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London Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your London vacation


shreena
St Pancras International 5 stars
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Due to a meeting in Kings Cross this morning, I was transported through the new St Pancras station. Being ‘anglo-francophone’, an ‘ anglo-francophile’, and in tandem between the two countries, I was pleased to see what a stellar job had been done. A stunning modern structure that paid complement to its older surrounding, creperies next to tea houses, and a multilingual environment in the heart of a booming cultural hotspot. It was almost moving to hear the next train announced in French. Thameslink trains will be stopping in this station from now on, and I am glad.

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shreena
Cape Town Fish Restaurant, Soho 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I’d walked past this restaurant several times, being drawn to it by my fish-fiend nature, but equally deterred from it by the lavish (read:expensive) appearance and menu. Feeling a little flush, I decided to try it out a couple of weeks ago on a night out with a friend.

The restaurant essentially serves seafood in every form imaginable under the sun. Moules marinaire, sushi, surf and turf, and good old cod and chips. My friend plumped for the moules and salmon teryaki, while I went for the tapas-style selection of ecclectic plates (miso mussels, fish cakes, and sashimi were among my choices). Everything was fresh, cooked just right, and bloody gorgeous to eat. We were served by a delightful young Australian guy, and were put in a great location between a window overlooking Argyll Street and a colourful waterfall installation. It did indeed feel lavish, but not as pricy as I’d expected. We also drank a round of Sake followed by a couple of digestifs, and including tip, the bill didn’t come to more than £30 a head. Fantastic! But dangerous, as I now want to return there. Often.


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shreena
Dali Museum 5 stars
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
The curation here is very interesting. One walks down a corridor of Dali’s images and quotes, before passing through an almost psychedelic light show.

The music in the gallery that accompanies the multimedia piece appeals to the trad goth enthusiast in me. It is hard not to dance, but I managed!

The Dali Museum is located on the South Bank in London. Don't be shocked at the high admission price (£12). With over 300 pieces in the Museum, you will spend hours in there, and find the show well worth it.


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shreena
Walking in London 5 stars
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
I love how, just by turning any street corner in London, you can enter a completely different environment. Probably why I love the Seven Dials area so much. I remember taking a short cut from Bond Street tube station to Soho where I was meeting my mum for dinner, so as to avoid the tourist-fest that is Oxford Street, and ending up re-discovering Mayfair. Alas, I did not see Stephen Fry or Prince Harry, but it was fun to pretend that I was rich for a bit, and have the sort of stupid grin on my face that only comes with going on an adventure through half-familiar territory.

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angela
London, the bus experience 3 stars
Who wants to travel to have some wild and unusual experience all they need to do is go to London and try to catch a bus between 8 and 9 am. Good for me, I take the bus close to my house which is not in the very central London and I normally need to take only one bus and then maybe walk a bit. Still better than the need to catch two buses.
What I've recently witnessed let me kind of speechless. Only yesterday I was going to work and I happened close to Waterloo station. The area around the station is nothing special, but only a couple of minutes away there is the Southbank riverside and the London Eye, destination of all tourists and photographer, a view you can never get tired of.
But yesterday morning what grabbed my astonished attention were three queues of something like 10-15 metres each. I stared at those people for a couple of seconds trying my best to understand what they were queueing for. They were just waiting in the middle of the footpath, seemingly without worrying too much. It took a while but I finally understood: the long queue that I normally see outside the post office when it's pension-day it was now for the bus. And several buses needed to come before the last people of the queue could get on.
This is just the most striking aspect of the London bus soap opera, luckily for me that I've lived it so far from a spectator perspective. It's normal routine to be refused to get on the bus because too full or in vain running after a driver who doesn't have any intention to stop. Or how it happens almost every time the bus doesn't finish its journey and just drops you in the middle of nowhere, very often in a rainy day so that you have the nice opportunity to get to work completely soaked.
It's exactly in these moments that the perception of the metropolis.


