Christmas in England – the truth

So, in a little over a week I fly to England for Christmas, weather permitting. (No storms between here, Boston, and England, please)

The funniest thing about this process is everyone’s impression of Christmas in England. I’m quite happy to say that I lived in the south of England and things are different up north and in Scotland. Everyone that I talk to (even people who have visited the UK) have this strange impression that Christmas where I lived is cold and snowy and pretty, rather like one of the Victorian paintings.


A hundred years ago, probably even sixty years ago, this wasn’t too far from the truth. Now?

Not so much.

Christmas in my little corner of England is usually warm (5C+ – sometimes low teens) and the precipitation we get is in the form of rain. Bright, sunny Christmases aren’t something that I really remember, although I’m sure we’ve had them. They’re usually damp or raining. There’s a lot of mud. Winter in my corner of England might get snow for one day in February, but that’s it. Last year’s snow was such a big deal purely because we don’t normally get weather like that and the country isn’t prepared.

I blame Hollywood.

Seriously, when is the last time you saw a festive movie set in London (it’s always London or the surrounds – never Bognor or Cardiff or York or some other non-South East location) that didn’t have convenient snow on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? As much as I enjoyed watching the move Holiday at the weekend, I kept cringing from all the exceedingly unlikely snow in Sussex. If it’s a location that people where people can commute to London for work, there is unlikely to be snow on the ground in December.

I am not saying that Christmas isn’t lovely over there. A crisp, cold, bright winter’s morning can’t be beaten and there are a lot of absolutely beautiful places that I’ll be visiting. That Victorian Christmas that everyone is imagining me having, though, is about as probable as a Labour win in the next general election.

I’m thinking that, to counter-act all this crazy talk about beautiful snowy London, I’m going to take a photo journal while I’m away and try to upload to Flickr each evening. Sound good?

I’ve just jinxed it to snow from the moment I land, haven’t I?

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 20:25:09

    *sigh* The movies were a romantic comedy. People assume that they are full of inaccuracies. For instance, I never think of myself as being as cute and attractive as Cameron Diaz. Or do I…


    • archerygirl
      Dec 08, 2009 @ 20:42:58

      I really enjoyed the movies! It’s just that three people today have asked me what Christmas is like in England and expressed total astonishment at the lack of snow. I may have to make a sign up to hang over my desk ๐Ÿ™‚ “No, it doesn’t snow in London at Christmas. Nobody would get anywhere if it did because all public transport shuts down for three snowflakes.”

      Christmas movies, particularly the romcom variety, wouldn’t be the same without the snow ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. achelois
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 22:21:37

    yes please photo’s – In a way I hope it does snow and you have jinxed us here in the south as to open the curtains on xmas morning when for the first time in years we don’t have to go anywhere would be superb. Crisp & cold would be much better than wet n mild. I am a silly romantic at heart – I would love to watch the dog confused – the cats being silly. The children playing. me I would be inside with the fire roaring and a big smile. EDS and snow do not go! I hope you have a wonderful wonderful Xmas.


    • archerygirl
      Dec 09, 2009 @ 18:35:26

      If it snows while I’m in England, that’s fine. Someone else will be doing the driving, there will be no shovels to clear it with and I can play in it without feeling guilty for not shovelling ๐Ÿ™‚

      And then it will be England and the snow will melt the next day.

      I definitely need to keep a photo diary this time.


  3. Ann
    Dec 09, 2009 @ 02:02:24

    Firstly – a photo journal is a brillant idea.

    Secondly – Cameron has nothing on Jen.


    • archerygirl
      Dec 09, 2009 @ 18:37:59

      1. Note to self: pack all cameras. And use them.

      2. Well, obviously, Cameron pales into ugly, pale blob next to Jen ๐Ÿ˜€


  4. Mark Harris
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 10:59:38

    Hi, you certainly did bring the snow to the UK. Can you do the same with sunshine too?

    if you like London at Christmas then feel free to take a look at these seasonal photos by Shener –


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