Author Topic: London / UK recommendations  (Read 1207 times)

Stephen

  • Clark
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
London / UK recommendations
« on: April 17, 2019, 11:11:54 am »
Long time lurker / occasional annoying poster with a question if anyone can help (Limey?)
My wife and I are going to London for about 3 days and then ideally an Old World, "Europe - y" smaller town in England for 3 days this summer. We are thinking of seeing a play in London and would like to do a couple of other interesting things while there. We're leaving three young children with the grandparents so a week is as long as we can be away.
For the smaller town, my wife has visions of sipping coffee in a town square and seeing Europe-feeling architecture all around. She is thinking possibly Bath at this point.
Any recommendations for what we shouldn't miss in London this summer or a fun smaller town that will have that Old World charm?
Thanks!
No, the other one

juliogotay

  • Pope
  • Posts: 8667
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 11:32:26 am »
I enjoyed Windsor Castle which is a short train ride (45 minutes?) from London. Windsor also could meet your small town scenario although it may not be that prototypical.

das

  • Key Member of the Conspiracy
  • Posts: 3351
    • View Profile
    • Faith Home Ministries
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 11:51:53 am »
If u want to stay reasonably close to London for the small town part of the experience, anything in the Cotswolds will do. It’s a beautiful area and well suited for small walks between the hamlets.
Another trenchant comment by a jealous lesser intellect.

Bench

  • Illuminati
  • Posts: 16379
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 12:31:38 pm »
Be sure to see Westminster abbey. Truly one of the great historical sites of the western world and the experience with Notre Dame compels that you should never miss a chance to see a place like that.
The Churchill war rooms are amazing.
The British Library has a fantastic collection of writings from the Magna Carta to the birthday card John Lennon wrote A Hard Days Night.
"Holy shit, Mozart. Get me off this fucking thing."

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2019, 12:58:29 pm »
Far too much to do in London for any kind of digest here.  I suggest taking a hop-on/hop-off bus tour and spend a day on that.  The London Eye (giant bicycle wheel at Westminster on the river) will give you an idea of everything.  I second Westminster Abbey for the history and would add St. Paul’s cathedral for the grandeur.  Also St. Paul’s has a great view from the outside, plus you can take the footbridge across the river to the Tate Modern and the Globe theatre. 

Get an Oyster Card (at any tube station) and use it public transport.  It’s easy and soooooo much cheaper.  Like 1/4qtr if the one-at-a-time tickets.  You just load up some money and re-load if it runs a little low.  The famous London taxis are great but cost an arm and two legs these days. 

As for an out of town destination, again, far too many to mention, but I concur with Bath.  You can take the train there and you can just walk your balls off.  Go to the Royal Crescent and on the way back have a meat pie at The Raven Pub.   The Roman baths are over 2,000 years old (and the water tastes like it).
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

chuck

  • Contributor
  • Double Super Secret Pope
  • Posts: 12316
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 03:12:17 pm »
Be sure to see Westminster abbey. Truly one of the great historical sites of the western world and the experience with Notre Dame compels that you should never miss a chance to see a place like that.

This. If you do one tourist thing in London it absolutely has to be this.

There's a Caravaggio in the National Gallery that I never fail to check in on but over the years I have learned that for some reason its appeal is not universal.
Y todo lo que sube baja
pregúntale a Pedro Navaja

HudsonHawk

  • Administrator
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 41945
  • Gentleman About Town
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2019, 03:58:57 pm »
What if I wanted to go see the Texans play there in November?  Asking for a friend.
The rules of distinction were thrown out with the baseball cap.  It does not lend itself to protocol.  It is found today on youth in homes, classrooms, even in fine restaurants.  Regardless of its other consequences, this is a breach against civility.  A civilized man should avoid this mania.

