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Visiting London in July - Suggestion please...

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Jun 16th, 2011, 12:19 PM
  #1
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Visiting London in July - Suggestion please...

I'm traveling from the US to London in July. I will be meeting my family who will come from another country. I would like to make the most out of my trip and will give you a lot of info so you can help me with suggestions. I have divided my visit into 3 sections:

Section 1 (Tuesday to Saturday): I will arrive London (Heathrow airport) 11/7 (Tuesday) at 8am. I will be alone until my family arrive on 16/7 (sat). I'm looking for a cheap place with wifi (preferably free) to stay while I'm exploring London on my own. Cheap and safe is the main key. Also, I prefer not be near where people get drunk, curse, etc. Noise doesn't bother me as long as it's not bad words. I plan to meet my distant relative there whom I have not met. She gives me 1 hour after 11am the same day I arrive to meet and talk to her (that's because she has a trip overseas the very next day). I would also like to set aside time to visit a church for midweek service (either Wednesday or Thursday night - see "NOTE" below). Other than that, I am open and I'm all alone. I don't mind traveling at night either.

Section 2 (Sunday to Tuesday morning): Then on Saturday night around 6:30pm, my family will arrive at Heathrow airport. I plan to meet them there. Then we will all stay in Uxbridge (we have conference there the following week). Interests will now be diverse so I want to set up things to do/see that will interest most people. Here are things that are planned:
Monday - Conference & trip to Oxford U.
Wednesday - Conference & Excursion to Central London, London Eye, evening dinner cruise on the River Thames
Thursday - Conference & trip to Cambridge U.
There are also conference on Tuesday and Friday that I'm planning to skip to explore London or nearby areas.
We are all open on Saturday and Monday. Some have expressed interest in taking a day trip to Manchester. So suggestion on that would be great.
Everyone but my 25 year old cousin will be leaving around noon (Heathrow airport) on Tuesday.

Section 3 (Tuesday afternoon to Thursday night): My cousin and I will be on our own. We have not planned on where to stay or places to visit yet so we are open. I just want WIFI (preferably free) in the room and we are looking to find a place that's under $100 a night for both of us.

NOTE: I'm setting aside time to visit BOTH the midweek and Sunday service to any of the following location / time.

Sunday: Chelsea SW10 0LB 11am-6pm, OR Windlesham, Surrey GU24 8TD 10:30am-12:30pm AND 6pm-8pm, OR Wimbledon SW19 1QJ 11am-1pm AND 6pm-8pm

Mid week: Chelsea SW10 0LB Thursday 7pm, OR Windlesham GU24 8TD Wednesday 7-9pm, OR Wimbledon SW19 1QJ Thursday 7:45pm

My interest: White Cliff, Stone Hedge, Bath, Millennium bridge, king cross station, London tower (is this the same as tower of london?), Hyde park, Trafalgar square, Westminster Abbey (cousin's request), and other must see attractions...

My family's interest: it's very diverse because the group comprise of Dad & Mom in their 60's, older sister in her 30's, cousin in her 20's. My dad and cousin want to go to Manchester (we will probably all go together), Wembley Stadium & Madam Tussuad. My mom loves to visit libraries (if you know some good ones that would help me narrow it down), my sister loves shopping and see castles (Windsor, etc).

Places we are interested in in Manchester: Old Trafford, John Rylands Library, Whitworth Art Gallery (maybe), Royal Northern College of Music (maybe), Heaton Park, City Airport (maybe), Central Library (maybe), Ancoats (maybe), Museum of Science & Industry, Open to other suggesions as well (but we only have a day to spend there).

I would also like to know what would be the best public transportation deal (weekly pass?) to get. We will not drive in England.

Should I get a London pass?

This is quite a long topic. Maybe I should I divide it up into multiple smaller topics.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 02:00 PM
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There is no Stone Hedge, it's Stonehenge. There is no London Tower, it is the Tower of London.

The London Pass is a waste of money.

What service? Are you Episcopalian, Catholic, Presbyterian, other?
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Jun 16th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Thank you for your correction. I guess the London Tower I mentioned is probably London Tower Bridge. I'm a Baptist but I have already did my research on that and so far there are 3 churches that I would consider going to (their locations are listed in my first post).
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Jun 16th, 2011, 02:34 PM
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Also, I prefer not be near where people get drunk, curse, etc. Noise doesn't bother me as long as it's not bad words>>

this is the second thread where the OP [different OPs so far as i can tell] have mentioned that they are particularly sensitive about bad language.

