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    London

    Some advice please. I'm planning on taking my other half to London in a few weeks around mid october. I've actually never been apart from flying through the airports in the past.

    Can people recommend decent places to stay that make it easy to get around, places to see, eat etc? Also is it easier to fly down or use the train?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jimmy


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    Quote Originally Posted by Just_Jimmy View Post
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    Some advice please. I'm planning on taking my other half to London in a few weeks around mid october. I've actually never been apart from flying through the airports in the past.

    Can people recommend decent places to stay that make it easy to get around, places to see, eat etc? Also is it easier to fly down or use the train?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jimmy
    Have been several times recently always flown and picked flights mainly on price,the last two visits have been early morning flights to London City on Friday morning and last flights from Gatwick on a Sunday night. Depends on what you want but Premier Inn ticks all the boxes for us Old Holborn and Tower Bridge the last two we have used.If there at the weekend get yourself to Borough Market, a superb market for food lovers one of the best there is.

  4. #3
    With regards to flying or train, having done both I'd say there are pros and cons to both.

    With the train the big pro is you are straight into Kings Cross (from Edinburgh) so are able to get to most places in London relatively easily and quickly. It can be expensive but booked at the right time the price can be brought down. Con is obviously the journey time. On the flip side whilst a flight is only 50 minutes or so you have to factor in time at the airport at either end plus journey tine from the airport (especially if you fly budget and are at Stansted).

    BA fly to city which is ideal as it can have you on the DLR and in central London within 40 minutes of landing. BA will also get you to Heathrow which gives you the quick (and relatively expensive) option of the Heathrow Express train or you can get the tube which takes a good bit longer. With BA the price is obviously higher than the budgets, it works for me because I have enough Avios I can do it for next to nothing. Easyjet and Ryanair are likely to get you to Gatwick or Stansted which is going to involve either an Express, with the same issues as Heathrow or a bus which is pretty cheap but again extends the journey time.

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    When it comes to getting around, make sure you use the Tube. Getting a bus around London is a complete waste of time.


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    Staying anywhere in zone 1 makes getting around very easy indeed. I've stayed in a few places around central London and never find it to be overly difficult! Obviously, the more central, the more expensive it is. In terms of travelling down, I normally always take the train rather than flying.

    I always seem to end up in Premier Inn's when I'm in London (I like their consistency) - stayed in one at Leicester Square, which is about as central as you can get and it was amazingly well soundproofed given the mass and constant volume of traffic outside! Last time I was down was on business and I stayed at Gloucester Square at the Holiday Inn - great proximity for the museums, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and Harrods but a bit further to Covent Garden/Soho/Oxford Street etc. Having said that, I was a 2 minute walk to Gloucester Square tube station.

    I'd agree that getting used to the tube is good advice, but the last few times I've been down (barring a LONG journey), I've taken to walking around. You can walk from Kings Cross/Euston to the museum quarter in about an hour and a half and everything 'touristy' is in between that radius. You get to see much more of the city and it's a refreshing change from being down in the Tube all the time. Don't get me wrong, it's a very efficient system but sometimes you want to see what's above ground.

    Enjoy - it's one of my favourite cities on earth!
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    If it's your first visit, I suggest you catch a river bus from Chelsea (or Westminster Pier) and take it to Greenwich and you can see London from the river. They take Oyster (pre-paid travel card) and then spend some time in Greenwich. There's also some cracking riverside boozers there if you take a stroll along the river path in an easterly direction.

    Food wise - too many to mention, but my advice is to avoid eating in the vicinity of Leicester Square and Chinatown mostly serves eats that are reminiscent of cud. Scouse rightly mentions Borough Market...but don't expect to find too many bargains.

    The Imperial War Museum is well worth a visit and is only a 10 minute walk from Borough Market.

    Let me know what your food preference and budget is and I'll point you in the right direction as there really is some fabulous eateries.
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    Thanks so far folks. How does that tube compare to the New York or Madrid subways for anyone that has used them too? I find them both amazingly easy to use.

    Sergey I'll drop you a PM in a bit mate. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jimmy View Post
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    Thanks so far folks. How does that tube compare to the New York or Madrid subways for anyone that has used them too? I find them both amazingly easy to use.

