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"Things to see and do in London?" Topic

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641 hits since 11 May 2015
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The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member11 May 2015 11:31 a.m. PST

I was in London about 10 years ago. We did some of the 'wargamer' things I wanted to do – we saw the NAM, HMS and Belfast.

I'll be with other non-gamer people this year who will grudgingly go along with some military museums. I'm thinking the RAF museum for certain. If I had to choose which is better the IWM London or thte "Firepower" museum in Woolwich?

Also – other ideas on 'must see' places that capture the character of the place. The Tower? Windsor Palace? Any good shows in town?

Is it relatively easy to get to Bovington or Portsmouth as a day (or less) trip?


RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member11 May 2015 12:34 p.m. PST

take them to see the elephants and lions in Piccadilly Circus!

Private Matter11 May 2015 12:54 p.m. PST

Bovinton is a day trip if you have a rental car and worth the trip. If you want you can also see Monkey World which is near Bovington. My vote is for the Imperial War Museum, as my my wife and daughters even appreciated it as much as my sons.

If you have a rental car, a trip to the Cotswalds is nice trip. However if you do have a car and plan to get out of London, unless you are a die hard Shakespeare fan avoid Stratford upon Avon (I used to live there). If your companions must do Stratford then also go a little further and visit Warwick castle and the church in Warwick.

The British Museum is also really nice to visit in London.

Terrement Inactive Member11 May 2015 1:21 p.m. PST

Highly recommend you look into this:

as it has something for everyone, regardless of whether their interest is History, Dickens, Shakespeare, Theatre, Jack the Ripper, or whatever.

When I've been there, they were presented by what I was told were folks from the theatre they could speak loudly, clearly, and with the sort of storytelling that you don't get from typical tour guides. Typically ended at a pub.

Check Covent Gardens as they have discount tickets for theatre shows if you aren't picky, you can get great deals on tickets for that night's shows that haven't sold or aren't the best seats in the house. Always a number of different shows, from comedy to drama to musical to whatever. If The Reduced Shakespeare Company is performing ANY of their shows, make it a point to see. Laughed my ass off at each of three different ones I've seen through the years.


is but one of the sellers that do this.

Private Matters recommendations are quite good recommend both Warwick (pronounce it as Warrick or they know you are a furriner) and Stratford on Avon Slug and Lettuce used to be a great pub there.

If you can, and you need to book before you go, IIRC, the locking up ceremony at the Tower.

If Harry Potter fans, this might be of interest:

If they like a bit of "cultured dining" a high tea at Selfridge's or elsewhere book in advance


Piccadilly Circus at night to see the lights and people watch.

Hyde Park on Saturday mornings used to have both artists selling their works as well as soap box speakers on a variety of topics. I locked horns with one who was apparently used to bullying certain members of the public walking by and I think it was a new experience to have someone who could fire back harder than he could dish out.

Portobello Road Market on Saturday AM

Among all of the interesting shops, if you look, you can find the location of the place that was supposed to be the travel book store from Notting Hill, the ACTUAL travel bookstore at Notting Hill, the Blue Door where Hugh Grant supposedly lived nearby. Right by the actual travel bookstore is a great spice shop.



Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2015 2:00 p.m. PST

London? How long have you got! I live here and an Australian woman at work was telling me of places she has taken her kids that I haven't even heard of!

The Tower Of London has to be one of the most iconic places to visit. Set aside a whole day and be prepared to queue. It is very popular! Good day out even for people not interested in history or military stuff.

The London Eye on the South Bank is good for a great view. The South Bank is nice for 'arty' types. The Design Museum is down there. On the subject of views, the one from the top of the Shard is said to be spectacular.

If you are up for a day out away from London, Portsmouth is a good choice. Take the train from Waterloo Station to Portsmouth Harbour Station (under an hour these days?) and you are about fifty yards away from Portsmouth Dockyard. Again, even people with no interest in military history love the Victory and the Mary Rose. Portsmouth also has a D-Day museum on Southsea seafront.

Warwick is a good choice. Lots of nice old buildings and stuff. The castle is quite pricey but well worth a visit. They have lots of activities for all the family and the biggest trebuchet in the world! London to Warwick is a couple of hours drive.

