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(Some Guy)   Subby is off to London and southern England for a week. Looking for any suggestions from those who visited previously. I have the obvious places checked off, just looking for any tips   (london.com) divider line 66
    More: Advice, England, West End  
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634 clicks; posted to FarkUs » on 04 Apr 2013 at 2:21 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-04 12:50:04 PM
take path down to cliff base at Dover, there's always small pieces of white chalk/flint scattered around that make great souvenirs
 
2013-04-04 12:53:49 PM
Subby I'll give you a quarter if you take a look up the queens dress
 
2013-04-04 01:00:55 PM
Try the food! English cuisine is world renowned.
 
2013-04-04 01:03:29 PM
I spend a fair amount of time in England (mostly on business, but sometimes on personal travel as well), but I should ask:  What do you consider to be "the obvious," Subby?  We may have some very different ideas about that, and I might be able to recommend some things that might seem obvious to me but not to you, or vice-versa.
 
2013-04-04 01:07:27 PM
Go to the Hard Rock Cafe some evening when the gift shop isn't busy, and buy a few souvenirs. Ask politely if someone can take you down to see "the vault."

That's where they keep the really great artifacts, like Eric Clapton's red Fender Lead II guitar, which was the first item they ever displayed.
 
2013-04-04 01:08:48 PM

olddeegee: Try the food! English cuisine is world renowned.


Haven't been there in a while, huh?

Yeah, for a long time (millenia, probably) the food in England had an entirely well-deserved and accurate reputation as being incredibly bad.  But it hasn't been that way for many years--I'd say at least about 10-15 years now--especially in London, which has become a world-class restaurant city.  True, most of the really good food is something other than traditional "English" food, and true, most of the renaissance in food is attributable to London being the sort of place that attracts people from all over the rest of the world who brought their own local cuisines with them, but the bottom line is that there is an incredible amount of good food there now (in London, especially).
 
2013-04-04 01:13:09 PM
Bristol (born there)
Bath (pretty)
Somerset (scrumpy cider!)
 
2013-04-04 01:13:18 PM
 In London, go to the Churchill War Rooms, you won't be disappointed. I spent most of a day down in there.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms
 
2013-04-04 01:15:01 PM
Go to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London (really old pub where literary greats hung out).  Wander around Greenwich - feels at places like you're not even in London.
 
2013-04-04 01:17:34 PM
Bletchley Park (where the Nazi Enigma code machine was broken) http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/
The Royal Observatory http://www.rmg.co.uk
 
2013-04-04 01:25:47 PM
Also go to the  Lamb and Flag for a pint. Whiskey selection isn't bad either.

http://lambandflagcoventgarden.co.uk/
 
2013-04-04 01:30:38 PM
Bath and Salisbury are lovely. For my money, Avebury is cooler than Stonehenge.

/used to live in Exeter
 
2013-04-04 01:43:56 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: Bath and Salisbury are lovely. For my money, Avebury is cooler than Stonehenge.


I took a day trip from London to visit all those places. The tour guide was really funny and good at his job, and I had a blast. I walked around Bath for a few hours, visited the Abbey, had a good pub lunch. I was by myself, and it was one of those days you never forget.
 
2013-04-04 01:50:37 PM
St. Michael's Mount, West Cornwall.

www.cornwalltour.com
 
2013-04-04 01:53:55 PM
House of Commons session
Old Bailey trial
Greenwich
Salisbury Cathedral (see the (a) Magna Carta!)
 
2013-04-04 01:54:46 PM
Science Museum
 
2013-04-04 02:07:16 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: Bath and Salisbury are lovely. For my money, Avebury is cooler than Stonehenge.

/used to live in Exeter



Agreed 100%. We just drove by Stonehenge but spent a couple of hours walking around Avebury.

In London, visit the John Snow Pub in Soho.

The English Museum is free and not to be missed. The Rosetta Stone is there, as is a shiatload of ancient stuff they stole from Egypt and Greece.
 
2013-04-04 02:27:41 PM
Figure out a way to get into a QI taping.  Assuming you're going late this month or next month.
 
