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First trip to the UK - Christmas in Cambridge

We are planning to attend the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in Cambridge (we've listened to it for 25 years on Public Radio and always wanted to attend this service). We plan on staying in London for a few days when we arrive on the 17th. Would it be a good idea to travel elsewhere after London, before heading to Cambridge/East Anglia? (We will want to see an old US airbase at Rattlesden as well.) We've heard from the PA to the Dean of the school that getting into the service at King's College Cambridge is not that bad, but we'd have to be there before 7AM to get into the college. Have you heard anything different? No reservations have yet been made, so we're open to suggestions and advice. Many thanks. Nick & Anna

Posted by
1939 posts

If you are going to be in London and are interested in WWII history, see American Chapel in St Paul's if you haven't done it yet.

Posted by
1986 posts

There is so much to see in London.( Especially in Winter when it gets dark earlier there is more to do in a larger City), you will easily find things to see in London to fill up your time. It does seemas if you want to travel to cambridge early the prior afternoon, so that you dont feel rushed, and can see a bit of Cambridge first

Posted by
970 posts

Things pretty much shut down on Christmas day, so check to be sure everything you will need is going to be open and/or operating, including restaurants. Getting to Cambridge on the 24th is an obvious idea. It's about a two-hour train trip from King's Cross. BTW, the station is not in the city center, but a mile or so away. You can grab a bus or a cab if you don't feel like hoofing it. And, that time of year, it will be dark around 5pm.

Posted by
27412 posts

I thought that the sunset time above sounded late so checked with weather underground who say the actual sunset would be 3:48 pm in Cambridge, FWIW. I hope you have a magical time. The broadcast is always live on the BBC TV so maybe you can get a copy of the one you're at.

Posted by
1153 posts

London is magical at Christmas time. Be sure to check the Royal Albert Hall website and take in a grand Christmas production if possible. The royal Orchestra and spectacular choirs present seasonal songs and sing-a-longs. Do visit Trafalgar Square for the lighted tree from Norway and the various groups with seasonal music as well. Mince pie and hot mulled wine is available. You will find much to do in London at Christmas.