Spending new year's in london. Any suggestions of "must see or do" ideas? Staying in Kensington, so is tube or cabs to the parade and fireworks impossibly crazy? Traveling with 18 yr.old daughter and her friend, so all adults. Is it too cold for day trip to Hampton Court? Thank you!
I would take the tube or buses - taxis in London are very pricey. Kensington will be will connected by both, and they are both very easy to use. Pick up an Oyster Card when you arrive to save you money.
There are a million things to do in London no matter what you are interested in - tons of museums that are free and great for wet cold days. The shopping is fantastic - check out Oxford st, Regent st, Covent Garden, Bond st. Harrods, Knightsbridge area for upscale shopping.
As far as too cold for Hampton Court? Well, I'm from NE and you're from FL so our thoughts on too cold might vary, but I'd say go for it. It could be cold (40's) and wet and miserable or it could be clear and 60. I had a week of 60's when I was there the first week of Feb, so who knows. However, the gardens are my favorite part of the palace and they obviously won't be full of color in Jan.
One thing that might be fun and "Christmassy' if you're not sick of it by New Years is the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park near Knightsbridge Tube. Huge ice rink, observation wheel, and "authentic" German Christmas Market with food. Just an idea. Check out londontown.com for tons of great ideas on what to do in London. Be sure to take time and just wander around, it's a beautiful city.
It could be a good time to do indoor stuff at Hampton Court but check websites for holiday period closures. If you mean the outdoor stuff, let's face it: January is not the best time to do gardens in London.
If you can afford a splurge try and get seats at a West End Pantomime. They are part of our national culture and not to be missed. If you can't afford the West End search 'Time Out' magazine for more affordable venues.
Also the big store sales start on 26 December ( many of the smaller stores start before that ). If you like a bargain and enjoy shopping, hit Oxford Street with a fury ( remember - the early bird gets the worm ).
Wrap up warm and take in a walking tour like one of the 'Jack the Ripper' tours of Stepney and Spittlefields or visit all those Dicken's sites in Bloomsbury and the City.
Don't forget the pubs, they are what makes London great. Try a tour of the great Fleet Street pubs and a visit to St Pauls for a service. It's a great time to see the City area while the workers are on holiday.
Remember the world takes it's time from London GMT, so the new year officially starts when Big Ben chimes - it's a great, but very crowded, party.