What is open in London Dec. 24-25?

Old Sep 3rd, 2003, 03:56 PM
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What is open in London Dec. 24-25?

Unfortunately for my first and possibly only visit to London(b/c I usually pick new places to go) I will only be there Dec 24-25 and have just found that mostly everything is closed.
Suggestions and things that are open?
Have to plan my time?
Big_Daddy is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2003, 04:13 PM
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There will basically be nothing at all open on Christmas Day. No tourist attractions will be open. No trains, buses either. It will be a good day to just walk around since there will also be very little traffic. Hopefully your hotel will be doing Christmas Lunch or Dinner. You will find a few restaurants open - mostly Indian/Chinese/Morrocan, etc. But open oneswill be few and far between.

On The 24th much more will be open - but things will be really crowded because everything closes up the 25th/26th so even non-tourists are out and about doing last minute things and shopping.

This is not really a good time to go for a 2-day "only" visit to London. If you could stay the whole week - that would be different. There are TONS of special holiday events.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2003, 05:10 PM
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Look for a string called "London this Christmas". It also has links to answers from last Xmas.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2003, 10:41 PM
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There will be some busses, but on a very limited schedule. Also, London Walks do have a few walks going on both days.Here is their web address:


You can always go to Christmas services in Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's. You may not be able to wander about, but you'll be able to see them an hear beautiful music.

You might ask your hotel if they are doing Christmas lunch or dinner. If they are, it's most likely a reservation only thing.
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Old Sep 4th, 2003, 12:10 AM
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My experience of Christmas Eve is very different from Janis.
Most things are open, most of the day. Some things (you need to check individually) close early.

But the only things in London that are crowded are the major supermarkets (the really big, out of town ones), intercity trains and a few pubs close to offices.

Otherwise, central London is practically empty. Even most touristy things. Even big shops, which would be a pleasure to shop in that day if the staff weren't all drunk, wearing silly clothes or re-arranging the store for poost-Christmas Sales.

Yes, you can't get into anything on Christmas Day except churches - and most of them are closed after morning services. But you can organise your own walks (see earlier thread on books about walking in London): there may be a city that's better for walking in than London, but I've yet to find it.

A "few" restaurants open in London on Christmas Day still adds up to more - and more diverse - restaurants than most cities have open on an ordinary day. Some, but by no means all, require a reservation.

Key survival aids: The Christmas/New Year edition of Time Out (out about Dec 19) lists most things open or functioning over Christmas. The Times on Christmas Eve lists music for services in most major Christian - Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and Non-Conformist - churches.

More than at any other time, it really is worth buying your copy of Time Out before leaving the US, and planning activities on the flight across.

flanneruk is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2003, 05:11 AM
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Thanks for the input. i do like the idea of Christmas service at Westminster, however, I thought special services were closed to the public/
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Old Sep 4th, 2003, 05:50 AM
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The Lessons and Carols service at Westminster Abbey we went to three Christmases ago is one of the highpoints of all our travels!
It is open to anyone who stands in line early enough to get a seat.
We were seated in Poet's Corner. The service opened with a lone boy singing "Silent Night" from the back of the church. Beautiful! Thinking about it still sends shivers up my spine.
My advice is get there a couple of hours before the service and be prepared to wait, and leave your coat on during the service -- those medieval churches are COLD!
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Old Sep 4th, 2003, 07:48 AM
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Dont bother with london on those dates very little is open and cold/wet weather come back another time, how do u intend 2 c much in a day?
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