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Old 01-04-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Australia
8,036 posts, read 2,822,576 times
Reputation: 38559

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The Churchill War Rooms are, IMO, a must see, even if you're not particularly interested in war or war history. When I last went (I go there on every visit because they keep opening up new rooms / exhibitions) we just walked in, but others have said it's now better to book first as the lines can be long and booking gives you a fast track. Don't leave it too late in the day though, as ideally you need a couple of hours to wander around.

The War Rooms are right across the road from St James Park, almost next door to Horseguards Parade, around the corner from 10 Downing Street, and close to Whitehall. You can easily walk there from Trafalgar Square.

Churchill War Rooms | Imperial War Museums

https://www.google.com.au/maps/place....1293287?dcr=0
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:32 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,850 posts, read 3,024,958 times
Reputation: 13101
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61nyc View Post
lol, ok I picked up two travel books. Rick Steves london and lonely planet's "Discover London".

Side question,

What are some of the attractions that you guys loved?

I know of course we want to see Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abby.


I love Hampton Court, you can get here on a river boat, & spend a few hours. I like the river boat, because it gives you a different perspective, seeing buildings from the river. Plus, it is fun & scenic.


Thames River Boats


You can also visit Windsor, it is a short train ride, it is a very quaint village, as well as the Castle.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,688 posts, read 16,133,353 times
Reputation: 7711
It's a bit of a ways from central London, but we really love Kew Gardens.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,145 posts, read 36,338,000 times
Reputation: 63889
My husband and I spent all day at the Tower of London, and could have spent more time there. My husband isn't even all that into British history and even he was thoroughly into it. We watched the Tudors before we went and so that helped him really "get" some of the key folks who lived and died in the Tower of London.

In fact, if I had to only choose one thing to do in London, it would be spending a day at the Tower. It spans so much British history - and the exhibits are very well done and well labeled and you can wander around as you like rather than sticking with a tour guide. But there are tours going constantly and you can listen in, tag along, then wander off, whatever.

Also, the Hop On Hop Off buses are awesome. Great way to see London, get some foot rest, listen to the history, and if something interests you just jump off, do whatever, and then every fifteen minutes or so a bus runs so you can always just get back on - lots and lots of stops in the city and surrounding areas.

St James Park is beautiful and a very relaxing, interesting place to hang out and get some rest and people watch at the same time.

The Eye is worth every penny (it's not cheap but it's fabulous). The total time is around an hour and worth every penny. The views are amazing.

Shopping on Regent Street is fun.

We didn't get to see Churchhill's War Room but I've heard it's fascinating.

Westminster Abbey -WOW - give yourself plenty of time at Westminster Abbey because it's chock full of history.

I read Peter Ackroyd's excellent "London: A Biography" before going - now this is a huge book but WOW it's the best I've ever read on the history of London. Instead of going in chronological order, it takes you along by topic - for instance, the topic of waste disposal (more interesting than it sounds), the topic of punishments for various crimes, historical fires, prostitution, the evolution of human rights, etc. SUPER interesting and as I toured London, the names of all these places, people and events came back to me and I could put them in context.

I am jealous because I'd love to go back to London. I probably will one day but our next trip is Edinburgh, flying into Manchester airport and driving up. I HATE to miss out on London but I swear I could live and dig around in London for years and never discover all there is to see and do in that fabulous city.

London is my favorite major city in the entire world by the way. I was very pleasantly surprised at how clean everything is too. And we didn't have a bad meal there either. People were friendly and helpful. I hope you have a marvelous time!
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
372 posts, read 190,253 times
Reputation: 1400
So many things to see - one of my favorite cities!! Last time I was there, we took a river ferry up to Greenwich. Walked around the town and went up to see the Royal Observatory. The Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum are there too.

We also went to The Shard, which is one of the tallest (if not THE tallest) buildings in London. They have an observation deck for which you have to purchase tickets up towards the top of the building. But rather than do that, we went to the bar that is lower in the building. The view was still amazing - right into the Tower of London. And we had a nice glass of wine while enjoying the view.

I haven't done one in a while, but there are a number of 'walks' that you can do. They're touristy, but can be fun. Ghost Walk, Jack the Ripper Walk - etc. A guide leads you around to various points of interest based on the type of walk it is.

The Victoria & Albert museum is one of my favorites and the Modern Tate is great as well.

Ooo, thinking about it makes me want to plan a trip!!
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:55 PM
 
9,533 posts, read 13,480,440 times
Reputation: 5723
Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
1. Are travel agents still a thing?

