Christmas Carol sign in Piccadilly Circus - London, England

London Holiday Travels

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Christmas tree in front of St. Paul's Cathedral - London, England

Christmas tree in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral

Those of us who are able to revisit countries we’ve visited before are fortunate. Each revisit brings with it a renewed interest in that country. Of course that first trip will always hold a special place in your memories. The next visit may not have that same emotional punch but it may hold even greater surprises. A first time visit often means a hectic itinerary rushing to and from sights and eateries, with nary a break for rest. Follow up trips means that you won’t have that same necessity to see the requisite sights again. You certainly may but there won’t be the same crunch on your time.

National Gallery - London, England

National Gallery

Another visit means exploring areas of the city you didn’t get a chance to the first time. You’re able to eat at different restaurants, or try something else on the menu at a favorite restaurant. The biggest gift in revisiting a country is the opportunity to experience the cities in new ways. Spend time in local coffee shops or parks or even go grocery shopping. Stroll the streets and get in sync with the ebb and flow of the city and how the residents spend their time living there.

Deer in front of Covent Garden Market - London, England

Deer in front of Covent Garden Market

An especially stark contrast is to visit the same city during different times of the year. Doing so can bring an entirely new perspective on a city you thought you knew. You can see how the locals relax under the summer sun versus how they handle snow in the winter. This holds especially true during the winter holiday season as cities are decked out in their festive best. City squares are filled with Christmas market stalls and monuments are decorated.

London Eye Lights - London, England

London Eye Lights

London in December is particularly filled with holiday cheer. Many of the streets, including those leading into Piccadilly Circus, are dressed up in holiday lights and signs. St. Paul’s Cathedral has two Christmas trees, one on each side of the Cathedral. A large tree adorned with lights is lit up in front of the National Gallery as well. Covent Garden Market has a giant topiary reindeer to get visitors into the holiday spirit.

Fireworks and the London Eye - London, England

Fireworks and the London Eye

This festive cheer culminates in a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration. The best viewing areas are by The Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower (often referred to as Big Ben) and across the riverbank from the London Eye. Along the riverbank are crowds of happy people partying and dancing to music being pumped out on large speakers by local disc jockeys. It is behind the London Eye that an array of fireworks is fired into the night’s sky for a dazzling display at the strike of midnight. After the fireworks show the city of London does a nice job of ushering out the crowds through specific streets and back safely to their hotels and homes. To view London through the lens of the holidays gives visitors a newfound appreciation of this wonderful city.

Wherever in the world you may be celebrating, Check Before You Trek wishes you a very happy holiday and a happy new year! May your next year be full of travels to both new and familiar locations!

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London During the Holidays

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St. Pauls\' Cathedral: 51.513845, -0.098351
National Gallery: 51.508929, -0.128299
Covent Garden Market: 51.511732, -0.123270
Houses of Parliament: 51.499629, -0.124648
The London Eye: 51.503324, -0.119543
Piccadilly Circus: 51.510101, -0.134661
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St. Pauls' Cathedral
London Holiday Travels
St.Pauls' Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
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National Gallery
London Holiday Travels
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom
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Covent Garden Market
London Holiday Travels
Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom
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Houses of Parliament
London Holiday Travels
Houses of Parliament, London, United Kingdom
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The London Eye
London Holiday Travels
London Eye, London, United Kingdom
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Piccadilly Circus
London Holiday Travels
Piccadilly Circus, London, United Kingdom

 

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