Planning a London visit....

Discussion in 'Community' started by mac-er, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    So, what to see? where to eat?
    What is off the beaten path?

    BTW: I have this fear of driving there. I am afraid won't be paying attention and will be driving down the wrong side of the road...or it'll be like National Lampoon's Eurpoean Vacation...
    "Hey kids, look, Big Ben..."
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    i just got back from there! great, great city.

    hard to say what you should see and what to eat, 'cuz i don't know your tastes. i spent most of my time in the east end: hackney, bethnal green, shoreditch, because my friends are there and those are the kinds of neighborhoods i like (ethnically diverse, a bit ragged around the edges).

    i do say, as long as you're in the city, forget about renting a car. the tube and bus systems are excellent. do these things:

    1. pick up a London A-Z
    2. also pick up bus route map
    3. get an Oyster card
    - tell them to make it for busses and the tube
    - get the 7-day travel pass -- unlimited use -- if you'll be there a week and will use it (it's 24 quid, iirc)
    - otherwise, get the top-up version (pay as you go)
    - top-up automagically determines the best rate for you and has a single-day max-out amount
    4. if you have a tri-band phone and want a mobile # in london
    - "unlock" your mobile before you leave the states
    - stop by a vodafone in london and pick up a top-up SIM card for 5 quid
    5. remember that the tube closes at midnight
    6. london is more late night than it used to be, but a lot of stores and restaurants still close "early" by city standards, so if you eat late, be prepared to eat at a lot of kebap shops

    edit: where are you staying?
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    some sites to check out:

    transport for london
    oyster card
    timeout london

    and a couple places i like that aren't the typical big ben, london bridge places:

    - exmouth market, any time
    - broadway market (in london fields) on saturday mornings, early afternoon
    - the new giant table, chair sculpture in hampstead heath
    - camden town
    - neil's yard in covent garden
    - foyle's bookstore on charing cross road
  4. iKwick7 macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    I had a blast when I went to London last summer, awesome time. I was in Italy for 2 months, then figured I HAD to visit London before going back to the states. After eating pasta every day for 2 months, fish and chips and meat was a huge welcome for me. :) Any pub we walked by, we stopped at to eat or drink. Good times.
  5. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    I don't know where you're from but if you're coming from the States just take a wander around and take in the architecture of the buildings that are older than you're country.
    Have lunch in a pub that was a pub serving lunch when America was 'born', it's kinda awe inspiring.
    I find it an amazing city when I go there 'cause it's on such a different scale to what I'm used to.
  6. mac 2005 macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Apr 1, 2005
    Beyond London

    London is a great city....

    Great photo site

    Parliament & Big Ben
    Westminster Abbey
    Tower Bridge

    British Airways' "London Eye"

    But be sure to get outside of London and see the "real" England. The Cotswolds is a beautiful region of England, so full of beautiful countryside and historic villages and cities that any trip to England would be incomplete without a couple of days here.

    Bath (the Romans had a great bath there)
    Glastonbury (great church ruins and the reputed burial place of King Arthur)

    First and foremost... Safe travels and have a great stay.

    Be sure to drink plenty of British ale -- assuming you're not driving -- and strike up a conversation or two with folks in the pubs. You'll love it.

    (At least, I hope you do.)
  7. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Enjoy your trip to London.
    I am so jealous (trying to keep from turning green ;) )
    I can not wait for college to be over so that I can take a holiday and go visit England - less than three years & then this yank is going back home to the land of his forefathers.
  8. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    You know, you can do that on the east cost of the US. (Say, Boston, Philly..) ;)
  9. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    My cousins new, to her, house pre-dates Chris Columbus' first visit to the new world.
  10. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Tell us when and which area you're likely to stay in and a rough idea of interests and we'll tell you things to do.

    Things that many people don't get round to seeing
    the Borough Market (foodie heaven with stalls that sell everything)
    free lunchtime concerts on the South Bank at the Festival Hall (they have a bar so it's v civilised especially if you've just come off the Eye)
    the Museum of London - the history of London from the year dot with some amazing Roman stuff they've dug out of the City and Southwark
    the Globe theatre - they have 500 seats at £5 for the standing area to see a Shakespearian play.

    Oh yeah... and don't bother driving. It will cost you a fortune in parking and paying the congestion charge which is now £8 a day.
  11. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    There are already some very good suggestions in this thread.

    Getting an OysterCard and visiting the London Eye are a definite must.

    Here are a couple of other suggestions:

    Take a riverboat trip to Greenwich, you'll see some sites along the way, can visit the observatory & park, then take the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) back via Canary Wharf. Pop out to look at the skyscrapers then jump on the Jubilee Line (tube) back into central London. You'll pass through some pretty impressive stations.

    Go up to Primrose Hill for some great views of London.

    Rent some skates and go rollerblading in Hyde Park! Or just go for a nice stroll through the park and nearby Kensington Gardens.

    Go shopping... though you'll probably find everything more expensive over here. Main shopping areas are Oxford St/Regent St (incidentally the Apple Store is on Regent St - the interior is pretty much the same as any other one but the building itself is nice). Other popular shopping areas include the King's Road in Chelsea, Kensington High Street, Marylebone High Street. All of those mostly for clothes & stuff. A lot of tourists also like to visit Harrods in Knightsbridge. For homewares shops go to Tottenham Court Road (or further down the Kings Rd). For electronics also try Tottenham Court Road or Edgware Rd. There are also lots of markets which are worth going to - Portobello Rd, Spitalfields, Camden Lock etc.

  12. asif786 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2004
    London, UK.
    just to chime in...

    definitely spend some time in the park is lovely, especially in the summer (it's right near buckingham palace). i'm there almost every week..just pick up a bottle of water, some junk food and enjoy the greenery..

    in terms of shopping, dcv covered most of it. oxford circus is the main place for all the obvious shops (niketown, apple, selfridges) but remember there are lots of little sideroads that have hidden gems. also, old bond street for upmarket (tiffany, prada, gucci, debeers, armani, etc).

    and lastly, make sure you buy an AtoZ or a tourist map. you'd be surprised just how close most of the tourist areas are to each other. most of it is walking distance..

    oh, and i agree with the transport suggestions..don't rent a car. jump on the's fast, cheap and easy to get the hang of.. :)

    enjoy london!
  13. XIII macrumors 68040


    Aug 15, 2004
    I can't really think of anything to add.. Check out the apple store on Regent Street aswell. :D

    Have a great time..

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