Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Years! Welcome to 2020 and always a good time to make changes or begin a new adventure. At this point last year I was going through the process of choosing a university after deciding to go back for my masters. It is one year later and I stand by the fact that it was the best decision I have ever made. If you are currently going through the same I hope in 2021 you are able to say the same as me. Well to start off my posts for the new year I am going to talk about what my Christmas. I did not go back to the United States, but my parents came over to the UK and we stayed in London.
I decided on staying in the UK because I have experienced Christmas time in multiple states in the US, but never in another country. If you decide to spend Christmas in London a couple of very important facts to know. Of course when it comes to public transportation in big cities in the states the schedule changes. However, in London public transportation is shut down completely on Christmas Day so knowing that do not plan to go anywhere to far. There are also numerous restaurants that close Christmas Day and some all the way until January 2nd so it is important to plan ahead of time and not put something on the trip itinerary that will be closed. If you choose a hotel in a good central location it makes it easier to just walk to everywhere you would like to visit during the trip.
Since my parents had been in London before there were certain things that were left off of the list, but my mom wanted to see the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. They are definitely worth seeing, but you want to get there as soon as possible. If you wait too long the line becomes insanely long to the point you may be waiting for over 2 hours just to get in the building. Of course afterwords the lines for the other attractions are much shorter making it the ideal way to visit the Tower of London, especially during the holidays. When leaving the Tower of London it is right next to the London Bridge so it is a good to pick a nice day where you can then walk over the bridge to the other side. Over there is Borough Market, which is a large market with lots of different food stalls and they sometimes even give out free samples. From this side there is a nice walkway near the Thames that will take you all the way to the London Eye.
During the Christmas Season there is also Winter Wonderland that runs in Hyde Park and ends on Jan 5th. The only day that this is not open is Christmas Day. There are rides, ice skating rink, a market, Bavarian Food, and shows you can attend. You can make it an all day thing or go for just part of the day because entry is totally free. You only want to buy tickets ahead of time if you want to see a specific show.
Near Hyde Park is the Hard Rock Hotel and a 20 min walk from there is the original Hard Rock Cafe on Oxford Street that was established in 1971. I am personally a huge rock and metal music fan and if you are as well this is definitely worth the visit. The original cafe has memorabilia from artists like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, and many more. The Hotel is more modernized and includes memorabilia from icons like Ozzy Osbourne, ACDC, Freddie Mercury, and Lady Gaga.
This was just the highlights of new places I got to experience in London during the Christmas break when my parents came to visit. However, just walking around you can enjoy markets all throughout the city that have fantastic food and hot cider or mulled wine to enjoy the winter season. Usually there are street artists playing music and the lights throughout the streets. It was a wonderful way to experience the holidays and I am ready for the New Year!
Welcome to the next decade!