Winter traveling has always been a great way to experience a place in ways that only locals understand. To truly view a city or town through the eyes of those who cherish it, one must feel the seasons, taste the holidays and listen to the sounds of excitement in the air from people that help to make a city a destination. The busy London streets, the sport, the pubs and the various districts, distinguished and unique, are all lost without the human experience of interaction, especially when spirits are high during the holiday season. For those who have always wanted to view the city apart from the tourist riddled summers, the winter season is a perfect time to experience the serentiy and seduction that can only be found in a white Christmas in London.
Wandering through the city streets of London during the holiday season can be one of the most enchanting experiences of your life. The chill and excitment in the air are enough to lift your spirits and enfold you into the season. Even if you aren’t able to stay for Christmas and Boxing Day, simply being within the city limits in December is enough to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. From shopping in Harrods to the breathtaking viewpoint atop the London Eye, Europe’s tallest ferris wheel, there is something for everyone and an experience to remember for all.
If you are fortuitious enough to be vacationing in London on Christmas day, the crowded streets become like a ghosttown, leaving you the opporunity to take a walking tour or perhaps even find an operating tour that takes advantage of the abandoned city. There are also quite a few local pubs that open around noon, allowing patrons to grab a bite and a pint while winding through the empty cobbles. Whether you’re traveling for holiday or just searching for the best opportunity to take crowdless photos, Christmas Day is the perfect time to have a deeply personal experience with London.
The day after such serenenity in the streets will prove a much different scene, as December 26th is “Boxing Day,” a traditional public holiday rooted in servitude, whereby employers would bestow Christmas boxes to their tradespeople in honor and gratitude of their services. If you are stong enough to brave the bustling corridors of London on Boxing Day, you will find crowds of people toting bag loads of sale items and roudy sports fans cheering football, horseraces (in lieu of traditional fox hunting, which is now outlawed) and even competing in footraces through the park with family and friends. Remember that public transportation is on special times and routes throughout the day, as well as extremely busy due to the festivites. Plan ahead and make sure to leave enough time for any prior engagements.
Whether you are attracted to the handsome highrises boasted on the city skyline or the few truly historic building left after WWII, such as the Monument, the Royal Exchange and a large number of churches and cathedrals, London is an enchanting destination regardless of the season. The perks of traveling during the holiday season are certainly worth the trip for those in love with London, and for the ones who haven’t yet professed their affection, one week around Christmas will feel like Valentines day in December. If you choose to visit London this winter, take some time to ice skate a huge heart on the Canary Wharf Ice Rink in honor of our envy and admiration.