London trip

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London trip

Post by Groucho » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:34 am

I'm going to London for a couple days in the not too distant future. I saw the previous post about London but that was from 2008 so I decided to start another. I haven't been out of the states since the 70's. I saw a lot of europe but never made it to England. Looks like I'll have first or business class going over and back. Planning on doing the tourist things so have been looking at bus tour companies. My companion has a bum knee so we won't be walking all over town. When I travel to large cities I usually carry a cane rather than be totally unarmed and my hair is grey enough to get away with it. Any information would be appreciated.
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Re: London trip

Post by the_alias » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:40 am

What information are you looking for?

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Re: London trip

Post by Boondock » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:31 pm

I've been to London a couple of times and I've enjoyed myself. One of the first things I do after checking in at the hotel is take the tube to the Tower of London, take the tour and a walk along the river. There's a nice pub, one of several, across the street that's got decent grub.

As for the cane, I don't know if you'll need it. And, as a caveat, the bobbies tend to frown on canes unless they're for a medical condition. Tour bus companies will show you the sites, but the hotel concierge also can point you in the right direction. It's an easy city to navigate.

The best advice I can pass along is pack light but prep for questionable weather. Bring a smile and a camera. You should have a good trip.

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Re: London trip

Post by ctbarb » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:14 pm

We spent a week in London a few years ago and loved it! I have bad knees (arthritis) so I'm not a good walker either. We took the Big Red Bus tour our first morning and it was very helpful to see where everything was located and gave a good overview of the city. The tube system is great and the gate agents are very helpful. My favorite place was Covent Garden-lots of shopping, food and entertainment. Jim's favorite place was the Imperial War Museum-stuff from military history going back a looooong time. We did a walking tour at night that was about Jack the Ripper. Highly recommended! There were enough places to sit and a lot of stopping so my knees did not give out. There was also a pub crawl that was really nice. The Tower of London was very cool-all those gems and gold in one place-awesome! Have fun-the people are very nice, too!

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Re: London trip

Post by Boondock » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:21 pm

ctbarb wrote:We did a walking tour at night that was about Jack the Ripper.
That's on my list for my next visit.

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Re: London trip

Post by Murphman » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:33 pm

The Jack the Ripper tour is a must do, as is the big red bus tour. I agree with Boondock, the Tower is a no-brainer for a first timer, as is the changing of the guard.

If you are looking to take a day trip, do the full day Stonehenge/Bath tour, not the half-day Stonehenge only tour. I actually prefer Bath to London as a future destination. The people were overall friendlier and it isn't so "big city". I think all large cities give me a certain claustrophobia after I have seen all the "tourist attractions"/historical monuments. I would prefer to meet Joe six-pack in the foreign country I am traveling to and learn about the actual culture versus going from sight to sight and not immersing myself in the people.

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Re: London trip

Post by raptor » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:46 pm

The Imperial War Museum is worth seeing. The HMS Belfast is interesting also.

You of course have to go see Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the Tower of London.

Greenwich is kind of neat also but only if you are geography buff for a been there done that kind of thing like 4 corners in the US and 0north 0east.

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Re: London trip

Post by Boondock » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:25 pm

Murphman wrote:If you are looking to take a day trip, do the full day Stonehenge/Bath tour, not the half-day Stonehenge only tour.
Agreed. Bath is a lovely city.

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Re: London trip

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:04 am

The War Museum in London is closed. Will partially reopen at the end of this month. I'll have to keep an eye on that.
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Re: London trip

Post by Halfapint » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:36 am

A couple of things.... When I was there even in the most dodgy of places I felt more safe then walking around anywhere here I'm the states. So if you don't need the cane for medical leave it behind it'll be more of a hindrance honestly. Two I've been all over Europe and had a few people try to pickpocket. Never once in London did that happen but be aware I've heard it's on the rise in tourist areas.

Onto the fun stuff. It's to bad that you aren't going to be walking around much London is a city in my eyes that is best seen by foot. If you say the war museum is going to be closed its still cool to go outside and take a picture of the chuck of Berlin Wall they have. I still to this day hand it as my background on my phone it says "change your life."