2013-04-04 02:31:31 PM

ricewater_stool: The English British Museum is free and not to be missed. The Rosetta Stone is there, as is a shiatload of ancient stuff they stole from Egypt and Greece.


Yeah, if a person had time to see only one museum in London, the British Museum would be the obvious choice.  I would say that on any short of list of "must see" museums of the world, it would have to be right at or near the very top.
 
2013-04-04 02:32:33 PM
Don't go to St. James Tavern in Greater London. Bad service and gross business practices.

CSS:

My friend and I were in London to see Phantom at Her Majesty's Theater. This pub was nearby so we decided to try it. My friend is a vegetarian, so she ordered the veggie burger. It took forEVER to get our food, but that was because they delivered her burger to the wrong table first.

The lady who got the burger first, started eating the fries and cut the burger in half. Then she realized it was the wrong burger and had it sent back. He took it to the kitchen and then brought it back to our table with several fries missing, cut in half and some stranger's germs all over it. When we confronted the server about giving us a burger that some other lady had her hands all over, he didn't even apologize. He just got this look on his face of "oh shiat, you noticed".
 
2013-04-04 02:40:05 PM
Like gardens?  Visit Great Dixter, Kew.
Like history?  Visit Stonehenge, Avebury, Bath, Windsor Castle.
Like food?  Don't worry, you'll eat well. Enjoy the differences, that's what builds great memories.

You'll find that there will be a multitude of brochures for day trips and tours in your hotel lobby.  Your hotel can book them for you.  I went by myself, just as the_rev mentioned above, and had a better time than if I would have had a partner.
 
2013-04-04 02:41:08 PM
I haven't been there since late last century, but will suggest the following places besides London:

Leeds Castle. Be sure to get lost in the maze, and don't miss the dog collar museum.
Stonehenge. The last tour bus leaves the area at 3pm sharp (I learned this the hard way. It's a 2k walk to the nearest town. Not bad, but not too nice when it's raining. Luckily, I found a call box at the 1k mark and requested a taxi to take me to Salisbury).
Bath. Visit the Roman Baths, then go to Sally Lunn's for awesome buns. You can also take a river cruise. Let me know if the huge Mr. Blobby figure is still there.
Brighton. Lotsa neato antique shops (if you're into that sort of thing). The Royal Pavilion is cool. The seaside is gaudy and fun (don't miss going to the pier), and if you get shiat on by birds while strolling along the seashore, there are plenty of public restrooms where you can clean up.

As for food, I enjoyed lotsa fish & chips because it's pretty good over there for the most part. Avoid the crappy takeaway that's directly across from the Roman Baths. There was a real good one in London off Tavistock Place near Russell Square; don't know if it's there anymore.
 
2013-04-04 02:42:59 PM

Via Infinito: Don't go to St. James Tavern in Greater London. Bad service and gross business practices.

CSS:

My friend and I were in London to see Phantom at Her Majesty's Theater. This pub was nearby so we decided to try it. My friend is a vegetarian, so she ordered the veggie burger. It took forEVER to get our food, but that was because they delivered her burger to the wrong table first.

The lady who got the burger first, started eating the fries and cut the burger in half. Then she realized it was the wrong burger and had it sent back. He took it to the kitchen and then brought it back to our table with several fries missing, cut in half and some stranger's germs all over it. When we confronted the server about giving us a burger that some other lady had her hands all over, he didn't even apologize. He just got this look on his face of "oh shiat, you noticed".


When I was in there the last time, in comes about 25 people all dressed up in crazy costumes doing a bar crawl because two of them were getting married... made for a good time
 
2013-04-04 02:46:41 PM

Cyberluddite: ricewater_stool: The English British Museum is free and not to be missed. The Rosetta Stone is there, as is a shiatload of ancient stuff they stole from Egypt and Greece.

Yeah, if a person had time to see only one museum in London, the British Museum would be the obvious choice.  I would say that on any short of list of "must see" museums of the world, it would have to be right at or near the very top.


