Museum of London vs Banqueting House

Jul 26th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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Museum of London vs Banqueting House


I'm taking my second trip to London in early October. Was thinking about going to the Museum of London and/or the Banqueting House. Not sure if I have time to visit both, so was wondering if someone who has been to one or both places could give me some input. If you had to choose one, which would it be? I know the time it takes to visit someplace depends on each person, but could I have an idea of about how much time to allot for visiting these place?

Also, would like to visit Southwark Cathedral. Any recommendations for other things to see/do in that area?

Thanks for your help.

BlueShoes is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:07 AM
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At Southwark Cathedral you won't be too far from Tate Modern, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. From here you can cross the Millennium Bridge to St Paul's, which is not too far from the Barbican centre.

Banqueting House is a far hike away from the Barbican, but not too far from Soutwark Cathedral (A map of London will show why) From the Cathedral head for Waterloo railway station, cross the Hungerford Foot Bridge, stroll down Victoria embankment until you get to Horseguards Avenue. You're not too far from the Cabinet War Rooms, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:11 AM
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The Banqueting House is just another 17th century building with lots of ornate stuff inside. OK - except that it's one of those things the French (and the Austrians, and practically everyone on the Continent) do just as well. If you're interested in dumb constitutional experiments, you might be interested in the spot where our forbears killed the king and initiated a republic. But nothing useful could ever come of such a foolish idea.

The Museum of London OTOH is something every city should have. A walk through 2000 years of continuous history (though it's a bit mimsy between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the Norman Conquest) and more stuff about our prehistory than most of us can get excited about (though when you LOOK at how those prehistorics behaved around Heathrow you might understand why it's such a byword for seamless, impeccable organisation)

Some really tremendous artefacts produced by real Londoners (ie Dacians, Huguenots, Flemings et al) for other Londoners over the centuries.

And really the only Museum of Britain in London: THE best quick guide to our history.

Oh, and it's free.
flanneruk is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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If I had to choose one, I'd probably pick the Museum of London, too -- lots to see there -- but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Banqueting House.

"Just another 17th century building" is one of the few surviving intact buildings by Inigo Jones. The "ornate stuff inside" is one of Rubens's most famous and virtuoso painting cycles -- of course, whether or not you like (or can stand) Rubens is another matter. The audioguide was quite informative not only about the art and architecture but also about beginnings of the "dumb constitutional experiment."
KT is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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Agree that the Museum of London is an absolute winner. I;ve take a couple of friends there - who knew little about British history - and they loved it - interesting and painless. the Banqueting House is fine for about 1/2 hour - but IMHO nothing really special.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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I think it's apples vs oranges, or, since it's London, oranges and lemons.

Banqueting House, I agree, takes only about a half hour to see, but the Rubens ceiling is magnificent, and this is the only part remaining of Whitehall Palace, and yes, Charles I was executed just outside. So, if you were going to be in the area anyway, Trafalgar Square to W'minster Abbey, I highly recommend it.

The Museum of London is excellent, very comprehensive, some parts more interesting to me than others, but you can rush through what doesn't interest you. Really good for providing a perspective on London's history.
I you are going to be in the St Paul's to Tower of L. end of the city, or even not, highly recommended. Work in some of the other City churches if they interest you. I suggest a weekday, when the surrounding cafes are mostly open, as opposed to weekend when the area is relatively deserted.
elaine is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Thanks!! I appreciate your responses; they were very helpful. It sounds as though the Banqueting House wouldn't take too much time, so I'll be able to see both places!

Thanks again,

BlueShoes is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 02:31 PM
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If you're in Westminster to see other things (Cabinet War Rooms, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, etc...), you can see the BH in about 1/2 hour. We took about an hour, but we watched the video and listened to a lot of the extra stuff on the audio tour. We found it more interesting than we thought we would. Nice paint job on the ceiling.

The Museum of London is very interesting and you can spend several hours there.

If you see Southwark Cathedral, stop for lunch at the George pub - London's last remaining galleried pub. Very old - both Dickens and Shakespeare hoisted a few there. Very cool.

Kayb95 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 12:28 AM
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It might be easier to combine the MoL with Southwark Cathedral, though it could be a strenuous day - MoL to St Pauls', 5 mins walk, St Pauls and over Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern, 10mins, Tate Modern to Southwark Cathedral, past the Globe, 10 mins. Southwark Cathedral is quite interesting, but not likely to detain you for longer than the Banqueting House (it has the rather touching 18th century memorial stone for a child - something about her taking a look at the world and: 'She liked it not, and died'). Go on a Friday or Saturday and you can also visit (and eat in, which you will probably need by now) Borough Market. St Pauls, the Tate Modern and the exhibition in the Globe could detain you for much longer.

Also near the Cathedral are the Bramah Team Museum, the Old Operating Theatre and the Herb Garret, Vinopolis, and down Borough High Street the last of the old coaching inns, and faint memories of Dickens.
PatrickLondon is offline  

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