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Trip Report A week in London and a week on a Rabbies Tour of the Outer Hebrides

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My 30something son and I traveled to London and Scotland earlier this month. Growing up, he traveled with my late husband and I, but this was his first trip out of the country in more than a decade, and his first to the UK. Third UK trip for me.

London
We used public transit exclusively in London, and bought Oyster cards on arrival at Heathrow. I was able to turn them in for refund at Kings Cross station on our way to Edinburgh. Very simple to use.

We rented an apartment for our 1 week stay:
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hamlet_uk/index.htm
This jjanet recommended flat worked well for us, and at US $167 a night, a bargain for London.

The St. Katherine Docks area has quite a good selection of restaurants. We enjoyed:
http://bravastapas.co.uk
http://www.pingpongdimsum.com/venue/st-katherine-docks-london
http://www.whitemulberries.com (our morning coffee stop)
http://malarestaurant.com
http://www.caferouge.com/locations/st-katharine-dock

We also made good use of the Waitrose grocery store ajacent to the apt. complex. Waitrose has quite a nice selection of premade salads and sandwiches.

Our one special, pre-booked meal was at:
http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/nopi
Really terrific

We did a number of walking tours through London Walks, always a favorite London thing for me, especially the evening walks:
The Literary London Pub Walk
The Ancient City At Night
and
Pie Crust to Upper Crust Culinary Destinations – Afoot, Fooding & Feasting in The Strand & Covent Garden

I can also recommend a food tour with samples:
http://www.eatinglondontours.co.uk
In addition to good food, a really fun walk throught he East End--lots of street art.

We only spent one day outside of London. I had bought tickets to visit Highclere Castle (the Downton Abbey place) months ago. Fun to see a building that felt so familiar in person. Interestingly, the main rooms didn't feel nearly as huge as the appear on screen.

Museums were a big hit with my son, and he spent loads of time in Victoria and Albert, various Tate museums, and The British Museum.

Our 2nd day coincided with the last day of the Magna Carta exhibit at the British Library, and I'm really glad we made a point of seeing it, as there was unexpected personal connection for this Pennsylvania resident. A portion of the exhibit was a discussion of Willian Penn and his trial. A brief description of the trial and it's legal importance here:
http://www.nytimes.com/1999/04/18/magazine/best-trial-order-in-the-court.html
The exhibit also included a large, early map of SE PA with so many place-names that still exist today. Fun!

And, of course, an enjoyable Fodor's GTG!
http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/two-uk-gtgs-edinburgh-25-aug-london-1-sept.cfm

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