Subby here. That's the top reason I'm going. i love archaeology, so the Petrie Museum should be great as well.

Cyberluddite: I spend a fair amount of time in England (mostly on business, but sometimes on personal travel as well), but I should ask:  What do you consider to be "the obvious," Subby?  We may have some very different ideas about that, and I might be able to recommend some things that might seem obvious to me but not to you, or vice-versa.


Agreed. I was planning on hitting what i thought were the touristy destinations. British museum, churchills war rooms, tower of ondon, national gallery, Stonhenge, Canterbury. Figured there were some far ranging farkers that might have found interesting stuff that isnt necessarily listed on a website or book. Thanks for the replies people!
 
2013-04-04 02:54:15 PM
go see the harrison clocks at the royal naval observatory at greenwich.
 
2013-04-04 02:55:32 PM
DO NOT USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT WITHOUT BUYING AN OYSTER CARD. It will pay for itself in one day if you use the tube extensively.

Eat fish and chips at Gordon Ramsay's The Narrow (or anything else, it's all excellent, but make sure you get a table near the water in the conservatory.)

IMHO the Natural History Museum is more interesting than both the Science and British Museums.

Go on the Thames Clipper. Relatively inexpensive very fast ferry that links Canary Wharf in the East to Tate Britain (art gallery currently not worth the effort owing to vast construction project), stopping off at or near all the tourist sites on the river.
 

naughtyrev: Go to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London (really old pub where literary greats hung out).


By all means go to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, but don't even think about eating there. IMHO it only has any customers thanks to its historical appeal and the fact the innumerable lawyers who work in the surrounding area get some respite from their Blackberries thanks to deep cellars made of iron-rich brick.

/lives by The Monument
 
2013-04-04 02:56:35 PM
I'm headed there with my wife in Mid June.  She's going for work whilst I while away the time on my own.

So what do you think the plausibility of recreating three men in a boat, but with it just being one man in a boat...and only for two days?   Do they still rent the skiffs?
 
2013-04-04 03:00:57 PM

Branniganslaw: i love archaeology, so the Petrie Museum should be great as well.


Sir John Soane's Museum is remarkable. Startlingly random selection of antiquities literally piled up in a Georgian house, 10 minutes' walk from the British Museum.
 
2013-04-04 03:04:39 PM

Prevailing Wind: So what do you think the plausibility of recreating three men in a boat, but with it just being one man in a boat...and only for two days? Do they still rent the skiffs?


You can easily hire a skiff, but you won't be able to navigate the locks or beach the boat single-handed.
 
2013-04-04 03:06:47 PM
FarkinNortherner:IMHO the Natural History Museum is more interesting than both the Science and British Museums.

But only the British Museum has CAT MUMMIES!!
 
2013-04-04 03:20:20 PM
The Indian food is pretty awesome.
Jimi Hendrix died in a pretty swank part of town, if I recall.
The cheapest pints I could find were on the college campuses.
Definitely take in a play.
Avoid British coffee at all costs.
 
2013-04-04 03:31:16 PM
Also for shopping: skip Harrods (unless you have a thing for tacky overpriced shiat) and go to Liberty's or Selfridges instead.  Free, clean public toilets can be hard to find  - look for a Marks & Spencer.

If you like history, archaeology, Dorset is great. The Jurassic coast, Maiden Castle, and Cerne Abbas are all awesome.  Cornwall is like a whole other world, lots of very pretty fishing villages.

The South Bank is lots of fun, go see the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe (a standing ticket to a matinee is actually less than the backstage tour).

Book train tickets in advance or you will get hosed on the prices.
 
2013-04-04 03:33:49 PM
I'm not sure if this helps, but I've never been to London, southern England, nor the UK even, for that matter.
 
2013-04-04 03:41:13 PM
Not sure what is on your list of obvious, but the London Science Museum is pretty cool, as is the Victoria and Albert.

Buying a suit in London (if you need one and can afford it) is a once in a lifetime experience.

I enjoyed Bath-neat place to walk around, and a very cool restaurant buried under the streets in an old cavern.

