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A day alone in London - what's the best neighborhood to get lost in?

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A day alone in London - what's the best neighborhood to get lost in?

Old Aug 14th, 2002, 07:17 PM
  #1  
michele
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A day alone in London - what's the best neighborhood to get lost in?

Visiting London for the first time in two weeks. I'm travelling with a friend, but we've agreed that we will need a day apart. I plan to just wander around the city without a plan to see what I can discover, but London is so large that I know I need to stay within one area. Keeping in mind that we'll be doing the "big" sites on all the other days, what area would you recommend for rambling? I've thought about Charing Cross Road for antique bookstores. I also like antique shops, etc. I'd love to know what you think!!
 
Old Aug 14th, 2002, 07:34 PM
  #2  
carole
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Charing Cross Road is a good choice - there is also a big outdoor market at Camden Hill I think - other people may know more about it but its supposed to be a really good antiques site with lots of stalls etc. dont know what days it is open - my old stamping ground which I like is Kensington Church Street which has lots of antique furniture shops - right off Kensington High Street
 
Old Aug 14th, 2002, 07:38 PM
  #3  
carole
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found the website its www.camdenlock.net - markets look good
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:01 AM
  #4  
Nigel Doran
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Camden is a good idea, but I would add that you should then take a quick Tube ride to Hampstead and walk around there. It is v v wealthy and has a great atmosphere. The Heath is great to stroll in too. You would not believe that you are in a huge city. You could do it the other way, taking breakfast at a cafe in Hampstead, going for a walk on the Heath, and then taking a bs or Tube to Camden. You'll use at least 4-5 hours doing that.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:18 AM
  #5  
Kate
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Notting Hill, without a doubt. Friday is probably the best day, because Saturday the market will make it no fun to potter about and feel like you own the place, but Friday's market has a few used book stalls. It's the area in London closest to the West Village in sensibility. You've a much better chance of just dropping into nice cafes and restaurants than in the Charing Cross area, which is a heartbeat away from hideous Leicester Square, and McDonalds and Angus Steakhouses and Amusement Arcades and you'll get lost in that and cry. Also, the bookstores in Charing Cross are not what they once were. In Notting Hill, however, there is Simon Finch (I think that's the name)'s Rare Books on Ledbury Road, which is just exquisite, and if you can't buy presents there for your favourite people, it's simply because you can't choose. Also, Paul Smith's flagship store is as cool as anything, with a children's playroom, also second hand books, like Vreeland's Allure or Beaton's designs for My Fair Lady. And fun geetars and gimmicks in the men's room. It's like a house. Oh trust me on this, leave Charing Cross the hell alone, and Camden too.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:23 AM
  #6  
david west
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Why not try Richmond? Lovely Royal deer park, pretty old town on the Thames (with trips if you're so inclined). Handy for Kew GArdens. Not touristy

It's not really a part of London but would give you another view of the city.

You might meet Mick Jagger too.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:51 AM
  #7  
flygirl
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Kate - just curious. are you Kate Gorring(e)? if so, long time no see!!
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 04:18 AM
  #8  
JOdy
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I would second Hampstead but if you wan to stay in town, I'd head for chelses..several antique malls along The King's Rd and off on the side streets, Fulham Rd in the same area has loads of shops..just looking at the window displays is fun and a learning experience. Then i'd go down to Old Brompton Rd , just a few blocks down from King's rd..and check out Christie's showroom, you might even see an auction going on, wander around toward Knightsbridge and Bonham's is on Montpelier St..and harrod's right down the road! Also V&A and Nat'l. History museum
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 05:02 AM
  #9  
Ben Haines
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To see markets, stroll on a heath or in a park, browse books, and window shop these are excellent ideas. But to get lost you need narrow winding lanes and passageways. There are a few of these north of the Strand, but most are in the City of london, the area of the Roman and Medieval cities, from Barbican to the Tower, and from Liverpool Street to Blackfriars. To the email copy of this message I am attaching a copy of a note I keep on disc about a walk along these alleys.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to London.

