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suziehomemaker
09-07-2007, 09:50 AM
My husband has a work trip in October to London and we decided to use all of those frequent flyer miles for me to join him there for a weekend. YAY!

So since I'll only have a few days I want to get an idea of what I should definitely see/do. Any advise?

I'll be there on my own on Friday (Oct 19), with my husband on Saturday & Sunday and then leaving Monday morning. I'm thinking about just heading out on foot on Friday to find some fun yarn shops or a nice park to hang out in but that's about it.

I know we've got a ton of world travelers and UK knitters so any recommendations would definetly help!

jamadian75
09-07-2007, 10:23 AM
My husband has a work trip in October to London and we decided to use all of those frequent flyer miles for me to join him there for a weekend. YAY!

So since I'll only have a few days I want to get an idea of what I should definitely see/do. Any advise?

I'll be there on my own on Friday (Oct 19), with my husband on Saturday & Sunday and then leaving Monday morning. I'm thinking about just heading out on foot on Friday to find some fun yarn shops or a nice park to hang out in but that's about it.

I know we've got a ton of world travelers and UK knitters so any recommendations would definetly help!

I recommend knitting in Hyde Park if you're near that area. A beeee-you-tiful expanse of green!

Yay for business-turned-leisure getaways!! :yay:

willowangel
09-07-2007, 10:38 AM
Being a geek, I love the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and British Museum. They're all immense and full of wonders. And poking about in Covent Garden too...

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 10:46 AM
I think it depends on what speaks to you. If you love history then the Tower of London I think has to be one trip. I would try to get on the London 'Eye' and see a true birds eye view of the city. I would probably do a quick Thames river tour and I would have to see Buckingham Palace I think also. My son had a reasonably flying trip through several European cities and that's what he did - he chose one venue in each basic category and he found that a good way. He also choose to only see 3 or 4 places across two days so that there was never a mad rush and what he did see and do he could immerse in. Later on he said he was glad he did it that way. I like the Park idea too but I wouldn't tend to waste time knitting (as controversial as that comment might be here :-)). Parks are good lunch stops but I would definitely do an english pub lunch.

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 10:47 AM
willowangel..I imagine the British Museum has some truly amazing things. Can you recall things that really stood out to you? I love Museums and galleries.

suziehomemaker
09-07-2007, 11:10 AM
My husband and I are big geeks and we love museums so those should go over well. We just printed out the bus routes and it should be helpful. He's actually staying in Woking for work so we're thinking of just taking the train into the city.

BIG PROBLEM: This is the same weekend as Rhinebeck. I'm very disappointed but I plan to purchase lots of yarn while I'm in London to make up for it.

I'm still researching the whole "knitting needles on international flights" issue. What a pain in the butt! The Heathrow Airport website isn't helpful at all. Knitters have mixed reports but so far it looks like my best chance would be to bring bamboo straights. No guarantees though that it won't be taken away. When I fly in the US I have no problems no matter what type of needles I bring. I'll just plan to bring a big book with me just in case and put a lifeline in my knitting before I get to the airport.

I love all of these ideas of places to go! Keep them coming!

(We plan to visit as many pubs as possible, my DH is a big fan of microbrews and trying new beers)

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 11:13 AM
As a plug got an Aussie product then your husband should ry a Cooper's homebrew kit. A friend of mine got it down to a fine art. Fabulous brews used to come out of his work :) Cooper's also sell commerically. Your husband may be able to buy some in the US.

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 11:14 AM
got=for

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 11:14 AM
What about Madame Tussaud's? (sp?)

rachejm
09-07-2007, 11:20 AM
I live in the UK and I've never been to london...however, my friends like the Tower of London and Tussauds (http://www.madame-tussauds.co.uk (http://www.madame-tussauds.co.uk/)). They also like the Camden market.

Mariblue
09-07-2007, 11:30 AM
I lived in England for 2 years when I was in High school, and loved it. The others have mentioned some great places to visit, but you might also think about visiting a castle like Hampton Court. The US is such a young country, relatively speaking, it was such an eye opener for me-just the sense of history. Fantastic.
I also loved Hyde Park and Covent Garden. The museums are wonderful, the Tate Gallery being among my favorite.

suziehomemaker
09-07-2007, 11:36 AM
These are all great ideas!

