Things to do in London?


amoringello

Link Posted 13/06/2011 - 00:08
OK, my wife and I are going to be in London for three days next week. Hotel is right next to Hyde Park.
I'm getting a little overwhelmed trying to look on Google maps with everything nearby... anyone have suggestions for must see locations? I'm obviously gravitating towards photographic interesting sites. My wife is not so much into the whole camera thing.

Also, a good place for *good* beer would probably rate higher than a great photograph.
Grew up in Milwaukee... home of "Miller" - the yellow colored water of US beers.


One more... been looking at weather websites. It seems to be about 16-20 out there. is that typical and does it appear that it would be holding that way into the next week?

Thanks for putting up with the only-slightly photo related question...

geordie01

Link Posted 13/06/2011 - 08:38
Maritime museum in Greenwich and also the Royal Observatory in the same place and also good bars close by.

digikid-tv

Link Posted 13/06/2011 - 10:43
Well, that's the sort of question that would need a book to answer fully. Here are a few words based on living and working in London, and accompanying several visitors on days out.

You are probably well placed to walk past many of the tourist sites from your hotel. A good stroll would be past Buckingham Palace, through St. James Park, Horseguards, Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey, crossing the river to the London Eye and South Bank area (street performers). Cross back over the river for Trafalgar Square.

A river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London (+ St Katherines Dock + Tower Bridge) passes an interesting hour. There are two major lines, City Cruises which is aimed at tourists using open topped boats and with a commentary, or Thames Clippers (high speed catamarans) which are aimed more at locals and commuters. All boats are low speed upstream of Tower Bridge however, the catamaran is a fun ride when downstream and has an open area at the rear.

The Albert memorial and Albert Hall are in Hyde park (or adjacent).

Lots of museums and galleries too if the weather is poor. Currently fluctuating between warm (low 20's) and sunny, then cool and showery.

As for beer, look for hand pumps for real ale. Avoid plastic looking illuminated taps. Real beer is served warm by US standards, at cellar temperature. About the only beer made in quantity in London is Fullers. Try a pint of London Pride. There are microbreweries about, including at Greenwich as detailed above. If you fancy a trip to Greenwich a good way would be to travel by boat one way, and the other by Docklands Light Railway through the Docklands financial district.

General transport advice: Cash is not welcomed on buses and tubes. One cannot pay cash on a bus in central London and the tube is priced to hurt if paying cash. The cheapest fares are with an Oyster card (pre paid with 5 deposit per card, one card per person) or a daily Travelcard (purchased after 09.30). Travelcards enable a discount on the river boats, ask at the ticket booth. Taxis are pricy by US standards. Cycle hire is now available throughout the central area. Dont be afraid to walk, the centre is not a very large place and there is always plenty to see. Buses are a good way to move around, use the upper deck where there is more room and a better view.

That's enough for now, I guess someone else will add some more soon. Feel free to PM me.
John

amoringello

Link Posted 13/06/2011 - 10:56
Quote:
Well, that's the sort of question that would need a book to answer fully.

Yeah, sorry tough to answer any other way, I know. But thanks for the info.. Especially on pricing of local travel. Its not something I had thought much about in advance.

I live near Washington DC, and feel the same way when people ask similar questions. With 10000 things to see in a 2 mile radius.... luckily the most popular of that is laid out nicely in a simple 2 mile line.



Quote:
Real beer is served warm by US standards

Hard to find here, but thats what I'm looking for. US Micro breweries that serve on site are about the only decent places to get a beer. They usually don't refrigerate the piss out of them.

Thanks again.
Last Edited by amoringello on 13/06/2011 - 10:59

Corker2211

Link Posted 13/06/2011 - 11:42
Greetings from PA

Finally, I see that there is someone else here from the good ole' USA. I would just love to travel over to London. That City must be one heck of a place to visit. There is so much to see that you probably don't know where to start. The Tower of London would be first on my list. Piccadilly Circus would be another. You won't see it all in just 3 day's, I'm sure.

I have been in Virginia a number of times. It's a wonderful State to be in. Lot's of History there, not to mention the Mountains of the Blue Ridge. Since I just love to "snoop around" in Historic places with my Pentax K100D, Virginia is just full of places to see.

Be well
Les
"Those who do nothing . . . make no mistakes in Life"

http://s404.Photobucket.com/home/Corker2/index

I'm just full of questions . . . It's the only way I learn anything! I have so, so, much to learn using my Pentax K100D DSLR

beakynet

Link Posted 13/06/2011 - 12:57
There are some interesting site round hyde Park itself: near marble arch there are a couple of sculptures, one of a horses head and another of a jelly baby family - different and interesting photographic opportunities, and the jelly babies could be fantastic at the right time of day with the sun in the right place! About half way down Park Lane is a full size car (all be it a very small car) with a sculptured hand on top! Saw someone the other day right by it, complete with tripod, taking pictures.

Covent Garden is a great place, the street performers can be good photo opportunities and there is a good pub called the Punch and Judy there .

The south side of the river opposite Westminster it great, it is were the London Eye is located.

Finally, there is a great pub (used to be one of my favourits) close to Suthwalk Cathedral (near London Bridge), also close the the Golden Hinde ship (Close to Clink Street for the Clink Prison) called the Anchor Pub.

Also, you can take photos in Southwark Cathedral, you just been to purchus a permit just inside the main enterance.
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kevinmrphy

Link Posted 17/06/2011 - 10:52
The best views of London are:

1)Wellington Park at Hide Park Corner for a stunning view across the surrounding park and as far away as the Houses of Parliament
2) The River Thames
3) Buckingham Palace
4) London Eye from Tower Bridge
5) Docklands Light Railway
6) Richmond Park

Enjoy London

El Dingo

Link Posted 17/06/2011 - 18:53
... and a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe, if you get homesick. Also pop/rock memorabilia on display.