The flip side- places to skip. Stratford on Avon just seemed like a giant tourist trap combined with Shakespeare/Disney. Except for the chapel, I could have skipped the whole deal. Truth be told, I didn't find Stonehenge all that fantastic- I think I would have gotten 90% of the Wow factor from a good slideshow.

Just my thoughts- YMMV
 
2013-04-04 04:17:48 PM
Hello, this is relevant to my interests. I'm going to London for a week, but I have to work during the days :/

/bookmark
 
2013-04-04 04:22:25 PM

FarkinNortherner: Eat fish and chips at Gordon Ramsay's The Narrow (or anything else, it's all excellent, but make sure you get a table near the water in the conservatory.)


I'm not all that hit in the ass over fish and chips as a general rule, but I thought that Poppies (in Spitalfields) was pretty damn good, and dirt cheap--I don't think anything on the menu is over £10.

Mateorocks: Avoid British coffee at all costs.


There are lots of good coffee places around Soho.  Including a great place to buy some truly exotic coffee beans to bring home, the Algerian Coffee Store on Old Compton Street, which has been there since the 1800s.  You can even buy the infamous cat shiat (Kopi Luwak) coffee there, at about 25% of the price they sell it for at places like Harrod's food hall (I'm not much of a coffee person, buy my wife is, and she brought some home and served it to some of our coffee connoisseur friends, who thought it was the best coffee they've ever tasted, but YMMV).
 
2013-04-04 04:28:26 PM

Mateorocks: Definitely take in a play.


Especially at the National Theatre. Most of the commercial West End theatres now show the same tired, mass-market, tourist-oriented crap that you'll see on Broadway, while the National tends to have more interesting, more edgy, less mass-market stuff, all performed by terrific actors and directed by accomplished directors.  And because it's subsidized by the taxpayers/government, the ticket prices are extremely reasonable.
 
2013-04-04 05:02:48 PM
If you like ww I or ii stuff, there is no better than the Imperial War Museum
 
2013-04-04 05:04:30 PM

nyclon: If you like ww I or ii stuff, there is no better than the Imperial War Museum


Yeah that was one of my top 3, and it just started renovations :(. Thanks again, and I'm off!
 
2013-04-04 05:06:44 PM
I second Bath, Avebury and some of the London recommendations.
I will add...
Cheddar - if you're in Bath it's quite local and a lovely place to visit. You could do a nice two day excursion of Bath, Bristol and Cheddar, possibly with Avebury en route.
Totnes in Devon - arguably not as interesting as it was before the property boom but still a nice example of alternative England, see also Glastonbury. Totnes is a good place to travel to by train too as the track follows the coast for a while at Dawlish and if the seas rough it's quite exciting.
Anywhere on the coast in Cornwall - well, other than the larger towns, but places like Polruan/Fowey... amazingly beautiful.
Exmoor or Dartmoor - I have lived close to Dartmoor so favor it but Exmoor near Lynton is pretty cool and I'll be going back myself this summer.
Jurassic Coast & Dorset - maybe try Weymouth as a base for some walking, or have a drive around and visit Cerne Abbas and Puddletown.
Salisbury Plain - mainly owned by the military and restricted access other than one or two principal routes, very interesting area. If you're visiting Stonehenge from London in a rental car don't drive directly between the two, take a detour via Pewsey or even Devizes, just to cross some of the Plain. Oh, and when you're at Stonehenge, you can see quite interesting stuff on the opposite side of the A303 (main road that cuts the site in half), such as burial mounds and if you have time walk along the chalky path to Larkhill and see a very English contemporary military village set-up. It's like being amongst the homes on a base minus the gate/security, quite odd.
For London just keep in mind that the neighborhoods are pretty much ALL mixed socially, where I used to live in Notting Hill was so varied that on one street there were celebrities like Kylie Minogue living alongside squatters. As such I guess I'm saying keep your guard up as you're never really in a good neighborhood (other than the few rich people ghettos) but also that's what makes it so vibrant, everyone living alongside each other gives areas an edge. This is quite pronounced out east in the more recently gentrified hipster places.
Can't do better than that without specifics, but wiki and Google know more than me anyway, these are just pointers.
 