Hokeypokie - How do you cope at home? walk round in a bubble?

Sadly there will be times on your trip when there will be noisy people who may swear in your vicinity. I would particularly suggest that you avoid lawyers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, football fans, most reality TV, Shakespeare, and anyone under 25. also most pubs. [ok, you're a Baptist, probably the pubs are out].

where is CW when you need him?
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Jun 16th, 2011, 03:24 PM
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That's why I don't watch TV.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 03:37 PM
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I hear cursing every once in a while (well, I'm still in the world). I can deal with it but prefer not to be where people tend to curse a lot. Just want to avoid "garbage in, garbage out". I avoid to the extent that I don't watch TV or go to movie. Pub is out of the question.

Who's CW by the way?

I wonder if someone will chime in with really good suggestions.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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To be as gentle as I can, if you really have a problem with bad language and alcohol, then you may really battle to come to terms with parts of London. Both are common enough to be considered part of city culture. Pubs are everywhere, and the levels of casual obscenity in terms of spoken language can even shock me (and I am a pub going football fan following a team from a naval town)
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Jun 16th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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Bad language, etc, aside, I think your budget is not great. Is that $100 each or total for two and this is for London and not Manchester? I would suggest looking into a nice hostel or try Priceline, for example. Can't guarantee you won't get any bad language.

But really. You've lived long enough to realize that you can't avoid bad language forever. What's the big deal about just ignoring it? In all gentleness, you need to grow up and realize this or otherwise you will come away from new experiences hurt, angry, upset. Or, you may just eventually turn away from new experiences. TIme to face this. You don't have to befriend these people. Just tolerate.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 03:52 PM
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CW is the abbreviation for a long time poster on these boards (who ironically was finally banned permanently for abusive language in the face of provocation) who was also one of the great experts on London.

I think your idea of breaking your queries into smaller chunks might help. I am not sure Manchester for a day is worth the trip unless it is for a very specific purpose.

Wembley stadium is nice enough, but it is just a sports stadium and the are around it is pretty unwelcoming.

The major London Museums: Natural History, Science, V&A (all in South Kensington) and the British Museum are all superb

The White cliffs are best seen by boat, although if you visit the wonderful Dover Castle, you can go down through the cliffs to see the wartime hospital, then exit onto a balcony half way up to view the sweep of the cliffs.

Bath is an excellent day trip, but equally good are Winchester or Salisbury.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 04:42 PM
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You can eat at a pub without drinking alcohol or without having to worry about drunkenness and cursing. Try www.fancyapint.com for London - the listings describe the atmosphere at each one, so you should be able to find something that would suit you.

Lee Ann
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Jun 16th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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manchester simply isn't a doable day trip from Uxbridge. From the train station nearest to Uxbridge it takes 3.5 hours to Manchester w/ 2 changes and the same on the return. So you are talking 7 hours just for transit.

You could fly from LHR to MAN -- but total time in transit will be about the same.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 06:21 PM
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By all means, your mother should go to the British Library in London. The special documents room is fabulous, containing originals of the Magna Carta, some Shakespeare, Dickens, Lewis Carroll, the Lindesfarne Gospels, a Beatles lyric written on the back of an envelope, and many others. She can take a short guided tour and be shown the reading room and told the number of books in the library and how many hundreds of years it would take to read all of them. The benches in the entrance hall are made to look like open books. For a reader, it's a must!
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Jun 16th, 2011, 08:44 PM
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Thank you for all the suggestions...

$100 per night is for both of us. We don't care much about how nice a room is. We just need it to be clean. Have at least a bed we can share. Private bathroom and wifi preferred (unless there are places like McDonald's that we can stop for a quick break/snack and get free wifi access). The room can be small and we don't need TV, table, or anything like that. It doesn't have to be in the central London as long as it's a short walk to the tube and short ride to central London (less than 30 mins total)

We are paying under $200 per person for the whole week in Uxbridge. But we will stay there for only a week. How far is that from Central London? An hour?

