What to do in London

Jan 7th, 2007, 03:24 AM
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What to do in London

Hi! We are going to be in London for 4 days and aren't really sure what there is to do! I have never really wanted to go to London so I don't know anything about it! What are the must see's and where is a good district to stay in?
waterlily252 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 03:32 AM
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Oh - nothing!! absolutely nothing to do in one of the great cities of the world. And you sound so proud saying "you don't know anything about it".

why don't you get a guidebook, or play on the internet?

Then if you have specific questions come back here.

I mean - I could suggest this museum or that art gallery; or this park, or that pub; this night out at the theatre, that day trip to a market, or a castle, or etc, etc, etc.

But maybe all you want to do is shop.

Where do you live now?
And why are you going to be in London seeing as you don't want to be?
fuzzylogic is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 03:42 AM
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Wow! I didn't mean to come off as rude...but thanks for the help. I am really looking forward to visiting, it was just never one of my Must See places...therefore I really don't know much about it except what I see in movies (which I know is crap!) We are going on our Honeymoon to France and we found great tickets if we fly into London..plus we like the idea of seeing more. I can google (and plan to) but just wanted to see if anyone here had a good "must-see" list. We dont' have a lot of time and want to get in as much as possible!

If anyone has a better attitude and can help I would love it!
waterlily252 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 04:10 AM
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Don't take it personally - there is just so much activity on this forum that it is sometimes tough for people to take the time to respond to general questions like yours. Often times you get more responses if you list a few more details first about your interests.

We're planning to spend just one day in London on our first trip to the U.K. (and quite frankly London has never been on the top of my list either because we're not big-city people) so here is a list of "must-sees" that I got off of this forum. Note that this list does not include any of the museums because we aren't big museum-goers and won't have time to spend several hours in a museum.

Tower of London (Beefeater tour), Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Thames, the Strand, Oxford Street, Whitehall, St. James Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, Regent Park, Kew Gardens, Covent Garden, Kensington Park

Note that many of these are things you just walk by to "ooh and ahh" at so you can accomplish a lot in a day.

For museums I believe the tops ones are the British Museum and Tate Gallery.

Of course you'll want to find some good pubs and maybe take in a theater performance as well.

I hope this helps to get you started!

hausfrau is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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You have missed out in your one day, Greenwich and Stonehenge. You might also be able to fit in Hampton Court.
Don't forget to visit the London Dungeon and have a slap-up meal in an Aberdeen Steak-house.
This forum is a great source of innocent merriment.

Josser is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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waterlily (how appropriate!)-- sorry, but your post begs for it. Besides stating that you don't care for London, you state that you know nothing about the place and provide no clue as to what you like/dislike or even when are you going. Providing any advice at this point would only foster your laziness, so go get busy with basic homework first....unless this is a troll, which I strongly suspect it has to be!
Viajero2 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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waterlily: Your question is just about unanswerable for a few reasons

1) we have absolutely no idea what sorts of things you like.

2) there are quite literally hundreds of sites - some of the best/most famous in the world

3) A "good district" would be about 90% of central London.

so - what to do? 1) tell us something about what interests you. 2) Click on DESTINATIONS above and read the overview of London. And 3) give us a budget you hope to spend on accomodations.
janisj is online now  
Jan 7th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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I suggest that you have a look at

MissPrism is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 07:50 AM
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Hi W/Newbie.

Do you see the area called "destinations" on the top of this page? Find London, do some reading and come back with some specific questions.
barbmike is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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Good grief, where did you all learn your manners? Sorry Josser if you took me for a moron, but the list I posted was taken from someone else's post on another thread who was being similarly sarcastic. I actually find the list quite useful as a starting point. The purpose of my post was to answer waterlily's question quickly and simply by listing a selection of things that one might consider "must-sees" in London. I did not mean to imply that I was personally planning to do them ALL in one day.

Frankly I admire her enthusiasm. She doesn't know where to begin and she is asking for help. I really hate it when "newbie" posters get this sort of response. People come here thinking this is a friendly travel forum and they get blasted for not making their questions "specific" enough, or they get accused of being a troll when they probably don't even know what a troll is! Enough for my Sunday soapbox.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Waterlily - if you want, let's chat offline, I can help you out. London is a fabulous place with loads to do.

