I liked the British Museum but you need alot of time there...try to see a show if time permits...on Sunday's only no matter what the weather conditions there's a huge outdoor shopping market on Petticoat Lane... it's from 9AM to 1PM and you can buy just about anything...I bought back some really nice sweaters and knick/knacks...Woolworth's (Woolies) was another store where I picked up some items to bring back. The Underground makes traveling convenient even if you have to change lines.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 11:47 AM
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Grasshopper
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I think the Museum of Natural History is a must see. The interactive exhibits are pretty creative and the building itself is spectacular.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 12:22 PM
  #5  
Merilee
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Amy, the Christmas Day Lunch Cruise on the Thames River is run by Thames Cruises (Express Events, Ltd.)...you embark and disembark from Westminster Pier...it's from 12:30PM until 3:00PM and the cost is 59.50 British pounds per person...it's a multi course meal and liquor is available at an additional cost...their telephone number is 020 7439 2333 and their fax number is 020 7439 2332...I don't remember the country or city code...they do have a website...the also have other cruises available during the month of December.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 12:35 PM
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Bob Brown
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We arrived on the day after Christmas Day, which is known as Boxing Day, in Britain. Things were mostly closed as I recall. We even had trouble finding an open restaurant except in the hotel.
 
Old Nov 29th, 2001, 07:54 AM
  #7  
amy
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Merilee:
Thanks for the cruise suggestion. I think that sounds lovely. I just emailed the British Tourism Association to get specifics on what is open and what is closed during that time. I think it sounds like a great time to visit and see all the holiday decor!
 
Old Nov 29th, 2001, 10:25 AM
  #8  
meg
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I was at Somerset House off the Strand, in Central London yesterday and they are flooding the beautiful inner courtyard- to be turned into an Ice Skating Rink for the Xmas season- a lovely idea! So, if you want some exercise- try it!
 
Old Nov 29th, 2001, 08:48 PM
  #9  
Marilyn
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I just received this beautiful website about Christmas in London. It has lots of listings of concerts and special activities of all kinds.
http://www.london-capital.com/ukchri...christmas.html
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 02:38 AM
  #10  
JOdy
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Hamptom Court Palace will be open for lantern-lit tours on certain dates in december and January..a new way to see this lovely royal residence as it was in 16th cen. A nice time out from London
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 01:26 PM
  #11  
alex
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Try also thisislondon.com. Marilyn - I looked at the site you recommended and it relates to last year (the reference to the Dome was the giveaway)!
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 02:39 PM
  #12  
Elaine E.
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We have been in London Christmas/New Years. Very, very quiet. On 25 and 26 very little open. Almost all n0n-hotel restaurants closed. All museums closed. London much less decorated than US, but getting more each year. Few homes have outside decorations. We were so disappointed that we went to Paris and had a great time there.
The London Eye is also worth doing. We love Savoy Hotel be elegant lunch in main dining room or dinner in Grill. Tea is very popular but lunch or dinner better. Sommerset House is newly redone and quite special.
Good Luck.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 02:40 PM
  #13  
Marilyn
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Alex-
Thank you for telling me about the london-capital site. I'm so disappointed; it was a beautiful site. I forwarded it to family members and copied and printed a lot of the information. Does this mean that all the information at london-capital.com is outdated?

Marilyn
 
Old Dec 1st, 2001, 02:29 AM
  #14  
chris
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Another website is http://www.londontouristboard.com/specialfeatures/editorial/christmasstart.htm

I too will be in London between Christmas and New Years. Since many of the museums are now free, I plan on hitting several of the ones I have passed by in the past-Natual History Museum, National Portrait Gallery. The Imperial War Museum is now free and is superb. I went to the new British Galleries at the V&A last week. Definitely going to the New Years Day Parade and plan on going to the special Tudor Christmas at Hampton Court Palace from Dec. 27-Jan. 1.

From my exprience London can be very dull between Christmas and New Years, don't expect too much jovial festivity.
 
Old Dec 1st, 2001, 02:34 AM
  #15  
chris
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another interesting prospect.

www.geffrye-museum.org.uk
another free entry:
Christmas Past: 400 Years of Seasonal Traditions in English Homes
Tuesday 27 November 2001 - Sunday 6 January 2002
It’s Christmas again - so make the most of it by visiting our annual exhibition and discovering the meanings and origins of some of our more common customs, from kissing under the mistletoe to decorating the tree and throwing cocktail parties. Each of the Geffrye’s twelve period rooms are decorated in authentic festive style, providing a feast for the eyes and the soul. A visit in December is a must!

 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 11:07 AM
  #16  
marge
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I just found this reference of a fun thing to watch on Christmas day in London:

December 25: The big chill

Watch hardy types take to the water in Hyde Park's Serpentine lake to race over 100 yards for the Peter Pan Cup. Yep, no matter what the temperature, they dive in wearing just their bathing suits – and if the lake’s iced over – they break it! Brrrr. This traditional event has taken place every Christmas since 1864. It starts at 9am, if you can dare to watch.

This is from http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/christmas/articles/1964009?source=Evening%20Standard
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 02:00 PM
  #17  
Cat
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Lots of great museums for whatever you may be interested. British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Museum, Tate modern, Natural History Museum, Queens Gallery, Science museum...
 
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 12:00 PM
  #18  
ttt
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topping
 
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 02:24 AM
  #19  
Siobhan
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Amy,

I went to London by myself several years ago between Xmas and New Years before I moved Permanently to Europe. I hada great time it was just very cold. After Boxing day all the shops were open and the sales were on. Harrodds was fun to wander around in and have lunch. I did all the tourist Places like tower of London etc and they were open. Most companies have holidays during this time but all restaurants, shops and supermarkets were open.
 
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