2013-04-04 05:16:51 PM
Wales is pretty neat.  Caerphilly is an adorable little quaint village that surrounds the biggest ruined castle in Europe.  One's first sight of it as you come down the hill from the train station is staggering.
 
2013-04-04 05:45:22 PM
Bring me back a case of BP sauce, please!
 
2013-04-04 06:09:14 PM

AlwaysRightBoy: In London, go to the Churchill War Rooms, you won't be disappointed. I spent most of a day down in there.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms


I agree, well worth the time.
 
2013-04-04 08:31:25 PM

AlwaysRightBoy: In London, go to the Churchill War Rooms, you won't be disappointed. I spent most of a day down in there.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms


this!

If you like beer, seek out "free house" pubs.  And try Shepard's Neam.   A London bus driver turned me on to it.

A trip to Stonehenge will leave you unimpressed.
 
2013-04-04 10:09:47 PM
London is massive, so you're spoiled for choice.  For my money, the London Eye, the Museum of Modern Art, the British Museum, the Tower, and Westminster are don't miss sites.  If you've got the time, the London Dungeon is fun.  A Jack the Ripper tour of Whitechappel is fun as well.

In the south, again it depends on where you're headed.  Canterbury has a fair amount to see.  Bath is terrific, as others have said.  Dover sucks unless you're on a ferry and can see the cliffs.
 
2013-04-04 11:01:34 PM
For eating:  Burger and Lobster for a sit-down meal, for cheap on the go eats, I recommend Wasabi, Wagamama, and Eat or Pret a Manger.

If the weather is nice, go to Hyde Park.

I went to a nighttime concert at St Martin in the Fields and it was lovely and only 8 pounds.  I also recommend the National Gallery.  I enjoyed walking around Covent Garden and Leicester Square just for people watching.  Depends on the weather, though.

Second the vote for Churchill War Rooms - one of the highlights of my trip.

Have a great time!  London is awesome.
 
2013-04-04 11:08:41 PM

12349876: Figure out a way to get into a QI taping.  Assuming you're going late this month or next month.


Ha, I went to one back in 2007. It was brilliant, and that was before I knew what QI even was.
 
2013-04-04 11:31:31 PM
One of my former co-workers just got back from London and highly recommended a scavenger hunt called Hidden City.
 
2013-04-04 11:36:58 PM
You are so lucky!! I hope you have a wonderful and safe trip. Cheers!!! =)
 
2013-04-05 12:27:54 AM
I've mostly just been "Smart"-ing previous suggestions, but based on my six weeks in Oxford (and 2.5 days total in London), I'll do my best.

* Cotswolds bike trip. Recommend Moreton-in-Marsh as a good starting point, about 1.5 hours from Paddington by train. Nice pubs and English countryside.

* St. Martin-in-the-Fields concert. I happened to walk by when they had a "Handel by Candlelight" performance that night, and I got a front-row seat for 15 GBP. (I quite literally could've kicked the violinist, I was that close. That part, however, is not recommended.)

* Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Simply stunning.

* National Gallery of Art. Couldn't pay me to suggest going to an art museum before I ended up in there and pulled a Cameron from Ferris Bueller, just staring at all the amazing works.

* British Library, if only for a quick stop into the highlights gallery (Magna Carta, original copies of works by Shakespeare, Handel, DaVinci, etc.)

* Bath, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, other such previously-mentioned towns are really quite beautiful. Also the Museum, the Tower, etc.

* If you're into trains (heck, even if not), the Didcot Railway Centre is about 10 miles short of Oxford by rail and runs steam trains on the weekends. It's the closest active rail museum to London I can think of (<1 hr) that's also easily accessible.

NOT recommended, but left to your discretion, are the London Eye and Stonehenge. Both are tourist traps, and you can't even stand that close to Stonehenge anymore. Between the two though, I'd go for the Eye.

/And don't forget to have a pint or three, for God's sake
 
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