[email protected]
cwoolner is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 04:08 AM
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Hausfrau -

Ah yes - in some ways you are right re newbie posters. We should be more gentle. But I'll tell you why this one got my back up.

First: ignorance: I find it sort of scary that the most powerful country in the world has an education system that turns out people that know nothing AT ALL ABOUT LONDON. We are not talking Timbuktu or even Bangkok - but London. Does your education system address Europe at all?

Second: same education system turns out people who can find Fodors but have no curiosity beyond that. Nuff said.

It may be that waterlily is seriously pushed for time - even so ..

I don't think it's a troll - sadly I think it's for real.

Waterlilly .. I apologise for anything I said that seemed to be directed at you personally.

Maybe you just posted too soon. Go out and get that guide book, and come back when you have an idea of what there is to see that might interest you.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 04:22 AM
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Well, I'll take it straight.

It's a lot easier and quicker to get the Eurostar from France to London, if you can, rather than flying.

Areas in London, as long as you are within walking distance of a tube station you'll be ok. London doesn't really have a single central area where everything is concentrated.

Priceline is good for finding hotel bargains.
nona1 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Have you looked online at all? I mean, you have to have done sort of homework on what is available in London? For our first trip, I put in tons of hours studying where to stay - looking at Trip Advisor for hotels that had good reviews, reading London forums and such. Also, I bought a book on London, which helped (though it was a bit out of date). There is so much to do there - palaces, churches, museums, etc.
nbodyhome is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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I knew a lady in America who had saved most of her life to go to England. She was in her seventies and
she had steeped herself in English literature and history. When she finally visited, it was a dream come true.

I was terrified in case she would be disappointed but I suppose that you find the England you are looking for.
She had a wonderful time and said that everyone had been really kind to her.
She especially picked out the "holy dusters" in Salisbury Cathedral who showed her all sorts of things that she might have missed.

To me Waterlily's post is just sad.
There must be many people like my friend who dream of visiting London but who are unable to make their dream come true.
MissPrism is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Firstly take a trip on one of the circular bus tours. It will partly orientate you and you'll see the outside of a lot of the "trophy sites". Make a note of which ones you fancy seeing more of and revisit at your own pace.

Don't try and do it all in four days, just do somethings well. I've lived here since 1992 (this time) and there's plenty I have yet to get around to.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 02:42 AM
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Oh for goodness sake, I think that people are misinterpreting the comment 'I have never really wanted to go to London' and are getting offended. I don't take it to mean that actually she doesn't want to go to London. I take it to mean that she hasn't ever REALLY REALLY wanted to go to London - it's not near the top of her must-go-to lists.

There are loads of cities that are not part of my 'must visit' lists either but that doesn't mean that people should bitch at me about it. You can't go everywhere in one lifetime. Now she's been given an unexpected chance to visit and it sounds as though she wants to enjoy it.
nona1 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Well where do you want to start? As you have not been to London before will be fun for you. I do suggest that you plan though, as time will fly and you will wander what you have achieved. I would check out Fodors guide itself or try www.londonvacationguide.com . Both are valuable resources for planning a trip to London. Good Luck
gowen65 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 09:55 AM
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I think waterlily has probably been scared off by this point.

fuzzy, don't even try to get me involved in a discussion of the American education system. That is completely off-topic.

I think nona pretty much said it all.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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I'll answer your question politely, because I think the question is sincere. (If, for example, someone told me I could spend 4 days in Bejing,I'd want to go, but not having "studied up" for the trip, I'd need a lot of help on the destination.)

London is a huge, bustling city. Many "must sees" are spread out, so you can't necessarily set out on foot to see everything.

If I were you, with only 4 days, I'd think a bit about what era(s) of history, or other types of things interest you and you fiance, and focus on that/those. Possible areas of interest:

Roman London

Tudor/Elizabethan London (including Shakespeare)

Royal London-past and present

Victorian London - royalty, perhaps adding Dickens, Jack the Ripper tour

Literary London (Shakespeare, Dickens, etc.)

London as seat of government (Parlament, etc.)


London theatre

London shopping/fashion

Churches & Cathedrals/religious London

Musical London (composers, etc.)

Choose a couple of topics that interest the two of you, then when you search "Desinations" here and look at guide books, it will help you to limit/define your touring.

missypie is offline  

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