Expert Travel Advice to London

Top Answers To London Travel Questions

  • MichelleSTL asked:
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    christmas in london
    Alistair answered:
    Hi Michelle! While it's true that London can crawl to a near-standstill on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 26, a public holiday here), the festive season does offer a great opportunity to enjoy the usually crowded city at a more leisurely pace. As the Tube and other public transit shuts down, plan on doing some walking (or see if you can snag one of the city's "Boris" bikes for a tour, though these will be in short supply given demand!). One of my favorite walks is from the Houses of Parliament across to the South Bank of the Thames and then east to the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, and St. Paul's. For something a little more organized, London Walks offers guided tours on Christmas Day as well as a Dickens' themed walk on Christmas Eve hosted by the Lord Mayor of London (http://www.walks.com). Plan accordingly and also try to get a hotel close to the city center so you're not reliant on expensive taxis to get home. And while most people will be away or at home feasting with family, there will be plenty of restaurants and bars still open for business. You could maybe even try something a bit different for your Christmas Day nosh, like a curry at The Cinammon House or high tea at The Ritz. Not sure if your family likes soccer, but Boxing Day matches here are a annual tradition. If you can snag tickets, English Premiership clubs Arsenal and Fulham are both playing at home on the 26th. Lastly, being Christmas and all, don't miss the carol services at any number of local churches or even at Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral. I know it might be a slight disappointment not being able to get into all the major attractions like the Tate or British Museum (open on the 27th, of course), but am sure you'll have a blast. Enjoy the festive spirit, not to mention parade of lights around places like Oxford Circus and Piccadilly. Hope this helps!
  • Anonymous user answered:
    Best ferry service is from Harwich to Hook of Holland with Stena Line. They offer two crossings daily so you can choose between day and overnight sailings. Overnight option might be worth a look as you can save yourself a night in a hotel this way. You can get to the port at Harwich by rail from London Liverpool Street (takes just over an hour). Very easy to get to both Amsterdam and the Hague by rail once you arrive in Holland.
  • Anonymous user answered:
    Hi Dushinkos! Britain's train system is extensive enough to mitigate the need for a car in most cases. Quite apart from driving on the left (it's not that bad!), petrol is also very expensive. The East Coast train service from London's King Cross to Edinburgh is pretty fast (4-5 hours) and fairly affordable, especially if you can book in advance. If you plan on doing any other trips around the UK, you might look into a family railcard as a way to save some money. Another option is to break your journey back from Edinburgh with an overnight stop in somewhere like York or Durham, both lovely, historic towns that are on the London-Edinburgh line. I would worry, though, that you'd be packing too much in with only four days to spare, including travel to and from Edinburgh. Another option might be to do a day or overnight trip from London to towns like Oxford, Cambridge, or Bath, all within easy range of the capital and with lots of things to see and do for families. You don't say what your teenagers enjoy, or when you're traveling to the UK. These are also factors. I think Edinburgh's a great choice (I went to high school here!). Remember that late July/August is festival season in Edinburgh, which means loads of stuff to see and do but also crowds and fully-booked hotels. Plan in advance if you're traveling in those summer months!

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