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London Christmas Day Question

London Christmas Day Question

Old Dec 18, 11, 4:18 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
If you wrap up warm, there's a number of Cycle Hire docking stations within walking distance...
Christmas day is a very good day to bike around London. If (as a tourist or uncertain cyclist) biking in a major city is something you wouldn't normally do, Christmas day might be the only opportunity during the year to actually try it.

Give it a go! It's a blast to bike down (nearly) deserted streets.
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Old Dec 19, 11, 5:48 am
  #17  
 
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the IanVisits blog has some great photos of deserted streets from Christmas Day 2008: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2008...serted-london/

I'd second the Cycle Hire idea. Though remember that the cheapest way to do it dock your bike occasionally, making sure no journey is longer than 30 minutes - that way, you'll only pay the £1 daily access fee.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 5:25 am
  #18  
 
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The last year there was any widespread general train service (albeit reduced frequency) on Christmas Day was 1968, and earlier in some regions. Boxing day services lasted until 1975 or thereabouts. They were abandoned on cost grounds. The London Underground ran in a limited on Christmas day until the late 1970s - for a period free of charge as it cost more to employ people to collect fares than taken in.

If anything, the present trend is to cut services earlier on Christmas Eve.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 7:29 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
As 99.9% of shops and restaurants are closed anyway, there isn't much point!

What IS shocking is that there are still no National Rail trains on Boxing Day, even though the country is pretty much running as usual, at least as far as shopping and eating goes. Unless you get a year when Christmas Day is a weekend (thus making Dec 27th a holiday), it is therefore very difficult - if visiting family over Christmas - to travel back to your home on Boxing Day in time for work on December 27th. Truly shocking in 2011.
in london proper, about 10% of the restaurants are south east asian or indian. surely they do not celebrate christmas.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
in london proper, about 10% of the restaurants are south east asian or indian. surely they do not celebrate christmas.
Well there are plenty of east Asian & Indian Christians - but even when not there's no guarantee of them being open as most of their clientèle is nominally Christian who will mostly be eating a "traditional" meal plus you have the problem of no public transport which makes it harder for people to get to the restaurants.

Certainly around my way none of the "ethnic" restaurants are open on Christmas Day - and only one takeaway is open.

If you are in the UK on Christmas Eve may I recommend one traditional event that no-one ever mentions - the stripping of supermarket shelves of anything remotely edible as the supermarkets will (mostly) be closed for two days.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 8:19 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
in london proper, about 10% of the restaurants are south east asian or indian. surely they do not celebrate christmas.
You will probably find that quite a few of them do. Or rather, they observe the secular aspects of it, like the decorations and the presents and the family meal.

As a Hindu acquaintance once said to me, "You can't NOT celebrate Christmas when you have kids".
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Old Dec 20, 11, 8:41 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
You will probably find that quite a few of them do. Or rather, they observe the secular aspects of it, like the decorations and the presents and the family meal.

As a Hindu acquaintance once said to me, "You can't NOT celebrate Christmas when you have kids".
The hold outs tend to be in groups, eg Edgware Road will have a lot of Middle East places open, similarly Indian around whitechapel. A few 'corner shops' in these areas also open, plus a few renegades - near us on Brompton Road near Harrods is a grocer who opens Christmas Day. And one year I went in!

I'm not sure what the legal position is. In general, small shops can do what they want, 24 / 7 / 365, subject to licensing if they sell alcohol. Rules on trading hours normally only apply to large stores as they are designed to only hit chains.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 11:20 am
  #23  
 
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We have this discussion every year

Yes there are no regular Underground or buses shown. Actually there are a few but they find it difficult to get publicity.

Most notably, the Open Top sightseeing buses do run; it seems bizarre to see them out with nothing about but there you go. At least one of them has day pass tickets, as long as you get a timetable from them and their map ofwhere they run you can use them for longer journeys around the West End and the City.

I believe BAA hire coaches to do a link from Heathrow into Paddington.

The main reason tha restaurants, even those from non-Christian countries, close is there are no (or so few) customers. Brits don't go out to eat on Christmas Day, they go to family/friends. A few of us go to quite formal Christmas lunches in hotels etc, which cost a fortune compared to normal prices and have a family party atmosphere.
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Old Dec 21, 11, 12:45 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
But then I can also remember when Christmas in Scotland was celebrated a lot less than it is now (although not old enough - like my grandparents - to remember when it wasn't even a public holiday...)
If you are writing in the present tense about your forebears they must be remarkably long-lived, because Christmas Day became a holiday in Scotland under the Bank Holiday Act 1871. There was a religious rivalry (not unknown elsewhere in Scotland) between the Presbyterians and the Catholics, and a holiday on Christmas Day had been seen as supporting the latter tradition. It was not necessary for the act to cover Christmas Day in England because it was "perfectly obvious" that it was a religious day, leading to the bizarre situation of it officially being a holiday in Scotland but not England, but actually celebrated much more in England.

In more recent times Boxing Day (Dec 26) also became an official holiday in Scotland under the 1971 Banking & Financial Dealings Act (which also does public holiday rules, and why they are called 'bank' holidays), along with January 2, at the same time as New Year's Day became so in England. It seems strange now that New Year's Day only became a holiday in London comparatively recently.

If we are going back to past memories, I'll recall my father said that in the 1920s he posted ALL his Christmas cards on Christmas Eve, and they were ALL delivered on Christmas Day !
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Old Dec 21, 11, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
If we are going back to past memories, I'll recall my father said that in the 1920s he posted ALL his Christmas cards on Christmas Eve, and they were ALL delivered on Christmas Day !
Sadly just a memory, but what a thing to remember!
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