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London Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your London vacation


lala30
The North and South Transept of St. Paul's Cathedral 4 stars
The North Transept of St. Paul's Cathedral is basically one of the central, shorter arms of the St. Paul's Cathedral ground floor.

In the North Transept you can find William Holman Hunt's painting called the Light of the world. The painting dates back to 1900 and it is a 3rd painting that Hunt created. The picture depicts Jesus knocking on the door that is opened from the inside. The painting suggests we can only have God in our lives if he invited Him. North Transept is also home to Middlesex chapel with the colors of Middlesex regiment, while the marble font dates all the way back to 1727.

The South Transept is home to the memorial of Admiral Nelson who died at the famous battle of Trafalgar, but also you can find memorials to Captain Robert Scott and landscape painter Turner.


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lala30
The North Aisle of St. Paul's Cathedral 4 stars
You can find North Aisle of St. Paul's Cathedral at the left of the Great West door.

North Aisle features a number of smaller domes and it is also home to the monument of Duke of Wellington as the tribute to the man who is buried in the crypt of the cathedral. The monument was designed by Alfred Stevens and although the Duke of Wellington died in 1852 the monument was not revealed until 1912. The North Aisle also features the Chapel of All Souls as a tribute to Lord Kitchener and some 30.000 servicemen who died during World War I. It includes sculptures of some of the military saints, St. Michael and St. George as well as an exceptional pieta. Another part of the North Aisle is Chapel of St. Dunstan, also designed by Sir Christopher Wren.


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lala30
St. Katherine Dock 4 stars
To get to St. Katherine Dock you will have to take tube to Tower Hill.

Like many docks in London St. Katherine Dock was a hub nub of commerce activity, but it was also severely damaged during the plague, then during the great fire of London in 1666 and last during the World War II bombings. Even though it dates back to the time of King Edward (1st century) the St. Katherine Dock bill was passed in 1825. and it was funded by Ł1.5 and included removing some 10.000 residents and leveling the sites of the church of St. Katherine. It was designed in such a way that ships could have unloaded their cargos directly without the need for additional transport. However due to the heavy trade at the time the dock did not have enough capacity to accommodate all the goods that were being delivered. During and after the war the dock was badly damaged however the plan was put forward to make the area fashionable again which has been accomplished with a number of shops, bars, restaurants and tourist accommodations.


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lala30
St. James Park Station 5 stars
I do love London's transport system. Buses can be fun, but tube is the best. Although I'm sure many of the London's commuters would not agree with me, one of the best experiences you can have as a tourist in London is the tube. St. James's Park tube station dates back to 1920s and 1930s (my favorite period) and is done in Art Deco style. The architect who designed it was Charles Holden and St. James's Park Station also serves as home for London Underground Limited. Holden hired a number of artists such as Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein who did the sculptures and reliefs on the outside. The work that was done was met with some criticism however we can always assume these artists were a bit too advance for that particular era.

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lala30
Mansion House 3 stars
Mansion House is located at Walbrook Street (take tube to Mansion House).

Mansion House is the home of the mayor of London. So it serves as home and office for the mayor but it is also a venue for numerous posh banquets. The most famous part of the Mansion House by far is the Egyptian Hall, which resembles the style that has been used in Egypt. It is the venue for the Chancellor of the Exchequer's address every year, when he address the important players from the City's most influential organizations. Mansion House is not normally open to public, you can only book a pre-arranged tour. The building dates back to 1753. and it was designed by architect George Dance.


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lala30
London Planetarium (London Auditorium) 4 stars
London Planetarium is located at Marylebone Road (take tube to Bakerstreet).

Well as you can see I have written London Planetarium as it was a Planetarium back in the day when I paid a visit. You can miss it as it a big, green dome on Marylebone Road. However do bare in mind you cannot go to the Planetarium separetly, but you will have to buy ticket for Madam Tussaud's. It is a great place for children (although it is not recommended for children under the age of 5) as you have 2 interactive exhibitions. The highlight of the visit is the 30 minute show that you will take you on a journey through Universe and its great mysteries.


The Planetarium is open daily with the first show starting at 12:30pm Mon – Fri and then there is a show every 40 minutes and the last show starts at 5:00pm. Saturdays and Sundays first show starts at 10:30am.


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lala30
Hay's Galleria 3 stars
Hay's Galleria is located at London Bridge City, Tooley Street (take tube to London bridge).

