Festively Asked Questions
A guide to the holiday season in London
- How do I get around?
- What’s the weather like at Christmas?
- How will I get my food shopping?
- Can I get Christmas decorations for my onefinestay home?
- What can I do during my stay?
- What can I do on Christmas Day?
- What can I do on New Year’s Eve?
- How can I contact onefinestay?
Things to do
Getting in touch
At Christmas time, there may be a reduced service on public transport (and no service at all between the evening of the 24th December and the morning of the 26th), so it’s worth planning your travel in advance. Transport for London has a journey planner and a collection of maps to help you get around. They also run live service updates on Twitter. On the day you arrive, if you’re running late for your arrival appointment, do let us know as soon as you can.
There are other ways to get about though – taxis will be available, and (once you’ve got to the home) the Uber app on your onefinestay iPhone is sure to come in handy. You’ll find racks of ‘Boris bikes’ (or Santander Cycles, to give them their proper name) in more central areas, which can be hired and dropped off at docking stations around the city. Once again, TfL comes up trumps, with this docking station locator .
Snow at Christmas time in London is not common. That said, temperatures often dip below 0°C (32°F), so make sure to pack a few extra layers (and something waterproof). You can check the daily and weekly forecast on BBC Weather.
In London, supermarkets close at 4pm on Christmas Eve (24th December), and remain closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (26th December). Some smaller shops may be open, but don’t leave it until late on Christmas Eve to bag yourself a turkey. You can order directly from a number of supermarket chains (Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose), and have these items delivered during your stay. Again, make sure to plan ahead, as delivery slots are often booked up in advance.
We recommend you wait until you get to the home to decide what you would like. Once you’ve arrived, give us a call and we will help make arrangements for you through our local florist, who can provide festive flowers (and even Christmas trees).
London at Christmas time is something special. While public transport shuts down either side of Christmas Day (see How do I get around?), there’s plenty to do – on top of an already impressive list of year-round attractions. Here are some of our suggestions (you may need to book ahead):
Parks and fairs. Two of London’s parks will be holding outdoor Christmas attractions. There’s Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, and Winterville at Victoria Park. While both are free to enter, there’s an additional cost for many of the rides and activities inside.
Lights and carols. The Christmas illuminations at Kew Gardens are well worth the journey out west, and there’s a traditional lighting of the Christmas tree (accompanied by Christmas carols) in Trafalgar Square on December 4th.Shopping, and more lights. If you fancy a spot of shopping during your stay, you’ll find impressive Christmas lights on many of London’s main shopping streets, with the displays at Regent Street and Bond Street being particularly well known, as well as those at Harrods and Fortnum and Mason.
Much of London’s infrastructure won’t be up and running on Christmas Day (see How do I get around?). If you can get to them under your own steam, some restaurants will be open (but you’ll probably need to pre-book). Take a look at this TimeOut list of restaurants open on Christmas Day. Christmas Day walks are a big thing over here, so why not take to your nearest park for a post-lunch stroll? A walk through central London on Christmas Day is a great opportunity to see the normally bustling city at its most peaceful.
From slap-up meals in Thames-side restaurants to all-night parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations in London come in all shapes and sizes. Central London is likely to be very busy, with many of the roads closing from 2pm. And you may need to book ahead at your venue of choice if you’re planning to hit the town. To help keep everyone moving, the tube will be running extended hours until 4.30am.
If you have any other questions email us, or call us on +44 20 3588 0600.