HudsonHawk

  • Administrator
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 41945
  • Gentleman About Town
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 04:26:39 pm »
And how far is Manchester from London?  How easy is it to get from one to the other?
The rules of distinction were thrown out with the baseball cap.  It does not lend itself to protocol.  It is found today on youth in homes, classrooms, even in fine restaurants.  Regardless of its other consequences, this is a breach against civility.  A civilized man should avoid this mania.

Col. Sphinx Drummond

  • Fantasy Team Owner
  • Illuminati
  • Posts: 16397
  • art is a bulwark against the irrationality of man
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 04:36:44 pm »
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are a nice visit and not far from, St Paul's and the Globe. Second the National Gallery and The Natural History Museum.
Everyone's talking, few of them know
The rest are pretending, they put on a show
And if there's a message I guess this is it
Truth isn't easy, the easy part's shit

Col. Sphinx Drummond

  • Fantasy Team Owner
  • Illuminati
  • Posts: 16397
  • art is a bulwark against the irrationality of man
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 04:41:08 pm »
And how far is Manchester from London?  How easy is it to get from one to the other?
210 miles or so.
Everyone's talking, few of them know
The rest are pretending, they put on a show
And if there's a message I guess this is it
Truth isn't easy, the easy part's shit

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 05:11:21 pm »
And how far is Manchester from London?  How easy is it to get from one to the other?

Take the train.  Both cities have extensive public transport so you can get pretty much door to door. 

For any awkward little journeys, your Uber account will work - if you have data roaming. 
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 05:12:47 pm »
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are a nice visit and not far from, St Paul's and the Globe. Second the National Gallery and The Natural History Museum.

It’s not quite as compact as Rome but, if you put your walking shoes on, you can see a lot just on foot. 
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Nate in IA

  • Key Member of the Conspiracy
  • Posts: 4044
  • To the stars...
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2019, 07:16:11 pm »
Don't forget the Museum of Plunder..  errr  the British Museum...    some really fantastic pieces in there..

subnuclear

  • Pope
  • Posts: 6040
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 07:24:36 pm »
I've been in London for 2 days in my life and spent them both in the British Museum. Would spend another day if I get the opportunity. Just a personal preference, though, would like to do many other things listed here.

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 08:35:23 pm »
Most museums and many other places of interest are free.  Not free:  Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace (if it's open).  I think the Tower is borderline as a value proposition, but the Abbey and St. Paul's are well worth it.  Skip Buck House unless you have a major royal fetish.  Tourist attractions that are really flashy are probably really crap - go for the stuff that looks authentic and not brash or shouty.

This is why I think the bus tour is a good first day thing; because you can hop off and on, and see stuff as you go, but also make some notes to revisit things that catch your eye and you want to devote more time.

Taking a river boat along the Thames (pronounced "Tems") is fun too if you get a boat with commentary.  You can pay with your Oyster card, and you get to see some interesting things with (hopefully) an entertaining guide.  They run from Westminster Bridge ("Look kids!  Big Ben...parliament.") to the Tower, so you can use it to commute from one to the other.

Do grab a pint and a sandwich in every any pub you come across.  Just look for anything that looks cozy and authentic (and not shouty).  The Lamb in Leadenhall Market, if you find yourself in the City of London, is interesting not only because the Market was a set for Harry Potter (it's Diagon Ally) but you will have some great people watching - namely the peacocks of Lloyd's of London (also Young's isn't a bad pint).  Speaking of movie references, the Lloyd's building was used in Guardians of the Galaxy, as a part of Xandar's capital city that was being dive-bombed by the Accuser's raiders.

Also in the City: the Gerkin, the Cheesegrater, the Walkie Talkie and the Shard; the latter having a viewing deck at its very peak.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 08:46:53 pm by Limey »
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 08:42:53 pm »
Oh, and British electricity will fry your US hairdryers, straighteners, razors etc. etc.  If you have the appropriate step-down transformer...it will fry that too.

If you're in a hotel, check to see if they supply those things if you need them.  If not, and you can't live without, buy cheap UK versions at Boots (think CVS with more class).  Unless you have access to USB ports, you might want to buy a UK phone charger as well while you're at it.  Take a USB-splitter with you to charge multiple devices at once.

