London Vacation

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by kito, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. kito

    kito Karting

    Sep 12, 2004
    Full Name:
    I was hoping some of you UK guys could recommend places to visit while in London. I'll be there in January for about 10 days, and was hoping for some ideas of where to go that are interesting yet won't take up a lot of time to view (ie the museum of natural history). Since I am obviously a car fanatic, I was thinking maybe visiting the Aston Martin factory/motoring muesum/land rover test facility (I believe they're in the same facility) and maybe the Bentley factory. Since this will be my first time in the UK, we'll most likely go see the parliament building, the tower of london, etc. Will all of these places have long lines in January? Lastly, how is the weather that time of year and what kind of clothes should be packed?


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  3. ferrari fernatic


    Apr 12, 2004
    Full Name:
    take my advice keith pack jackets, sweaters,jumpers and really thick socks as it will be cold weather!!
    did i mention it would be cold??
  4. GrahamS

    GrahamS F1 Veteran

    May 29, 2004
    24 hours from Tulsa
    Full Name:
    Grandmaster G
    There's various tourist sites you can look at

    e.g. or

    Yes it will be fairly cold so wrap up warm. There won't be a quieter time to visit London so queues/lines will be at a minimum

    I would definitely recommend the tower and the museums are fairly interesting. The science & natural history museums are next to each other but it would probably take you all day to go round both of them

    The Imperial War Museum is very good too, if you're into that kind of thing as is the London Eye

    My favourite tour is They're WW2 amphibious landing craft that take you round the city, bus style, then plunge into the Thames for a boat tour. Always good for a laugh, especially if you've got kids. I haven't and I've been on it twice :)
  5. 456mgt

    456mgt Formula Junior

    Mar 24, 2002
    Cambridge UK
    Full Name:

    There's quite a lot you can do and see in a short time around London, and the best way of getting around London is on the Tube (subway). The Science Museam and Museum of Natural History are next to one another. South Kensington Tube station having an underground walkway to each. I've never queued to get in either (free entry) In fact if you come out of the station onto the street, you'll be directly opposite Lamborghini London, and H R Owen (Ferrari, Maserati & Lotus) is a brisk walk from there down the Old Brompton Road.

    This site gives you some idea of what to see though bear in mind most of these sites are trying to sell you hotel rooms- London has more hotels than fleas on a dog. Another thing to think about is afternoon tea at The Ritz Hotel; it's a real touristy thing to do, but women in particular love it. You need to book about 5 weeks in advance (ie now) and wear a jacket and tie. If you can't get it together, then go to Fortnum & Mason instead (Piccadilly, no booking or dress code). Harrods, and Knightsbridge in general is a must do if I'm in London with my wife, and taking in a show or two in the West End is fun too.

    There are two Aston Martin Factories and both are a couple of hours' drive from London. The newest one is in Gaydon (DB9) and I'm going on a factory tour there next Friday as it happens. The older factory is at Newport Pagnell and I went there this time last year. This is where they assemble the Vanquish, by hand. It reminded me a lot of the Ferrari factory actually.

    One thing- I don't think you can get to look around the Houses of Parliment (Westminster) unless you have an invitation.

    Have fun!

  6. jimmy b

    jimmy b Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2003
    On a plane
    Full Name:

    You've had lots of good advice here. I would add a few things (as they're fun but less well-known) as follows:

    If you like dining out:

    Visit either Rules, the oldest restaurant in London, which serves proper British food - one section of the menu is "Furred or Feathered Fowl" - and is very reasonably priced ( or have breakfast or lunch at Simpsons on the Strand (but not both on the same day unless you're Mr. Creasoat!) The food version of a Derby Bentley, they just don't make them like this any more...

    Visit the George Inn at Borough High Street (present building from 1667 just after the Great Fire of London and claimed to London's oldest pub). It is the only pub mentioned by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Samuel Pepys and Dickens (in that order) and I think there is a desk and stool in one corner where Dickens is said to have sat writing with a pipe and a drink...

    If you like wandering or people-watching:

    Visit Portobello Market (nearest tube station Notting Hill Gate) on a Saturday - antique books to snake-skin jackets. I'm sure a website somewhere will also tell you about London's other markets. Go to Speaker's Corner (at Marble Arch corner of Hyde Park) on a Sunday to see the public exercising of the right of freedom of speech! If you're going anywhere near the Tower of London, walk over Tower Bridge (raised daily at 15.30hrs I think) and along the south side of the Thames embankment eastwards to the Design Museum - there's plenty to do and see indoors here as well as outside. Covent Garden in the centre of London is pedestrian only, covered and with many fun street perfromers, and the Royal Opera House nearby (where they sometimes rehearse with the windows open, so you get a free concert).

    If you like city views:

    Take a river bus from Westminster pier to the Greenwich Barrier and back. You'll be amazed what you can see from the river Thames that you can't from on land. Other good views of London are to be had from a trip on the London Eye, or climbing up Primrose Hill, just north of Regent's Park, from where you can see for miles (weather permitting as discussed). The view looking straight up as you stand underneath the dome of St. Paul's Catherdral is pretty amazing, and you can climb the stairs up to the gallery in the dome. The Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane has a restaurant on the 26th floor which can be booked for afternoon tea or dinner for amazing views. Lastly, go to Monument Street (by Monument tube station) and I believe you can climb the actual monument tower's internal steps (about 200ft high) to get a good view of London.

    Both Houses of Parliament have a public gallery which you have to queue for on a daily basis. Possibly the cold weather may shorten the queue, but I'm not betting on it. See

    If you have time for a day-trip away from London I would strongly recommend Oxford and Canterbury, both of which are about 60 miles from London and very beautiful and interesting to visit (with a town-centre restricted to traffic so you can walk around safely).

    There's far more than you can see in a short visit, so you'll just have to keep coming back here!

    I hope you enjoy your visit.

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