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26yr old girl London in June

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May 29th, 2012, 09:12 PM
  #1
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26yr old girl London in June

So I'm trying to pull off a trip to London June23-July1st possibly with another girl but most likely by myself since she may not be able to get time off work. I've never been there and it's a little intimidating with all the neighborhoods and tubes and trains oh my!

Was thinking of using airbnb to stay in a room in Camden or Nottinghill and possibly taking a train to Dublin towards the end of the week. Do you all think this is doable? I really haven't had time to plan a lot but can really go with the flow once I'm there.

I'm young, single and looking for good safe nightlife in the city. I also love museums and art districts. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!!!
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May 29th, 2012, 09:37 PM
  #2
 
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I'm a little confused, but it's been a long day and my NBA team just lost.

London is not in Ireland so perhaps you would want to tag this "UK."

Taking a train to Dublin would be a bit difficult but if you add in a ferry, possible. Most people would recommend that you fly.
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May 29th, 2012, 10:38 PM
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Hundreds of thousands of 20-something girls (a huge proportion of them without English as their native language) move to London every year, and manage to avoid being intimidated by public transport. I can't see why you should be any different. Just do it.

Dublin's a four hour railway journey, followed after an hour or so of transferring by a three hour ferry (of spectacular tedium, and devoid of any visual interest) away. And, on your, plans, the same all over again to get back. It's also possibly the least rewarding tourist-visited city in the British Isles to go through all that for: it's uglier than Oxford, Bath, Liverpool or Edinburgh (and has less going on) and gives no sense whatever of the glories of Ireland's west coast. If you've got some real reason for wanting to go there AND do so by surface travel, it's best to book an open jaw US-London/Dublin-US ticket. Details of rail/ferry alternatives at www.seat61.com/Ireland.htm. By plane: about 3.5-4 hours centre to centre each way. No immigration queues.
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May 29th, 2012, 10:44 PM
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"Safe night life":

For preresearch, www.timeout.com/london/

For the week you're here: buy the current week's hard copy at your departure airport (it's often available at JFK) or from the newsagent right after Customs at your London arrival airport. Use the tube into town to update yourself on what you're interested in.
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May 29th, 2012, 10:49 PM
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Happy to help, but at 26 you are no longer a "girl", you are a woman. Get a grip!
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May 30th, 2012, 01:22 AM
  #6
 
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The tube is actually very user friendly. It has an excellent map, is well signed and tells you where each train is going and how long it will take to arrive.
If you have an IPhone, you can get TubeMap, Tube Status and Bus Times.
As soon as you arrive, ask at a ticket office for an Oyster Card. Do a search on the forum and you'll find lots of information about it.
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May 30th, 2012, 02:29 AM
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This will start you off on public transport in London:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/15101.aspx
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May 30th, 2012, 05:13 AM
  #8
 
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You will be absolutely fine in london!!

I would not recommend using airbnb for a first time stay if you are nervous about safety and getting around. Nstay in a hotel where they can help you with everyone and you can 'guarantee' the standard of the accommodation!

As for transit...it is very user friendly, lots of signs and staff to help you. Just make sure you are polite to people trying to go about their day (stand on the right of the escalator stairs, don't block turnstiles and staircases etc by standing in front while you look for things etc. feel free to ask a friendly looking person for help as well...I always get asked and have never seen anyone not help someone.

Keep your senses about you, get a good guide book and have a fabulous time!!!
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May 30th, 2012, 06:50 AM
  #9
 
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I think a good choice for accommodations for you might be a hostel. To find one, check out www.hostels.com. (My 20-something kids always use that website to find hostels when they travel in Europe.) A good hostel is a safe, affordable place to stay that offers you the opportunity to meet others like yourself who may want a sightseeing partner.
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May 30th, 2012, 07:31 AM
  #10
 
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Yeah, London (i think) is a friendly place and lots to see obviously. Don't be worried about the tubes as is super easy to navigate and there are tube maps everywhere to help. Have a wonderful time.

Oh also I would be tempted to try and stay somewhere a little more central than camden or notting hill if you only have a few days but thats just me and both of those places and pretty young and trendy places (but quite different) if you are set on them.

Have a great time
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May 30th, 2012, 07:44 AM
  #11
ira
 
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Hi RB,

We visited London and other parts of the UK with only the ability to speak American.

It was a bit difficult to converse with the natives, but most of them are able to speak a dialect that is understandable to the American ear.

It is not at all difficult to read the signs, so we were able to navigate rail, bus and tube (subway) systems.

(As Mark Twain said, "...foreigners always spell better than they pronounce".

Remember to "Mind the Gap".

Enjoy your visit to London, with only a week you don't want to leave Britain.

