Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost’s nipping at your nose, and Londonist is already feeling rather fragile after a few too many glasses of something mulled. All in all, it’s the perfect time to answer a question that has occupied philosophers since time immemorial: what is London’s most Christmassy piece of transport infrastructure?
Disappointingly, London doesn't have a bus stop with Christmas in its name. It doesn't even have a Christmas Street: the closest is 35 miles away in Gillingham. But you will find other elements of the nativity story popping up on the map.
London has a pair of angels, of course, in Islington and Edmonton, though you can’t get from one to the other without changing. On Northholt Road, you'll also find St Gabriel's Church, named for the chap with wings that appears to tell Mary that she's got a littlun on the way. (Angels can be saints too, it turns out. Don’t say we never teach you anything.)
St Mary herself is all over the place. Marylebone is named after her (and a church, and a river); so is the Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe); so are schools, churches and roads beyond counting. (No joke – so many of these have bus stops named for them that we did, literally, stop counting.)
St Joseph is slightly less ubiquitous, but still pops up in Shooter's Hill and Plaistow (not the one on the District line); there's also a Three Kings Pond in Mitcham. Shepherd’s Bush we've sadly had to discount: the position of the apostrophe suggests there's only one shepherd, making that patch of West London distinctly un-canonical.
Leaving the nativity itself behind, London also boasts bus stops named Noel Road (Acton), Snow Hill (Holborn), and North Pole Road (Wormwood Scrubs). Best of all, Kilburn has a Rudolph Road. Half a mile away there's a Snowman House, too, but no bus stop to go along with it. Way down south, you’ll also find a stop named for the St Nicholas Centre. Disappointingly, this turns out to have little to do with this extensive website about the present-bringing Bishop of Turkey, but instead to be a shopping centre in Sutton. We're sure it's nice, though.
We were going to use this information to calculate, scientifically, which is London's most Christmassy bus route. But that sounds like a lot of effort for surprisingly little return, and anyway we've got a party to go to.
So we’ve decided, purely because it’s named after the place Jesus comes from, that the single most Christmassy bus stop in the whole of London can be found in darkest Bromley. There, on a side street in West Wickham, route 356 stops at the Royal Bethlem Hospital. You probably know it better by another name.
Photo courtesy of Richardbw9, taken from the Londonist Flickr pool