    Sergey I'll drop you a PM in a bit mate. Thanks.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

    The tube in London is similar to the New York subway and is just as easy to use. The only downside to the London Underground is that there is no air conditioning like there is in New York.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jimmy View Post
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    Thanks so far folks. How does that tube compare to the New York or Madrid subways for anyone that has used them too? I find them both amazingly easy to use.

    Sergey I'll drop you a PM in a bit mate. Thanks.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    There's a route app on both Apple and Android for the Tube. Put in where you are and where you want to go and it gives you the quickest route whilst taking network issue into account.

    Saves spending an age looking at maps and trying to work it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jimmy View Post
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    Thanks so far folks. How does that tube compare to the New York or Madrid subways for anyone that has used them too? I find them both amazingly easy to use.

    Sergey I'll drop you a PM in a bit mate. Thanks.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    If you travel on the Tube - get a pre-paid Oyster card as it's the cheapest option. All day travel is capped at around £9 for for all Tube and bus travel - the river bus is extra should you wish to take that. I'd also avoid catching the Tube during rush hour as some stations are chaos - Victoria and London Bridge are two that should be avoided.

    Get yourself a map and be prepared to do a bit of walking (don't use a Tube map as a guide as to where stations should be - Harry Beck designed it for ease of use while underground - not the direction of where stations actually are above ground). Your hotel will have one in reception and it'll be FOC.

    Also depending when you travel - there's good Pub League football to be viewed for £10. Loads of clubs to see - Enfield/Wingate/Hendon/Harrow are North of the Thames with Dulwich/Kingstonian/Met Police South - all doable with your Oyster
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    Train is by far the better option for travel ito London imo, from someone who frequently travels there. Flights into Heathrow and Gatwick are often delayed and you have to add on the time spent in the airport and actually getting into London after arrival. On that point however, the Gatwick Express is an excellent service. Only takes about 30 minutes to get you to Victoria station. Train can take as little as four hours right into Kings Cross and personally I find train travel to be much more relaxing than flying.

    As for places to stay, there's no shortage in London. It really depends on your price range, regardless you should be prepared for higher than normal prices! And that goes for everything, not just accommodation. Be sure to check out Covent Garden, the west end theatre district, o'neills bar in Chinatown which has live music every night.

    The tube is by far the best way to get around and it's fairly simple to use. I think you can use contactless card to pay now which makes it even easier.

    If you like steak, be sure to try Gaucho. There are a few in London, including Tower Bridge and Piccadilly.

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    Watch out for virgin trains flash sales, i got me and two kids return to london in august for £56. We stayed in the travellodge in Finsbury park, cheaper than centre london and only a few minutes on the tube.
    Tubes are great and easy to navigate. Buy a visitors oyster card before you go. We only needed to travel into zone 2 so it was capped at £6 odds a day.

    Thjngs to do, depends if you want to do the full tourist stuff. We did the Tower of London and loved it. We also did the Harry Potter studio tour which was fantastic if your a HP fan. A wander round Piccadilly circus at night is really nice too.

    Covent gdn has plenty of really nice wee places to eat and of course theres always the theatre.

    A bit different but we also did a treasure trail round covent gdn which was really interesting, we found really lovely wee crooks and crannys and actually read plaques etc. Bought and dowloaded from the internet :)

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    Testimonial Due Just Jimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. S View Post
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    Watch out for virgin trains flash sales, i got me and two kids return to london in august for £56. We stayed in the travellodge in Finsbury park, cheaper than centre london and only a few minutes on the tube.
    Tubes are great and easy to navigate. Buy a visitors oyster card before you go. We only needed to travel into zone 2 so it was capped at £6 odds a day.

    Thjngs to do, depends if you want to do the full tourist stuff. We did the Tower of London and loved it. We also did the Harry Potter studio tour which was fantastic if your a HP fan. A wander round Piccadilly circus at night is really nice too.

    Covent gdn has plenty of really nice wee places to eat and of course theres always the theatre.

    A bit different but we also did a treasure trail round covent gdn which was really interesting, we found really lovely wee crooks and crannys and actually read plaques etc. Bought and dowloaded from the internet :)
    That sounds great tbh. I'm a total history geek so TOL, IW Museum etc are all on the list. My other half got tickets to the Harry Potter thing as a gift so I guess I'll need to put up with that too. Ha.
    How easy was that to get to from where you stayed? I looked it up and it's reasonably priced compared to other places. I'm thinking about just flying into london city but if i can get cheaper train tickets that is an option.