You can drink the tap water.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 08:44:45 pm »
Costa Coffee or local.  Never Starbucks.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Bench

  • Illuminati
  • Posts: 16379
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 09:01:38 pm »
The Lamb in Leadenhall Market, if you find yourself in the City of London, is interesting not only because the Market was a set for Harry Potter (it's Diagon Ally) but you will have some great people watching - namely the peacocks of Lloyd's of London (also Young's isn't a bad pint). 

Really? I've stood countless pints at The Lamb and had no idea it was such an auspicious place. I just figured it was a place to buy drinks for clients who didn't feel comfortable lunching at the Steam Bar. As an aside, if you have a drunken lunch filled with welsh rarebit and coronation chicken sandwiches you'll have done yourself a favor.

Leadenhall Market in general is a marvelous place. There's a liquor store in Leadenhall Market that reliably has bottles of Pappy cheaper than you can find in the States, to the extent you could even find one over here at all.  But other than admiring the modern architecture from afar, there's little need to be in the City beyond visiting the Tower of London.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 09:03:15 pm by Bench »
"Holy shit, Mozart. Get me off this fucking thing."

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2019, 09:56:11 pm »
Really? I've stood countless pints at The Lamb and had no idea it was such an auspicious place. I just figured it was a place to buy drinks for clients who didn't feel comfortable lunching at the Steam Bar. As an aside, if you have a drunken lunch filled with welsh rarebit and coronation chicken sandwiches you'll have done yourself a favor.

Leadenhall Market in general is a marvelous place. There's a liquor store in Leadenhall Market that reliably has bottles of Pappy cheaper than you can find in the States, to the extent you could even find one over here at all.  But other than admiring the modern architecture from afar, there's little need to be in the City beyond visiting the Tower of London.


Can’t disagree with any of that. 
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

chuck

  • Contributor
  • Double Super Secret Pope
  • Posts: 12316
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2019, 10:12:34 pm »
I bought an outSTANding pair of boots in the City once. I have no idea what I was doing there.
Y todo lo que sube baja
pregúntale a Pedro Navaja

HudsonHawk

  • Administrator
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 41945
  • Gentleman About Town
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2019, 12:06:34 am »
Take the train.  Both cities have extensive public transport so you can get pretty much door to door. 

For any awkward little journeys, your Uber account will work - if you have data roaming.

That’s not bad at all.  Reason I ask is Singapore Airlines flies IAH to Manchester. And I’d rather fly in the cargo hold of SQ than any seat on any US airline. 
The rules of distinction were thrown out with the baseball cap.  It does not lend itself to protocol.  It is found today on youth in homes, classrooms, even in fine restaurants.  Regardless of its other consequences, this is a breach against civility.  A civilized man should avoid this mania.

chuck

  • Contributor
  • Double Super Secret Pope
  • Posts: 12316
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2019, 12:41:45 am »
That’s not bad at all.  Reason I ask is Singapore Airlines flies IAH to Manchester. And I’d rather fly in the cargo hold of SQ than any seat on any US airline.

You fly United to Europe, U FOO.

If you wanted to avoid terrible airlines you could always fly British Air (just kidding). Lufthansa flies to Eurolandia from IAH as does my son's favorite airline, KLM. Amsterdam to any of the 17 London airports has got to be faster and more reliable than National Rail. Plus, you get to briefly visit one of those Schiphol countries.
Y todo lo que sube baja
pregúntale a Pedro Navaja

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 07:33:00 am »
That’s not bad at all.  Reason I ask is Singapore Airlines flies IAH to Manchester. And I’d rather fly in the cargo hold of SQ than any seat on any US airline.

That’s an option I have bigly contemplated, but yet to try.  The issue is going from Manchester’s airport to the city center to get the train to London.  I have no idea how easy or hard that is.  I’ll try and find out. 

