London: what to see/do/eat?

It appears I’ll be travelling to London in a couple of weeks for business. My business will only require a day or two, but I’ve never been to London and am considering taking an extra day for leisure, sightseeing, etc.

For 24 hours in London, what would you recommend?

Tom Hill.

I went to London a few years back and really enjoyed Covent Garden, where I saw some cool street performers.

Nope… he only does weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.

It really depends on what you want MT. I lived there for 3 years and never fully explored it, I can tell you that if you want it, it’s probably there. What kind of food do you want to eat? What kinds of stuff do you want to see?

Don’t know. I like all kinds of food. My understanding is that English food consists of bangers, beans and fried tomatos for breakfast, tea and crumpets in the afternoon, and kidney pies, curry, chip sandwiches, or fish and chips, all washed down with copious beer for dinner. Is that right?

Don’t know. Not sure what London has to offer. I guess one can ride around on a two-story open-roofed red bus, check out Big Ben, make faces at the guards with the big furry hats, have someone take my picture in the crosswalk at Abbey Road, go see Picadilly Circus (though I have no idea what that is), see 9 Downing Street (though it’s just a door on the sidewalk), and. . . . heck, that’s about all I can think of. . . Never been there. Did I miss something?

Well I’d check out

timeout.com/london/ they give you directions to all places in there. Plus,you can get the print copy just about everywhere

MT I would catch the Tube to anywhere north of Kings Cross, say Finsbury Park and then ask someone where the nearest Indian restaurant is. I pretty much guarantee that it will be better than any you will get in the West End (Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden area). Check out the London Eye if the weather is clear and next to it is a Dali museum. The South Bank is good for a walk along the Thames and if you cross the Thames from Charing Cross Station you’ll get one of my favorite views of London.

It really depends on what you like and how adventurous you are. There are plenty of good pubs around Charing Cross Rd that have live music. Also the markets are pretty good. I would avoid the touristy places normally but Camden still has a good pub scene with good food and live bands.

Whatever you do enjoy it, it’s a great city.

I lived in London for a year.

To be honest, I wouldn’t waste the short amount of time you have on eating. Just get some fuel in you and have a look around.
Buy a Lonely Planet city guide (I know Page One has them) and check out some of the iconic things such as:

Westminster Abbey/Big Ben/Buckingham Palace
Tower of London
London Eye (quite a cool experience)
St Pauls Cathedral
Trafalgar Square
Leister Square/Picadilly/Oxford St for shows, comedy, street performers, shopping etc
Soho at night
One or two of the many museums and art galleries in the city

You should be able to take all the ‘london’ forms of transport too: Tube, Double Decker Bus, Black Taxi

If you are there on the weekend, the markets are cool, such as Covent Garden althought my personal favourite was the Camden Market.

[quote=“Truant”]I lived in London for a year.

To be honest, I wouldn’t waste the short amount of time you have on eating. Just get some fuel in you and have a look around.
Buy a Lonely Planet city guide (I know Page One has them) and check out some of the iconic things such as:

Westminster Abbey/Big Ben/Buckingham Palace
Tower of London
London Eye (quite a cool experience)
St Pauls Cathedral
Trafalgar Square
Leister Square/Picadilly/Oxford St for shows, comedy, street performers, shopping etc
Soho at night
One or two of the many museums and art galleries in the city

You should be able to take all the ‘london’ forms of transport too: Tube, Double Decker Bus, Black Taxi

If you are there on the weekend, the markets are cool, such as Covent Garden althought my personal favourite was the Camden Market.[/quote]

Don’t give the food a miss…these days some of the best easting in Europe is in London…just expect $$$$$ Also, they’ve brought bar tending to a new high…but again $$$$$$$

[quote=“Elegua”][quote=“Truant”]I lived in London for a year.

To be honest, I wouldn’t waste the short amount of time you have on eating. Just get some fuel in you and have a look around.
Buy a Lonely Planet city guide (I know Page One has them) and check out some of the iconic things such as:

Westminster Abbey/Big Ben/Buckingham Palace
Tower of London
London Eye (quite a cool experience)
St Pauls Cathedral
Trafalgar Square
Leister Square/Picadilly/Oxford St for shows, comedy, street performers, shopping etc
Soho at night
One or two of the many museums and art galleries in the city

You should be able to take all the ‘london’ forms of transport too: Tube, Double Decker Bus, Black Taxi

If you are there on the weekend, the markets are cool, such as Covent Garden althought my personal favourite was the Camden Market.[/quote]

Don’t give the food a miss…these days some of the best easting in Europe is in London…just expect $$$$$ Also, they’ve brought bar tending to a new high…but again $$$$$$$[/quote]

24 hours only? Poor thing. Can you at least make it 48?

If I were going to London on a business trip, I’d do the expensive dining on the working days (even better if the clients paid the bill ‘:D’).

Then on my free day I’d hit the tourist sights like a madman: start out the day very early with a full English breakfast (but not at the hotel–my personal preference) followed by everything Truant said, but adding Tower Bridge and to the British Museum to look at 1, 2 or 3 pre-selected items (like the Rosetta Stone, etc.). Grab some Fish and Chips at any shop in Covent Garden or Soho. Go all day, knowing that you can sleep all the way home on your flight!

