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Thread: need the masterplan for London, who was the last one to have it?

  1. #1
    one apple a day
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    need the masterplan for London, who was the last one to have it?

    ok, facts:

    - going to london last weekend in july
    - staying for 3 nights
    - have never been there
    - don't know anything about london, except the tourist attractions

    need the plan for:

    - where to stay (cheapest way not far from the inner city? we are 3 people, so if anybody knows of a hotel which is charging per room and not per person that would be great)
    - what places or parts of town to avoid
    - where is the inner city (it will be more like a shopping trip, so not really for sightseeing... don't want to drive from one end to the other end of the city)
    - any tips welcome

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    The London that you know and will want to visit is west London. It's where the theatres, parks, museums, shopping, hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, cinemas and squares are. Parliament works there. Tony Blair lives there. So does the Queen.

    Public transport is your friend in London. Anybody from London will laugh at your comment about driving from one end of the city to the other. Cars are not your friend in London. The odd taxi journey is great, but it is expensive. The public transport network is a little old and the government are doing a lot of regeneration work this summer, but it's one of the best in the world. I can guarantee there is a Tube stop within 5 minutes walk of everywhere you want to go. A three-day travel card will be the most affordable, quick and most sensible way of getting around. That allows you to go on any bus, train or Tube in London for the days you're there.

    Generally stay in west central London, venturing out during the day maybe. You'll be safe there - there are always people around.

    The City of London is very boring and is just lots of offices. Unless you visit Tower Bridge or the Tower of London, you'll probably never go there. Shopping is on Oxford Street for the big stores and department stores, Bond Street for the posh shops (eg, Prada) and Covent Garden has all the nice shops, plus bars, restaurants and most of the theatres are in that area.

    It's quite difficult to single bits out because London is huge. What kind of things are you looking to see and do?

    Also - which airport are you arriving at? If you're going to Gatwick, then staying near Victoria is advisable. If you're flying to Heathrow, then Paddington is better.

  3. #3
    .: Weirded Out :. The_Xell's Avatar
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    Shopping trip, worth visiting Camden Market.

  4. #4
    one apple a day
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    We're arriving at Gatwick, staying from saturday to tuesday. I don't think the posh shops are anything for us, somewhere in between H&M and Prada. I also would like to see the Apple store, never seen an Apple flagship store. What can you do in 4 days? What options are on sunday - the stores are closed, aren't they? Is it too late to ask the queen for a cup o'tea?

  5. #5
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    yes unfortunately london is shut on sundays but you can get a cup of tea if you knock on the back door at buckingham palace (the queen usually has a big teapot on the go).
    seriously, london is as busy on sundays as any other day of the week, i would recommend the Natural History museum and Science Musuem (both absolutely massive), the Tate galleries, Camden Market - anything and everything, (as recommended by The_Xell,) Oxford Street and Regent Street (for Apple shopping and other retail therapy), Hyde Park for a good walk and Soho for Chinatown and naughty ladies.
    that's about 2 full days of entertainment.
    of course there is much more to be found, but you will need to google for your own particular interests.
    hope you enjoy it!
    Last edited by darkstar; 06-20-2006 at 03:36 AM.

  6. #6
    .: Weirded Out :. The_Xell's Avatar
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    darkstar, what are you talking about? London is buzzing on Sunday... Only very rarely are shops closed.

  7. #7
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    sorry shortie116, no mis-information intended, most shops in london are open everyday including sundays, pretty much the same as any other major city in the world.

  8. #8
    say no more loydall's Avatar
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    London.. OK - In my opinion it's best to avoid Oxford Street - sure there's a load of shops there but it's SO busy and half the shops just sell massive hats with union jacks on and little models of the houses of parliament.

    Covent garden is worth a visit - still busy but has a load of street performers and is great for clothes shopping - better than oxford street IMO. If you do go to oxford street, just go to Selfridges - it's massive and will have everything you could possible want from a shopping trip.

    Go south - South of the river is actually really cool. Go on the London Eye - it's a bit cheesy and busy on a Saturday so you might want to go on a Monday but it's worth the money.

    Borough market is good for food although a little over priced. If you can be bothered to make the trip, Brixton has, IMO, the best market in London - proper food at the right price. Only thing is, if you do visit Brixton, make sure you don't get shot.

    Camden is ok - worth a visit but busy and a bit predictable.

    If you go to Notting Hill you'll see how everyone in England lives. Basically, in England, most of us work in bookshops where business is slow yet we can all afford a 1.5 million apartment - and we all talk like Hugh Grant... Honestly..

    Seriously though, if you do go to Notting Hill, go on a Saturday and walk down through Portobello Market - Antiques and Clothes.

    What else... errr....Oh yeah - if you go slightly North of central London you'll see Primrose Hill - get yourself up there for a great view of London.

    Walk through Soho at least once - as mentioned before it's an interesting blend of bars, clubs, shops and sex shops. Completely overpriced though and the bars are full of tourists who think they're experienceing the real London.

    Leicester Square - don't even think about it. It's rubbish.

    Walk down the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace and then into St James' Park.

    Also - this sounds really cheesy but it's actually really good - if you have time, go on a river cruise - one where they point out a load of interesting bits of London... I went on one a while ago and really enjoyed it.

    That'll do for now..... If I think of anything else, I'll let you know...

  9. #9
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    I'd say it's worth walking through Leicester Square just to go "ooo" and then leave. It sits nicely between Piccadilly Circus (the place with all the big screens) and Covent Garden - just walk it.

    When you arrive at Gatwick, head to the railway station. You have two choices. Either make your way on one of the commuter trains to London Victoria, at a reasonable expense. However these can be crowded at peak times and they do stop at main line stations. There is a train called the Gatwick Express which flies through south London straight into Victoria. There's a train leaving every 15 minutes and the journey takes 30. You can buy your ticket on the train at no extra cost too.

    So, look for hotels/hostels in the SW1 area around Victoria station. There's quite a few. Victoria also has a good underground station for links - with the Victoria, District and Circle line all running through it.

    Get yourself a Tube map:
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/colourmap.pdf
    There's one in nearly every guide book and you can get them at Tube stations. Every location you'll want to visit will list its nearest Tube station.
    Last edited by asheep_uk; 06-20-2006 at 05:03 AM.

  10. #10
    Grandfather to the stars bigginge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loydall
    Also - this sounds really cheesy but it's actually really good - if you have time, go on a river cruise - one where they point out a load of interesting bits of London... I went on one a while ago and really enjoyed it.
    Agreed. It does sound a bit naff but you get to see lots and understand the history of London - like pretty well all big cities it's history is entwined with the Thames. If you've any interest in plants Kew Gardens is a must, acres of parkland with an enormous Palm House of tropical plants. I'd recommend a visit to some pubs, offhand 'The Ship' in Wardour Street for the taste of Fullers ESB, and 'The Anchor' in Clink Street where you can sit out by the river. Also 'The George' by London Bridge, a magnificent old coaching inn.
    Oh and treat yourself to and A-Z.
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