Back in London, the 'big' museums are brilliant, massive, and free! Science and Natural History Museums are next door to each other in Kensington, and the British Museum is in Bloomsbury.

Doug MSC Sponsoring Member of TMP11 May 2015 2:40 p.m. PST

Here are a few things to do & see in London;
1. Cruise down the Thames River
2. Westminister Abbey
3. The Tower of London
4. Buckingham Palace (The changing of the Guards 11:30 am)
5. Windsor Castle (by train)
6. St. Paul's Cathedral
7. Kensington Palace
8. Imperial War Museum
9. The Guards Museum
10. The Museum of London
11. The British Museum
12. Apsley House (The Duke of Wellington's Home)
13. Houses of Parliament (Big Ben/Westminster Hall)
14. Victoria & Albert Museum
15. The National Army Museum

If your going up to see Warwick Castle you must also stop at Blenheim Palace.

Terrement Inactive Member11 May 2015 7:00 p.m. PST

Probably worthwhile looking into an ALL Zones travel pass for while you are there – metro / rail / bus

Toronto48 Inactive Member12 May 2015 8:42 a.m. PST

Lots of good suggestions here already so not much to add

- suggest a walk on Tottenham Court road from Trafalgar Square up to Oxford Street the street has a lot of bookstores of all types and sizes from large stores like Foyles, to discount/remainder stores. specialty and used dealers
- the Changing of The Guard (foot at Buckingham Palce and horse at Horseguards )I know it is crowded and corny but worth seeing if it is your first time
-RAF Museum at Hendon which is on the Tube It is a must if you are any sort of aviation fan
-Winchester town if you leave early enough you can do both Portsmouth and Winchester in a day Winchester has a great cathedral and military museums ( Rifles/Gurkhas)
-Sunday morning at various markets Petticoat Lane near Liverpool St station is good
-Sunday afternoon Thames cruise to Greenwich visit the National Maritime Museum Greenwich park and a Sunday market
-A must for me on any visit to London is a stop at Tradition the famous model and toysodier shop in Sheppard's Market area lots of lovely painted and unpainted toy and collector figures some older 30mm type gaming figures plus lots of attractive gift ideas
- if it were open the National Army Museum in Chelsea would be a must but unfortunately it is closed until 2016

Two things to remember bring lots of money London is expensive an second and most important Enjoy Yourself it is a vacation

Terrement Inactive Member12 May 2015 9:22 a.m. PST

One other minor thing – it doesn't hurt to touch base with the local police to make sure if you are a walker / runner in the evening/night/early morning whether there's been any activity in your area that would advise otherwise. Similarly, there are areas where pickpockets are more active than others – normal cautions apply – as well as ATM scammers. Two that were active when I was there include having a "husband and wife" type team, foreign, behind you in line. They know the timing and sounds of the machine in question, and you'll find them on either side of you hitting you with questions "Does this card work? Does this card work" / Show me how to use machine, hey help me with machine" and when you politely tell them you'll be happy to, and turn back to the machine, your card and cash are gone. They've melted into the crowd.They pick ATMs with no cameras. The other is similarly a two person op, and right when your cash is coming out, one approaches you from the other side with a ten pound note and says "Did you just drop this? I saw it on the ground" Who won't automatically turn and look, even if they won't say "Yeah thanks" even though they know it isn't theirs. In the mean time, player number two has scored your card and cash and is similarly gone.

Not trying to claim London is any more of a problem than any other city anywhere in the world – just passing on what I learned the hard way. Victim of the first, informed of the second while making out the police report.

But, yes. Enjoy the vacation. Also recommend completely avoiding all US and chain restaurants. You could live on good meals of pub food, and there are many good eating establishments where you can get lots of different and traditional, or these days, some great curry / middle eastern / Indian food as well. McDonald's? Sounds like a UK belonging place, but do your self a favor and make a point of avoiding burgers and fries and anything else you can get back home.

janner Inactive Member13 May 2015 10:34 p.m. PST

The Wallace Collection is a little known gem wink

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member15 May 2015 12:58 p.m. PST

Thanks Janner! That's a great recommendation.

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member06 Jul 2015 2:13 p.m. PST

Had a great time in London. RAF museum was amazing! Enjoyed Greenwich and the British Museum too. Currently in York, heading north tomorrow.

Thank you all for your recommendations, the advice was very helpful!

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