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      01-19-2008, 02:12 AM   #1
rpiopio
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Visiting London

Hello e90 Family.

I'm taking a very short trip to London in early March. I've got basically 48 hours total. Never been there and am very excited to go.

Help me plan my 48 hour whirlwind tour.

Here are the details I know:
I'm arriving on a Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday afternoon.
We'll be based in Kensington / Chelsea area. Hopefully that narrows it down a bit. Having never been there, I have no idea.

To let you know a little about me so you can focus the recommendations: I'm in my very early 30's. Proposed to my wife in Paris, Honeymooned by doing the ED program through Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. I've travelled through Asia and a bit of South America, and feel comfortable making friends anywhere I go.

Tell me about some MUST DO's while in London and maybe a couple other recommendations that only a Local would know. While we will go to the requisite picture spots, what we really enjoy is local flavor.

This might be stretching it but if you wanna meet a e90 brother and share some stories, maybe take us around, let's do it. I will be honored to return the favor if you're ever in San Francisco.
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      01-19-2008, 04:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by rpiopio View Post
Hello e90 Family.

I'm taking a very short trip to London in early March. I've got basically 48 hours total. Never been there and am very excited to go.

Help me plan my 48 hour whirlwind tour.

Here are the details I know:
I'm arriving on a Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday afternoon.
We'll be based in Kensington / Chelsea area. Hopefully that narrows it down a bit. Having never been there, I have no idea.

To let you know a little about me so you can focus the recommendations: I'm in my very early 30's. Proposed to my wife in Paris, Honeymooned by doing the ED program through Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. I've travelled through Asia and a bit of South America, and feel comfortable making friends anywhere I go.

Tell me about some MUST DO's while in London and maybe a couple other recommendations that only a Local would know. While we will go to the requisite picture spots, what we really enjoy is local flavor.

This might be stretching it but if you wanna meet a e90 brother and share some stories, maybe take us around, let's do it. I will be honored to return the favor if you're ever in San Francisco.
I'd recommend a visit to the London eye. You are going to be pretty close to it.

http://www.londoneye.com/

To avoid queuing prebook the tickets on time, but search on google for discounts from the official prices.

If you want some culture then the there are some amazing museums nearby (many with free entry) including: the natural history museum, science museum, V&A and the british museum. The Tate Gallery is also great.

Then there are the usual tourist spots, St Pauls Cathedral, buckingham palace, palace of westminster (and the abby), trafalgar square and the royal parks.

The tube is great to get around, but it's worth getting a detailed street map and doing some walking.

The tube stations in the centre of London are very close together and it's often quicker to walk and you will stumble accross some interesting stuff on the way.

As to evening entertainment, the local guys will have some more specific recomendations. I seem to end up in here a fair bit:

http://www.doverst.co.uk/
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      01-19-2008, 12:31 PM   #3
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It might be worth picking up a sightseeing bus from Victoria Station (not far from Kensington). I had a colleauge from Asia visit London and took him on the open top bus tour and saw a lot of the City I didn't even know myself, despite once being a motorcycle despatch rider there. It shouldn't be too cold on the bus either, it was around 13C today in London.

Certainly the London Eye is worth a visit as has already been mentioned.

Get up around the West End in the evening, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden all have plenty going on.

Regards

Chris
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      01-19-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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what about

The tower of london and the crown jewels ? all that bling
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      01-19-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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Selfridges, Harrods and the Jack Barclay showroom, well worth a visit.

Evening dinner at claridge's is awesome, top food with live music
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      01-19-2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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also the tower of london,tower bridge and the london dungeon are interesting visits,and some of the museums too.
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      01-19-2008, 04:28 PM   #7
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Entertainment:
West End theatres for Friday and Saturday nights.
Portobello Road on Saturday (morning)
Sites:
Hyde Park
British Museum
V&A Museum
Museum of Natural History
Science Museum
Madame Tussaud's
Sir John Soane Museum (Lincoln's Inn)
Tower of London
Tower Bridge -- try straddling the bascule leaves as a large lorry or bus drives by.
HMS BELFAST
A mile in any direction from Trafalgar Square
Greenwich (without Cutty Sark the ship)
Food:
Hard Rock Cafe, two blocks east of Hyde Park Corner on Piccadilly
Texas Embassy Cantina (Tex-Mex restaurant) on Cockspur Street, a block west of Trafalgar Square
Good restaurants everywhere (really)
You're not going to see too much of the bigger sites such as the Tower or British Museum that take several hours to view so you need to prioritize. And even if you take the tube, it's 45 minutes to an hour from Kensington to Greenwich.

