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carr1107 Oct 10th, 1997 04:28 PM

London with a 14 year old
Spending 4 days in London in late February with my 14 year old son!Any suggestions for restaurants, sightseeing? I know there must be tours of "rock and roll London" but how do I find out about them? Also, for shows, is it necessary to get tickets in advance? Any suggestions on researching this before we go? Finally, would we be welcome in pubs for lunch and dinner or are they like bars in the US - adults only?

Julie Oct 10th, 1997 05:03 PM

I bet your son would be interested in the Tower of London. Although it's historical, the Tower guards that lead the tours inside are full of stories about beheadings, mayhem and other historical events that are sure to capture the imagination of a 14 year old. Once inside the Tower you have the option of following along with one of the Tower guards and getting the story of the history of the Tower. I recommend this. I've done it twice and it's always interesting. After that you have as much time as you want to go to the various buildings on your own. Lots of interesting displays.

There is a Hard Rock Cafe in London, also. It looks like other Hard Rocks elsewhere and of course you can buy all sorts of memorabilia. I think the Hard Rock is near Hyde Park.

Even Westiminster Abbey might be interesting to your son. All sorts of famous people are buried there. Look on the floor as you walk around the Abbey.

Have fun. London is a wonderful place to visit.

Mike Long Oct 12th, 1997 05:16 PM

Ditto on the Tower of London. Also, there is a guards museum at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk near Buckingham Palace. He would probably also like the Royal Mews where all the State Coaches and other regalia are kept. The Tower at Westminster Cathedral is pretty cool. He would probably like the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI). The Trocadero at Picadilly would also be a cool place for a teenager. I took mine there when they were teens. What time of year are you going? Be sure to check the hours at these various places as they may change seasonally. I am going in November and one of the fun things I am planning is to ride a Hovercraft across the Channel to France and back. For an American, I have explored London extensively and would happily answer direct email should you have any questions.

Mike Long Oct 12th, 1997 05:18 PM

P.S.: He will also find the Covent Garden area neat with its Doc Marten store, Diesel Store and the Street performers. Everything from dancers to fire-eaters. No Joke.!

dodger Oct 13th, 1997 08:08 AM

These two places are MUST SEE'S for a 14 year old boy. You might even enjoy it too.

1) Science museum-From old trains, trams to space. Lot's and lot's to see. Take the tube to South Kensington Station and follow the signs. Its on exhibition road, around the couner from the Natural History museum.

2) Imperial War Museum-Historical exhibitions of the First and Second world wars. Planes, tanks and other stuff. Take the tube to Lambeth North.

S.C. DIXON Oct 13th, 1997 12:31 PM


Saw your message and thought I would seek some advice/tips. I made my first trip to London last March and intend to go back April, '98 with my wife and my daughter. We can afford the trip, but certainly are going to have to be careful. I like Bloomsbury and would prefer to stay in that neighborhood. I am looking for advice on hotels, B&B's, resturaunts, etc. They do not have to be fancy but i want my daughter (16), who's never been out of the states, to experience London. Also, I am embarrassed to say that I never really learned to understand travel on the Tube, as my companion handled that on the last trip. Now I will be the responsible party and would like to avoid a disaster.

dodger Oct 14th, 1997 07:25 AM

to sc dixon- The first thing I would do is to phone the Brisish Tourist Authority (212)581-4700, and request they mail you both the approved apartment guide and the London guide. The apartment guide list many apartments for rent by the week. My wife and I along with out teenage son rented an apartment and it is not only cheaper than a hotel it provides a lot more room. Hotels in London seem to be on the small side. You can also purchase breakfast food oj and the like.The London guide list all of the places to be seen in and around London. Also, it tells you what bus to take or tube station to go to. The tube is easy to figure out. First you need to know what station you want to go to and what line the station is located. You can find this out from the free Tube map at any station. Find the nearest transfer station on the line you want. When you deboard follow the signs to the line you want and then look at the listing for your station. Follow the signs and be sure you check the next station to insure that you are going the correct way. If you went east instead of west all you have to do is get off and walk accross to the correct side of the track and take that train. On each train, above the windows is a map showing the stations that the train will be going to and at each station the name is indicated on the walls. I am sure that I have done nothing but confuse you, but it really is easy. Just do it once on your own and you can figure it out. If I can be of help, feel free to email or post a reply here.