All these places are easily accessible by Tube/Underground (MRT). It’s the fastest way for sure. But if you’re like my parents, then take the double-decker buses. They want to see EVERYTHING, but it takes more time and energy to figure out the bus routes.

Have fun!

See: The British Museum
Do: Drink a pint of bitter in a pub
Eat: Fish and chips

Good point. I started googling London during lunch hour and was very impressed. I can see there are loads of good sights – giant ancient cathedrals, cool towers and bridges, giant art museums, parks, etc. I can see that 1 day is insufficient. So. . . I was confident I should be able to conclude my business in a day, but now I’ll likely tell them it should take 3 days, and if there’s time left over, in addition to the one leisure day I’ll schedule, then so be it.

Another good point. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I’ll try to pick up a London Lonely Planet in the next few days. It looks like a great city.

Only one sensible thing to do. Take the tube to Heathrow. Board a British Midlands shuttle. Go to Edinburgh and enjoy a proper town. :wink:

MT
Do the same as you did on your trip to California. Stare at the hot busty babes!

I’m a Londoner,
Nightlife: go out in hoxton
Food: go get a curry in Brick Lane, or Cheap Chinese in WongKei’s Chinatown (if you’re not rich like me… if you are rich maybe you can go to Jamie Oliver’s place in the afore mentioned lane).
Laters,

If you like to walk around cities then London offers a good opportunity to catch quite a lot of the major sites within a relatively short walk.

Get yourself to Trafalgar Square. Face towards Big Ben/Parliament and walk down the left side of Whitehall/Parliamnet street (you will be across the road from Horse Guards). Walk up to Parliament along the left side of the road (there are a couple of good pubs on that side of the road). When you reach Parliament square you can walk up onto Wesminster Bridge to view the river and Parliament buildings etc.

Walk back down into Parliament square and go over and take a shufty at Westminster Abbey. Walk back along Whitehall on the opposite side of the road from earlier to pass Downing St and come to Horse Guards. Walk through Horse Guards (it is only closed on ceremonial occasions). and out into St James Park. You can walk alongside the lake and up to Buckingham Palace.

After Buck House go to your right (if you are facingBuck House) and walk through Green Park. Take a right along Piccadily and up to Piccadily Circus. You can then walk through to Leicester Square and at the bottom corner of Leicester Square you can connect back to Trafalgar Square. The Church of St Martin in the Fields (Trafalgar Square) has a nice and reasonably priced cafe in the basement (or you can go for a cheaper beer in Witherspoon’s Pub in Leicester Square itself).

Use the buses. A ticket is only about 2 quid and will last you all day no matter where you want to go, and it means you can avoid the bloody tube. The other main things to see such as the natural history and Brit Museums, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are reachabale by bus (get a london transport map or go to their website). However your time is limited so you can’t do them all.

Time Out London is definitely a good recommendation for eats and entertainment. I can recommendy the Comedy Store off the Haymarket for the evening’s entertainment.

Have fun but take care at night as London isn’t as safe as it used to be.

How come no one’s mentioned scenic Brixton or Essex girls yet?

You could also take in a large swathe of the former colonies by popping on down to Earl’s Court. I wouldn’t dare, but you could.

HG

Thanks for the recommendations. I leave this evening. Over the weekend I picked up a DK “Eyewitness Travel, Top 10 London” guidebook, which is slim but quite good (as are most DK books).

I’m staying in the Cumberland Hotel, next to Marble Arch, at the corner of Hyde Park. It looks like a very nice hotel and a good location. Apparently some of the interesting things within an easy walk from my hotel are:

  • Hyde Park and adjacent Kensington Park (where Princess Di and other royalty lived in Kensington Palace)
  • Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, where all sorts of people get up and speak
  • Bond Street, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nicks and lots of other very old, fancy shops (if I dress properly to gain admittance :laughing: )
  • Hamleys, a fancy 5-story toy store (get something for my girl)
  • Madame Tussauds wax museum

But I’ll want to spend a day in another area doing some of the following:

  • London Eye (world’s largest ferris wheel, with outstanding view of the city)
  • then walk across the bridge to see the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey (The site of coronation for every English monarch for more than a thousand years, and the last resting place of figures such as Queen Elizabeth I, King Henry V and Geoffrey Chaucer)
  • Buckingham Palace (perhaps not all that exciting unless I’m there at 11 am for changing of the guards)

I wish I had time for more of the great museums (the British Museum would take a day I think), so since time is short I’m thinking the National Portrait Gallery might be fun, or maybe the Tate Modern.

Covent Garden sounds good. My guidebook says, “one of London’s liveliest areas, Covent Garden is a popular destination for Londoners and tourists alike.” For nightlife, the guidebook says Soho and the West End are the place to be (although Soho’s good in the daytime too, with Trafalger Square, which contains the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, free lunch-time concerts at St Martin in the Fields, as well as Chinatown and Picadilly Circus (still don’t know what exactly that is or why the weird name).

Ok, I better finish my work so I can get out of here.

EDIT: I’ll definitely have to check out the Essex girls. :slight_smile:

I;ve never been, but I’m sure you can’t miss them.

Have a good trip. We cross paths in CKS tonight, I dare say.

HG

I;ve never been, but I’m sure you can’t miss them. [/quote]

What about the ginger mingers? Should I look for those? Where will I find them? :idunno: