No matter where you go, December is the busiest month of the year thanks to Christmas and New Year. London, being one of the major capital cities in the world, is infamous for its crowds during the festive season and so all of the major places are jam-packed full of people. If you are venturing to the city and want to enjoy the excitement and atmosphere during this special time of year but don’t want to get crushed by the hordes, this guide gives you an insight into places to avoid this month so you can truly enjoy the sights.
Oxford Street and Regent Street
Two of the most obvious places to avoid are the major shopping streets in London, Oxford Street and Regent Street. Both are situated a short walking distance from The Montcalm and are usually very busy throughout the year, however, during December they are manic, and it is very easy to get swept up in the tide of the crowd. Places such as Topshop, Selfridges and Hamley’s are completely overrun and can get claustrophobic due to the amount of people, most of the time it is very difficult to even get to see the items on sale unless you fight your way through. To combat this, head to the independent shops as they will be less crowded and you will be helping local businesses, so it is a win-win either way.
The Major Museums
Museums such as The Natural History, Science and V&A museums are best to be avoided at this time due to the fact just outside they have one of the best ice rinks in the city. Naturally, if you want to have a go on the ice, it’s best to book early and get there sharpish as the queues are huge and it can get very busy which, in turn, can inhibit your amazing ice-skating moves. The museums are a tube ride away from Montcalm Shoreditch but, be warned, the tube stations themselves get overrun and the museums are filled to the brim with pre and post skaters.
The London Eye
The London Eye is a world-famous icon that is a distinct representation of the city itself. With this in mind, it is easy to see why it is one of the most popular sites in London and, in December, the crowds step it up a notch, especially during New Year’s Eve. The London Eye is where all the fireworks are let off at midnight and the crowds arrive to get the best views as early as the 30th December! It is a ticketed event and some London Hotel Package can include tickets if you’re booking for the New Year, however, the lines are deep and there is barely any room to breathe, let alone enjoy the atmosphere. If you’re in London for the New Year, find a nearby pub, a party in one of the outside boroughs or enjoy a drink in your hotel bar if you really want to avoid the crowds.