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Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

Atlanta, Georgia
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Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

Hi All,

I am travelling to Dublin, Ireland in the last week of December. Have to be in Dublin by Dec 29. I will be travelling with my 13-year old and we decided to visit London while we are there.

We have 2 options:

1. Arrive in LHR Dec 23. Spend 23 and 24 in London and head for DUB on 25

2. Land in LHR 25/26. Go straight to DUB. On the return trip, stop in London on Jan 1 and 2. Return back on Jan 3.

Either way, we have day and a half to 2 days to spend in London. I would like to stay close to the tube, but in a location that I can see the main attractions very easily.

Can someone please suggest a few spots around London that I can stay in and have attractions close by or accessible easily by bus/train/tube.

Thanks in advance !!!!

VR

London
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1. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

Transport options in London will be very limited on 25th December in London. About all that will be operating is the Heathrow Express (which will almost certainly be a bus replacement), and a limited bus service from Victoria to Heathrow.

Might be better to be in London in early January when most things will be open.

U.S. expats
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2. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

What wirewiper said. London shuts down at Christmas. It will be quiet---really quiet. In the days before Christmas it is a mad shopping frenzy that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.

Go in January.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

WireWiper and LauraRW,

Thanks for the advice, and warning !!!!!. I will go in January !.

London, United...
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4. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

Xmas Day, Boxing Day (called Stephen's Day in Ireland ) and New Year's Day are the main Bank Holidays in Britain and Ireland. There is no public transport. I don't know if any tourist venues will be open but I doubt it. Taxis will be double price in London and Dublin. A taxi between Heathrow and London costs £60/£70 on a normal day !

I have been looking into going to Dublin (from London) for Xmas and the air fares are very expensive, they go down again on the 26th. The best I found were with Air France who fly from London City Airport. There are cheaper airlines but they fly from Luton which is outside London and would be more expensive/take longer to get to.

I have just checked and the air france fares London to Dublin are £134 on the 24th, £460 on the 25th and £48 on the 26th. Big difference ! Coming back £80 on the 31st, £91 on the 1st and 2nd, £80 on the 3rd and £20 on the 5th !!!

If you return to London on the 31st we have a big firework display at midnight on the Thames. (Get there earlier to get a good spot !) I googled New Year 2012 London and got london.gov.uk which has info. Buses and tubes are free to get home afterwards till 4AM I think.

Hotels near Victoria Coach Station or train station would be handy for getting to Heathrow by coach or tube (change at Green Park to Piccadilly Line) and close to the West End and the Thames.

From Victoria tube/train you can walk up Victoria St, turn left at Palmer St, pass St James tube station, then right then left through Queen Anne's Gate. Cross the road (Birdcage Walk where Charles 2nd had birds in hanging cages in the 1600s) to St James Park, which is small but nice with ducks,swans etc (not in cages thank goodness) and very friendly squirrels. Follow the ponds to Buckingham Palace at the end of the park. If you walk back down through the park (there's a cafe) till you come to the toilets then cross the road you will see an area covered in sand/gravel. This is the back of Horse Guards Parade and you can cut through (past a sentry in kinky boots) to where the guards sit on horses (guarding something I'm not sure what but they are very good at it, try to make them smile and you'll see what I mean ! ) To your right is Downing St, Whitehall and the Thames (Southbank, London Eye, Tate Gallery). To your left (a few yards) is Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, St Martins-In-The-Fields.

From there you can walk all around the West End - Leicester Square (street entertainers), Piccadilly, Soho, Covent Garden (more st entertainers), Oxford St, Carnaby St, etc. But it will be pretty bloody cold so you might be better off coming on a day the buses and tube are running to get you home afterwards! You can get a bus from Piccadilly or Trafalgar Square to anywhere you want to go (day or night)

There must be a London Tourism website where you can download a map and get info on Xmas opening times for whatever you want to visit. Good luck ! I hope you both have a great time : )

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

Kassy111,

Thanks for the information. I looked at Aer Lingus to and from LHR-DUB-LHR, and they were a $100 (DUB-LHR on Jan 1 is 0.00 with taxes and charges, it is $24.99.

From your email I understand there is no public transportation avaialble on Jan 1. Is that correct ?. If I fly in from DUB on Jan 1 that could be a problem. I am not so much worried about the tourist venues as there are a lot of places we can go in London itself (Traffalgar Sq, Tower of London etc)..But if I am not able to get to the hotel from LHR, that could be a problem. Also, it could be a issue if there are no restaurants !!!!!!

London, United...
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6. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

> Taxis will be double price in London <

Black cabs just add an additional £4 to the usual fare on Christmas Day.

Edited: 21 October 2011, 13:28
London
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7. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

The information above is misleading. The only day with NO public transport is Dec 25th. On the others (24 Dec, Jan 1) there are services, usually to a Sunday timetable meaning they start later, finish earlier and parts of some lines or stations may be closed.

Restaurants are open on January 1st.

However tourist sites like the Tower of London, museums and galleries are mostly closed 24-26 Dec and Jan 1st.

On the whole if these dates can be skipped - unless you want to attend the fireworks on NYE on the Southbank - it is better to do so.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

No, it's not correct. Public transport runs on January 1st, it's usually a modified weekend service but on the tube you won't notice the difference, especially as NYD falls on a Sunday anyway this year

It's only Dec 25 when public transport stops altogether. On New Year's Day transport runs, shops are open (in fact they will be busy with sales, usual Sunday hours), it's just offices etc that are closed

London, United...
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9. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

That's great. Though I think you mean £s not $s unless you're looking at a different aer lingus site to me ! I'm glad I was wrong about the tube on NYD. I know there are shops open but I wouldn't want to get caught up in the sales crowds myself. I really don't know about restaurants sorry.

10. Re: Need Advice: 2 Days in London Dec or Jan

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