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Vita May 13th, 2002 03:40 AM

Leaving for London on Saturday - Woohoo!
Leaving for a week in London on Saturday. <BR>It will be my first trip to London so I'll be doing the standard sights (Tower, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, etc.); a tour to Stonehenge, Avebury, Salisbury and Sarum Castle; and probably some of the walks from London Walks. I also have a ticket to Twelfth Night at the New Globe Theatre and hope to see some other plays. <BR><BR>It looks like there will be no shortage of things to do, but I just thought I'd post to see if there was anything in particular I should know about travelling to London next week. I also just wanted to thank everyone for the valuable advice that I received during my planning.

kavey May 13th, 2002 03:55 AM

Vita<BR>If you are into Queen (the band) then you could try for tickets to a preview show of We Will Rock you.<BR><BR>I went on the 11th May and LOVED it!<BR><BR>Do email me for more info... <BR><BR>Kavey

Jenni May 13th, 2002 04:31 AM

Hi,I live in London and 2 things I thought may interest you;<BR><BR>London Eye: go at sunset or early in the morning. Can pre book or get tickets through your hotel.<BR><BR>Kensington palace: Home to the late Princess of Wales and princess Margaret and still some minor royalty living there.Currently have an exhibition of wedding dresses worn by royal brides, including Queen and Queen Mother.If this is not your thing the building and gardedns are still lovely and they serve afternoon tea in the Orangery.

Linda May 13th, 2002 05:21 AM

If you haven't see the show Mama Mia yet London is the place to see it - it's a really great Musical with the songs of ABBA.<BR><BR>I didn't make it over, but I've heard that the Speaker's Corner is interesting.<BR><BR>I really enjoyed tea at the St. James in Fortum & Mason (near Picadilly Circus).<BR><BR>The London Walks were terrific (I went on 4). My favorites were the Hamstead Walk and the Jack the Ripper Walk.<BR><BR>I also liked strolling through Camden in the markets over the locks - great people watching. <BR><BR>The stroll along the Thames from the London Eye up towards St. Paul's was great as well.<BR><BR>The only thing that I wish I skipped was the London Dungeon. <BR><BR>Have a great trip!!!

kate May 13th, 2002 05:26 AM

Ooooh Vita, I envy you:) I have one memory that stands out from our last trip to London, we were walking and walking and tired so decided to just sit on a bench in Hyde Park and rest.I heard this thundering kind of sound and here came the Queens Horse Guards,exercising their horses! They were so beautiful! and the horses looked good too:) So I would recommend, just stopping somewhere and sitting and just take in the atmosphere and sounds! London is so special,have a wonderful first of many trips!kate

Alex May 13th, 2002 05:47 AM

I'm taking off for London too! woohoo! I'm hitting the ground running - trying to get in a brewery tour at Faversham before meeting my tour group near Victoria Stn. This should be interesting. The balance of my two weeks in town and the southeast hopefully won't be so frenetic... ;^)<BR><BR>Linda: what were your impressions of the St. James Room? Taking tea at F&M is at the top of my list, but I'm torn between that room and the Fountain (?) Cafe downstairs.

Tom May 13th, 2002 05:54 AM

Some sights I enjoyed: Churchill War Rooms, House of Parliament (need to arrange in advance as limited number of passes each day), Tate Modern. Also hit Selfridges and Harvey Nics for shopping, way better than Harrods. <BR><BR>Agree with the Mamma Mia post (saw it there a few years ago and crowd was great). We just saw South Pacific in February and thought the production was wonderful plus it was in the National Theatre complex across the Thames (interesting complex that is not part of the West End).

Vita May 13th, 2002 09:04 AM

Thanks, all. Kate, I'm hoping that, being in London for a week, I'll have the opportunity to do what you suggest, sit back and watch London go by. Let's all have a collective prayer that there will be some nice sunny days for me to do that. ;)

Sara May 13th, 2002 09:52 AM

Vita, I can't wait to hear a report on your trip as I know how much you are looking forward to from reading your posts.<BR>Have a great time!

Vita May 16th, 2002 05:37 AM

Thanks for all your suggestions. I logged into my e-mail this morning and what do I see but today's Word of the Day: Rosetta stone. <BR><BR>It's like fate doesn't want me to think of anything but my trip.

WickedWitch May 16th, 2002 05:40 AM

I leave in 17 days! Woohooo! Have a great trip! Be safe!