As for transportation, should I get 3 weekly passes for myself? Does that cover the ride from Uxbridge to Central London?

What would be the best way to take a day trip to White Cliff? On my own to take the operated tour from London? If we go on our own, what's a good company that runs the boat?

I'm adding museums and British library in my "to go" list.

My dad and cousin really want to go to Manchester. What if we start at 5am and leave there at 8pm? Wouldn't we still have a whole day to roam around? Or do you think it's better to leave London (Chelsea area) around 6:30pm Sunday night, stay at a hotel in Manchester, spend Monday there, stay another night there, then leave very early morning (tuesday) to Heathrow airport by 11am (plane leaves at 12:30pm). If the later works better, what would be the latest time we can leave and still be safe (in terms of not missing the plane)?
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Jun 16th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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Public transportation: in London, you should consider an Oyster Card.. you buy the card at any tube(subway station) and add on money.. you can use it for the bus or subway within London. you may only need one zone.. if you use it several times a day there is a cap on the daily cost.. and its cheaper than paying each day if you are there for a week. the bus costs less than the tube.. but you can sit in traffic in some areas so often the tube is faster.

to find a decent hotel for $100 you will have to stay further out from central london although you can see if there are dorm rooms in the universities are available or a bed and breakfast ..
there are some less expensive areas in london.
tho you will probably not find free wi-fi

the british library is well worth the visit.
wonderful exhibits there.
you can take the train to windsor from london there is one change generally at slough,,, you get off and change for the windsor train on the same platform.. you can walk from the train station in windsor into the main part of town and the castle.. its not a long walk ... there are cheaper off peak fares ..check the britrail website.
you can also visit hampton court.. you can take a bus there,, or kensington palace in london
there are many wonderful museums in london..the national gallery, the national portrait gallery, the tate, and tate modern, the victoria and albert museum, as well as smaller gems
if you are interested in going to the theater,, consider the globe for shakespeare or the national theater ; depending on what church services you would consider.. if you go to services at westminster abbey or st paul's you wont be paying the entrance fee and you get to see the historic interiors..these are church of england (anglican) services..you can go for a late afternoon service.. westminister also has a garden area that is open to the public no fee

i highly recommend london walks for informative talks/walks on all sorts of subjects and neighborhoods and they have explorer days out of london .. day trips by train..they have a website with the tours listed for all days of the week.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 09:24 PM
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I'm interested in the London walks but I'm not sure I can understand the English accent well. Would I enjoy it even if I don't understand what they say?
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Jun 16th, 2011, 09:27 PM
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What do they do during the service? Just listen to the preaching, singing? Anything else? I have never been to an Anglican service before.
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Jun 17th, 2011, 12:50 AM
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You won't be able to leave Manchester in the morning and get to LHR for 11am. Logistics won't allow it and in any case you would be better staying either in London or at the airport (though probably outside your budget) the night before. So 1 night in Manchester is the max I guess you'll be able to do.

As a Mancunian I can help with "what to see, do" etc. Do your relatives have particular interests or have something that they "must" see?
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Jun 17th, 2011, 06:44 AM
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"I guess the London Tower I mentioned is probably London Tower Bridge."

Tower of London: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ondon_2006.jpg

Tower Bridge: http://www.london-architecture.info/...owerBridge.jpg
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Jun 17th, 2011, 08:25 AM
  #19
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Mancunian? What's that?

I saw train from Manchester to London as early as 5am-6am. Won't that give us enough time to get to the airport?

If staying 2 nights in Manchester and be able to come back for the flight on time is not possible, then we may just stay in Uxbridge both nights and take a day trip there instead...

Places we are interested in in Manchester: Old Trafford (must see), John Rylands Library (must see), Whitworth Art Gallery (maybe), Royal Northern College of Music (maybe), Heaton Park, City Airport (maybe), Central Library (maybe), Ancoats (maybe), Museum of Science & Industry, Open to other suggesions as well (but we only have a day to spend there).
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Jun 17th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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"Mancunian? What's that?"

Someone who lives in (or came from) Manchester.

"and take a day trip there instead..."

That really isn't a very good idea. Say you got to Manchester by noon, you'd only have a few hours when any sites are open. Then you wouldn't get back to Uxbridge until quite late at night. To make any sense -- one would need an overnight in Manchester.
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