London sightseeing - what to do in three days.

Discussion in 'Europe' started by brfong, May 10, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    I am going to be visiting London for the first time on May 14th and would like to tap the collective experience of the Milepoint community on how to make the best use of this time.

    For your information, I will be staying near the St Pancras/Kings Cross railway stations. Interests - food and the local scene. Trying to avoid giant Ferris wheels.

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
     
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  2. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    British Museum is walking distance for reasonably fit people. Could spend all three days, there. Wax Museum and Baker Street next to Regent's Park. Magna Carta in the British Museum.
     
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  3. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I love the variety of walks.com
    I usually offer the following suggestion for sightseeing/photos for our staff/clients and those who email my blog -start at St.Pauls in the city (you can pay to do stairs to top view) then walk over the Millenium bridge (great photo looking back at St.Pauls) you are now at the Tate Modern. walking along south bank you will pass The Globe (not original but recreated-they do tours if interested) otherwise continue walking (stop for lunch along the way) you will pass BFI film venue and then be at Tower Bridge. walk over bridge to Tower of London ( can spend all day here - the armor room is very cool). take tube from here to Big Ben/Parliament/Westminster Abbey with London Eye across River.
    At any point along the way you can stop and visit as you want or just walk, take pictures and revisit later. The British Museum is good but an all day affair and I usually go when it rains.
    I'm scheduled to visit in June and going to do a street art tour in shoreditch.
    Foods - there are lots of gourmet burgers and steak now in London -I like Barbecoa w/views of St.Pauls and Byron (burger chain) around city. Chocolates at Paul A Young in Soho on Wardour street. cupcakes for me and to bring home at Hummingbird Bakery on Wardour.
    hope this is a start - DM if you need anything else
     
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  4. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    I like the idea of doing a walk around London. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate on one of the days. If not, then a visit to the British museum will be the activity for the day.
     
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  5. Pizzaman
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    If you're into museums, there was a very informative war museum we visited. I haven't been back in almost 10 years so I reserve the right to be wrong about the quality of the museum nowadays.
     
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  6. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    Highly recommend London Walks (walks.com) they have a great variety of interesting walking tours around the city every day...have taken many and never been disappointed...
     
  7. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Take in some London Theatre! 1/2 priced tix can be obtained from a booth in Leicester Square.

    Tour the bunkers/war rooms (now a museum) that were used as the British government command centre during WWII, Churchill War Rooms

    Also a walk past the British Prime Minister's residence

    We've always try to take a nice walk along the Thames River path, the trail goes for nearly 180 miles, we didn't walk that far.

    A visit to St Paul's Cathedral is a must do for Mrs Willie (therefore me as well) each time we are in London.

    On a food/bev note, I'm especially fond of the bitter beers one can find in pubs. Pub fare has also increased in quality as well.

    I'm not the most religious person but taking in a service at Westminster Abbey was a great experience for us.
     
  8. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    We stumbled upon the Imperial War Museum. Figured we would spend a couple of hours there and then go to the Tate. Spent 4 hours at the War Museum. Went and got lunch (decent chinese food just up the street) and went BACK to the Imperial War Museum for 6 more hours. For Americans it is a strange realization that the two World Wars actually happened in London. We all know it, but to actually see how it affected people was dramatic.
     
  9. Price123

    Price123 Silver Member

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    My advice is always to simply get an Oyster card (valid on public transport) or a daily public transport pass. Then just walk around until you get tired, get the tube to somewhere you have heard of (Notting Hill, Canary Wharf, wherever) and walk around there.

    Saw the wax museum mentioned above. If that's a typo and meant to say war museum, ok. If it means Mme Tussauds, no way a highlight of London. I love the V+A. If you like classical music, Wigmore Hall is great value and I believe the only concert hall in London with natural light (through the huge sky lights).

