I'm going to London...wooo hooo!

Having the worlds greatest husband, he’s booked us to go to London November 25 - December 8th. It’s a combination of our birthdays and Xmas present. We will be mooching…errr…staying with a friend of his who lives in Colchester. We won’t have a car.

I have always wanted to go and want to make the most of this since it will be a very long time before we are able to go anywhere again.

I want to hit the usual sites of :
Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, the double decker bus tour stuff.

Anyone else ( don’t we have some UK dopers?) who has been over in this neck of the woods who can give insite on cheap places to see (muesums, castles, etc) or know of cool stores ( I love books and childrens stores)…any info would be appreciated!

While i think on the places to go/see etc, a bit of advice, watch out for the Paras in Colchester…

Madam Tusauds (sp?) Rock n Roll museum
Madam Tusauds (sp?) Wax museum

Get a tube pass it’s the easiest way to get around.

Stonehenge is about 1-2 hours drive north. Big letdown it’s a bunch of rocks.

Ive always found it easer to get forgiveness rather than permission.

My sister in law has been to Stonehenge twice. Twice? To look at rocks? I agree with the fact they are a bunch of rocks. If we make it to that neck of the woods, I’ll just buy a postcard.

There is a street not far from us called
Stonehenge and the front house on it put out a little Stonehenge circle on their corner of their lot with rocks about a foot high. It’s kinda cute and I suppose a total pain in the ass to weed wack around.Maybe one day I’ll take a Sunshine Family doll and put them in front of it and take a picture at grass level stating that it is me :slight_smile:

British Museum stil free entry last I checked. Booksellers abound at Charing Cross and Tottenham Court. Herrod’s Dep’t Store is an experience. Petticouat Lane worth walking down for the hawkers - it’s kind of like a well established flea market atmosphere. Try to give you more later.

Do NOT waste your time at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Go to Buckingham, but NOT during the CotG. You’ll thank me later.

Take a nice walk through Green Park. Cross the Tower Bridge or the “new” London Bridge. Spend too much money on Oxford Street. Enjoy the differences in language (lorries vs. trucks, lift vs. elevator, etc.).

Just enjoy the city. It’s one of the most diverse, alive cities on the planet.

Have a great time. I’ve been there twice, and can’t wait until my next time.

London’s great. But if you’re looking for CHEAP things to do, go elsewhere. I found that spending a pound there is as easy as spending a guilder here (2,15 guilders is one dollar - you do the math :wink: ).
But yeah, it’s a must. Visit one or tow theatre shows, there’s a lot if you’re into musicals and plays. All around Leicester Square, roughly. Cheap tickets available on-the-day through various well-advertised boots.
You MUST eat at one of the 10,000 or so Inidan restaurants in Soho. If you like architecture and houses, walk through Notting Hill (yeah, like in the movie :wink: ), Bayswater, and the surroundings.
Subway pass (“the tube”) is a must indeed.
Enjoy your stay, bottoms up, and - if you’ve got some time left - Amsterdam is a 43 minute flight away !


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

We are going to spend most of our time in Colchester and the surrounding area (where our free lodging is) but I’ve talked hubby into at least a night in London ( probably a Hostel, we’re cheap, easy and young at heart)

I strongly suspect that London will be about only a day trip, which is fine. I’ve seen Berlin, Nurenberg,Hamburg, San Francisco and a few others in under six-eight hours ( due to time constraints.)

We’re trying to get the german relations to meet up with us for a long weekend in London. It will probably be a bust, but it’s fun to think about tooling around town with them at the moment.They guys will drink themselves silly and the girls will shop.

There are cheap and interesting boat tours down the Thames (sp?).
Coldfire is entirely right in that London is VERY expensive.
The pubs are fun.
“Leicester” is pronounced “Lester”. Go figure.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Worchestershire sauce is pronounced Wurshshshter Sauce. Even more puzzling :wink:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Yankee Blue said:

Stay away from the children’s department, though…it’s a massacre!

