Okay Insiders. There have been a few threads related to travel tips in London, but I'm now looking for the top sights one must see when visiting the city.
I'll be in London for about 4 days of a twelve-day trip to England in late October that will also include Bristol, Cornwall, and Brighton. I haven't been in London since the late 1970s (at the age of 12) and want to get the most out of the few days I'll be there. I remember visiting the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, but don't recall too much else about my previous visit. I plan to visit the Tower of London and Greenwich (probably on the same day). Other than that, I'm still exploring options. I'll be at the Marriott Maida Vale, so I'll be using the Underground quite a bit. The final night (after Brighton) will be at the Renaissance Heathrow for a little runway watching.
I know London has something for everyone's tastes, but I'm looking for suggestions from MRI as to what should not be missed. There have been some good tips in this thread London "A Travel Helper"!
I have a few ideas of what I might do but want to hear more.
Sounds like a great plan!
Make sure you know the "Tube routes" ASAP, and rehearse the routes in your mind!
For the few days, I would recommend the following:
Take the "Big Red" on/off tour bus around London, the first day you can.
See: Tower of London, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Churchill Museum, #10 Downey, AFTER seeing the "Changing of the Guard" at Buckingham Palace! (You can do all of this in one day)
If you want to have one wonderful meal, or at least a refreshment, visit the Ritz, it is historic and beautiful.
One other place to dine, would be down the street from the Ritz at The Hard Rock Cafe.
One other note, if you like history, visit The British Museum, it is a place you can see in an hour and really enjoy!
Have a great time!
Get your oyster card and as Jerry mentions study the tube map. As you will not be staying in the centre you will be using the tube everyday.
If you are going to use a smart phone download one of the free tube apps.
Remember many of the stations in the centre are quite close and not necessary to take the tube between them.
It is best to focus on areas for the days you are there.
Visit South Kensington to visit some of the museums: Natural History, Science, V & A take your pick.
West end area for: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square. Around here you can visit British Museum, National Gallery, Courtauld Gallery (Somerset House).
Walk across one of the many bridges and visit South bank area. Along here is London Eye, Tate Modern, Globe theatre.
You have already mentioned Greenwich, yes this is worth a visit with the market, cutty sark, maritime museum and park.
City area to visit St Pauls, Museum of London
Also there are the parks: Green Park (excellent: Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund - Bomber Command Memorial)
Hyde Park, Regents Park
Majority of these places would be on most peoples itineraries. If you have time and would like to visit other places I would look at:
Wallace Collection http://www.wallacecollection.org/
Sambourne House http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums/18staffordterrace1.aspx
Leighton House Leighton House Museum
John Soanes House http://www.soane.org/
Dr Johnsons House http://www.drjohnsonshouse.org/johnson.html
Allow time to take in a show if that is of interest, good site for this:
If you need any restaurant suggestions for various areas just ask.
There are plenty of things to do in London.
Happy to give a few ideas and if they are helpful then great.
If i am around I will meet up.
This is worth a look for those that will be in London over the weekend of September 21 - 22:
Things I'd do (but I work in London so might see things differently):
- go to a football (soccer) game; Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs or Fulham probably
- take an evening boat ride from Westminster down to the 02 and back
- visit the British museum
- walk around central london, visiting a few pubs along the way
Good suggestions so far. I've already got a tube app for my smartphone (though as it is Verizon, I know the phone will not function in England). I do plan on visiting a pub or two (at least one historic one just for the ambiance). I remember stumbling across the Museum of Edinburgh when visiting Scotland a few years back and found it incredibly fascinating. I'll probably seek the Museum of London just on principle.
sg1974, I've read up on the Oyster card and will get one as soon as I arrive. Good idea about focusing on specific areas. I'll check out the links you included.
jerrycoin, I hadn't considered the hop on/hop off bus, but it was convenient in Dublin, Ireland to get a good overview. I'll give it some thought for London.
