We are considering a trip to London at Christmas and would like to go to the Christmas Eve service. We know we would have to walk since public transportation will not be operating at that time. We would also appreciated ideas for where to eat(within walking distance) Christmas Day.
Park Plaza County Hall
Doubletree by Hilton
Premier Inn London County Hall
Marriott London County Hall
I would suggest reserving dinner in the hotel you choose (if they have a restaurant) or a nearby hotel that does have a Christmas dinner setting.
Also, does anyone have insights on whether to go to service at Westminster Abbey Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Westminster Abbey Christmas 2013
This might give you a little insight into Westminster Abbey...it's from last year but I would be willing to wager that it doesn't change too much! Personally, whenever we are abroad at Christmas in Europe, the Christmas Eve services are usually the most beautiful.
There are also some links at the bottom of the page to other things in London at Christmas.
We like the Sanctuary House Hotel on Tothill St. Just two blocks from Westminster Abbey on the same side of the river. Also very close to St James Park and an easy walk to Trafalgar Square in the center of London.
I went to the Christmas Eve service in 2013; tickets were released in November and all the Eve ones were gone within a few hours. The service itself was very lovely - choir singing, lesson reading, hymn singing, candle lighting, etc. As transport is an issue on Christmas Day, the Day tickets might be slightly easier to get ahold of. The Day service is televised and it was almost exactly the same as the Eve one. Either way, it was a very nice experience.
Evensong doesn't require tickets and is exquisite, but if you can opt for the christmas eve mass.
We stayed at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel, two years ago. We were just a few yards from the Thames. We could walk to Parliament, Big Ben, The Tower Bridge, the Horse guards Parade, Whitehall Street, etc. We totally enjoyed the hotel and its location. We weren't impressed with their dinner menu choices though. It was quite expensive and there wasn't any selection. Our breakfasts were included for the ten days we were there. We walked daily along the Thames. We had our special bench to sit on.