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What to do with relatives visiting London for Chinese New Year?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the capital to celebrate the Chinese New Year. In 2017, the Chinese will be celebrating the Year of the Rooster between 27 January and 2 February, with the main festivities taking place in Chinatown and the West End on 28 January, with a parade in Trafalgar Square on the 29th.

But if you’ve got family visiting London for the celebrations, you’re still going to need to entertain your relatives outside the main dates. Luckily there’s plenty to do!

Visit a royal palace

Buckingham Palace is the first stop for many visitors when they get to London, but in January you’ll only be able to see it from the outside (indoor tours are only held in the summer months). However, Kensington Palace is open all year round, so you can wander through the grandeur of the state apartments looking at priceless works of art whilst you get the feel for how the other half lived!

Afternoon tea

What could be more British than an afternoon tea and London is chock-a-block full of cafés, restaurants and hotels offering them, from the upmarket Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair to a vintage bus tour. And if you like a good debate, you can spend half the time discussing whether to pronounce the word ‘scone’ as if it rhymes with ‘gone’ or ‘stone’, and the other half of the time discussing whether you should put the jam on before the cream or vice versa! (Note: there is no right or wrong answer to either dilemma.)


Shopping in London is one of the things that people come from all over the world to do, and the current weakness of the pound makes it even better value for money! Take your relatives to the bustle of Oxford Street where you’ll find all the British High Street stores as well as Selfridges, or visit the luxury shops on Bond Street. Then, of course, there’s Harrod’s and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge.

A river cruise

We’re obviously going to recommend a short cruise on the River Thames! It’s not only something a bit different, it’ll also give you the opportunity to show everyone interesting London landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Cleopatra’s Needle, St Paul’s, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge and, of course, the Tower of London.

The Tower of London

The Tower of London and its famous White Tower would be a great tourist attraction to take relatives to. As it dates back to William the Conqueror, they’ll see a thousand years of English history in one go, find out a lot about executions and the importance of the ravens, as well as get to see the ultimate in British ‘bling’, the Crown Jewels. Who knows, you may even get to see the ghost of a bear that’s supposed to roam the corridors!


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