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Boxing Day in London

We are trying to maximize our sightseeing as we're visiting London over the shut-down (or mostly) period of Christmas (Arrive Dec. 23, leave Dec. 30). Before Christmas we want to do the overview double-decker bus tour as well as hit the Christmas markets that close after Dec. 24, as well as the festive shops. We plan to take it easy on the 25th (reserving our pub dinner near our hotel, of course) and then really cram in the standard attractions and museums on Dec. 27-29 (since they are closed Dec. 24-26). I have been to London, but my husband hasn't, so there are a lot of the "biggies" that we just don't want to miss (but could).

We were thinking that Dec. 26 would be a great day to take a day trip (via tour bus) to Stonehenge and Bath (neither of us have been to either), but it turns out the Roman Baths are closed on the 26th (though of course tour operators are still offering trips to the city of Bath, and presumably to see the outside of the baths). Would the trip still be worth it? Should we do the trip another day (and miss a day of of London's museums/sights)? If we did Stonehenge/Bath on another day, does anyone know of something excellent that's open on Boxing Day in London (or another good day trip)?

Thanks!

Posted by
348 posts

I think Kew Gardens is open on 26th December (but this may not be of interest). The problem, of course, is no overground rail services and limited underground. I think doing a day trip out of London will have all the issues you have staying in London (only worse), not much open.

In London the main event on the 26th is shopping, all the sales are on.
You could take a look at London Walks - walks.com - to see what they are doing on that day. If it is possible to do a day trip they will be doing it, otherwise there will be a few 2 hour walking tours in London which may spark your interest.
The only other thing in the London area that I am currently aware of is the horse racing at Kempton Park - which would involve tube+bus (as no rail).
Sorry, hope others have better suggestions.

Posted by
26046 posts

London Eye, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abbey, St Pauls Cathedral and many others are open on Boxing Day.

Thew churches are open throughout - check the hours. Details on their websites.

Posted by
571 posts

Bath is a nice city, but if you cannot tour the Roman baths on the day you are there, I strongly believe it's not worth the day trip. You could peer down from the street into the main central pool, but you'll get very little sense of the whole complex. The museum portion should be seen. (BTW, both audio tours are excellent if you go when it is open.)

Everyone's opinion differs, but mine is that Stonehenge isn't worth leaving London for even on the brightest, warmest, sunniest day of the year. I can't offer any experience about London on Boxing Day, but surely there is more going on in that city which would be better than standing behind a rope on a windy plain, 25 paces away from some old rocks.

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks, all! I think we'll stick around London that day after all. Sales are fun too, and it's nice to be caught up in what everyone else is doing.

Posted by
3 posts

When in England at Christmas time, I MUST get tickets to a PANTOMIME. All major cities and towns offer this 'live theatre' that is unique holiday entertainment for the whole family. Don't be put off be the themes of these shows which is always a children's story. These shows follow the general plot of these well-known stories, but weave political and current event content into the dialogue. The children have a wonderful time and you will as well. Pantomimes usually feature UK television celebrities, audience participation, and a few men in drag. The first pantomime I ever saw was Cinderella. I could not figure out why my Brit fiancé would take me to see Cinderella. (Yes, the two step-sisters were played by pretty unattractive guys.). Now I must have my pantomime at Christmastime. This experience will give you a big helping of Brit culture. In fact, there will be few tourists in the audience. Hope you can catch one!

Posted by
4536 posts

"I MUST get tickets to a PANTOMIME"
Oh no you didn't.

Posted by
26046 posts

OH YES SHE DID!!! {{screaming kids several rows deep}}

(S)He's Behind You!!!!!

Posted by
521 posts

Pam said:

All major cities and towns offer this 'live theatre' that is unique
holiday entertainment for the whole family.

And even in our fairly small, rural village we have an annual pantomime. This year it's 'Sleeping Beauty' and my daughter is playing the principal boy, Prince Handsome, and she even has an 'Oh yes she is' scene this year, which she's very pleased about (oh no she isn't...). They do 5 evening performances and a matinee in the village hall (which holds 200 people) and it sells out for every show.

The pantomime has even taken hold in other countries. My parents are spending Christmas in Malta, and are going to see a production of Little Red Riding Hood in Valletta on Boxing Day.

Posted by
26 posts

Oh my goodness, you all have cracked me up, and this sounds just up our (quirky) alley. Thanks so much for giving me a head's up; it wasn't on my radar until now!

Posted by
35 posts

When we were in London on Boxing Day a couple years ago we went to a soccer game (Chelsea v. Fulham). Just a thought if you're a fan.