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yk's heading to London for 5 days. Pls help with lots of Qs

yk's heading to London for 5 days. Pls help with lots of Qs

Aug 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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And yes, the 7-day travelcard comes only on Oyster.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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I prefer the Cabinet War Rooms to the Imperial War Museum. The CWR are not a replica; they are the real thing. They locked the door at the end of WWII and didn't open it until recently. The fact that things are just as they were left adds poignancy to one's visit.

The IWR deals with both WWI and WWII in detail. You can visit a trench from WWI and experience life in a bomb shelter during the London Blitz. This is a good museum too, but you don't seem a big war buff.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Visit Britain or some other website does offer foreign tourists the chance to buy paper 7 day Travelcards (or it did as recently as a few months ago). But there is absoultely no reason for you to go that route. Buy an Oyster Card when you get there and have it loaded with a 7 day travelcard.

As to Hampton Court, as mentioned, you will get a discount for the part of your trip covered by the travelcard. I would try to buy my return ticket from HCP to Waterloo whenever you buy your ticket to Kew (you are going by rail to Kew, right?). You could probalby buy the paper ticket at Charing Cross, for that matter. Don't know if they have a manned ticket booth at HCP or not.
twk is online now  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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to HCP - i think you can interchange also by taking tube to Richmond then catching train to HCourt station.

Perhaps i'm wrong but thought i did that - better perhaps depending on where you are staying in London if i'm right
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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twk/PalenQ- I am thinking of taking the tube to Kew Gardens. since I'm staying near Charing Cross, it seems easier to go to Embankment for the District line (to Richmond) all the way to Kew Gardens. The tube journey planner times it to 30 minutes.

If I take the train, I'd have to go to Waterloo, and it doesn't save much (if any) time.

I think I'll just wing it and see what happens at HCP when I return. I can always play dumb.
yk is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Given you are staying by Charing Cross I wouldn't hurry at Gatwick and wait until after 9:30 in order to get the train to Charing Cross - this means getting a train to London Bridge, stand at the same platform and get the next train to Charing Cross. Much simpler, cheaper & as quick as the GEX / Tube / Taxi options

The London travelcard won't cover you for this trip.

I'd get a zone 1-2 7 day travelcard which will come on an Oystercard because you are only spending one day outside zone 1-2.

You can add money to the Oystercard to cover the trip to Kew.

For the boat to HCP and the trip back to central London you'll probably have to pay separately

as for IWM or Cabinet War Rooms, the CWR are specically for the 2nd world war in the UK with the emphasis on Churchill. The IWM covers a lot more history and a large part of the world. The Holocaust exhibition is genuinely harrowing
alanRow is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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yk, actually we fly into Heathrow and only OUT of Gatwick, so I didn't do any ATMing at Gatwick. But I can't imagine they hard to find, and I know the Barclay's ones were obvious at Heathrow.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Aug 10th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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A few random comments:

With 1.5 hours at the British Library, you'll have a good view but not necessarily a thorough one. That's about how long we were there, and I could have stayed at least another 30 minutes for the Treasures Room, and would have liked to explore a bit more (it's supposed to have a wonderful gift shop, and I think there's a special exhibit on now).

I've been to the Cabinet War Rooms twice and they are really wonderful. The attached Churchill Museum can take as much or as little time as you want to give it. My husband visits the IWM every time he goes to London, but I have yet to get there. Here is a thread from earlier this summer comparing the two:

You can download the Wallace menu here:

Your Friday might be a bit tight, but forgive me for saying that!
noe847 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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Your 1 1/2 hours at the British Library will give you enough time to visit the Treasures Room, which is pretty incredible.

I haven't been to the Imperial War Museum, but we really enjoyed the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum. It's like walking into a time capsule - very interesting.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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alanRow - Why wait until after 9:30 to head into London? Just to avoid the morning rush hour? I hope if I get upgraded to Biz class and without checked luggage, I'll be out of Gatwick pretty early.

Regarding Zone 3, there are actually 2 days I'll be out in zone 3. One day heading to Kenwood House (requires tube to Golders Green and then change for bus 210) and one day to kew Gardens. Wouldn't be easier to get the Zone 1-3 Travelcard?

Regarding the British Library, there's a special exhibition "Sacred" going on. I guess 1.5hrs would be a bit tight, but I don't see how I can squeeze out more time... Maybe up to 1 hr 45 mins?

noe - I checked out the Blue guide book. It is heavy! But since I don't think I'll carry any other guidebooks (except for a map), I guess that will work.

A question about the Globe Theatre-
Is there a small museum/exhibit there? Can one peruse the exhibit before a play or is it in a different building and require admission?
yk is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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noe - BTW, the link on Wallace to the restaurant doesn't work, that's why I'm asking for ballpark prices from folks who have been there.
yk is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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Hi yk -

My preference is the IWM over the Cabinet War Rooms, but my husband says just the opposite. I prefer the IWM as it gives a broader overview of both WWI and II, plus it has a really phenomenal exhibit on the Holocaust and on genocide.

We were at the Wallace in February and didn't eat there, but did glance at the menu. If I recall correctly, it seems you could have a nice meal for under 20 pounds. The restaurant was very pretty and we would have eaten there but had just filled up on crepes at Le Creperie.

Also wanted to mention that Apsley House is well worth the visit, as is Sir John Soanes museum.
lennyba is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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The Globe Theatre museum is larger than we anticipated and we probably spent an hour and a half there -- not reading half the stuff you can read. But yes, it is right there in an adjacent building.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Aug 10th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Sorry, NeoPatrick. I'm still not quite clear. Does it require separate admission even if I have a ticket for a play, or it's free to ticket holders?
yk is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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The theatre is a theatre - you need a ticket to see a play.

The museum/tour is a separate entity - you need to pay to enter it. Not connected to a Play ticket.

If there are no rehearsals going on - the Museum/tour includes a tour of the theatre itself. But a ticket to a play doesn't get you in to the museum.
janisj is online now  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:09 PM
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Just went to the Sacred exhibit at the British Library--very good. We read absolutely everything in that exhibit and went to the Treasures exhibit as well. We didn't watch all the videos and interactives though. You can do the British Library in 1.5 hours, even with that exhibit. It is very doable in that time frame.
Kellye is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Hit post too fast. If you are interested in theater, I have to give an endorsement for Wicked at the Apollo Victoria. It was incredible. Worth every pound I paid for it and I paid prettily through Ticketmaster to get really terrific seats in the Dress Circle. I'm so glad we didn't miss the show.
Kellye is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Actually, janis, when we did the museum they were offering a considerable discount (maybe half price?) to view the "exhibition" or museum if you had a theatre ticket. Not sure if that is still done. That was over a year ago.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:39 PM
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Yes - they do offer discount tickets. But just buying one doesn't get you into the other. I sort of confused my post a bit - one needs seperate tickets - but there can be a discount.

Thanks for clarifying it.
janisj is online now  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:55 PM
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I had lunch at the Wallace on July 12. The restaurant is split into two, the cafe side and the restaurant side. We ate on the cafe side and it cost ~31.00 pounds for 2 persons. I expect the restaurant side would be more expensive.

I know we each had soup and a quiche and a large bottled water. I can't recall if we dessert or not. I do remember that the French onion soup was some of the best I've ever had. Bon appetit!
ShelliDawn is offline  

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