Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

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andyrr
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Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby andyrr » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:25 am

We (family comprising me, wife and 2 girls, 6 and 10) are heading down to London village tomorrow by train. Primary purpose is to visit the Harry Potter place the following day for elder girl's birthday so that's that day pretty much sorted.
We arrive Thursday tea-time and leave Sunday midday which means we have 3 evenings to occupy ourselves with just the Saturday where we're the full day free so far.
Couple of things we thought we might do are :
British Music Experience at the o2 : seen gnerally good reviews of this, tickets pre-bought are not too expensive.
Also want to get a coffee or 2 at one of the independant coffee bars - think there are 1 or 2 near where we're based, near Kings X.
Probably a little silly to drag everyone any distance to one of the many bike shops in the city so I'll forego that this time and keep my wallet shut - will be spending plenty of money elsewhere for sure.

Any recommendations ? B.M.E. a good place to go ? The London Eye is another one we may do.

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marcusjb
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby marcusjb » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:32 am

andyrr wrote:Also want to get a coffee or 2 at one of the independant coffee bars - think there are 1 or 2 near where we're based, near Kings X.
Probably a little silly to drag everyone any distance to one of the many bike shops in the city so I'll forego that this time and keep my wallet shut - will be spending plenty of money elsewhere for sure.


Kill two birds with one stone and go to Look Mum No Hands - good coffee and lots of interesting bits of bikes etc. to look at!

Not far from Kings Cross either.

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the playing mantis
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby the playing mantis » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:49 am

come to my office its the entertainment capital of the world*

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sungod
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby sungod » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:13 am

i live close to kings x, i wouldn't consider the local coffee shops especially worth a visit, for morning rides i usually wheel into st pancras and get an espresso at the pain quotidien near the eurostar check-in

on the southwest corner of st pancras station is the gilbert scott bar (avoid at evening rush hour), very nice ceiling, cocktails are pricey though, they'll mix whatever you want and usually charge it as a martini (i have researched this extensively, hic)

if your need some culture, museums at south kensington are good for as long as you've got, direct tube journey from kings x...

v&a for historical stuff
science
geological
natural history

...at south ken there's a paved pedestrian area with loads of cafes etc.

walking distance from kings x is the british museum (cat mummies, viking bling, greek urns etc.), also the british library almost next door to the station

not too far away by bus/tube, or a brisk walk...

head east to islington for lots of restaurants etc. and market, it's become a bit gentrified in the last few years, or north west ish camden town for the market and unusual clothes etc. from various eras, also plenty of places to eat, camden town is generally pretty scuzzy

kings x gets pretty bleak outside business hours

see the sights with a bus tour, there're some open top ones for a good view (as long as it isn't raining)

tower of london
my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny

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the playing mantis
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby the playing mantis » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:29 am

on a serious note, if your into modern big buildings and glass office blocks that even the city cannot rival, lots of people wander around canary wharf just for a look, i suppose if you are not used to it, then it could be interesting on a visual level, and could easily be tied in with a visit to Greenwich and all that entails, the wharf will be a bit dead people wise on a saturday, but theres loads of shops etc if thats your thing and you wont have office workers rushing around, so you can wander around at your leisure. if the ice rink was up i would recommend that. greenwich on a saturday would be busy, cutty sark, meridian, market, the observatory etc. this could all be tied in with an 02 visit

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southdownswolf
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby southdownswolf » Wed Oct 16, 2013 14:26 pm

BME is ok, I went around it when I was there for a gig - Green Day I think. Was not a very time consuming experience though if I remember correctly, about an hour or so.
The British Library has a childrens books exhibition on which is all about 10 classic childrens stories and the different way they have been interpreted over the years. Maybe worth a visit.
http://www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/pi ... index.html
http://www.stuartmole.co.uk/

Guanajuato
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby Guanajuato » Wed Oct 16, 2013 14:39 pm

Daughter & wife went down to that there London for a weekend in summer. They went on the eye and loved it - book your tickets on line and you can add a river cruise for a couple of extra £ - well worth it. Expect an hours queue to get a photo pushing the trolley at platform 9.75 (or whatever it is)

bianchibob
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby bianchibob » Wed Oct 16, 2013 14:44 pm

If you are near the London Eye, and intending to travel to the O2 try using one of the River Clippers, they are not particularly expensive and you get great views of the London land marks as you pass down river. Stops at Greenwich, Canary Wharf etc.