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May 30th, 2012, 10:46 AM
  #12
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Thank you everyone! This is all very helpful information and I am a lot less intimidated. I traveled alone a lot when I was in my teens and for some reason I got scared to do it again. I guess I need to just bite the bullet and get out there! I will definitely look into hotels in the center. That's a good place to start. I may have to scratch Ireland this time and save that for another trip. I'm Irish and I had a desire to see my heritage (possibly get my first tattoo there) but that would be fun to go another time with family.

Thanks again!
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May 30th, 2012, 12:55 PM
  #13
 
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Definitely save ireland for a time when you can do it justice!

Check out www.londontown.com for hotels
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May 30th, 2012, 12:58 PM
  #14
 
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This last reply is a nice one. The US may be the only country in the world where a 26 year old woman would refer to herself as a girl. This isn't meant to be at all unkind, rather the opposite. You have sort of commented on it when you talk about how easily you did this when you were younger and how hard it is now. The trip will be great if you have great experiences and a lot of fun and come home knowing that you can handle anything that comes along -- in other words, you are an adult!

If you were my friend, I would advise you to put off the tattoo for a year. I especially wouldn't get one from a strange tatooist in an strange town. It is easy to get a tatoo, expensive to have one removed. If you still want one a year from now, okay.
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May 30th, 2012, 01:14 PM
  #15
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Thanks Ackis-

Yes ok I am getting some slack on my use of 'girl' I guess I meant it as a way to let you know my sex- which is clear in my name title too I guess. Anyways, yes I am a WOMAN (hear me roar?)!! I've been through many life experiences as well where I can officially call myself an adult!

As far as the tattoo- yes it was just an idea if the mood struck me and the place was clean, safe, etc. I could definitely wait a year on that since I don't want to brand myself with something so permanent on a whim. My grandma says it's like putting a bumper sticker on a ferrari.

Thanks everyone for helping this gi - err Woman out! Cheers!
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May 30th, 2012, 03:01 PM
  #16
 
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Listen to your grandmother.
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May 30th, 2012, 03:31 PM
  #17
 
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I really like your Grandmother's "Bumper sticker on a Ferrari" analogy! I think my daughters are still tattoo free, (Will I ever know for sure?), but I wish I had that bit of wisdom when they were arguing for getting one.

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May 30th, 2012, 03:35 PM
  #18
 
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I was wondernig when the "girl" would pop-up. IMHO 16 and up is a young woman, not a girl. Separately, you need to use due diligence in airbnb accomodations - and I would tend to use a hostel (a GOOD hostel - check Let's Go or Thorn Tree section to Lonely Planet) and stay some place more central.

You can certainly go to Dublin (whichI find interesting) but flying is a much better wayto get there. And I'm not sure I would do it without seeing mre of the UK first.
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May 30th, 2012, 04:05 PM
  #19
 
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In my opinion, in the twenty-first century, women have won the right to call themselves whatever they want. My twenty-something daughters and their friends all refer to themselves as girls. One works for a feminist organization.

Times have changed, and none of these women have encountered the work situation I did 35 years ago when I'd go to court and the male lawyers would say, "Have your girl call my girl."
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May 30th, 2012, 04:37 PM
  #20
 
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@RosebudGirl

It always cracks me up how feisty people get on these forums! London is an amazing city; I spent four months studying abroad there when I was 22 and couldn't have loved it any more. You will be fine on your own so long as you avoid walking around by yourself really late at night -- just general rule of thumb for any city, right? Another cool thing about London is that pubs are raging around 4:00 p.m. -- they get completely packed after work. In fact, compared to other European cities, London calms down much earlier in night (people tend to start drinking after work, and thus the 2 a.m. club scene isn't really as strong here, although you can definitely find it if that's what you're looking for). Most nights I went out in London I was home by 1 a.m. at the latest.

As far as things to do, there are many! Bring a copy of the tube map with you but don't worry too much about studying it until you get there. You will get the hang of it once you take a few trains and there are always people around to help if you're confused.

A few places I wouldn't leave London without seeing include: Brick Lane, an awesome street that is completely filled with Indian shops and bakeries, amazing restaurants and the best curry you will ever have! This is a true gem of a spot; I didn't go there until the end of my stay and was very sad I didn't spend more time there.

I also recommend people watching in Camden (lots of mohawks and grundgy types there, very fun) as well as Covent Garden (so charming and quaint), Oxford Street (a MUST if you like shopping! They have everything here from Top Shop to cute local boutiques where you can score a good deal).

Museums there are excellent and most of them have free admission. My favorites, by far, were the Imperial War Museum (their Holocaust exhibit is something not to be missed and they have some really cool items in their gift shop), as well as the National Portrait Gallery (all portraits, dating back from the royals all the way to portraits of current British celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe and Sienna Miller).

Enjoy your stay! London is a beautiful place; you won't regret your trip. The people are friendly and I'd suggest staying in a hostel and booking a private room if you are hesitant to share -- you'll meet people easily and still have some privacy if you don't like sleeping in the same room with a bunch of strangers (I can relate!).
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