Why should we go to London?

Feb 7th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 686
after many trips to London, a City I have enjoyed, I now think of it as a means to get to Northern England and Scotland. I recommend that you give it a visit.
rogeruktm is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 02:17 PM
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I am one of those who was underwhelmed by London. I was interested in some of the historical sites, but otherwise just could not warm up to it. I don't know why. I adore Florence, for example, which is another place you have to "get into". It may be because I am not terribly interested in big cities. (I live near SF and it's not a matter of being intimidated or anything.) I like Rome because of its historical riches, but otherwise not.

I am interested in your ancestor's small town!! My ancestor came to CT in 1636 from Nottingham, and I would love to see that. So maybe a day or so in London and then off to your ancestral home?
charnees is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I didn't feel a pull towards London either, but I've gone about 3 times now because I've got family in the UK and will be going back over a couple times this year. Every time I visit London I like it more and more. I didn't fall in love with it instantly the way I did with Paris, and it doesn't give me the same warm glow that Florence and Rome did. But I am growing to love London.

Why should we go? Because it's a world capital. Worst case scenario- you won't fall in love, will have just an okay time and won't return. But you will have had a new experience at least. And chances are you will like London a lot more than that.

What shouldn't we miss seeing? Like others have said, it depends on your interests- food, history, art, literature, architecture, theater, ballet, opera, the list is endless. Read some trip reports here and pick up a guidebook and see what looks good.

In what locale should we stay? Again depends on your taste and comfort level, and budget of course. Bloomsbury, Mayfair, South Kensington, and around Westminster or Trafalgar Square are all very popular areas to stay. I loved staying at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock, which is near Camden Town station.

What's your favorite thing to do? My favourite things to do are walking and people watching. I love the mix of old and new architecture, the pace of the city, the fact there is always something interesting to see no matter where you are or what you're doing. The Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery and the British Library are two of my favourite places to visit.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 09:54 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 56
Wow - reading all of your responses affirms why I love interacting with folks on this forum. We might not all agree but we all love travel and it's so fun to read what everyone thinks is fun, interesting, etc. Reading the pros and cons, I think I'm leaning in favor of trying something new. Thanks for all of your suggestions - Apres_Londee, you nailed it!
Christobel is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 10:02 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 56
By the way, the town is Finchingfield in Essex. I am fortunate to have a great uncle that wrote an extensive geneaology that goes way back. My ancestor was born in 1620 and came to MA in 1640 and had 12 sons. I'm descended from one of those.

In other cities, we love to people watch, go to good restaurants, experience history through castles, cathedrals, etc., and just generally get a feel for the local culture. Sounds like London would be a good place for that!
Christobel is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 10:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,301
So glad you decided to give London a chance! I really do think it has something for everyone!
jamikins is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 01:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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For what it's worth, I went right off Paris after my first few visits as a teenager, and didn't really start to feel right there until well on into my 50s (and even then, I realise it's some parts rather than others - I still feel a certain gloom in the 8th and 16th arrondissements). So there's nothing wrong in not "getting" a place, or in changing your mind. I hope you find something that makes you feel welcome - heaven knows, there is enough variety to make it possible.

Finchingfield is a very pretty village in "real" (i.e., rural northern Essex). Looks like the simplest way is to take the train from Liverpool St station to Chelmsford (about 30 - 40 minutes) and this bus from there:


You might need to check with the bus company in advance - I'm never sure about rural bus timetables.

PatrickLondon is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 01:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Ooh Finchingfield - you'll love it there (I defy anyone not to!. It's only a little village though, not a town.Very 'quaint' and a big draw for tourists as it is pretty and 'old-worldy'. Go on a Sunday and you'll often find the local Morris Men dancing and boozing it up outside the pub on the green. It's also quite a popular biker stop-over point. Nice place for a couple of hours, but not much there other than pretty old buildings, a windmill, a couple of tea shops, and a river/village green, so you don't need masses of time.

Nice people too - one lady suggested we park on her private drive when we were hunting for a space (the village does get parked up pretty badly in summer).

If London really doesn't appeal, you could do a tour of East Anglia - north Essex and Suffolk. Not the top of the list for most tourists but lots of interesting places to go and see. Lots of historic sites.
nona1 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 01:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Many of the museums are free of charge, so you can have a lot of culture and history without having to pay much money (as London is quite expensive in general). Also visit the flee markets...
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