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Planning a Trip to London at Christmas

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Weather

London is a fantastic city and, if should get the opportunity to go, you should take it at anytime of year. However, be aware that London in December averages high temperatures of 9 degrees Celcius or 48F for our American readers. London has lots to offer indoors and most attractions are only a very short walk from the nearest Tube station.

Don’t miss ice skating a the natural history museum. London Walks company offer a Charles Dickens tour departing central London on Christmas Day so this is also a great option when most things are closed.

Take a coat and hat so you can include evening strolls to enjoy the Christmas lights on Oxford St and the big Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. D

Transportation

The London tube doesn’t operate on Christmas Day. Cabs are priced at premium prices as well on Christmas Day, so don’t fly on Christmas Day unless you’re planning on staying at an airport hotel that provides transportation. We spent one Christmas Eve sleeping at Heathrow airport because we were flying to Paris the next day. Don’t do this ;)

Like Commonwealth countries, the UK have a holiday on December 26th called Boxing Day. The tube runs on Boxing Day and many attractions reopen on Boxing Day but some don’t. Plan your week accordingly.

Get yourself an Oyster card and a weekly tube pass.

Food

A winter trip is the perfect time to spend a few hours lingering over a great meal and not feeling guilty that you’re not out walking the streets. There are plenty of vegan choices around central London, including a vegan cupcakes. London is very vegan friendly, and food labeling in supermarkets is excellent so you can combine restaurant meals with some picnic options. Make sure you try Vegusto vegan cheese while you’re in the UK! It’s available at Wholefoods.

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Where to Stay

One way to still enjoy London on Christmas Day without the tube running is to stay in a central neighborhood like Kensington. That way, you can take advantage of restaurants offering Christmas meals without transportation issues. You’ll experience the city centre in full on Christmas mode without battling for space with commuters in their big coats in rush hour on the Tube. Plan to take a stroll around the central city to burn off Christmas lunch and enjoy London without the crowds.

Shopping

Harrods is a great place to see London Christmas shopping in action. Regular readers will know how I feel about shopping so I’m looking for a one stop shop! You cab buy things like cute little London themed Christmas decorations which I think make a nice trip memory or packable gift. The store exterior is spectacularly lit up during the Christmas season.

“The West End”

West End shows usually only take Christmas Day off, and are back in business for boxing day. Don’t miss the opportunity to see some theater in London. Prices are significantly cheaper than Broadway, often times for the same shows.

photo credits: arripay Dr. Build via photopin cc

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