Searching for "next day we went", I find the majority of results to include the before "next day". But there are instances without the:
Next day we went to the station to book our tickets for the train to Roma.
Are both options equally natural? Is there any difference in meaning?
The next day we went to the station to book our tickets for the train to Roma.
I know that when we use "next day" with or without an article, the meaning might differ in some contexts:
(today is February 3, 2015)
"On February 1, he said the boots will be ready next day" ( = on February 4)
"On February 1, he said the boots will be ready the next day ( = on February 2)
P.S. the above is probably an invalid example, here's one from a linguistic paper:
In 2001, he said he’d come back Ø next year (= in 2016)
In 2001, he said he’d come back the next year (= in 2002)
But this must be not applicable in clearly defined past contexts, as in the examples with "(∅/the) next day we went".