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izza
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby izza » Wed Oct 16, 2013 18:38 pm

Our kids enjoyed the bubble ride across the Thames when doing the O2

To save time and funds, don't do the London Eye. Go to Monument tube station and walk up the Monument. Great views over London and over the weekend quite empty. From there across the bridge you have Borough market and the Golden Hinde.

dave in swansea
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby dave in swansea » Wed Oct 16, 2013 21:51 pm

We have kids of similar ages. We always enjoy Science and National History museums. Lots of different things to see and quite a lot of hands on stuff. Best of all its free (donations requested).
The eye is great, and for food try Borough market near Tower Bridge. Lots of different street foods and all different if from the countryside like us!!
Generally though London is so different you can just wander round and soak up the sights and all will enjoy.

cougie
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby cougie » Wed Oct 16, 2013 22:45 pm

Museums are all good.
London eye should be done if you're there.
Walking around is my preferred transport for the family - London is pretty compact.
I'd not bother with canary wharf - v dull.
River side walk is good - the rib boat rides are pricey but fun.
Imperial War museum is a good few hours worth too.
Covent garden is good to walk round too.
Parks are worth visiting - might be a bit nippy though.
Tate Modern is interesting and there are great views from upstairs.
You can go up in the top of tower bridge - i fancy that one day.

andyrr
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby andyrr » Wed Oct 16, 2013 22:58 pm

Great lot of suggestions - thanks, BME is maybe a no, Eye looks good but at full price it's something like £120 !

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sungod
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby sungod » Thu Oct 17, 2013 05:23 am

watch out for basic but surprisingly expensive cafes, years back i was in one (owner's nickname fagin for the way he treated the staff), a family who i'm sure were visiting for the day had teas etc., when it was time to pay they were clearly quite upset to find how much of their spending money had just been used up, felt for them, still annoyed at myself for not offering to chip in

+1 for convent garden, it can be nice for a wander, plenty of stalls as well as the shops, no cars, often live acts going on in/around the old market buildings
my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny

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bernithebiker
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby bernithebiker » Thu Oct 17, 2013 06:44 am

Whatever you do, don't do Madame Tussauds, no matter how much the kids beg you. It's unbelievably expensive, and you're ushered through quickly with the thousands of Spanish and Italian tourists, and you pop out into the street 30 minutes later, dazed and several hundred quid lighter.

It's kind of corporate mugging, if you like that kind of thing......!
http://www.cyclespeedtours.com

Bespoke and 5* cycle trips based in Palma, Mallorca.

mrfpb
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby mrfpb » Thu Oct 17, 2013 07:33 am

Anyone mentioned that the V &A, Natural History and Science Museums are free entry. If you're in London on 25 October the V &A has a Friday Late event that is family friendly (6.00 to 10.00 pm).

(edit: You're not there next week -just checked your OP- apologies, advice holds for anyone going down to London Village for half term)

Kensington Palace and Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces) look expensive but they can be whole day visits if you want to spend the whole day there -probably cheaper for a family than 45 mins on the London Eye. If your children are Horrible History fans then get an annual membership and visit both. They are family friendly and the HH tv shows were filmed in the HRPs. You could come back another time to visit Hampton Court on the same membership.

Borough Market has a Monmouth coffee shop (see the silly commuter coffee thread for details) but as mentioned, coffee shops around London tend to be pricey. I say +1 for Look Mum No Hands on Old Street for character. Still pricey.

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izza
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby izza » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:10 pm

andyrr wrote:Great lot of suggestions - thanks, BME is maybe a no, Eye looks good but at full price it's something like £120 !


Monument is £10 for family

SloppySchleckonds
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby SloppySchleckonds » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:37 pm

No visit to London is complete without taking your missus up the Oxo Tower.
I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles

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CiB
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby CiB » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:46 pm

If you're anywhere near as bumpkin as we are here, entertain yourself by looking at London house prices and pointing them out to the kids. Exclaim loudly as you do.

Greenwich, Thames clippers, Eye (pre-booked) all worth a visit. So is hopping on to one of those open top tourist buses - heck you're a tourist, enjoy the moment. They're a lot of fun and if you get the right one it includes a transfer to a boat on the river which will have some chirpy cockerneeeee geezer giving you a load of speil for half an hour or so, better than most stand-ups off of the telly I might add.

:)

keef66
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby keef66 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 15:48 pm

SloppySchleckonds wrote:No visit to London is complete without taking your missus up the Oxo Tower.


:shock: I think you might get chucked out of the V&A for that kind of thing!

Richard Farrant
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Re: Short London Visit - Recommendations ?

Postby Richard Farrant » Thu Oct 17, 2013 15:49 pm

The aquarium is worth a visit, I think you can get tickets that tie in with the eye which is good as they are next door to each other. Lion King musical at the Lyceum is good too


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