Dating its origins back to 1850 when this was actually a Hay's Wharf it was another place on the riverside where ships from all over the world unloaded its goods (the nickname was the Larder of London). However today the area has been carefully restored it is home to a good number of cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs and numerous shops. It has been restored as a piazza with a glass roof and it is an imposing structure that is also adorned with moving sculpture done by David Kemp. It is surrounded by water jets and a fountain.


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lala30
Greenwich Town Center 4 stars
If you are visiting Greenwich and some of the sights located there, it would be worth you a while to visit the town center as well. Not only you can see a good number of Georgian buildings but also a market that dates back to 1830. It was first a local market, but then it became a fruits and vegs market and today you can find all sorts of goodies such as book, arts and crafts market. Then there is the local church of St. Alphege which was built on the original site of a church that dates back to 12th century. Alfege was made the archbishop of Canterbury however he was killed by the Danes shortly afterwards. If you want to rest your feet after all the sightseeing and arts and crafts take refuge in one of the pleasant cafes or restaurants.

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lala30
Green Park and Spencer's House 4 stars
Spencer's House is located at 27 St. James's Place (take tube to Green Park).

When it was built the Spencer House was considered to be one of the most splendid and today it the only private 18th century palace that remains intact in the city of London. The palace itself was built between 1756 and 1766 for the first Earl of Spencer who was as well all know an ancestor of late princess Diana. It is very close to the beautiful Green Park, but also to the Buckingham Palace, St. James' Palace and Lancaster House.

Opening hours are every Sunday (closed in January and August) from 10:30am until 5:45pm (last admission is at 4:45pm). The price of admission is Ł9.00.


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lala30
Butler's Warf 4 stars
Butler's Warf is located at Nr. Tower Bridge (take tube to Tower Hill).

Butler's Warf was one of the biggest warehouses at the Thames bank, however it was completely ruined in 70s and 80s due to its closure in 1972. During this period a number of artists, directors and the likes bought a number of warehouses, however the area reached its full potential when Terence Conran led consortium that took it under its wings. Nowadays it is home to a number of extremely poshy posh and swanky restaurants, shops and even a few museums. Oh and lets not forget the flats there. It is good to have a walk and imagine what it would feel like to be able to afford one of the flats in the area.


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lala30
Courtauld Institute 5 stars
Courtauld Institute is located at Somerset House at the Strand (to get there take tube to Temple/Charing Cross).

Courtauld Institute got its name after the textile businessman Samuel Courtauld who has founded it, it is home to a wonderful exhibition of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings such as works by Van Gogh, Monet, Rubens, Cezanne. You can also take a look at drawings and prints done by Michelangelo, Picasso, Canaletto and Leonardo and see sculptures done by Rodin, Gauguin, Matisse, Moore and Cesar. All in all Courtauld Institute is well worth a visit for any art lover.

Opening hours are daily from 10:00am until 6:00pm (last admission at 5:15pm).

Price of admission is Ł5, (free on Mondays from 10:00am until 2:00pm).


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lala30
Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum 4 stars
Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum is located at 40 Southwark Street (take tube to London bridge).

Just minutes away from the London Bridge station is the world's first museum that is devoted to tea and coffee (I love my coffee). The museum's exhibition looks into the 400 years old history of trading with tea and coffee, of course from the British perspective. British played an important role in the trade of tea in China but also in development of tea production in India, Ceylon and Africa, so you can learn more about it here. Also you can learn everything about the tradition of English tea as well as study different silver, ceramics and prints dating back in history. The Museum also has a shop as well as a well stocked café where you can enjoy either cream tea or afternoon tea.


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lala30
Temple 3 stars
To get to the Temple you will have to take the tube to the Temple.

Even though nowadays the area is associated with lawyers and legal profession the area was owned by the famous order of Knights Templar in the 12th century.

The Temple is also home to the Royal Court of Justice and the Inner and Middle Temple. The Inner Temple was believed to be established in 14th century and nowadays even though the education of the students to pass their bar exam has been moved to outside institution the Inns still play an important part and offers professional training for the barristers.

Temple church is open to public at certain times during the week days, so you should better check their website if you are planning a visit.