Why such a whirlwind excursion?
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      01-19-2008, 05:09 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the great suggestions! This has helped me out tremendously.

The lady would like to do some shopping of course. Where should be go for that? We're talking London fashion and nice clothes. Not miniatures of the Tower Bridge or red phone booths.

SoYank, it's whirlwind only because it was a completely spontaneous trip. BA was having flight and hotel specials (even before the little mishap on the runway) and due to my work schedule I couldn't take more days off. For the price of our airfare and hotel and expected other costs (even with the crappy dollar exchange rate), it would have been the same amount of money we were going to spend in Vegas. Problem is I go to Vegas 4-5 times a year for buddies bachelor parties and other random weekends . I'm celebrating my 30th and wanted to do something I've never done. Well, I've never been to London. So we said F-it. We're going to London.
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      01-19-2008, 05:21 PM   #9
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Some top tips there Guys.
It's a great shame you don't have more time, 48 hrs in London is not even going to scratch the surface.

NFS's tip for the Dover Street bar and Cafe is a good un.

Covent Garden is a must IMO, you can spend a good few hours there just watching the street entertainers + you have a fair selection of shops,bars and restaurants.
Clos Maggiore' s restaurant is a good one.
Navajo Joe Bar & Restaurant gives you it all, especially if you like Tequila!

What about a show in the West End,have a look see,you must be able to find somat here:

http://www.officiallondontheatre.co....eland_0907.pdf

Greenwich has a good market on Sundays,bit far from Kensington though,the water taxi is a good way of getting around as well:

http://www.thamesclippers.com/home/

Best of luck and congratulations.
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      01-19-2008, 05:36 PM   #10
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Thanks for the links HC. A london theatre show sounds good too.

Yeah. I know it's too short. The way we see it, we'll be back. It'll be like a little teaser.

I know it won't do London justice, but to keep it exciting we're going to pack the trip and basically plan on sleeping for only a few hours, and on the flights of course. Kind of like what we call a "turn and burn" for Vegas. Some of the best trips to Vegas were a Saturday morning flight there, and a Sunday flight home. No hotel necessary. We'll have a hotel of course since it's two nights.

On that note, what about nightlife? We will be there on Friday and Saturday nights. A London show will end @ say 10:30 or 11:00 right? Where should I drag our tired asses to after that?
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      01-19-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpiopio View Post
Thanks for the links HC. A london theatre show sounds good too.

Yeah. I know it's too short. The way we see it, we'll be back. It'll be like a little teaser.

I know it won't do London justice, but to keep it exciting we're going to pack the trip and basically plan on sleeping for only a few hours, and on the flights of course. Kind of like what we call a "turn and burn" for Vegas. Some of the best trips to Vegas were a Saturday morning flight there, and a Sunday flight home. No hotel necessary. We'll have a hotel of course since it's two nights.

On that note, what about nightlife? We will be there on Friday and Saturday nights. A London show will end @ say 10:30 or 11:00 right? Where should I drag our tired asses to after that?
Its funny you asked these questions...i have the same trip planned with my wife from March 8 - March 12. I also did the 335i ED last year and visited those countries with the exception of proposing..and will be turning 30 this June.

Thanks for asking these questions...it does help planning my trip. I am still a bit confused about the choice of hotel and location. would like to be as close to city center and all attractions as possible. Any possible suggestions would be appreciated.
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      01-19-2008, 05:58 PM   #12
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For shopping I'd suggest, and I'll get blasted for this I'm sure, walking through Harrod's with a firm grasp on your wallet/purse, just to say you've been there (treat it only as a tourist site) and then go to Oxford Street, Jermyn Street, and Regents Street. Covent Garden is also high on the listing.

Avoid 1 Grosvenor Square unless you have passport issues. But if you do go by, see if you can figure out the error on the 35 foot eagle there.
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      01-19-2008, 06:17 PM   #13
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The lady would like to do some shopping of course. Where should be go for that? We're talking London fashion and nice clothes. Not miniatures of the Tower Bridge or red phone booths.
Oxford Street and Regent Street are the main shopping areas, but they do have a lot of brand name stores, that you can find anywhere.

