London early March

Old Jan 2nd, 2001, 02:36 PM
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London early March

We were in London last year for a few days and saw The Tower, London Bridge, the British Museum, The Cabinet War Rooms, Harrods, Madame Tussauds. We plan to return the first week in March and wanted a few cheap and cheerful suggestions. We plan to go to the Victoria & Albert Museum and perhaps Kew Gardens. Are thinking of a one day excursion out of town perhaps Dover & Canterbury? Last year we purchased full zone travel cards in advance for the tube but found we really only used zones 1 and 2. Is it worth it to purchase it in advance again for those zones? Our hotel will be the Hyde Park Plaza and any dining out suggestions would be welcome. Any input is appreciated. Thanks!
Old Jan 2nd, 2001, 03:11 PM
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Hi Karen, There are so many options available, I am thinking of doing a weekend travelcard for zones 1&2 and a carnet of tube tickets. We are going in mid Feb. I was thinking of Kew Gardens, but all is contingent on weather. We will try to be very flexible with everything. FYI, I went to the BTA(British Tourist Authority) site and ordered their free brochure. It is VERY informative, even better than my Fodors guidebook! But not as nice as Ben Haines;-) Do a search on this forum too, it is packed with info about London and daytrips. Have a great time whatever you do....Judy
Old Jan 3rd, 2001, 03:27 AM
A Local
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Speaking as a local, I'm afraid it's a complete mystery to me why apparently so many overseas visitors want to visit Dover. I can only assume it's due to some (misplaced) romanticism about the white cliffs and the wartime singer Vera Lynn etc. The sad fact is that the Dover of today is an ugly, run-down, seedy sea-side town full of asylum seekers. The ferry port is a large industrial operation which blights the view of the town from the cliffs.

Don't waste your hard-earned cash - take a day trip to Cambridge, Warwick Castle, Windsor, Salisbury or Hampton Court instead - you won't be disappointed.
Old Jan 3rd, 2001, 04:04 AM
Lona Valmoro
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Karen - I would highly recommend Windsor Castle for your day trip - it is amazing and very easy to get to - an hour train ride from London.
Old Jan 3rd, 2001, 05:31 AM
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For daytrips I would recommend Windsor
Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, or even York if you'd like a quick overview.
Here are some websites that may help with London or other cities the best of London, personal web page
There's a useful web site:, then follow the link to suggestions for things
to look at in London beyond the standard tourist itinerary.
Going_out/Things_for_free/index.shtml has free things to do is the
British Airways site, includes hotels, sightseeing, theatre, museums, Kids' London, history, style
For London suggestions,
if you haven't been to St Paul's or Westminster Abbey, I highly recommend them.
Even if there is no special program at St. Paul's try to go to the EVENSONG... check dates/times to be sure it is a SUNG evensong. Arrive early. Many churches in London
have sung evensongs...Westminster Abbey, the Actor's Church in Covent Garden, etc.
Other low-cost suggestions:
On the #11 Liverpool Station bus you can go from Liverpool Street Station in the City to Fulham Broadway in Chelsea. Bring along your guidebook and map, and get on or off as the spirit moves you.
You'll go through the East End, near St Paul's, the Old Bailey, Westminster,Trafalgar Square (National Gallery etc) and continue to Chelsea.
Houses of Parliament:
there are additional clicks for tour information
Phone 207 219 3000. House of Lords is open to the public I believe on Mon-Thurs from 2:30 pm and some Fridays. House of Commons open to the public Mon-Thurs from 2:30-10 pm, check the schedule before you go. Join the lines at St. Stephen's entrance. Line on the left is for the Commons, line on the right is for the Lords.
Trafalgar Square area:
1. The National Gallery
Phone 207 839 3321, recorded info at 207 389 1785. Free Admission. Open daily, shorter hours on Sundays. There is a computer center where you can design your own personal tour of the museum.
2. National Portrait Gallery: everyone from Elizabeth I to Princess Di. Fascinating, not too taxing.
Open Mon-Sat 10-6; Sun noon to 6.
3. St.Martin's in the Fields Pretty church with an inexpensive,adequate
restaurant in its crypt, a brass rubbing center, occasional evening and lunchtime concerts. Call
207 930 1862.
Food in the restaurant is ok, but Londoner Ben Haines recommends as an alternative Gordon's Wine Bar, on Villiers Street near Embankment tube station, five minutes walk away.

Do you like the theater? Leceister Square has a reduced-price ticket booth.'s London section can tell you what plays and shows are on (and also about other events and nightlife).
Pre-theatre dinner at Rule's, one of London's oldest restaurants is not only good, but at a good price. Also
in the theater district are inexpensive chain restaurants like Buona Sera on Drury Lane, Café Sofra, Café Rouge, and Pizza Express.
I hope this helps.

Old Jan 3rd, 2001, 10:31 AM
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We loved the National Museum on Trafalgar Square and the Tate Modern (for the architecture, if nothing else) across the river near the London Eye (which is supposed to be good, but expensive Ferris wheel type viewing). Go down the river to Greenwich on the boat leaving from Westminster Pier. Hampton Court is interesting also.

For a day trip, We loved Bath and the Roman baths there, but also liked Salisbury and Stonehenge.

If you are going to be there a week, I would advise a Zone 1 & 2 tube/bus pass. They run around 19 pounds and you need a small photo. I don't know what zones Greenwich (we took bus 188 there and back, Zone 2, I think, but the river is more fun) and Hampton Court are in.

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