I only have four days in London--Help!!

Sep 18th, 2000, 06:25 AM
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I only have four days in London--Help!!

I have four full days in London and need your experiences to help me plan my trip.

Aside from the must sees--any suggestions for this January trip?

Good pubs that serve evening meals, etc.

Thanks for all of your help!
Sep 18th, 2000, 10:37 AM
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I'm not the ultimate London expert on this forum, but I do have a long file on London and would be happy to send it to you if you email me
Sep 18th, 2000, 11:38 AM
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What are you interested in? Museums, Theater, Castles, Art, History, Shopping, etc. People need to know your interests before recommending anything specific. The "must sees" can pretty much take up your 4 days and remember the days in Jan. are short, getting dark about 4:30 which cuts into sightseeing. Incidentally, "must sees" for one person may be "not much interested in" for others. Weather can be rather nippy too which can also cut down on outdoor activities. I've been to London many times but what I enjoy may not be what you would so please tell us what your interests are, also do you plan on taking a day trip outside of London? Hampton Court and Windsor are close enough but there is really enough to see/do in London without venturing too far.
Sep 18th, 2000, 06:27 PM
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Agree with Lori re: need more information to really help you, but I do have a number of things that I think are 'musts' for any intelligent, aware, sophisticated human being travelling to London. Of course, to start there are the pubs. To be honest I haven't had much luck following other people's recommendations. What I usually find is that they are full of other tourists and fairly boring - culture-wise. What I tend to do is wander around when I am sightseeing, poking my head into interesting looking pubs and if I get a good feeling - how is that for vague? - I go in. Some of my criteria - there have to be more people drinking ale than lager, no kids, more people without cameras than with them, if I'm going to eat there it has to smell good, and someone has to smile at me when I poke my head in, but after that nobody can care what I do. There are hundreds of pubs in London, so I don't think you'll ever run out. Other things: the National Portrait Gallery - if you even have a mild interest in history, you'll love this place. Don't worry about seeing everything, just wander and enjoy yourself. Ditto for the British Museum - I start with the things I'm most interested in and wander from there - for example the Egyptian Antiquities are amazing. The Cabinet War Rooms are a must for anyone who has ever heard of WWII and Churchill, makes you appreciate what it was like. I'd skip Madame Tussaud's, but the Tower of London, although overrun w. people is a must. If I didn't do anything but go to the theatre I would consider a trip to London a success - there's a great website that I think I have bookmarked, will try and find it for you, that tells you all the latest news, reviews, seating plans, etc. I wouldn't take the tour of Buckingham Palace, again, too many people and too expensive, but the walk from Trafalgar Square up the Mall to the Palace is an interesting one, the view you've seen on a million Royal Event TV Special. The Queen's Gallery, attached to the Palace, often has very interesting exhibits of the Queen's personal items. If you like Queen Victoria/Princess Diana memorabilia can tour Kensington Palace, I tend to just pass by on my way to Hyde Park, and at the end see what's new at the Victoria & Albert - kind of reminds me of my grandmother's attic, on a massive scale. If you like to shop, Harrods is great for browsing - the most beautiful woman in the world I think work on floor w. the fragrances. Covent Garden is great for people-watching but don't buy anything there either, it will cost you at least twice as anywhere else, and the Courtauld Institute has the most amazing Impressionist paintings. The Museum of London is interesting as is the Globe Theatre, and I would recommend a day trip to Hampton Court or Windsor. Hope you didn't plan on sleeping!
Sep 19th, 2000, 12:57 PM
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Actually, I believe that there are THOUSANDS of pubs in Greater London, and I've tried damned hard to find them all.
Of course I haven't.
If you cross over the Tower Bridge into Southwark you'll find many neighborhood pubs. Also, walk straight across the Thames on the London Bridge to the south side for many more. These aren't really typical tourist areas, although they are becoming more so with each passing year, and some of the pubs aren't too "pretty" and neither are the clients. Still, I've had some of my best conversations with the locals in a few of them and have never felt threatened in any way. But then I don't think I'd be there till all hours either.

I can't remember the name of it, but there is a pub on the edge of the green surrounding the Imperial War Museum which one might imagine to be full of tourists but is actually a neighborhood place.

Now, here is a specific;
Take the Tube to the Archway stop (NOT MARBLE ARCH, but Archway). You will be at the base of Highgate Hill, at the top of which is one of the most facinating cemeteries you'll ever see, but that's another story.

As you leave the Tube station and head up the hill you won't have gone more than a block or two and you'll see a monument to Dick Whittington's cat. Just a few steps further is WHITTINGTON'S STONE, a nice, not-too-touristy pub, that has about 10 different meals for 2.99! And they're good. If you don't know, that is an extremely reasonable price and their beer is quite reasonable as well. I had steak and kidney pie one time, even chili con carne on another, and each meal was as good or better than the average pub-grub. Generous portions, filling meals. They might even be pre-fab, t.v. dinner things, for all I know, but they were well seasoned, served piping hot and tasted great. Good luck, have fun.
Sep 20th, 2000, 04:43 AM
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Thanks for your responses. It is always great to have input from the "veterans" that use this forum.

Thanks again
Sep 20th, 2000, 06:30 PM
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Jimmy - I found that site re: London Theatre, is really great. URL is: www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/
Good luck.
Sep 29th, 2000, 05:28 PM
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Check London's arts and entertainment weekly for the lastest and cooolest: www.timeout.com.
Oct 1st, 2000, 08:37 AM
Beth Anderson
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Imperial War Museum - don't miss it!

I really enjoyed the play, "An Inspector Calls" - I even met a few of the actors afterwards!

Greenwich was a nice day (or part day) trip.

Westminster Abbey/Westminster Palace.

Go to the National Gallery - right next to the National Portrait Gallery. Next to that (across the street) is the church of St Martin in the Fields. if you like classical music, wander in either around 1 PM or get tickets to a (nearly nightly) concert - Vivaldi by candlelight, Mozart by candlelight, Bach, etc...

Tate/Tate Modern...

the list is too long!


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