Vita May 16th, 2002 05:55 AM

I know you'll have a fabulous trip! Tower of London was one of our favorites--be sure you get there early. My absolute favorite museum was The Courtauld Collection at Somerset House. It is a fabulous small museum with a wonderful collection of Impressionist art.<BR>Our other 2 favorite things were a boat ride on the Thames, and Westminster Abbey. Have fun!

Judy May 16th, 2002 07:04 AM

Vita:<BR><BR>Hope you have a great trip to London, my favorite of all cities in Europe. Here are a few tips from my trips (last in Nov 01) and year's stay in the UK:<BR><BR>1. Take the boat from Westminster Pier to the Tower of London Pier, and buy your ticket to the Tower from the boat ticket office...or some Tube stations sell them too. Saves standing in long ticket lines at the Tower.<BR><BR>2. Have tea at Fortnum and Masons..the fountain is a bit more informal than the St James...but what ever you pick it will be much better and cheaper than doing a "tea" at a hotel. Prices at hotels start at 25.00 pounds/person!!! Most hotel teas are not worth a fraction of the price. The only exception would be a very upmarket place like Claridge's, but need reservations and be prepared to dress up.<BR><BR>3. The south bank of london is the new hot area...take the tube to Blackfriar's state and wlak over the Hungerford footbridge to Bankside promenade. There you will find the South Bank Theaters, the Tate Modern etc. Just look at a map for all the things along the river. The walk across the bridge is very short, I assure you. The Globe Theatre is also on the South Bank a bit further down stream. Also OXO Tower.<BR><BR>3. If you do go to the Tate Modern, go to the restaurant on the top floor...informal bistro food and a killer view of St Paul's at any time and especially at night. The huge windows allow a good view from almost any table.<BR><BR>4. Check to see if the rehersals for the Trooping of the Color will be held while you are there. You can buy tickets from most ticket agencies. They are usually about 7-730 in the eve and last about 1 hour or so. They reherse sections at a time on several different nights: bands, marching troops etc. It takes place in the Horse Guards Parade Ground where the actual Trooping will be held and mere mortals will never get a seat on the actual day. I have seen it several times and usually a member of the Royal Family will review the Parade. One year Princess Margaret was supposed to do it, but she was ill. We got the Queen Mother instead, boo hoo... sat about 100 feet away from her. <BR><BR>5. Also view the Changing of the Guard from Horse Guards Parade and not Buckingham Palace. The changing at the Palace occurs behind the gates and only those up close to the gates get to see anything and to get close to the bars you need to get there several hours early. Why waste time? See it at Horse Guards: there are no barriers between you and them-it's in the open, the Ceremony is done by guards in full regalia mounted on horseback and it does last longer than at the Palace-more guards to be replaced. Photo ops abound....take lots of film.<BR><BR>Let us know how you fared. I can never get enough of London. I feel the urge to go just writing this....<BR><BR>Judy from Munster

REDRUM May 16th, 2002 07:53 AM

That's VERY good advice about getting tickets to the Tower at the boat dock...I've taken friends to the Tower several times and only just learned that trick last year.<BR><BR>Also good advice about missing the London Dungeon. What a waste of time and money!

Julie May 16th, 2002 09:41 AM

Vita,<BR><BR>Hope you have a terrific time - as it happens I'll be leaving next Wednesday for London for 5 days. Who knows...with all the things to do (and we seem to have some common interests) we'll probably pass paths and never even know it. Have a safe trip!

Maira May 16th, 2002 02:48 PM

Vita, where did you decided to stay? <BR><BR>Hope you have a great time in London. My second visit to London totally turned me around about London; loved it.

Dan May 17th, 2002 10:42 AM

Some tips for your trip to London. Buy a Visitor's Travel Card for unlimited rides on the Underground before you go. Also, assuming you take the underground to see the Tower of London, you can buy tickets to the Tower at the Tower Hill station. Those who choose to buy their tickets at the Tower will wait in a very long line. Smile as you pass them by.<BR><BR>I'm not sure how others feel, but I thought the most overrated experience was the Changing of the Guard. You'll get a decent view as they march to Buckingham Palace, but unless you're lucky, you won't see much after that (every tourist in London is there jockeying to get a view). Plus, there's something about hearing the band play "Hooray for Hollywood" that felt something less than regal.

Martha May 17th, 2002 06:30 PM

I have a London for Less card and have to buy my ticket at the Tower to receive the discount Would you suggest getting the ticket the day before? Can I do that Is the line long late in the day also? Martha Also where is the Horse guard parade located?

XxX May 17th, 2002 10:16 PM

Horseguards Parade is not a "parade", it is a place -- Horseguards Parade. Between Whitehall and St James Park.

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