What To See and Do in London

Discussion in 'Community' started by solidgoldmini, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. solidgoldmini macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2004
    In a house. On a street. In a city.
    Attention all people from across the pond! (or anyone who might have an opinion) I humbly request your input about what to see or do on a vacation to London and the surrounding area. Aside from the obvious trip to an Apple store, what should one experience/see/do? I am sort of planning a trip for sometime in November that will include a trip over to Oxford to tour the MINI plant to see my Cooper's place of birth, but I have about a week and a half to fill. I have never been overseas, but I have always wanted to go, so really just going is exciting, but I don't want to go over and have everyone I know say "You went to Europe and didn't <insert fun, enriching event here> ?!" Thank you for all your input, and hey, if someone from over there would like to visit New Jersey in the USA, let me know and I'll tell you where to go in Atlantic City. (Tempting offer, I know.) :D
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    iGav, AppleSpider, Blue Velvet and E should be able to hook you up nicely... perhaps a PM to one or more would get you some specifics and personalized attention.

    Enjoy your trip!

  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    London is like a country. What you want to get out of it depends on your interests... I live in central London and even after 15 years here continually find new things to do and see.

    What kind of things turn you on?

    I had friends over a few months ago that were more interested in wandering tiny old back streets and sitting in pubs than traipsing around the Tower of London. Horses for courses...

    However, in November which can be a little damp and chilly, these would be on my must-do list.

    • London Eye (just to get an amazing view that you cannot get anywhere else)
    • Take a black cab somewhere and an old red bus (Routemaster) too.
    • Parks (autumnal St. James Park, Regents Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens)
    • Kew Gardens
    • Galleries and museums (V&A, Tate, you name it -- there's an exhibition...)
    • Wandering around Soho, people-watching
    • Going to a good pub. http://www.beerintheevening.com/
    • Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) tour. Fascinating.
    • Exploring little bookshops around Charing Cross Road
    • Walk along the Thames
    • Going to a large market -- e.g Portobello Market
  4. al3000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2005
    A great way to see London is by an open top bus (although it might get a bit cold!). Also, the London eye (as someone else mentioned), is a must.

    If you are interested in shopping, then Harrods in Knightsbridge is well worth a look, probably worth a look even if you aren't interested in shopping too!

    I don't live that close to London, so I am not completely familair with it, but I'm sure you'll get a lot more suggestions from others.
  5. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    Hey well, while you're over looking at the BMW plant in Cowley, don't forget the rest of Oxford! Tis a beautiful historic place. Things to do/see include:

    • A bus tour of the city and university sites
    • Go to the Turf Tavern for liquid replenishment
    • The Botanic Garden
    • Go punting

    Don't forget to take your camera. For shopping opportunities I guess you're best off going to London, but the Covered Market is worth a look-in.
  6. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    You must go into Hamleys and buy at least 3 bears :p Then wander over to the Apple Staircase (if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean - that thing must be 1/3 the width of the store!). Go to all the major famous places, some of the not so famous places, go to the theatre. There are some very good ones on atm in the West End (well, there are always good ones there). Errr.... dumdedumdedum... what else... will get back to you on that one
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    That pretty much covers it all! Maybe take in the changing of the guard? Go to Greenwich and see (not say like I wrote before the edit) the prime meridian?

    Note that the traditional Routemaster busses have been withdrawn from general service although I think there are a few still on a couple of routes for tourists!

    If you give us some sort of idea what you are interested in we might be able to give you some more directed ideas...
  8. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
  9. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Take a boat trip up the Thames to Hampton Court.
  10. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Most of the major sights and interests have already been covered... if you do any of those then be sure to include the London Eye. Also if you're interested in art the Tate Modern is not far away.

    A boat trip to Greenwich can be fun though perhaps a bit chilly in November. The view from Greenwich Park is worth it though. Another excellent viewpoint is Primrose Hill.

    For shopping go to Oxford St/Regent St/Bond St, Covent Garden, Kings Road, High St Kensington, Knightsbridge, Marylebone High St... (i could go on and on...). The Apple Store is on Regent St but will be more expensive over here than what you're accustomed to. Nice building though.

    For interesting markets try Portobello Road, Camden Lock or Spitalfields.

    If you're interested at all in architecture then apart from seeing the typical tourist sites a wander around the City or Canary Wharf might appeal. Also some of the newer stations on the Jubilee (underground) line are really quite spectacular.

    enjoy! :)
  11. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Thirding (Fourthing?) Blue's suggestions.

    If you're interested in food, or getting some good pics, then go down to Borough Market on a Saturday morning/lunchtime. It's great fun and you can pick up a lunch there to wander around with - there's a great cake/coffee shop on the far side of the market which in the winter has a giant stockpot of hot chocolate bubbling away... while next door they serve the most wonderful mulled cider to take those November chills away.

    The museums really depend on what kind of things you are interested in. My favourite three are the British Museum, the V&A and the Tate Modern. Another one which is often forgotten but well worth it, is the Cabinet War Rooms; go with the London Walk people (www.walks.com?) who get a discount in there. Saying that, all their walks are pretty good; they do a great Jack the Ripper one which only costs a few pound and involves a few pub stops.

    If you want to see a show, then it's worthwhile going to the theatre direct to see if they have any spaces first of all. Otherwise go down to the half price ticket booth in Leicester Square on the morning you want to go and see what's there. If you want to say you saw a 'show', then consider wandering along the South Bank and see what the free lunchtime concert at the National Festival Hall is - they're on most days and last an hour or so. There's a bar there so you can sit and warm up for a while as you watch.

