We will probably go on the naughty list for this… But we have to admit that not everyone is a Christmas loving elf. For those of us not sold on the whole festive offering, here are some ideas for how to avoid Christmas in London.
Yes, you read that right. By the time the date actually arrives, some of us are being driven insane by the retail Christmas drums, Christmas songs on repeat and all around festive madness that seems to take hold of London. Visions of the Grinch’s Whoville the day before Christmas comes to mind yet? Never mind the North Pole, find us a serviced igloo in the South Pole if that means no more Jingle Bells!
Fret not our fellow Grinch, for we have a five step plan to help you deal with the pain.
1. Deny it’s happening and try something new – Dance Salsa!
Add a little Latin to the occasion and learn a new party trick. Your mind will be so busy trying to learn the steps, listening to Salsa music or mesmerized by those who already know how to dance it, that Christmas will be a distant memory. They even host classes and a whole array of events throughout the week to keep you on your toes. The dance is accessible to all ages. By the end of the Christmas period you could be a salsa pro!
*Please note: this is a venue for over 18s only after 5pm and proof of identification is required. Christmas opening times may vary. Please call them in advance for specific Christmas dates.
Address: Bar Salsa!, 96 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JG
Opening hours: Mon to Thu 5pm – 2am, Fri to Sat 5pm – 3am, Sun 5pm – 2am
Admission: Classes £6 – £8, door entry prices vary according to the day and time you arrive, please check their Salsa Classes entry for more details.
2. Rebel and revolt – visit The London Dungeon
One of London’s famous attractions, there is no better way to detract the festive cheer, or go the opposite way to it, than to focus on a little gore. Mix torture to Jack the Ripper and voila! Christmas? What Christmas? Escape bliss for one hour and half. While the attraction is not open on Christmas Day, you will be able to visit it any other day. *Please check Christmas opening times here.
Address: The London Dungeon, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB
Opening times: Mon to Wed 10am – 4pm, Thu 11am – 5pm, Fri 10am – 4pm, Sat to Sun 10am – 6pm
Admission: from £21 to £65 depending on what package you choose.
3. Bargain your way out – try to escape at ClueQuest
If you like puzzles and fancy a challenge, this is a good way to lose yourself for one hour. Basically, you will be locked inside different rooms and can only escape once you have solved every puzzle and unlocked every lock. This is The Christmas Maze, oh sorry, The Crystal Maze in real life! The only downside is that you’ll have to find another three non-Christmas lovers to come with you. Or… You can just suggest it without mentioning the real reason why you want to escape the chocolate binge eating and Christmas film watching bonanza. The attraction is open all the way to Christmas Eve, but closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. You will need to check availability and book in advance. Visit the diary here.
Address: ClueQuest, 171 Caledonian Road, London N1 0SL
Opening hours: booking required
Admission: from £26 per person depending of group size, date and time you wish to visit
4. Hide in the dark – dine at Dans Le Noir
While you may still be subject to festive music and menu delights, this experience will be so out of this world, Christmas will be the last thing on your mind.
Dans le Noir is an unique restaurant in that it offers a truly sensory experience to its dinners. How? You dine in complete darkness, choose from a selection of surprise menus, so you don’t know exactly what you are eating, and are shown to your table by a blind guide. When you are done dining you can sip a drink or two at the silent bar, where you can only communicate with the little bits of sign language you learn along the way. How can you focus on Christmas with all of that going on?
Address: Dans Le Noir, 30-31 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU
Opening times: We highly recommend you check availability and book in advance. Check more details here.
- Restaurant: Mon to Sun, two sittings for dinner at 6.30pm and 8.45pm (subject to opening and availability).
- Silent Bar: Thu to Sat from 8pm – midnight.
- Lunch time service: Sat to Sun 12noon – 2.30pm.
Admission: £12 to £99 depending on what menu you choose excluding drinks.
5. Accept you cannot escape Christmas – hide in your apartment
Now… Let’s get realistic for a minute here… Short of locking you away in one of our beautiful serviced apartments with food supplies on tap, fully escaping Christmas in London is mission impossible (*insert movie soundtrack played by jingle bells here*). It’s literally everywhere from shop windows to the music you hear everywhere – we do mean e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. – and even on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves. There is no escaping. So lock you doors and hibernate for two or three days during the core festive period. But before that…
- If you want to avoid the music, make sure you have your tunes ready to go on your mobile and invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling earphones.
- Do all your shopping online, especially food shopping.
- Tell everyone you are going on a self-help holiday where you will find yourself by being incommunicado and drop off the radar (BEWARE: You will get put on the naughty list for fibbing).
- Stay away from social media. They will know you weren’t telling the truth and you won’t escape the Christmas party notices and holiday outfits.
- Stock up on DVDs, books, games and on-demand TV so you don’t have to sieve through the festive overload on TV.
If it all fails, now that you have been through the five stages of Christmas grief, give in and drink enough mulled wine to get in the festive spirit. Like they say, if you can’t beat them, join them!