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angela
Moving to London, a year after 5 stars
I've been living in London for almost a year and I still feel like I don't know anything about the city. Maybe it's for the size, maybe I'm overwhelmed by the endless ethnic communities, or maybe simply because a year is not that much. I lived in Rome for seven years and I couldn't manage to see everything, it's like if I wanted an excuse to come back.
London really is the fast-paced city that everybody loves and is afraid of. After a year, I still love it although I'm coming across all the difficulties it presents. The first one and in my opinion the biggest one, is that it's really too expensive. And I'm not talking only about going out or buy food. Everything is expensive, from the rent to the transports to the bills to the taxes you pay even if you don't earn a lot. A year as a student is not the easiest thing in London particularly because, as a full-time student, I wasn't entitled to any benefit, which are granted to part-time students, for some kind of English way to think that I can't understand.
I'd say that this is the worst aspect of a life in London. I love the rest, the fast pace, being busy all the time, the many opportunities it offers and the mental challenge that never lacks.
Most of the museums are free, events are organised all the time during the year, the city is beautiful and studded with attractions. People are nice, English, British and all foreigners. And the food is good, apparently much better than some time ago, when still living in Italy I heard the weirdest things ever about the English way to eat.
The outcome after a year is positive, and I reckon that this is the place I had to come to start my activity.


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angela
Carnaby Street, daytime fashion, nightime fun 5 stars
Carnaby Street is situated close to Oxford Circus, off Regent Street. In the 1960s was the hub of the cutting edge of the fashion trend in London and actually it really reminds the happiness of the Sixties, with babydoll colours portraying the economic boom. It was the place where people could find shop of independent music, stylish boutiques and designers such as Mary Quant. After a decline in the Nineties, today Carnaby Street's splendors are back both during the day and during the night. In fact the cosy street hosts cool clothing shops, trendy restaurants and cool nightclubs. In some sort of middle-age style, at the beginning there is a big sign that welcomes the thousands of guests every day. Although it is not the innovative place that was in the Sixties, it's packed with tourists every season of the year. Populated by clothing and restaurant chains.
I don't know how to explain, London is huge, you feel the dimension of the endless space wherever you go. However, it's studded with small oasis where you can easily forget the size of the city and believe at least for a while you are in a small village where everybody knows everybody. Carnaby Street is one of those places.


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angela
Peckham Rye Park, London 5 stars
The borough of Southwark is one of the most green areas in London and Peckham Rye Park is huge and amazing. Bordering with Dulwich, Peckham, Herne Hill, the Peckham Rye Park has green fields outside and inside. Outside it borders with playfields and inside hosts a Japanese Garden, full of oriental and exotic plants, another garden called the Sexby Garden, dedicated to the Sexby Admiral and with old-fashioned benches, a flowery frame and a fountain in the middle: the perfect place for a romantic first date.
The many people who go jogging around the park can also stop in the big lake and listen for the cheerful sounds of the components of the lake wildlife. But the park doesn't finish with all its amenities. Going a bit further in fact there are two big playfields, always hosting sport clubs. Those are actually the best areas for jogging. The weekends the park is full of dogs, children, kids running and playing and happy families doing pic-nics. The park close around 4,30 pm during the winter but as soon as the spring and the summer arrive we can enjoy it until 8,30-9 pm. Awsome.


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angela
Living in the Bronx? 3 stars
When I moved to London the first thing my friend told me has been: "Never go to Peckham!" And what did I do? I rented a flat right in Peckham. I can't even say because it's cheaper than other places in London, maybe it has been just the fate, and I moved in with two other girls who knew the area already.
I've been living here for six months now and it's just great. I quite understand the reason for its reputation, but I've never felt unsafe, even at 11 at night coming back home by bus or sometimes walking from the train station.
If you go through Peckham during the day you'll find for sure the most colourful area of London. You will be able to find literally every kind of food ingredients, every kind of homeware object and every kind of store. You'll be able to find even what you don't know it actually exists.
Let's face it, the streets, or better the street, the main one, Peckham High Street, is not exactly an example of cleanness, but everybody goes to Peckham remains speechless and undoubtedly they come back, even just for shopping.
Not to see if you are in London only three days, much more recommended is the trendy Soho, but if you are a bit longer a trip in Peckham is something not to miss.


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travelkevin
Freedom of the City of London 5 stars
If you fancy a truly unique souvenir of your visit to London and are staying in the capital for a time then you might like to look into (as I did) obtaining the medieval title of the “Freedom of the City of London”.

The freedom can be earned several ways (by becoming apprenticed to a Livery company for example) but the most straight-forward way is by “nomination” where you pick up a form from the Guildhall in London and then find two sponsors who (themselves) need to be common councilmen or members of a livery company.

A £30 fee applies to this method and you have to swear an oath at a formal ceremony held in the Guildhall and are then presented with a certificate and book of the “rules for the conduct of life”.

A superb bit of living history!


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redsun
Camden Barfly 2 stars
This is a live music venue in Camden.

There is a small bar downstairs and a room upstairs where the band play, also with a small bar.

I didnt enjoy myself here, I would only go if there was a certain band on that I was desperate to see.