Ben Haines
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 05:45 AM
  #10  
tee
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Brixton: Smoke a spliff and get lost.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 06:32 AM
  #11  
rastaman
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If you go to Brixton you might also get your chicken jerked......
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #12  
Ben Haines
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To see markets, stroll on a heath or in a park, browse books, and window shop these are excellent ideas. But to get lost you need narrow winding lanes and passageways. There are a few of these north of the Strand, but most are in the City of london, the area of the Roman and Medieval cities, from Barbican to the Tower, and from Liverpool Street to Blackfriars. To the email copy of this message I am attaching a copy of a note I keep on disc about a walk along these alleys.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to London.

Ben Haines
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #13  
Ben Haines
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My e-mail note did not reach you. So please e-mail me if you would like the note on strolling (and getting lost) in the city of London.

Ben Haines
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 07:08 AM
  #14  
Susan
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Ben, I'd love a copy of the walks you mentioned, if it's not a problem. Thanks. Susan
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 07:37 AM
  #15  
Lori
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Why not go over to the South Bank ??? Take a look at Southwark Cathedral, then walk along the Thames, up past the Hayes Galleria (shops, cafes), on up past the new city gov.bldg (you have to see it to believe it's shape...most unusual), past Tower Bridge and to the string of places to eat in the converted wharf bldgs. You can then cross over Tower Bridge and walk around St. Katherine's Marina. Lovely area, very un-like what most tourists would expect in London. Several cafe's and the Thistle Tower Hotel as well as shops, various kinds of private boats docked in the marina (peaceful setting - we rented an apt. out there 2 yrs ago and found it very restful and quiet, unlike the more central areas of London). You can return via tube at Tower Hill or bus.

When we rented an apt. this past spring we were not too far from Charing Cross Road - the bookstores are not what they used to be as someone else said.

I'd also suggest Camden Market - it's really crowded but fun. We love Hampstead Heath, it's huge and you can wander all over the place! Kenwood House is located on the Heath, worth visiting as well.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #16  
Kate
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flygirl - no, I'm not Kate Gorringe, but I kind of wish I was now.

I was in Richmond yesterday. Sweet and safe and pretty, but nothing like London. If you're going to do that, you may as well go to Brighton.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 08:16 AM
  #17  
Kate
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Oh, but I second the South Bank. But maybe that's not so much something you'd want to do alone. With your friend, you can go to the Tate, and eat in the smashing restaurant on the top floor with super views of the city, catch a good film in the NFT, a play in the NT, or pop over the road to the Hayward gallery or Royal Festival Hall. I was there yesterday too, oddly enough.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 08:18 AM
  #18  
Ben Haines
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Dear Ms Payne,

I have sent you a copy, with pleasure.

Ben Haines
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 09:05 AM
  #19  
xxx
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Soooo agree with the plan that suggested you wander around Notting Hill - Start around Blenheim Crescent then go along to Westbourne Grove, (great book shops, antiques, modern clothes and household design, bric a brac, cafes...) then wander up to Hyde Park - Kensington Gardens, then either back along Notting Hill Gate or down to Kensington High Street (or walk through the park on the flower walk to the Albert Memorial and beyond...stop for refreshments at the Serpentine (and go into the Serpentine Gallery for a look-see at what weird and sometimes wonderful exhibition might be on there...) That way you'll have a great combo of shops, green, trendy, traditional, tourist, local, etcd. Camden is interesting but more grotty.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 09:14 AM
  #20  
kate
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Hi flygirl, Kate Gorringe is me! I've been posting for some time under the more anonymous "[email protected]"

I browse more than post, depending on my mood.

Oh, and I heartily agree with Kate "Mascara"'s Notting Hill recommendation. Hampstead would also be a great choice.
 

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