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Christmas in the UK question

I have also posted a version of this to the France/Germany forum....

I am planning our 30th anniversary trip for next year and have a couple of questions and would appreciate anyones help. My wife and I, 3 older teenage kids and 2 friends will be traveling to Germany, France and the UK over Christmas time. We plan to visit Germany first, visit Munich, some Christmas markets, take an overnight train to Paris, visit the sites, then Chunnel train to London where we have relatives about 60km out of town.

Since it is impossible to verify some reservations this far in advance, I have a couple of questions....

  1. Does the Channel train run on Christmas Day? And what about intercity trains on Christmas? We are thinking of taking the chunnel from Paris to London, then going north to our relatives from Kings Cross station on December 25th. I know the tube is shut down on the 25th but that won't be a problem...we are just switching trains...We then commute into London on December 26th to sightsee.

  2. I understand December 26th is boxing day. Is anything open in London that day, or might I be better off spending Christmas Day in Paris, then traveling on December 26th to the UK. Then we could sight-see London on December 27th.

If there are any other holiday restrictions anyone knows about, or if you have any suggestions at all, I would love to hear about them.



Posted by
55 posts

Hi Mike,

  1. The Eurostar from Paris to London, and all UK domestic rail services are cancelled on Christmas Day. I suppose it could change next year, but that's always been the case in the past. Eurostar does operate on Boxing Day (26/12), but very few domestic rail services do, including most services in the Greater London area. The tube will operate, as will buses like the GreenLine coaches.

Even if the services are running, it is also peak period for rail engineering works, so many services will be replaced by buses and/or stop short of their usual termini.

In short, I would strongly recommend not putting yourself through the hassle of traveling on the 25th or 26th. Watch for early finishes around New Year too.

  1. (or 3!) As for Paris, I really don't know, but many sights in London will be closed on Boxing Day. It should be perfectly possible to get the Eurostar to London on the 26th, then get a coach to somewhere near where your friends live.

Hope this is of some help,