There is no way to do it all in such a short time, but it's good to have a list of some favorites. Keep 'em coming. I've still got a couple months to prepare.
You can't possibly see all the main sights in such a short visit.
Best to focus on what interests you.
Get a tube map from one of the stations.
Another interesting museum: http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms
This is a good source of information: http://www.timeout.com/london
I use this site to see the current events in the city.
For something different you can visit here: Gallery | Sotheby’s
At the moment they have this exhibition on: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2013/the-new-situation-l13144.html
SeaTexan, what I found was once you get your bearings, which is not really hard in central London, the best way to get around is not on the hop on hop off, but on buses, tube and shoe leather. The oyster card tops you off at around 6 quid a day for zone 1 and 2 which is great value and almost everything is in zone 1 and 2. I use the travelcard, but that was maybe not the cheapest approach. One time I took the London pass which was excellent for the tourist highlights. On subsequent trips I found that some great London attractions and most museums are free. London is really easy to navigate. Have fun, do a ton of research and get the oyster visitor card, but remember you will be able to walk most of the time once in central London. I even found a pub crawl on a prearranged route for a few quid (15 I think) , where I had a half pint at five pubs while navigating the sites over a day. A fun way to spend a day.
SeaTexan, I think there are several organized pub crawls, at least there were. We got the one I mention through the hotel. What I liked was it was self administered and self paced. We were provided a map and some vouchers, and it ended at Harrods. (we were at the Rembrandt in South Kensington)
How exciting, bejacob! I spent a summer in London and it quickly became one of my favorite places in the entire world. I love all of the suggestions that jerrycoin, sg1974 and absolutelegend1 have passed along. If I may add in a couple of my favorite spots:
If you're not afraid of heights, I suggest taking a climb to the top of St.Paul's Cathedral. The view is absolutely incredible and you're able to see the city from an entirely new perspective:
Take a ride on the London Eye at night. I waited until my last night in London to venture on to the London Eye and I wanted to do it at night because I heard your panoramic views are just amazing. They definitely were:
I hope you have a great time! Be sure to create a photo album with your London photos and share them with all of us upon your return! Cheers!
Thank you, jerrycoin! St. Paul's is pretty neat, isn't it? It was one of the highlights of my trip. Love your photos!
It is really funny how photo's you take you think no-one will have an interest, but many times it is just the opposite!
This was a beautiful statue of Queen Victoria, just outside St. Paul's! You can enjoy the walk thru the area. It is historic and relaxing. Don't forget an umbrella! Harrods sells the small, hand held ones that are easy to use!
Just two more weeks. All the suggestions have helped me put together a tentative list of sights to see. Thanks to everyone who commented especially on some of the lesser-known but worthwhile London sights.
I'm looking forward to the big city, but perhaps even more to the trip west and south. Bristol, Bath, Glastonbury, Wells, Cornwall, Avebury, and Stonehenge are all on my itinerary. The 2 free nights (courtesy of last year's fall promo would have expired next month) at the Bristol City Centre are just the icing on the cake.
Thanks again for the comments. I'll put up a photo album when I get back.
sg the master british deal man from London, turned me on to this site
£79 -- Warwickshire 19th-Century Manor Hotel w/Meals | Travelzoo Local Deals
check out all the deals off to the side
also try Amazon local for Britain. Between the two of them I saved over $300 on things I was going to do anyway - it's worth a look.
and here's a thread http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/82190#82190
that was essentially put together using all of the Insiders' terrific ideas.
Enjoy your trip
sg is truly a tremendous asset to MRI!
Not only is he a truly knowledgable professional on London, but is super nice guy as well! His presence really helped make our trip another wonderful experience! Here's "Looking at you SG"!
SG knows how to relax and share London travel suggestions at The CL, at County Hall!
Yes, at this point County Hall, last week in Feb. 2014.
Tentative date to get together is Feb. 26, a Wed., after work that day!
Will have more details as we get closer to that date.