    The boat trip down the Thames is fun; and the guides always point out interesting stuff - most of them are covered in in November and there's a good market in Greenwich at weekends first which isn't quite as overwhelming as Camden can be.
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Or if you want even MORE suggestions, do a search for the numerous "What should I do in London" threads that we get bi-monthly. ;)
  13. minimax macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2005
    I have to back this one up! If you are interested in architecture and modern art Tate Modern really is a must. A former powerplant transformed to a museum by one of the best and higly asteemed architects of the moment: Herzog & deMeuron.
  14. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2004
    You haven't said what your interests are, but in my visists, I've enjoyed:

    1. Imperial War Museum
    2. Tower of London
    3. Boat trip to Greenwich...the Cutty Sark is being restored, but you can walk all the way around and even underneath. The walk to the observatory is pleasant, and if it's sunny, it's a good day trip. Plan on at least half a day, due to public transportation schedules.
    4. The Design museum, near the Tower Bridge.
    5. A pub–for lunch, tea, and dinner. Enjoy a bitter or three.
    6. Wander around Piccadilly Circus, lots of interesting little shops. Last time I was there, found a nice used book store and a store selling movie advertising - picked up a really nice original Reign of Fire one-sheet.
    7. Stay in a bed & breakfast instead of a hotel. It's more personal and friendly.
    8. Did I mention the pubs are good for lunch, dinner and snacks? And beer.
    9. Go to a good "chippie."
  15. Zaid macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2003
    London is also a world in a city, so be sure to visit sample some of the wide variety of food. Some parts of the city even feel like you're on a different continent.

    Edgeware Road for Lebanese - Really Good. Possibly the best sit down place is called Al-dar. Don't let the decor fool you its top notch
    Chinatown near picadilly circus
    Brick lane for Bengali food
    Pick up a london restaurant guide and try something new

    Also wander around Soho both at night and during the day.

    London also has plenty of Museums and galleries. The British Museum is worth a visit if only to check the place out. Don't expect to do the whole place in a day. You could spend weeks in there.
  16. sreedy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2005
    I second that, if you can get out of London for a while (if you have time) then I'd recommend you do. Check out the more relaxed areas of this wonderful isle..... I'd obviously second devilot76's recommedation of Bath..... but then I am bias :)
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Must. Have. Hummus. Now.
  18. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

    May 4, 2005
    Curry The World

    Great Vegetarian Food - The Bel Puri (? spelling) in Chappell Market in Angel and it's also very cheap. Fantastic bhajis & veg kormas from Camden Tandoori on Camden Rd. Fab mutta paneer & samosas at the curry house in Stoke Newington near Bar Finca (Opposite side of Rd / up 200 meters, sorry memory fails me here) Apart from that ... London ..PAH.

    I 'm with Steve McQueen when he said ... "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city in the world."
  19. solidgoldmini thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2004
    In a house. On a street. In a city.
    Thanks for all the replies

    Thanks for all the replies. The London Walks, and even Paris Walks, looks like something to check out. As far as interests, I don't really have any in particular. I would like to catch a show at a theatre, and museums sound good, but checking out the areas outside the city sound equally interesting. I'm really not tough to please, especially since I'm so excited just to get to Europe. I have a thing for accents... ;)
  20. teabgs macrumors 68030


    Jan 18, 2002
    behind you
    I stopped reading the suggestions a while ago, but here are some of my favorite things i've done in my times in London:

    Goto Windsor Castle

    War Rooms (already suggested)

    Some really nice pubs: The Mayflower (supposedly where the ship originally set sail from, stopping in Bristol and THEN to the new world) it's a great atmosphere and has very nice food...nicer food than the usual pub food, [one of my top 2] Ye Olde Mitre Tavern (you only get to go if you can find it! I will give no hints), [other of the top 2] if you like hard rock/metal then goto The Worlds End if you do not like that music you might not like it, there are so many others...

    Definitely goto the National Gallery, Tate Modern, and of course the British Museum (allow at least a full day here)

    London Eye is pretty cool.

    The apple store on regents street is basically the same layout as the SoHo NYC one, if you've been there. But it's still cool.
  21. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Assuming you don't care if you understand what people are saying (it's still English they claim) then go to Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow. You'll here accents you can't believe :D
  22. teabgs macrumors 68030


    Jan 18, 2002
    behind you
    Ha! You can hear something that vaguely resembles english if you go far enough EAST in London! I swear I heard these kids speaking in gibberish one day, except an almost familiar word would slip through every now and then. :D
  23. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2004
    Actually, try a lot further north, such as Edinburgh or Appin, Scotland. There's some tough accents. Especially if there's a wee dram of whiskey involved.....
  24. 20rogersc macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2005
    Brighton, UK
    As mentioned before, the London Eye is a must, I've been up by day and by night, and I must say I thought that it was even more stunning by night.

    Erm any museums, like the Science Museum, Transport Museum, depends what you are into really. Maybe also a gallery like the Tate Modern??

    Harrods in Knightsbridge is an amazing experience, but don't expect to buy a lot there!

    Covent Garden is a lovely place, with markets and lots of great places to eat.

    If you want to see some sights, Buckingham Palace is great, along with Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, maybe even Hyde Park, as it is amazing what you can find in the middle of a capital city.

    Hope this helps

  25. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2004
    I forgot about the parks! I believe it's Hyde park with the "semi-tame" peacocks running loose. A very surreal experience in an urban environment. Bring a picnic lunch and relax....

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