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    The rooftop OXO Tower Bar is worth a visit, though a tad expensive, quite similar to Oloroso. There are 3 or 4 Simmons Cocktail Bars dotted around Central London that have very decent happy hours, I like the one at Kings Cross just across from Millers which is quite good for live sport. The Pride of Spittalfields pub at Brick Lane is like going back 50 years in time but, I love it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by #FromTheCapital View Post
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    Train is by far the better option for travel ito London imo, from someone who frequently travels there. Flights into Heathrow and Gatwick are often delayed and you have to add on the time spent in the airport and actually getting into London after arrival. On that point however, the Gatwick Express is an excellent service. Only takes about 30 minutes to get you to Victoria station. Train can take as little as four hours right into Kings Cross and personally I find train travel to be much more relaxing than flying.

    As for places to stay, there's no shortage in London. It really depends on your price range, regardless you should be prepared for higher than normal prices! And that goes for everything, not just accommodation. Be sure to check out Covent Garden, the west end theatre district, o'neills bar in Chinatown which has live music every night.

    The tube is by far the best way to get around and it's fairly simple to use. I think you can use contactless card to pay now which makes it even easier.

    If you like steak, be sure to try Gaucho. There are a few in London, including Tower Bridge and Piccadilly.
    I'm with the train people. Personally, I don't mind spending a small amount of time extra on the train, because I find it so much more relaxing / less stressful. As it happens, any time I've flown, door-to-door it's taken more time than if I'd taken the train, though that's probably not representative.

    On the subject of Visitor Oyster Cards, I'm pretty sure they need to be bought before you get to London and they post them out, so I'd get on that.

  18. #17
    I'm going down end of November, can anyone recommend any good restaurants? Someone recommended Bob Bob Ricard which is a mix of Russian/English food but has a press for prosecco button!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jimmy View Post
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    That sounds great tbh. I'm a total history geek so TOL, IW Museum etc are all on the list. My other half got tickets to the Harry Potter thing as a gift so I guess I'll need to put up with that too. Ha.
    How easy was that to get to from where you stayed? I looked it up and it's reasonably priced compared to other places. I'm thinking about just flying into london city but if i can get cheaper train tickets that is an option.



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    Youll love the Tower of London then, do the beefeater tour first. We are history geeks too and will be back as we didnt get to see it all. Outside of ten ToL theres a load of places to eat from subway upwards.
    Youll need to pre book the harry potter studios asap and allow yourself a good 3 hours there. Its very easy to get to. Tube to euston then train to watford. Outside watford train station is the bus station and theres a designated HP stop. Bus takes you to the door. Give yourself a good 90 mins to get there. Theres a cafe there thats reasonably priced so getting there early isnt a problem. The gift shop is extortionate though! Its very easy to spend a lot of money there on photos and videos and butterbeer (yum).
    The Finsbury park travel lodge is less than 5 mins walk from the tube station, just remember to scan your oyster card as theres no barrier. Theres not much else around there but its about 6 mins into city centre on the tube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajo View Post
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    I'm going down end of November, can anyone recommend any good restaurants? Someone recommended Bob Bob Ricard which is a mix of Russian/English food but has a press for prosecco button!
    There's a cracking Indian restaurant in the Westminster area called the Cinnamon club. It's quite pricey but worth a go if you have money to spare. Not your typical Indian, they have a lot of unique dishes and none of the usual bhunas, kormas etc.

    I also mentioned Gaucho in an earlier post. Probably the best steak I've ever had.

    Iberica restaurant at Victoria is great for tapas.

  21. #20
    With regards to pricing for food and drink in London I always find the stuff about how expensive it is a bit exagerrated.

    It may be worse if you are from elsewhere but being from Edinburgh I'm used to paying relatively high prices anyway so don't really notice a massive jump in London. Like anywhere if you eat and drink on the main tourist drags you'll pay inflated prices. Last time I was down in London I was staying in Shepherds Bush and got chatting to a few QPR lads who were in the pub for a few pints pre going to Loftus Road. They pointed me in the direction of a few decent pubs that didn't break the bank.

    Foor eating recommendations that won't break the bank, based on my own experience, I'd suggest Smack Lobster on Dean Street in Soho, Jar Kitchen on Drury Lane or The Rib Man at Brick Lane Market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    With regards to pricing for food and drink in London I always find the stuff about how expensive it is a bit exagerrated.

