Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
First Trip to London
Old 07-21-2011, 10:41 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
Lodell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 10
First Trip to London

I hope to travel to London next year. I sure could use any advice on where to stay, shop, etc. I plan to be there for about 5 days. I hope that a friend will be able to travel with me, but if not, I will be a woman traveling alone.

Thanks
__________________

__________________
Lodell is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-21-2011, 11:26 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 126
I was there about 3 years ago and will be back! 5 days is not enough time to do everything you want, that's for sure (which is why I will be back). My favorite places to see included The British Museum (especially the must-see Rosetta Stone and Elgin Marbles), The British Library (especially the musical scores), The Tower of London (we wrote ahead to get in to see the Ceremony of the Keys), the British War Rooms, the V&A museum, the National Gallery, Hampton Court Palace (a bit outside of the city but a must-see if you're a Tudor-buff)...I could go on.

We got the London Pass and got our money's worth by seeing a ton of the exhibits -- definitely worth it for us.

We rented an apartment, but for 5 days, not sure it would be worth it. Can't help you with the shopping -- I don't think I even bought any souvenirs.

Just writing this has made me think back on that trip with such fondness. I can't wait to go back!
__________________

__________________
Marathoner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 11:47 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Alberta/Ontario/ Arizona
Posts: 1,070
Prepare yourself to be disappointed with your hotels. They are extremely expensive for what you get. Once you are over that London is great! Been thete dozens of times. If you have a fairly high budget I could recommend some hotels. Consider getting a private guide for a day or two-again quite expensive but really enhances your experience. You will want to see all the usual sights and these are well documented. Better to travel in the off season as the weather is usually pretty bad whenever you go. Have fun.
__________________
Danmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 11:56 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,217
When I was there I did some great walking tours with this group:

London Walks

Lots of choices. No need to make a reservation. Great, well-informed guides. They meet just outside tube stations -- so you can meet up with them easily.

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,196
One of the offbeat things I think is fun is to take one of the fast boats from downtown out to Greenwich and visit the Royal Observatory. Great exhibits, and you can stand with one foot on either side of the Prime Meridian (silly, but memorable). Then check out the Cutty Sark, a magnificent old sailing ship. Have lunch in a pub, walk through the tunnel under the Thames, and take the tube back to the city.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
One of the offbeat things I think is fun is to take one of the fast boats from downtown out to Greenwich and visit the Royal Observatory. Great exhibits, and you can stand with one foot on either side of the Prime Meridian (silly, but memorable). Then check out the Cutty Sark, a magnificent old sailing ship. Have lunch in a pub, walk through the tunnel under the Thames, and take the tube back to the city.
I didn't know there was a tunnel under the river.... and I lived there for 14 months...

Agree about the Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark.... there are pubs EVERYWHERE... and some have some good food.... fried fare, but good...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I didn't know there was a tunnel under the river.... and I lived there for 14 months...

Agree about the Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark.... there are pubs EVERYWHERE... and some have some good food.... fried fare, but good...
The tunnel is a little damp and musty (it's LONG) but a perfectly fine walk. The last time I did it was at least ten years ago.

You probably haven't been to England recently. Gastropubs are the thing now, and you can get some amazingly good food in many of them. Pick up a copy of one of the CAMRA guides at any bookstore, and you'll eat wonderful food, reasonably priced.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
The tunnel is a little damp and musty (it's LONG) but a perfectly fine walk. The last time I did it was at least ten years ago.

You probably haven't been to England recently. Gastropubs are the thing now, and you can get some amazingly good food in many of them. Pick up a copy of one of the CAMRA guides at any bookstore, and you'll eat wonderful food, reasonably priced.
Do you know where it was located Heck, I used to walk across the bridges all the time... so it being long was not a problem...


Except for some Indian food, the UK is not known for good food... unless you are going to the expensive places..

True, I have not been there for over 10 years.... I am sure a lot has changed.

To the OP... be ready for sticker shock... whatever we pay a dollar for hear, expect to pay one pound for it there... so you pay at least 50% more (hey, what is the exchange rate now??)...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,196
Greenwich foot tunnel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 10:08 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,063
5 days is a little on the short side, but I think you can see most of what you want to see, or at the very least all the important stuff, in that period of time. DW and I went 2 years ago for our 25th anniversary, in one long trip that included a week in Hawaii to get DD settled in at university, and 4 days of meetings for megacorp in Germany on the backside of our visit to London. We stayed in London for 5 full days and at the end, we had gone completely thru our list of things we had wanted to see. Honestly, by that time we were exhausted, because we walked to and from most of the venues, between venues, and back to the hotel most days, with a bus ride here and there. This was in September, and for then entire 5 days we were there we had mostly sunny conditions with a few clouds here and there. It rained as we were at the airport leaving for Germany. It was cool in the mornings, but since we did a lot of walking, we kept warm enough in either short sleeves for me, and briefly here and there a very light sweater for DW. I would say go prepared for worse weather than that, but that's how the weather treated us.

The attractions noted above cover most of what we visited. I advise that you get a travel guide, read thru it and decide which attractions are of most interest long before you go so you can plan the "must see" list, and also perhaps a day or two of spontaneous wandering.

Good luck and have fun!

R
__________________
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 10:31 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Major Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: East Bay
Posts: 1,885
The Indian food is very good - better than we have here, for the most part. I'm guessing it's due to the much higher Indian population in the UK and the resulting greater competition.

