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Your Opinion on these off the beaten path London sights?

Your Opinion on these off the beaten path London sights?

Old Sep 30th, 2008, 05:56 AM
  #21  
 
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janisj - you are saying you can buy the Great British Visitors Heritage Pass at major Tourist Information Centres - curious as to which ones besides the BTA, which is not a TIC, on Regent Street - where have you seen the pass sold at TICs -

and at which sites have you seen the GBVHP sold? All info i read and my experience says they are not sold at sites - obviously this is wrong simply because i've never known you to be wrong in anything to do with Britain. So please for my info at which specific sites have you seen the GBVHP sold?

Are you sure you are not mixing up the English Heritage Pass which is sold at most places owned by the National Trust i believe. But the English Heritage Pass is not the same creature at the GBVHP not only because it is restricted to England but it does not cover nearly the number of sites the GBVHP does. Could you be mixing up the two passes?

For me to be able just to go to England and then buy the GBHP after i decide i really want it would be priceless - and if i can buy them at TICs besides the BTA in London or at the sites is great news.

Please which TICs and sites covered do you know for sure that i can buy it at.

Sincerely
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 06:02 AM
  #22  
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MademoiselleFifi - So, I was re-reading your TR yesterday and saw you mentioned Leighton House.... So fascinating that I have also put it in my itin. It looks like the Leighton House will be closed to the public starting October 31st, thru some time in 2009, for renovations. I arrive on Oct 30, so I'll head there that day!

Thanks for your info on your other thread on the William Morris Gallery.

-------------------------
If anyone is still reading, I watched a TV show last night by the National Trust on Ham House. It is quite a unique house because of the preserved interior decor from the Stuart era, which is quite rare.

Having said that, I'm not sure if it's worthwhile to make a trek out there as it's not too convenient to get to, with my limited timeframe.

---------------------------------
Lastly, I received an email back from GBHP and confirmed that I can buy the pass in person at the Britian and London Visitor Centre on Regent Street in London.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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Ham House was very underwhelming for me at least - nice river walk to get there though
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 07:03 AM
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We went to the Red House a few years ago when it first opened. I see you still need to call ahead to book a tour time. What time you get may affect the rest of your sightseeing that day.

We took the train and then walked about a mile or so. I mapped the walking route online so we wouldn't get lost.

The trains are pretty frequent. And I see it's a very short train ride to Eltham. So you could do both of these in a day.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Should you have any problems whilst using the Great British Heritage Pass, please call our customer help centre on 0870 242 9988.

Well for anyone wondering where in the U.K. - at which Tourist Information Centres and main sites covered that Janisj says you can buy the pass at i would recommend calling the above help number to find out those places to be sure you can just show up at say the Globe and buy your pass there.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 07:42 AM
  #26  
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Re: Chelsea Physic Garden

I just realized that Gordon Ramsay's restaurant is just round the corner from the Chelsea Physic Garden on Royal Hospital Road. Perhaps I should go there for lunch?

Well, I'm tempted, but I probably should save my £ and eat at Pret a Manger instead.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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PQ: No, not confused about the GBHP vs the English Heritage Pass. Different animals altogether . . . . .

From an e-mail I received more than 18 months ago from Visit Britain "The Great British Heritage Pass is available online, from selected VisitBritain offices, at selected Tourist Information Centres, or at selected covered properties across Britain".

(BTW - It isn't the BTA - they change their name to "Visit Britain" some years ago)
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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yk: Gordon Ramsey vs. Pret

Hard decision
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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thanks janis - that's good info even though selected sounds very limited - too bad they do not say what selected TICs and sites have the passes.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 10:12 AM
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I checked Gordon Ramsay's website. The 3-course set lunch at the Restaurant is now £45, + 12.5% tip. I think it used to be just £30?

Can't really justify spending that much on lunch (plus all that time I could be sightseeing elsewhere); esp with the economy being the way it is now. I'll save my money for next time, when DH can come with me.

And of course, if I plan to eat there, it'd mean packing nicer clothes, nicer shoes, and a nicer jacket. Too much trouble to spend £50+.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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yk - Ham House and Syon House are rather close to each other and could be done, travel included on trains, in about 4 hours, making for a latish sort of lunch if you start out for earliest opening. I would have preferred to see Syon House over Ham House were that my only choice, but I wouldn't pass up seeing either one for historical interest and importance.

By the way, I bought my pass at Ham House the Tuesday I went in April, when Syon House was closed due to a state meeting of some sort, so janisj is correct that some sites sell them. Chelsea Physic Garden is well worth an amble of a few hours, too, and there are plenty of pubs around with decent food for lunch. No need to part with the equivalent of 80 USD for a fancy lunch. The pubs in Chelsea have their own charms.

Sandra
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 12:40 PM
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so janisj is correct that some sites sell them.>

except for some train info once Janisj is ALWAYS right IME (alas!)
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Sandra - thanks for your input. I have also looked into Syon house as well, which is historically interesting. However, it closes on October 26 for the season... and I don't get in until after that.

With the current exchange, a £50 lunch will come out close to $90. Yes, I agree with you that I can get some decent food at a pub for much less.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Rats, yk! Syon House is probably closed because the duke will be in residence, though it's good to actually telephone them: the day we went, one of the docents was very willing to take us through privately but since there was no one else to man the entry office during that state meeting, her boss - who refused to man the desk because she had scheduled an "early day", we were unable to see anything but the gardens and the gardening shop. Anyway, it's taught me that direct phone calls are best since it was published that the house would be open and it wasn't. You never know: if the duke isn't in residence during that time, it may just be a non-updated note on the website.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Eltham Palace is fabulous and my absolute favourite place in London to take guests. Check the opening days though, I think it's closed one day / week.

I would also second the call for a tour of Parliament if you can get on a tour, one of the best things I've ever done in London. Absolutely fascinating and not like anything else you'll see.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 04:48 AM
  #36  
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Mimar- thanks for the heads up on the telephone booking for Red House. I just called and booked myself on the 11:15am tour for Sunday. That should give me enough time to see Eltham Palace in the afternoon (it closes at 4pm).

Does anyone have comments on the restaurant and/or tea house at Eltham Palace? I just realized that I do need to eat that day at some point, so either I can try the tea house at Red House, or wait until I get to Eltham Palace.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 05:50 AM
  #37  
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Mimar- if you're still reading this... Did you take the train to Bexleyheath station and then walk to Red House from there?
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:27 AM
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Yes, exactly, train to Bexleyheath and walk from there to the Red House.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:38 AM
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A weird thing about Eltham Palace is you have to take your shoes off and don slippers to protect the intricate flooring.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Kenwood House if you have not been there may interest you as well - esp on a Saturday as it is near Hampstead and it's thriving weekend scene.

Kenwood House is full of art and gardens and actually sits on the edge of the sprawling Hampstead Heath (?) or some park that we walked thru back to London to Primrose Hill i believe where there is a stunning view of London laid out below
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