    Food-wise, if you want ok food on a budget, I would go to Chinatown. Also, check out Toptable for offers. For something a little higher end, Galvin at Windows (at the top of the Hilton on Park Lane has great views) or, if you have an AMEX platinum card, 4030 at St Mary Axe (the Gherkin) is a fantastic private members club. Of course, there are numerous pubs and chains around for edible food at ok price (my favourite is Ping Pong).
     
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  10. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    What not to do? All above suggestions are very fine. If you go to St Paul's, do it toward the end of the day and you can sit in on Evensong. Magical music, often enjoyed up in the quire.

    There are also the Royal properties: Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London (very much a must see), Hampton Court (stunning).

    Check out some of the interesting pubs (and interesting beers) on a heritage pub crawl. There are loads of them available either as a walking tour, or self-guided. Look for the Cask Marque sign on pubs so you know they have good beer. (You can also check the CAMRA web site for good pub recommendations.)

    Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Whitehall, Covent Garden........ You can have a fabulous and varied three days.

    Enjoy, and let us know what you saw!
     
  11. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    I'm on my way to LHR. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.
    Arriving on Wednesday. I'll keep everyone posted.
     
  12. Pizzaman
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    Your description of how you found it was our experience as well. We weren't planning to spend a long time there but were drawn in. Very compelling museum. The concentration camp exhibits were especially sobering and informative even though I considered myself reasonably knowledgable of that period in history.
     
  13. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    Arrived yesterday. Great weather in London, cool and sunny. It had been raining previously before we arrived. In the afternoon, rode the tube to Leicester square, bought tickets at TKTS for Mama Mia and ate in Chinatown. Prices were relatively inexpensive (7.50 pounds) for the all you can eat chinese buffet. Walked from Chinatown to the theater (about a 20 minutes walk) to walk off the buffer and people watch. A note for Ed: walked passed the Five Guys in London, the queue was running out the door. Mama Mia is still a great show, celebrating its 15 year, full of energy. The ABBA tunes are still running through my mind. Today's plans do not include the British war museum, it is being remodeled and will reopen in July. Probably will visit the British Library, which is across the street from the hotel.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  14. Pizzaman
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    That Five Guys in London is a factory. Glad to hear they're still packing it in. Thanks!
    Sorry to hear the war museum is closed. Maybe I'll plan a quick trip this fall to check it out. Paging @jetstetr...
     
  15. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Leicester. Just sayin' ;)

    Is Lee Ho Fuk's still there? Nice place to get a big bowl of beef chow mein.
     
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  16. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    Spelling fixed
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  17. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    The visit to the British library was very interesting. Spent about 3 hours there and could have spent more time there, except of an event scheduled at 18:00. How can I make a visit to a library airplane related? In the stamp collections (or for the highbrow, in the philatelic collections) there is the rare 1918 inverted jenny biplane airmail image-4263049720.png What's interesting is how close you can get to it, the stamp is behind a layer of plastic in a strong frame, but you can almost press your nose against the stamp. Nice cafeteria on the 1st floor (the second story to us Americans) - continued good weather allowed for outside dining on the terrace. Ate the tasty meat pies. Just off the terrace was a small exhibit on how conservation of the books and audio were done. Interesting with some interactive displays on book binding and audio restorations. There was a playback station where you could hear the recorded voices of Albert Einstein, Marconi, and others.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  18. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    Couldn't find the restaurant in Chinatown. The internet says it closed.
     
  19. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    On the last day, rode the Big Bus around town. I used this company because they had a stop right beside the hotel. One thing I like about doing the hop on hop off busses is that they take you around a lot of the city, giving you a chance see the sights at a relatively low cost. Included in the cost is a river cruise between Westminster and the Tower of London. Hopped of the bus and took the river cruise from the Tower of London to Westminster. Hopped back onto the bus and rode to Buckingham Palace.
    Hopped off the bus at the Buckingham Palace stop. Walked through Green Park and picked up the bus on the far side of the park. Rode the bus back to the hotel.

    There is too much of London to fit into three days. I am planning on coming back soon to spend more time to catch the other attractions which I had to miss.
     
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