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AndreaLJC
Getting from London to Heathrow Airport on the Underground 4 stars
The Piccadilly line (the dark blue one!) is a great way to get from central London to Heathrow airport both quickly and cheaply and there is a tube every 5-15 minutes depending on the time of day.  The Piccadilly line runs from far north London right through to Heathrow terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 where the line ends.  Some main tube stations along the Piccadilly line are Hammersmith, Piccadilly, Cockfosters and Kings Cross.  The further north you are the longer it will take but from Hammersmith it takes about 20 minutes and its by far the cheapest way to get to Heathrow.

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Marc888
Premier Cars, London 4 stars
During my last trip to London I decided to pre-book a taxi to take me from Heathrow Airport to my destination in town. This is an expensive choice, but I t was well worth it. Upon my arrival the airport was very busy, and with a fair bit of luggage I found that my decision started to pay off. I booked a taxi online the week before using “Premier Cars”, and the service was very good. My trip right across the city (some 17 miles) cost 56 pounds, but this was not much over the cost of a ticket on the high speed train plus the fare of a black cab at the other end. In addition the driver took care of all of my luggage and I was able to enjoy a pleasant, easy door to door service. It was exactly the ticket after a long flight!

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Marc888
Downtown Tottenham 4 stars
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
After booking a car rental for pick up in London, I found myself heading to the pick up point located in central Tottenham. This is an area of London that is not exactly visited for its tourist attractions, as there aren’t really any main draws… but for me, it provided a good taste of London life and was one of the most memorable days in London I have had. It is often seen as a poorer, run down area of London, though with high property prices it is hard to see how this statement can be true. What I found is that it is a lively area with a colourful mix of people all simply enjoying daily life. The high street has a chaotic mix of small shops selling items at very good prices, and so this could also be a place to pick up some bargains. If you are a football fan then of course you may find that the one attraction in the area is the home ground of Tottenham Hotspurs!

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Marc888
London Forex! 4 stars
I often need to get foreign exchange whilst in London and on my most recent trip, once again, I noticed that Travelex and Thomas Cooke “Bureau de change” kiosks, both in the airports and in the high streets, were quite busy. However, time after time, I just cannot understand why. These two places in particular, but other large companies too, not only provide an exchange rate which is sometimes fully 7% - 8% worse than what it should be, they also have the audacity to charge you another 3% commission in addition to giving you this terrible deal. So I avoid them as much as possible, and instead opt for Change kiosks in London’s Oxford Street which offer a rate very close to the true spot rate, and don’t even charge a commission. The other way to get foreign exchange is to simply avoid change booths and use your ATM card at a cash machine in your destination country!

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Tamarin
Record and CD shopping in Central London 4 stars
If you want to find popular and rare CDs and records then the best bet is to look in the dozens of independent music stores in and around Berwick Street in Soho. Sister Ray is one of the bigger stores on the street and has a pretty good selection of vinyl as well as the latest albums on CD - things also tend to be cheaper in here than in the bigger chain stores. I've picked up some great bargains in the past. Berwick Street runs just off Oxford Street, pretty much opposite the massive HMV. If you're looking for music equipment, then head for Charing Cross Road, just outside Tottenham Court Road tube. Turnkey is one of the bigger stores on the street, but there are also smaller, more specialist shops just off Charing Cross Road.

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AndreaLJC
Sound Nightclub – Leicester Square 2 stars
Leicester Square is the well known tourist area in London, so its not a place that I really go out but I was stuck for somewhere to go so against my better judgement I decided to check out Sound Nightclub and as soon as I got in there I remembered why I don't go out in Leicester Square! The club was pretty big and playing mostly R'n'B and pop, the drinks were three times the price of most bars and clubs and I got loads of guys coming on to me – that's Leicester Square for you! The club closes early, about 2 or 3am and it was tedious being there for so long!

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CosmoSteve
The Sea Shell Fish Restaurant 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Those who love fish will definitely not be disappointed if they have a meal at The Sea Shell Fish Restaurant located in the North-Western part of London. It is easy to get to this restaurant by train, bus and Tube. The nearest bus stop is a short walk away from the restaurant. The nearest station, Marylebone is served by Nation Rail and London Underground.

The prices are a little higher than other places that I have been to, but that doesn’t bother me at all. This restaurant is defiantly not ideal to go to if you are a vegetarian. They serve salads, if you don’t fancy fish and/or any cooked food, you could choose one of the salads.


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