Chuck’s idea is sound, but I looked at Singapore because, aside from being infinitely better than United, they were offering economy at $700 when United and BA were $2,000.  Taking a Euro connection is not likely to be cheaper than a direct London flight. 
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

chuck

  • Contributor
  • Double Super Secret Pope
  • Posts: 12316
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 11:10:34 am »
The additional upside of Singapore is you get to fly in one of those sweet, new A350's. Who would have thought that a consortium of various European nations working together could figure out how to build better and more reliable aircraft than an American aerospace giant? But here we are.
Y todo lo que sube baja
pregúntale a Pedro Navaja

Astros Fan in Big D

  • Pope
  • Posts: 9614
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 01:49:48 pm »
We did London last summer.

3 recs
1. Westminster Abbey
2. The Tower of London
3. Hampton Court

The Abbey has been spoken for by others.   The Tower is fun to walk around.   You can meander,  or you can hustle and see everything there.   The Crown Jewels were worth the wait for us.

Hampton Court (seat of power for Henry VIII and some others) likewise lets you wander at your own pace as opposed to Windsor castle where you jump in the people current and try tokeep up. (We did Hampton Court and Windsor in the same day; someone in the group set up the logistics to make that happen).

BizidyDizidy

  • Pope
  • Posts: 8823
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2019, 02:31:02 pm »
We did a trip with the boys Thanksgiving before last - a lot has already been suggested (British Museum, Tower of London, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, West End show), a couple things I'd add:

Both Borough Market and Spitalfield Market were very cools stop for lunch - tons of food stall options

I thought Globe Theater tour was worth doing - would be very cool to see a show there

Probably less relevant sans kids, but the Harry Potter experience is very well done - have preserved all the original sets, etc.
"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."
  -  Orson Welles

Astros Fan in Big D

  • Pope
  • Posts: 9614
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2019, 03:08:17 pm »
Also enjoyed The Globe.   Our tour took place during a rehearsal (othello I think).

Many of these suggestions take a couple or 3 hours.  You can likely squeeze as much or as little as you want.

HudsonHawk

  • Administrator
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 41945
  • Gentleman About Town
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2019, 06:01:26 pm »
The additional upside of Singapore is you get to fly in one of those sweet, new A350's. Who would have thought that a consortium of various European nations working together could figure out how to build better and more reliable aircraft than an American aerospace giant? But here we are.

Every Singapore Houston-Manchester flight I’ve ever taken was on a Boeing 777.  It’s been since last summer though, so that may hav recently changed.
The rules of distinction were thrown out with the baseball cap.  It does not lend itself to protocol.  It is found today on youth in homes, classrooms, even in fine restaurants.  Regardless of its other consequences, this is a breach against civility.  A civilized man should avoid this mania.

MusicMan

  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 25839
  • Thanks for 2015
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2019, 07:01:55 pm »
Recent events have reminded me how thankful I am to have checked Westminster Abbey on my bucket list.

I’ll echo the thought that London is a great walking city. One of my fondest memories is wandering the streets of London, spotting some of the finest suits I had ever seen, and realizing I had stumbled onto Seville Row.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, torture of Bud Selig.

HudsonHawk

  • Administrator
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 41945
  • Gentleman About Town
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2019, 07:21:40 pm »
Recent events have reminded me how thankful I am to have checked Westminster Abbey on my bucket list.

