What to do in London??

Old Jan 14th, 1999, 04:44 PM
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What to do in London??

Two young guys planning a last minute trip to London first week of March. Pretty much party animals, but have a thirst for history and culture. Anybody have any good ideas?
Old Jan 14th, 1999, 06:15 PM
Paul Rabe
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I believe it was Ben Jonson who said something to the effect, "When a man has grown tired of London, then he has grown tired of living." The city has as much cultural history (both original AND collected) as any in the world.I suggest you *FIRST* buy AND read BOTH the London Insight Guide and the Blue Guide in order to get a feel for the history and culture you are immersing yourself into. Then visit the following:Tower of Lndon, British Museum (absolute MUST-see), National Gallery, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Westminster Abbey (must-see), Saint Paul's Cathedral, Globe Theatre, Southwark Cathedral, and any of the scores of historic graves, plaques, and locations.
Old Jan 15th, 1999, 06:25 AM
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Sounds like a good combination; real 'town and gown' stuff.
I second the previous poster's advice, but would add the following:
Take a trip or two out of town to Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbury or Windsor. All can be reached and 'done' in a day on the train or on the coach, but the rail option is better I think. Tourist Info. Centres will let you know how you get there, but train times, prices etc. can be got on 0345 484950. This is a low-call number, so a few ten pence pieces in a callbox should be enough for your queries.
Buy a weekly pass for Zones 1 and 2, allowing you travel on the tube, overland trains and buses within a certain area. Again, Tourist Info. places will give you details, or you can buy certain cards abroad which could be cheaper. Avoid taxis if you can as they are dear.
As for boozing/clubbing etc., read 'Time Out' {it might have a website too} or get the 'Evening Standard' paper on a Thursday for a detailed rundown of club nights and venues. It really depends what you like, so I shan't go further on this topic.
Pints will cost you around 2 - 2.50, single shots of spirit plus mixer and ice about the same. Prices will rise in the clubs. Wine and beer etc. is cheaper in the supermarkets and off-licences, or get some duty-free on the plane for a snifter in your hotel room. There is no need to tip barstaff unless you want to or feel generous, and then you either round up the price to at least something over 50p, or say 'have one for yourself'. Barstaff will then take some money, but not enough for a drink.
As much as possible, avoid the really touristy areas as they will be expensive. I know that might sound glib, but if you hear too many non-British accents, you could stray a little futher afield.
I too like culture, history and the arts but love going out. In London there are ample chances to experience both.
Email me if you want more info.
Old Jan 15th, 1999, 06:41 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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There is some great info on pub crawls on the internet. My wife and I used one to visit a lot of great pubs in November. Just search Yahoo for "London pub crawls." Pints are rarely over 2 pounds, always order at the bar and never tip the bartender in a proper pub.

I also recommend Time Out London guide for info. It's great for local info since it's written by Brits.

For a good dose of history, visit the Tower of London (esp the crown jewels) then cross the Thames and have a couple (many) pints in the historic pubs south of the river (there are a couple down there that still have the posts in the river that they used to chain pirates to, left to drown in the rising tide).

Avoid shopping areas like Piccadilly as they are VERY crowded and are little different from other major cities.

If you have an extra passport photo, take it with you as one is necessary for buying a 5 or 7 day subway/bus pass. Or you can use the photo machines in the train station (2.5 pounds each). The passes are great, allowing unlimited tube and bus rides after 9:30 in the morning (too early for any self-respecting party animal anyway) and allow you to hop on any bus that comes by. The real London buses (sit up top) are better (much cheaper) than any kind of tour bus. With the pass you'll get a great map, so you won't need to buy another.

Have a great time!
Old Jan 15th, 1999, 06:48 AM
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Plunder the Evening Standard's online site:

And check this week's TimeOut:

Both sites run down all the pubs & clubs. In Soho, Brewer, Beak & Lexington Streets are the current trinity of trendy.

Have fun!

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