My family and I are planning on spending this coming Christmas in England, but we're having trouble finding a place to stay. We'd like a B&B so we could meet other people and not spend Christmas alone, but a lot of them are closed for Christmas. Any information about good places to stay or fun holiday activities in England would be most appreciated.
Where in England?
I understand your problem - I did a lot of research for Xmas last year and found many (but by no means all) B & B's were closed. There are plenty of options if you want to stay in a nice hotel in a village or a countryhouse but I found they were very expensive and often a minimum of 3 nights. You do need to narrow your choices down to a couple of areas. One could be Windsor/Eton which is close to London on the train and perhaps not as closed as many placees. Leading up to the Xmas period we stayed in a small house there for 4 nights and it was great. Also consider that staying in a B & B will not guarantee that you will meet other people other than across the breakfast table - you would be better in a guesthouse or hotel unless the B & B serves dinner which they generally do not.
I know that there are a few B&B's open in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds.
Well, we were hoping to stay either in London (simply because there is more to do there) or Norwich (since our daughter will be just wrapping up a semester abroad at a university there), but we're really open to suggestions for anywhere in England. We've read certain travel articles and such that have mentioned B&Bs that offer a Christmas dinner, but so far we've had trouble finding any. We're planning on spending two weeks there (since the price of airline tickets makes any less time not really worth it), but would it be possible to rent a small condo or something for those two weeks? We've also heard that a lot is closed Christmas week (stores and museums and so on), but does anyone know of any sites that will be open? Also, can anyone suggest any good traditional restaurants that offer Christmas dinner? Thanks for any help!
What I did after selecting an area - initially was Winchester - and then moved to Windsor/Eton - was google 'accommodation [insert place]' or something similar. Also look at www.smoothhound.co.uk which has masses of accommodation, sorted by area I think. After getting to a long 'short list' I then e-mailed places and in most cases they responded and indicated whether they would be open at Xmas, many incl Xmas menus etc.
One problem with London is that public transport basically shuts down for a couple of days over Xmas so you are somewhat restricted unless you are staying very centrally or prepared to spend a lot of money on cabs.