I’ll echo the thought that London is a great walking city. One of my fondest memories is wandering the streets of London, spotting some of the finest suits I had ever seen, and realizing I had stumbled onto Seville Row.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Suits so fine, they make Sinatra look like a hobo.
The rules of distinction were thrown out with the baseball cap.  It does not lend itself to protocol.  It is found today on youth in homes, classrooms, even in fine restaurants.  Regardless of its other consequences, this is a breach against civility.  A civilized man should avoid this mania.

chuck

  • Contributor
  • Double Super Secret Pope
  • Posts: 12316
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2019, 10:21:32 pm »
Per @airlineroute, as of January 17, 2017, Singapore Airlines’ 5x weekly Singapore to Houston flight will be operated by an Airbus A350-900 rather than a 777-300ER.

https://onemileatatime.com/singapore-airlines-a350-houston/
Y todo lo que sube baja
pregúntale a Pedro Navaja

HudsonHawk

  • Administrator
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 41945
  • Gentleman About Town
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2019, 03:47:26 am »
Per @airlineroute, as of January 17, 2017, Singapore Airlines’ 5x weekly Singapore to Houston flight will be operated by an Airbus A350-900 rather than a 777-300ER.

https://onemileatatime.com/singapore-airlines-a350-houston/

Huh. Maybe I *was* on the A350 and didn’t know it. My ticket said 77W, but according to the article that was standard. It wasn't any different on the inside. Which is to say it’s was fucking awesome.

Singapore is overall the best I’ve ever flown.  The only category where they are not tops, IMO, is the the wine selection. Best wine selection I’ve seen is on Qatar Airways.  Which I think would qualify as ironic.
The rules of distinction were thrown out with the baseball cap.  It does not lend itself to protocol.  It is found today on youth in homes, classrooms, even in fine restaurants.  Regardless of its other consequences, this is a breach against civility.  A civilized man should avoid this mania.

VirtualBob

  • Pope
  • Posts: 5594
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2019, 06:37:34 am »

You can drink the tap water.

But why would you?  Waste of beer space.
Up in the Air

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2019, 09:51:28 am »
Manchester Airport to London takes about 3 1/2 hours and costs GBP 21.50 (one way).

By contrast, the train from Heathrow Airport to London costs GBP 25 (one way).  Yes, it's quicker, but it also drops you off at Paddington, which is inconvenient for everyone except Robert Kraft.  You can take the tube from Heathrow too, but that's no fun with suitcases and takes about an hour.

By way of icing on the cake, the Manchester to London route has a transfer at Wealdstone, where you may have a run in with internet sensation, the Wealdstone Raider.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 09:55:07 am by Limey »
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Col. Sphinx Drummond

  • Fantasy Team Owner
  • Illuminati
  • Posts: 16397
  • art is a bulwark against the irrationality of man
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2019, 10:10:31 am »
You can take the tube from Heathrow too, but that's no fun with suitcases and takes about an hour.

As long as there is no strike happening that day. They fucked me once taking it from London to Heathrow and I missed my flight.
Everyone's talking, few of them know
The rest are pretending, they put on a show
And if there's a message I guess this is it
Truth isn't easy, the easy part's shit

chuck

  • Contributor
  • Double Super Secret Pope
  • Posts: 12316
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2019, 11:59:42 am »
By way of icing on the cake, the Manchester to London route has a transfer at Wealdstone, where you may have a run in with internet sensation, the Wealdstone Raider.

Is there a video with subtitles or maybe an English translation?
Y todo lo que sube baja
pregúntale a Pedro Navaja

VirtualBob

  • Pope
  • Posts: 5594
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2019, 02:39:52 pm »
As long as there is no strike happening that day. They fucked me once taking it from London to Heathrow and I missed my flight.
The Heathrow Express to Paddington is well worth the expense. And there area host of relatively affordable hotels within walking distance of the station (even with luggage).
Up in the Air

Limey

  • Contributor
  • High Order of the Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 31736
  • Tally Ho!
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2019, 09:33:02 pm »
Is there a video with subtitles or maybe an English translation?

You want some?!!  Because, I’ll give it yer!
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Bench

  • Illuminati
  • Posts: 16379
    • View Profile
Re: London / UK recommendations
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2019, 12:18:49 pm »

Can’t disagree with any of that.

Finding a pub in or around the City that:

1) is open on Sunday
2) has television(s) and
3) serves food

Was surprisingly hard.
"Holy shit, Mozart. Get me off this fucking thing."