julie Oct 21st, 1997 08:11 PM

No trouble enjoying London, for every age. Just take her to Picadilly circus and watch the young kids mill about, but keep her hand in yours. (the 16 year old girl)...Go to the Wax museum, or any of the wonderful museums, go toCovent Garden just to see the street musicians, to shop, etc. You can buy tickets to shows from any of the vendors, or hotels (usually pricier than at the box office). Getting on the Tube is easy...Just go to the window and ask for directions. The tube maps are great...follow red line to blue line, change at
Tottenham, ocntinue of the red line, etc. They will help you...just like DC only better.

Bill Irving Oct 22nd, 1997 07:29 AM

We were in London this past June & took our 10 year old son for his first to London for his first
trip there. He liked all the tourist things we did there, including a Tower of London tour with a
Beefeater, Thames boat ride(don't know how that would be in Feb.) to Greenwich to see the Cutty
Sark & the Old Royal Observatory. (There is a great Pub in Greenwich for food & drink, called the
Gypsy Moth - the 1st pub straight up the street from where you get off the boat.) But the 2 favorite
places of my son were climbing all the way to the top of St.Paul's Cathedral(& the crypt below
the Cathedral), & most of all -- going to the Rock Circus -- he will talk about this one for years.
It is a wax museum dealing only with the history(& current) people of Rock & Roll. This was a recommendation
from a local Londoner & she was right. It is associated with Madame Tussaud's, but is not as crowded.
& if you plan on going to both WAX museums, you can purchase discounted entrance tickets at 1 of the
museums for the other. As for restaurants the my kid liked -- 2 Italienne restaurants in the
Blomsbury area which were excellent & not overly expensive -- one(I don't recall the name) is right next to the
Russel Square tube station, another is the Spagehtti House about 4 blocks up from Russel Square. Virginia Woolf's
at the Hotel Russell(where we stayed) was also good. But the one that we all really liked the best & serves
English food is a restaurant above the Sherlock Holmes pub on Northumberland Ave,(between the river &
Picadilly Circus). The food, service, price, & atmosphere are excellent there. You walk into the pub & go all
the way back & then up the stairs. You may have to make reservations. Have fun.

Lori Oct 28th, 1997 06:32 PM

We took our daughter(age18) and her boyfriend to London over spring break this year. Apart from the regular tourist things their absolute favorite must-do-it-again thing was going to the market at Camden on Sunday. They bought clothes, shoes, tshirts, hats, and all kinds of other interesting things. Be prepared for a mass of teenagers. Camden is easily reachable by tube. As in all large crowds beware of pickpockets. Also, before we went we purchased The Visitor Travelcards that are available here for 3, 4, or 7 days and give you unlimited access to the buses, tube(all zones), night buses, etc. The kids learned the tube system in about two hours and we hardly saw them for the rest of our trip. One very easy way to acquaint yourself with London is to get on the on-off big red bus tour. Take the entire 90 minute tour around. These tickets are good for 24 hours so you can then get back on the next day and hit the sights you want to see. We usually try to get on the tour @ 2p.m. so you will have plenty of time the next day to see the sights. One final note, we also went to the somewhat cheesy (but fun) London Dungeon near the tower. It's a kind of haunted house type place that tells some of the history of Jack the Ripper, etc.

Lori Oct 28th, 1997 06:40 PM

P.S. One of the best ways to find out about the walks in London, and there are Rock and Roll walks, is by looking in the TimeOut guide. Timeout lists arts, theatre, clubs, walks, and just about anything there is to do in London. Either visit their website or buy their books at your local bookstore. Our Barnes and Noble bookstore sometimes has the timeout magazine which is very current and would be good to purchase closer to your trip. If you can't get a timeout here, you will find them everywhere in London.

Mike Miller Oct 29th, 1997 03:50 AM

The musical "Oliver" is a great show to take any young adult or child to. It is only playing until the end of Dec after a 3 year run and in my opionion, was the best of three very good shows we saw there in October. If you want to go, call the theatre as soon as you get in town - tickets are going very fast

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