See a play that the globe theater. It is well worth your time you can (or could about 3 years ago) get the best seats in the house for £5. It's standing room only but well worth it.

If your friend has a bum knee perhaps you can sign up for a bike program they have a lot of the Barclay bikes around. They are pretty fantastic if you sign up and rent the bike. Easy going and lots of places to return them.

As mentioned above Tower of London it's pretty fantastic.... You could spend a day there if you wish and it wouldn't be a waste. The ravens were my favorite part.

Get some fish and chips. I still think we do then better here in the PNW but.... Hey it's England you gotta do it!

If you have young kids or grandkids go to the tube stop they feature in the Harry Potter films they actually have it marked you can can get your picture taken and show it off and be the "coolest dad/grandpa in town" I was never into it but did it anyways to brag to my younger cousins they still ask me about that. Haha

London bridge. It may not be falling down and in fact it's kinda boring but you do hey a good view of Tower Bridge and that's pretty fantastic sight.

Buckingham Palace the palace really isn't much to look at but the fountain out from is an amazing plane to sit, eat a spot of lunch and people watch that was one of my favorite places to just sit and eat and watch.


Really I could go on but it's been a number if years since I've been and I will say this. I always thought London would be a bore. A bunch of stuffy people that are to proper for my liking walking around pretending to be better then everyone. What I came away with though is a city that is probably one of my favorites ever. I've been to more then I can count and London is one of two cities I will consider going back to until I've gone to all on my list.

I ramble a lot so I beg your pardon I hope you find some of that useful! Also I apologize for my typos I'm doing this from my phone at night when I should be in bed. I could proof read it but I'm a lazy bastard!
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Re: London trip

Post by Dabster » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:46 am

I may have missed it but it appears no one mentioned The London Eye. It is a huge ferris wheel that provides an almost map-like view of the city and puts all of the landmarks in perspective.

Cannot recommend it enough.

Have a safe trip!
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Re: London trip

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:11 am

I know what you mean about London. I thought Paris would be a waste of time however I ended up liking it better than most of the other cities I visited. Lots of good info here, thanks everyone.
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Re: London trip

Post by Boondock » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:37 am

Yup, Paris is fucking awesome.

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Re: London trip

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:52 pm

I really enjoyed Greenwich for the Cutty Sark and the war museum. Also,If you are there on Market day, Petticoat lane can be a lot of fun. I watched a man yell at a lady about her "pinching his melons" there, and that was entertaining... Also, a riverboat tour is a lot of fun. For Greenwich, take the tube down, and come back by boat to the tower.
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Re: London trip

Post by raptor » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:19 pm

Boondock wrote:Yup, Paris is fucking awesome.
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Re: London trip

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:44 pm

I've been to Amsterdam already. Madrid, Zurich, Milan, Paris, Luxembourg, Bangkok and a bunch of German cities also. My SO hasn't been out of the country so I imagine at some point I'll be back in Paris and Amsterdam.
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Re: London trip

Post by Lynxian » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:06 pm

I greatly enjoyed Westminster Abbey (very pretty statues) and Notting Hill (Portobello Road Market). I can definitely reccomend those. Do try to find out what day the actual market is at Portobello Road Market, because that's when it's most fun.
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Re: London trip

Post by Ad'lan » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:24 am

The Natural History Museum is worth a trip, as is the Science Museum and the V&A, all of which are right near each other.

If you want to see some of the best loot of empire, then the British Museum is where to go.

The Tube is the best way to get around, except at rush hour, when it's hell under earth.
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Re: London trip

Post by Groucho » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:27 am

The trip was great and I really apreciate all the advice on this post. We lost one day due to illness so we didn't get to visit all the places we would have liked but I'm sure we'll go back another time. The SO works for an airline and ran into someone who just got back from London and gave her an Oyster card with some pounds on it. We flew space available and she had enough seniority that we had first class seats both ways for the cost of the departure tax. I'd rate it as the best vacation I've been on.
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Re: London trip

Post by Boondock » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:21 am

Glad you enjoyed yourself. First class seats always are a plus. Now post a photo or two!

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