St. Pauls Cathedral in wonderful, but photography is banned.

The Grenwich Museum - learn about Sir Isaac Newton and a very clever chap called Harrison and his accurate clocks.

Pop out to Windsor and visit the castle...

Lots to do in London!
El Dingo - K3-II and K10D

NaimKhan

Link Posted 17/06/2011 - 18:56
You may want to go onto to Waterloo bridge. I captured these views from there on New Year Day evening:
this
and
this

Have a great time in London.
PPG
Last Edited by NaimKhan on 17/06/2011 - 18:56

dougf8

Link Posted 17/06/2011 - 19:22
There's usually something (often photography related) worth a sniff at one of the below.
Tate Modern.
National Portrait Gallery.
Somerset House.
The V&A


BJP Exhibition list.
Lurking is shirking.!
Last Edited by dougf8 on 17/06/2011 - 19:26

George Lazarette

Link Posted 17/06/2011 - 21:32
St Pauls Cathedral (IMO Britain's finest building) has just been cleaned, and is looking wonderful. You are free to photograph the best bit - the exterior. Nearby on Watling Street is Ye Olde Watling, which was reputedly built by Wren so that he could take refreshment while supervising the construction of St Pauls.

Don't miss the great museums, of which the V&A and British Museum are world-beaters. But there are many more.

If you like art, try Tate Britain on Millbank. If you don't, Tate Modern will suit you fine. My own favourite gallery is the Wallace Collection.

You'll find eating out is expensive, compared to America. Thai restaurants are ubiquitous and usually quite good. Lots of Middle Eastern restaurants around Queensway and Edgware Road, which will be near to your hotel if you are north of Hyde Park.

For Japanese, the best value is Kulu Kulu, close to Piccadilly Circus.

Most cheap Chinese restaurants are poor, in my view. I usually go to Queensway for Chinese. More relaxed than jostling for a table in Chinatown.

Indian food is familiar to the British, but may come as a shock to Americans. Westbourne Grove used to harbour some good ones, but I haven't been there for a while.

The TFL website has good bus-maps. Except for the longest journeys, use buses. The Tube is best left to troglodytes, were-wolves, and harassed office workers trying to get home.


Good luck.

G

Paragraph removed by Moderator Team
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.
Last Edited by the Moderator Team on 18/06/2011 - 09:35

johnriley

Link Posted 18/06/2011 - 09:10
Off topic posts removed, please keep to the subject.

George Lazarette

Link Posted 19/06/2011 - 17:58
Yesterday I took myself by river from Chiswick to Greenwich to see the annual Watermen's Barge race. A very interesting spectacle, though none of my pictures adequately convey the sense of total chaos caused by dozens of boats, some quite large, milling about the lighters that the watermen were trying to row (with 20ft oars) to Westminster.

My excuse is that it's tricky to combine the jobs of photographer and helmsman in such conditions, especially as the weather was not very kind to the participants or the spectators.

However the light did create some interesting opportunities before the race started. Here is the Mayor's office:

Mayor's office

The point of all this? Well, it is to underline the advice of Digikid to take a river trip. I hadn't been down this way by boat for years, and the skyline has changed out of all recognition. It's really very dramatic.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

Anvh

Link Posted 19/06/2011 - 18:21
George Lazarette wrote:
You'll find eating out is expensive, compared to America. Thai restaurants are ubiquitous and usually quite good. Lots of Middle Eastern restaurants around Queensway and Edgware Road, which will be near to your hotel if you are north of Hyde Park.

For Japanese, the best value is Kulu Kulu, close to Piccadilly Circus.

Most cheap Chinese restaurants are poor, in my view. I usually go to Queensway for Chinese. More relaxed than jostling for a table in Chinatown.

Indian food is familiar to the British, but may come as a shock to Americans. Westbourne Grove used to harbour some good ones, but I haven't been there for a while.

We are going to England and what will we eat... eastern food
Stefan


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George Lazarette

Link Posted 19/06/2011 - 18:27
Incidentally, and wearing my non-contentious hat, I was sorry to hear that my comment about the dearth of English people in London caused dismay, and was also deemed off-topic.

I am quite well-travelled, and when I go to another country, I go primarily to experience a different culture. I don't go to Patagonia to do the things I do in England, or eat the food I eat in England, and I enjoy the challenge of grappling with different languages.

Whilst I enjoy the cultural diversity of London, I do feel that foreign tourists might be a little bemused to find that many of the people they come across in their hotels, and in the places they go to, are not English. There is nothing particularly new in this - London has offered shelter to foreign exiles over many centuries - but in the last few years there has been such a massive influx that London is effectively no longer an English city, in the sense of a city inhabited predominantly by English people. The suburbs are another matter, but tourists seldom venture into the suburbs.

For that reason, a visit to London is a visit to London. If a tourist wants to see England and the English, and experience English culture, he should go elsewhere.

And incidentally, I have stayed as a friend and guest of local people in private houses in India, North Africa, and Poland, amongst many others (I had mentioned Arabic, Polish and Gujerati in my post), and I have reciprocated their hospitality. So any suggestion (if there was any) that my post was in some way prompted by racial prejudice is very wide of the mark.

I just wanted to make that clear. I am not interested in, or trying to encourage, further discussion in public. There are PMs if anybody wishes to take issue with anything I have said.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.
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