My brother and his wife live in a village in the Midlands. It's not a densely populated urban area, but they have an Indian restaurant nearby that has great food - and amazing Balti.
__________________
ESR (and maybe ER if things go well)
Major Tom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 02:12 AM   #12
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 14,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
When I was there I did some great walking tours with this group:

London Walks

Lots of choices. No need to make a reservation. Great, well-informed guides. They meet just outside tube stations -- so you can meet up with them easily.

omni
+1 We've done several of these and all have been great fun, including the evening walk visiting off the beaten track pubs.

As for hotels, the last twice we have been we have stayed in the LSE dorms during the summer months. Excellent value, twin beds, en-suite bathroom, great breakfast. 2005 stayed at the LSE by the Post Office tower, last year we were on the banks of the Thames right by the Tate Modern and Globe Theatre.

LSE Vacations- budget central London accommodation


Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
One of the offbeat things I think is fun is to take one of the fast boats from downtown out to Greenwich and visit the Royal Observatory. Great exhibits, and you can stand with one foot on either side of the Prime Meridian (silly, but memorable). Then check out the Cutty Sark, a magnificent old sailing ship. Have lunch in a pub, walk through the tunnel under the Thames, and take the tube back to the city.
We did this last year, and yes, it was excellent. Also did the meridian thing. Note to the OP - see my clothing, this was July 16th, be prepared for cold damp weather even in the summer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg London - Greenwich - Alan in 2 hemispheres.jpg (611.4 KB, 16 views)
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 08:37 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post

Thanks for the link.... I think I saw that building when I visited Cutty Sark... didn't know there was a tunnel... and nobody told me about it when I lived there...

I wonder how much use it gets....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 08:50 AM   #14
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 14,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Thanks for the link.... I think I saw that building when I visited Cutty Sark... didn't know there was a tunnel... and nobody told me about it when I lived there...

I wonder how much use it gets....
DW used it last time she went to London in 2005. She took the boat to Greenwich, walked through the tunnel and caught the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) back to the center.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 09:59 AM   #15
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danmar View Post
Prepare yourself to be disappointed with your hotels. They are extremely expensive for what you get. Once you are over that London is great! Been thete dozens of times. If you have a fairly high budget I could recommend some hotels. Consider getting a private guide for a day or two-again quite expensive but really enhances your experience. You will want to see all the usual sights and these are well documented. Better to travel in the off season as the weather is usually pretty bad whenever you go. Have fun.
Premier Inn Hotels chain is something that is always value for money!! I stayed over at their Hammersmith chain and it was well worth the price they charged, although the food could be a wee bit of an issue if you are picky!
__________________
keeleyxt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 10:06 AM   #16
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 14,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeleyxt View Post
Premier Inn Hotels chain is something that is always value for money!! I stayed over at their Hammersmith chain and it was well worth the price they charged, although the food could be a wee bit of an issue if you are picky!
I've not stayed in Premier Inn hotels in London, but have stayed in them in other cities in the UK and can add my endorsement to their value.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2011, 07:32 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
DW used it last time she went to London in 2005. She took the boat to Greenwich, walked through the tunnel and caught the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) back to the center.
We were there this spring - the Cutty Sark is under renovation until next spring (deterioration and a fire a few years back). At the same time, they're renovating the entrances to the tunnel under the Thames. It's used frequently, I think - but maybe not so much now that you have to take the stairs on both sides! It's fun just for the experience....wondering about those wet spots and what that means!. We also took the boat down to Greenwich (actually, we went down to the Thames Barrier, because I just find it so darned fascinating, and then got off at Greenwich), walked under the Thames and took the DLR back. It was our first time on the DLR, and we thoroughly enjoyed the views that you get from above ground!
__________________
nanannjen is offline   Reply With Quote
Slightly OT Question--in re Edinburgh
Old 07-30-2011, 07:06 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Posts: 4,579
Slightly OT Question--in re Edinburgh

We are preparing for a 5-day weekend in the UK that includes Edinburgh and one day in Glasgow at the end of Aug, the tail end of the Fringe Festival. There is still the possibility of tickets for the Tattoo, but may not work.

Does anyone (Alan??) have a suggestion for a B&B or hotel close (or accessable) to the action in Edinburgh? I realize that less-than-dear lodging in E at Fringe may be a problem.

Cheers,

Gypsy
__________________
"Ain't got no money for no old-age pension;
I'm so broke, I can't pay attention!"

"I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2011, 07:53 AM   #19
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 14,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
We are preparing for a 5-day weekend in the UK that includes Edinburgh and one day in Glasgow at the end of Aug, the tail end of the Fringe Festival. There is still the possibility of tickets for the Tattoo, but may not work.

Does anyone (Alan??) have a suggestion for a B&B or hotel close (or accessable) to the action in Edinburgh? I realize that less-than-dear lodging in E at Fringe may be a problem.

Cheers,

Gypsy
Although we've visited Edinburgh many times, DW's sister and family have lived there for about 20 years so we never have stayed in a hotel or B&B.

We've used Premier Inn several times in England this last couple of years and they have been very affordable and very good. They have several hotels in Edinburgh.

If you are looking at hotels and B&B's in the area you may like to see the frequency and ease of the buses from where they are located. You can use Traveline to do this. Traveline will give walking and bus & rail times.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Posts: 4,579
Thanks, Alan!

Traveline looks very interesting! Thank you for the link.
__________________

__________________
"Ain't got no money for no old-age pension;
I'm so broke, I can't pay attention!"

"I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First RV trip of the year dm Travel Information 10 07-15-2011 11:51 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:12 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Early Retirement News right to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with all the latest news to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]