The whole place is a bit grotty and I would not dress up to go here. Jeans and trainers are fine.

It is okay if you want to watch a band and have a beer but other than that I cannot see any point in going in there for a nice drink.


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travelkevin
London's Blue Plaques 5 stars
A top general tip when travelling around the UK (and London in particular) is to look out for circular bright blue plaques attached to the walls of buildings.

The plaques are administered by English Heritage which attaches them to buildings that have had famous occupants. The names, dates and date of residence of the occupant are usually listed along with the reason they are famous.

You’ll be surprised just how many you start noticing when you look for them and you’ll discover all sorts of historic figures that you might not have even been aware lived in London (such as Mozart!)


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josevcutts
Decent Gym 1 stars
Can anyone recommend a spit and sawdust Gym in central London? Ideally I'm looking for a boxing gym, but anything that doesn't fall into the catergory of a poser's gym is good. Cheers.

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josevcutts
flats in London 1 stars
I'm moving to London in a few weeks, does anyone have any advice on looking for apartments? I'm looking for something hopefully no further out than Zone 3. Any publications or places to look? I'm going to be working in EC4, Cannon St. So want to be as close to there as possible.

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angela
Anti-war demonstration, the British way to say no 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I have been to many anti-war demonstrations, but mainly in Italy, where music, dancing, disorder, excitement and mess are the buzzwords.
On the 15th of March an anti-war demonstration was organised in Central London, kicked off in Trafalgar Square, under the stalwart glance of Admiral Nelson, went through the bridge to Westminster, House of the Parliament.
Flags from all over the world, loud speakers, academics, politicians, lawyers gathered to cry out no to war and to demand respect for human rights.
When we started the march to Westminster I couldn't avoid noticing the difference between this one and the other demonstrations I had been to: the street was divided in half with barriers, a half for the cars, one for the people and the yellow-dressed police was very keen in maintaining the order. Security reasons. No invasions, no acts of vandalism. Maybe that was the main difference.
Thousands of people with the same spirit, images of heinous crimes committed in the name of democracy, stands of clothes covered in blood, personal belongings of victims of the many wars still bringing the weakest populations to their knees.
Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib were the main subjects of a day spent in front of the British symbol of power in the heart of what is undoubtedly the capital of Europe.


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johngreek
London*London*London 1 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I have heard so many things about the wel known city of London! It has beeen the most favourite places of the rich and famous and most of people in general. I haven't been there yet though I would loved to!! I wanna start a topic with complete recommendations about London!!
Please fill free to write and suggest about anything in London!
I would be very happy to read!!

John


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MichaelN
From all over the world 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
People come to Portobello from all over the world. Some are searching for antiques, others are merely soaking up the atmosphere. On the street you will hear multiple languages and dialects, from a cockney teapot vendor promoting his wares, to Chinese tourists talking together as they admire a display of British flag t-shirts. The prices range from a few pounds to several thousand, depending on the item. Almost everything is negotiable, so get ready to sharpen your bargaining skills. Some vendors even take Visa and MasterCard, though they usually want cash if they are offering a discount.

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hosuli
Rough Trade Records, Notting Hill 4 stars
Rough Trade is a good little record store near Portobello road. The mainly sell indie stuff (cd and vinyls) and have really good collections and discounts available. It is also a record label. Staff has always been really helpful when I have been there and I always managed to find some good stuf there (unfortunately for my wallet). The store has a nice atmosphere and Iguess that's why you can end up staying long and spending lots too. If you are into music and record collecting this is a great place to visit.

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hosuli
Notting Hill Arts Club 5 stars
This club is located right near the Notting Hill gate tube station but you don't neccesarily notice it since there is no sign or anything. Opposite side of Portobello market there are big wooden doors and that is the club. I think it is one of the best clubs I've been to. If you are into minimal decorations, celler feeling, beers&coctails and dancefloor packed with mixed crowds it is a good place. The have different nights of music, indie, drum'n'base, salsa etc. One of the best days to go here is actually Sunday afternoons as weird as it might sound. I used to go there just to dance on Sundays, stayed from afternoon until night and it was always good fun

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Erica Johansson
Best area to live in London? 1 stars
Hi,
I am planning to move to London soon and would like to hear your opinions about the best place to live. I know it depends on a lot of things, but it'd be fun to see what people already living in London think about the different areas.

I'd prefer to live as central as possible and at the same time not too expensive. If it's a loud or quiet street doesn't matter as long as it's a safe neighbourhood.

Erica


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