All are certainly welcome! Might have to come up with some activity to enjoy together! "Pub crawl"?
if you were in town this would have been a decent deal for you:
it is one of those few restaurants that has good food along with a nice view.
Absolutely, and that's exactly the part of the city I intend to explore should I ever get back. Great deal.
Now find me some deals in Copenhagen/Malmo or Stockholm for my spring trip.
Don't forget - free beer ( I guess I could even down a stout if necessary) when you come to America's dysfunctional nation's capital .
I've been to Copenhagen & Stockholm, both good places to visit.
You will need some deals in those places as they are rather on the expensive side!
I gave some sightseeing / restaurant ideas to Jasper in a previous post.
All back working now in the capital I see, for the moment...
* as opposed to current - http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1549 Several folks (as mentioned by their questions to newhiltonmembr missed out on nhm's fantastic photo album because it was up for like six minutes and then buried amongst the flood of reviews)
But I digress, back to London sights
bejacob - The View from The Shard good stuff (plus a pleasant walk from County Hall along the Queen's Walk)
Hope you have a fantastic trip! I think you will really enjoy the southwest, lots of lovely coastal towns and villages, and exmoor is beautiful.
Just wanted to say that the Bristol Marriott Royal is also an excellent hotel - I spent 2 years there for work and still really like it. Not sure if the promo vouchers allow, but if so give it a go - it's a lovely historical building. However, if not then the City Center hotel is great too.
Do the touristy bus thing and take pictures of everything. Go walk across the Zebra crossing (forget the record company name, sorry) like the Beatles album cover. Just to say you did.
Then get the &^%*%&^$ out of London. It's just a big city. I suggest going west to Windsor. The castle there is much more impressive than Buckingham Palace. The area around it is beautiful.
I suggest getting up real early one morning and going for a walk just as the sun is rising.
If it's not already on your itinerary, I suggest the Cotswolds. Stow on the Wold, for example. These are all the little towns that you think you're going to see when your tour England. I did it on a bicycle about 20 years ago. Absolutely loved it.
That would have been a nice free show:
Thanks again to MRIs for all the suggestions. I managed to see most of the things I wanted to see and a do few things I didn't know I wanted to do.
At the suggestion of several MRIs, I did climb to the top of the dome of St. Paul's. The view was amazing. This was one I might not have done without the feedback on this forum. I also toured the Globe theater, visited Greenwich by way of the DLR, spent a rainy morning in the Tower of London and visited the Museum of London. I had to pick and choose among the myriad of museums and galleriers, but left plenty for a future visit.
I did catch a show in the West End (Les Miserables) which somehow after all these years, I never got around to seeing until now. With the weather cool and often rainy, I did not try to see a football match except on the tele in a pub or two around town (I remember seeing part of the Manchester United vs. Aresenal game).
It was a great visit. I'll add a few photos in a day or two.
Here a few pictures from my recent trip to England. I'll limit myself to just London for now.
In character at the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street.
Entrance to the Underground at Kilburn Park, the closest station to Marriott Maida Vale. The station will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2015.
The Globe Theatre and Millennium Bridge as seen from the top of the dome of St. Paul's
And a closer image of the reconstruction of Shakespeare's famous "O"
Still sorting through all the photos from Greenwich and the Tower of London. If I find ones I am particularly fond of, I will add those as well. Again, thanks for all the great ideas. It helped make for a great trip.
More pictures from outside of London to come (on another thread).
"Sherlock", oh, I mean bejacob!
Wonderful photo's! That is also nice information on Maida Vail Marriott. Great information on St. Paul's, that really looks like a great experience, getting to the top!
Will look forward to seeing photo's and reading about the rest of your trip! Here's a few other photo's you might also find interesting:
The "Moat" around the Tower of London! Used for many activities as well as protection.
Albert Statue, in Hyde Park! Great place to walk!
Carnaby Street, a great area to shop, dine and walk!