Seriously, if you spend the day in London, DON’T miss the Museum of the Moving Image. It’s on the South Bank of the Thames, near the big National Theatre complex. It is the trippiest, most eye-popping museum ever–lots of cool high-tech interactive displays, you can read the BBC news yourself, step inside a 1920’s Soviet propaganda train (I think “Battleship Potemkin” is on permanent loop), and much more.

CHEAP EATS: London is tres expensif, but on the King’s Road in Chelsea is “The Chelsea Kitchen”, run by an Italian family with the best homemade soups and pastas in London, and very, very cheap. Get there early, it gets packed at lunchtime. They also have one just north of Trafalgar Square, called “The Stock Pot”.

I’m jealous!

Take the boat tour of the Thames on Sunday. Get off in Greenwich and go to all the flea markets (follow the crowds). There are also lots of cool, cheap shops. Most fun I had in London; I bought tons of records and gifts.

You’ll LOVE London, one of my favorite places! Get out at Westminster Abbey and stroll around inside, even an atheist like me loves that place.

If you have the time, take a boat ride up the Thames (from Victoria Embankment) to Hampton Court, a great old place, and the boat ride itself is amazing–such scenery! You can get the train back to London.

Dress warm, bring a mac and a brolly, and your wellies!

Oooooooooh…I am so jealous! I have always wanted to go there. How far will you be from Liverpool? Can you get a picture of the Cavern Club? :wink:

There are bus tours that drive around London, allowing a get-off, get-back-on at a variety of stops. That’s probably the fastest, cheapest and easiest way for a one-day tour, if that’s all the time you’ve got.

There are some wonderful walking tours, either with guides or do-it-yourself. Hop over to your local public library and check out some books on London, England, and environs… they’ll be a good guide.

Plan in advance. You have limited time and limited money, and you want to make the most of your time. That’s best done with preparation. You’re going to have to make choices – do I spend time in the British Museum looking at the Rosetta Stone, or do I go to the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens?-- and it’s best to make those choices in advance.

Actually, I’m going to be in London much of the same time. Meet ya at the Eros statue in Pickadilly Circus.

Covent Garden (one stop on the underground from Leicester Square, or 5 minutes walk) has street entertainers, touristy shops.
Detective stories: Murder One on Charing Cross Road (probably), just North of Leicester Square
Science Fiction: Forbidden Planet on Tottenham Court Road (probably) going East towards Holborn
Law Courts (open to public)
Trace your ancestors at Somerset House (probably)
Speakers Corner - free speech at Hyde Park (probably)

I lived in London for 33 years, never visited any of the above till I moved out (because I could always do it ‘tomorrow’), and can’t guarantee any of the names above because I just walk there without looking at street names. (sorry!)

Remember traffic comes from the right (except in one-way systems), you can ask policemen questions, taxi drivers take 3 years to learn every street in London and we do have McDonalds everywhere (plus about 100 other cuisines).

Enjoy your visit!

P.S. Colchester was a major Roman settlement, so there should be something to see in that line

I’m going to London in February. Will the weather be god-awful? What’s it usually like that time of year?

Hmph. Pregnant AND going to London…

Have I mentioned yet that I hate you?

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

WOOPS! That was my out loud voice, wasn’t it?

Uh… congratulations, Shirley (grumblegrumble)… have fun! (grumble)

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

If you are in London for an overnighter, don’t miss out on Camden Market which is totally cool and has shops and stalls selling everything from one-off designer garments to rubbish. For the real England-feel, I can second the British Museum and the Victoria&Albert, both museums where the British have stashed most of the stuf they pinched from the colonies. Just outside London you have Hampton Court, henry VIII’s old country residence where he used to take his ladies for a bit of the other, and which also has a brilliant maze. Much further South is Leeds Castle (not in Leeds) which is very pretty indeed and was one of Henry VIII’s other getaways. its very near Canterbury, which is very twee and just like you’d expect. Closer to Colchester you have Cambridge, worth a day trip if you go and see some of the old colleges. Worcester Sauce is pronounced the same as Wooster, as in Wooster and Jeeves. Grosvenor is pronounced Grovner, tomato is pronounced tomahto and potatoe potahto. Very straightforward. :slight_smile:

It only hurts when I laugh.