2. Personally I would book a straightforward trip to London myself. But I'm me not you.
Yeah for real. How are they not obsolete? I could do it for free. Seems silly to use a travel agent, IMO.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
372 posts, read 190,253 times
Reputation: 1400
As far as travel agents are concerned, given the 'age of internet', they're certainly not used as much. Especially to developed countries. Where believe they're still used are for large group travel and for travel to underdeveloped countries. It's those countries where it's not as easy for the Average Joe to hop on a website and make a reservation. There likely isn't a site available.

I have a friend that works for a specialty TA. They organize large trips for groups to places like the Galapagos Islands. All the details are covered from top to bottom. Costs a pretty penny.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:18 AM
 
4 posts, read 1,486 times
Reputation: 20
I will never use a travel agent again. I prefer to get the commission myself and arrange all of my travels without the middle man.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:14 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,325 posts, read 1,186,981 times
Reputation: 2089
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
My husband and I spent all day at the Tower of London, and could have spent more time there. My husband isn't even all that into British history and even he was thoroughly into it. We watched the Tudors before we went and so that helped him really "get" some of the key folks who lived and died in the Tower of London.

In fact, if I had to only choose one thing to do in London, it would be spending a day at the Tower. It spans so much British history - and the exhibits are very well done and well labeled and you can wander around as you like rather than sticking with a tour guide. But there are tours going constantly and you can listen in, tag along, then wander off, whatever.

Also, the Hop On Hop Off buses are awesome. Great way to see London, get some foot rest, listen to the history, and if something interests you just jump off, do whatever, and then every fifteen minutes or so a bus runs so you can always just get back on - lots and lots of stops in the city and surrounding areas.

St James Park is beautiful and a very relaxing, interesting place to hang out and get some rest and people watch at the same time.

The Eye is worth every penny (it's not cheap but it's fabulous). The total time is around an hour and worth every penny. The views are amazing.

Shopping on Regent Street is fun.

We didn't get to see Churchhill's War Room but I've heard it's fascinating.

Westminster Abbey -WOW - give yourself plenty of time at Westminster Abbey because it's chock full of history.

I read Peter Ackroyd's excellent "London: A Biography" before going - now this is a huge book but WOW it's the best I've ever read on the history of London. Instead of going in chronological order, it takes you along by topic - for instance, the topic of waste disposal (more interesting than it sounds), the topic of punishments for various crimes, historical fires, prostitution, the evolution of human rights, etc. SUPER interesting and as I toured London, the names of all these places, people and events came back to me and I could put them in context.

I am jealous because I'd love to go back to London. I probably will one day but our next trip is Edinburgh, flying into Manchester airport and driving up. I HATE to miss out on London but I swear I could live and dig around in London for years and never discover all there is to see and do in that fabulous city.

London is my favorite major city in the entire world by the way. I was very pleasantly surprised at how clean everything is too. And we didn't have a bad meal there either. People were friendly and helpful. I hope you have a marvelous time!
I am in complete agreement (as usual) with everything KathrynAragon writes, although I have not read the Ackroyd book. London is my favorite city as well, however, in my case, I am going to London for the 4th time, this May. Yet, I am jealous about her upcoming trip to Scotland, which I have not visited in about 20 years.

A couple of notes on London I would add.

First, there is no real need for a travel agent, unless you get stressed about planning these kinds of trips. If you do find planning a trip stressful, then go ahead. A good travel agent can provide some helpful tips and expertise.

Also, I highly recommend the various "Walks" that a couple of different companies offer. "London Walks" has some great walks, including the "Thames Pub Walk" and a "Beatles Walk".

If you are interested in history, I are hopefully already planning on seeing the British Museum (amazing) but I would suggest going to the London Museum as well.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:03 PM
 
825 posts, read 567,105 times
Reputation: 2603
Do you like picture galleries and museums? Plays? Historic properties maintained by English Heritage and the National Trust? There's so much to see in London. Each time I go, I stay in a different area, see more new things, discover more new places, and yet still feel as if I've merely scratched the surface:

Just a few suggestions:
Museum of London, London Wall
Museum of London, Docklands
National Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
Ham House
Fenton House
Syon House
Kenwood House
Hampstead Heath
Highgate Cemetery
Richmond Park
British Museum
Sir John Soane's Museum
Dickens' House
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Tate Britain
Tate Modern
Guildhall Art Gallery
Hampton Court Palace
London Walks

- walking all over whenever possible to see neighborhoods and architecture from various periods,
- taking buses when walking isn't possible (I dislike the Tube because you can't see the streetscapes),
- sampling great Indian restaurants and other cuisines too,
- street food fairs,
- going out to plays every night at the National Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe and its new Jacobean indoor theatre, the Barbican, the new Bridge Theatre, the Hampstead Theatre, and of course all the West End playhouses

Last edited by josie13; 02-11-2018 at 08:21 PM..
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