Harvey Nicholls and Selfridges are a bit different as is Harrods (more for sight seeing than serious shopping).

There are are dozens of very expensive boutique shops and art galleries in aroudn dover street, burlington arcade etc, which are good to wander about, but stupidly expensive.

As a few people have said Covent Garden is good too.
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      01-19-2008, 06:32 PM   #14
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If you're looking for serious spending for fashion (Tiffany's perhaps?) then try Bond street.
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      01-19-2008, 06:37 PM   #15
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rpiopio On that note, what about nightlife? We will be there on Friday and Saturday nights. A London show will end @ say 10:30 or 11:00 right? Where should I drag our tired asses to after that?
What are your musical tastes?

Quote:
vbmw335 Quote:
Thanks for asking these questions...it does help planning my trip. I am still a bit confused about the choice of hotel and location. would like to be as close to city center and all attractions as possible. Any possible suggestions would be appreciated.
What's your budget?

Good and central + not too expensive:
http://www.travelodge.co.uk/find_a_h...onCoventGarden

Or take your pick:
http://www.laterooms.com/en/k1629558...on-hotels.aspx
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      01-19-2008, 06:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by vbmw335 View Post

Thanks for asking these questions...it does help planning my trip. I am still a bit confused about the choice of hotel and location. would like to be as close to city center and all attractions as possible. Any possible suggestions would be appreciated.
Wow, you're like our long lost Chicago twins!

We used Tripadvisor.com to pick the hotel from the choices we were given from BA. They had some good recommendations. After that though, I came here to get real info on what to see from locals as the recommendations on trip advisor were from tourists.
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      01-19-2008, 07:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank View Post
For shopping I'd suggest, and I'll get blasted for this I'm sure, walking through Harrod's with a firm grasp on your wallet/purse, just to say you've been there (treat it only as a tourist site) and then go to Oxford Street, Jermyn Street, and Regents Street. Covent Garden is also high on the listing.

Avoid 1 Grosvenor Square unless you have passport issues. But if you do go by, see if you can figure out the error on the 35 foot eagle there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed View Post
Oxford Street and Regent Street are the main shopping areas, but they do have a lot of brand name stores, that you can find anywhere.

Harvey Nicholls and Selfridges are a bit different as is Harrods (more for sight seeing than serious shopping).

There are are dozens of very expensive boutique shops and art galleries in aroudn dover street, burlington arcade etc, which are good to wander about, but stupidly expensive.

As a few people have said Covent Garden is good too.
HAHA! Firm grasp is right. We're definitley going to see Herrods. Notice I didn't say shop Herrods. Anyway it's my birthday not hers. HA.

Musical Tastes?
Eclectic. That's for sure. For example, we'd be comfortable going to an Opera, then enjoying a live BeBop Jazz club, just as much as we'd enjoy a Bollywood dance festival and show up at a hip-hop club afterwards. Weird yeah, but that's just how we roll. The diversity of the Bay Area allows for such things.

Things we'd avoid? Crazy head banging hard rock. Tree hugging folk music. Country music in general but we've been known to line dance here and there.
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      01-20-2008, 05:18 AM   #18
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What are your musical tastes?

What's your budget?

Good and central + not too expensive:
http://www.travelodge.co.uk/find_a_h...onCoventGarden

Or take your pick:
http://www.laterooms.com/en/k1629558...on-hotels.aspx
Travelodge Covent Garden is actually in High Holbourn. It used to be a Thistle hotel.

It's less than 5 minutes walk from there to Leicester Square and Picadilly.

Very basic though.

Premier Travel Inn at Southwark is very centrally located and incredible value (if you can get a room).

http://www.premierinn.com/pti/hotelI...?hotelId=24225

If you want to push the boat out stay in Mayfair. Last time I went to London I stayed here:

http://www.westburymayfair.com/

Which is an easy 2 minute walk from Dover Street
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      01-20-2008, 01:40 PM   #19
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i work about a 5 min drive from tower bridge,and there are a couple of travel lodge hotels and guoman hotel which over looks tower bridge.
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