    It may be worse if you are from elsewhere but being from Edinburgh I'm used to paying relatively high prices anyway so don't really notice a massive jump in London. Like anywhere if you eat and drink on the main tourist drags you'll pay inflated prices. Last time I was down in London I was staying in Shepherds Bush and got chatting to a few QPR lads who were in the pub for a few pints pre going to Loftus Road. They pointed me in the direction of a few decent pubs that didn't break the bank.

    Foor eating recommendations that won't break the bank, based on my own experience, I'd suggest Smack Lobster on Dean Street in Soho, Jar Kitchen on Drury Lane or The Rib Man at Brick Lane Market.
    I totally agree about the Edinburgh/London pricing, never found it enough of a difference to talk about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Hibee View Post
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    I totally agree about the Edinburgh/London pricing, never found it enough of a difference to talk about.
    You can eat both better and cheaper in London Town than you will in Edinburgh (and Scotland if my last visit is anything to go by).

    I ate some wonderful Turkish grub at lunch today that was better (and cheaper) than you'll get in Istanbul.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    With regards to pricing for food and drink in London I always find the stuff about how expensive it is a bit exagerrated.

    It may be worse if you are from elsewhere but being from Edinburgh I'm used to paying relatively high prices anyway so don't really notice a massive jump in London. Like anywhere if you eat and drink on the main tourist drags you'll pay inflated prices. Last time I was down in London I was staying in Shepherds Bush and got chatting to a few QPR lads who were in the pub for a few pints pre going to Loftus Road. They pointed me in the direction of a few decent pubs that didn't break the bank.

    Foor eating recommendations that won't break the bank, based on my own experience, I'd suggest Smack Lobster on Dean Street in Soho, Jar Kitchen on Drury Lane or The Rib Man at Brick Lane Market.
    For food and drink perhaps there is a slight exaggeration. However, due to the sheer size of London, there are a lot more pricey restaurants than we get up here. If you want to eat cheaper, the option is always there. Be aware of the service charge that many restaurants in London automatically add to the bill. Many people don't realise and leave a tip as they normally would, on top of the service charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by #FromTheCapital View Post
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    For food and drink perhaps there is a slight exaggeration. However, due to the sheer size of London, there are a lot more pricey restaurants than we get up here. If you want to eat cheaper, the option is always there. Be aware of the service charge that many restaurants in London automatically add to the bill. Many people don't realise and leave a tip as they normally would, on top of the service charge.
    Absolutely! Because there were six of us we got an automatic service charge of around 12%. Never understood that, how is a table of six any harder than two 3s? Thankfully my 15 year old checked every bill before we paid it - pretty sure hes destined to be an accountant :)

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    It's a cliché, but I had a great night out, complete with cheap and really good curry on Brick Lane.

    London's great to visit. Borough Market is a bit of a must as well.

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    As an extra note with regards to Oyster Cards - TfL are starting to phase them out now I believe - so your contactless card (or contactless payments on your phone) will cap at the same price as an Oyster card would cap at! Just tap it on the automatic barriers in the same way you would with an Oyster card

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    Mrs OS and myself do prefer the train to London, doesn't put to much extra time onto your journey and you're center to center. We tend to do first class where your wined and dined. We tend to stay in the Covent Garden Travelodge, handy for everything. We've even got a we pub round the corner we are now well known in and always made welcome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyonhibs View Post
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    It's a cliché, but I had a great night out, complete with cheap and really good curry on Brick Lane.

    London's great to visit. Borough Market is a bit of a must as well.
    Brick Lane is pretty cool to visit but the best curry house in London is Tayyabs on Fieldgate Street. There are great restaurants ranging from kebab houses to Michelin star so it depends what you're looking for.

    There are some good rooftop bars which are worth visiting. Going on the eye is expensive and for the same price you can go to the rooftop bar at Fenchurch Street or the Heron Tower, not queue and get a drink.

    For accomodation, I think the grange hotels are nice and reasonably priced.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Ajo View Post
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    I'm going down end of November, can anyone recommend any good restaurants? Someone recommended Bob Bob Ricard which is a mix of Russian/English food but has a press for prosecco button!

    a mix of Russian/English food - I am really curioused what is this

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