There will definitely be at least one castle on our list. What about any good Shakespeare plays? I was an English major in college and always heard about how cool it was to go to London and see where they actually performed. DH will probably snooze on this one though . . .

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 11:40 AM
Well..one thing that did come to mind before was to see the Mousetrap which is the longest running play in history. It's an Agatha Christie. You would need to book ahead but worth looking up. London has a Shakespeare company that would be online. (Royal SC?)

rachejm
09-07-2007, 11:44 AM
http://www.londontheatre.co.uk/
That might help. And if you want to see the globe http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/

rachejm
09-07-2007, 11:45 AM
The RSC (http://www.rsc.org.uk/home/default.aspx) do have a website

Mariblue
09-07-2007, 11:49 AM
Here's info on Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/), it's got info on tours and also what plays they are showing etc.
If you can get to it, Stonehenge is awesome. Hmmm...you're gonna need more than a weekend to see all these places! :teehee:
ETA: Ah, I see rachejm beat me to it with the Globe Theatre link!

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 12:03 PM
Given the original Globe burned down (I think)..is this one a really good replica or is it a contemporary building?

Mariblue
09-07-2007, 12:16 PM
Given the original Globe burned down (I think)..is this one a really good replica or is it a contemporary building?
I don't really know, unfortunately. It was completed in 1997, and I moved back to the states in 1995 (has it really been that long? :shock:). I do know that it seats less people, because they used to really cram people in there in the real Shakespeare days. But it is on or close to the original location of the Globe theatre, and is a faithful recreation according to the website.

suziehomemaker
09-07-2007, 12:19 PM
Perfect!

What about yarn shops? Anything good? I've heard the London LYS's can be very expensive but that's it so far.

Kaydee
09-07-2007, 12:26 PM
Given the original Globe burned down (I think)..is this one a really good replica or is it a contemporary building?

I was there 2 years ago, and it is a replica. It was built according to an Elizabethean plan, here's more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globe_Theatre

sue in canada
09-07-2007, 12:45 PM
If you are interested in history, you cannot beat London. I would suggest a tour of the city in the open top bus.(Weather permitting of course) You can get a good overall view of the city. The Tower of London with a visit to see the crown jewels and a trip to Hampton Court palace are so worthwhile. Westminster Abbey and Buckingham palace are also worth seeing. There are some tours into Buckingham palace but I think that is summer only. Hope you enjoy the trip.

Limey
09-07-2007, 03:58 PM
Hiya

People have come up with some great answers.

My own personal, favourite place is the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and if I'm out with friends, we use the steps at the front of the building as a 'meeting up' place, in case any of us gets lost.

Hmm - you're obviously a knitter of some dedication but I couldn't honestly recommend Knightsbridge or the West End as a place to buy wool from - they'll charge you a fiver just for coming in the door.

Just had an idea, I think Mulene, who lives in London, would be your man to tell you where to buy wool.
Why not send her a PM? She's a very helpful sort.

Think Susan's son also has an excellent way of getting the best out of a place when time is limited.

The Chinese Terracotta Army has just arrived in London and will be on display at the British Museum during your stay. It's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here's the link: :http://www.ifbarts.com/tickets/slink.buy/bmuseum/p.KP3/The_First_Emperor:_China's_Terracotta_Army--British_Museum.html

Sorry about the knitting needles - inflight - try any airline other than British Airways. There's quite a few people on here who have said they're not particularly helpful.

Whatever you choose to do, have a great trip.

Ellie

DQ
09-07-2007, 03:59 PM
I have no advice because I haven't been to London for many years. Don't know what the fuss is about...the North West (Liverpool, Manchester, etc.) is much better!

Hope you have a good trip anyway!

suziehomemaker
09-07-2007, 04:16 PM
Don't know what the fuss is about...



It's across the pond so it's not a frequent trip for us. Not like going to Canada and Mexico (I love both) at all. Actually, this will be my first trip to Europe. I've been to a few places in Asia but that's it. My parents were the road trip type of people so flying anywhere was out of the question. There's so many places that I want to visit!

I'm hoping when our son gets older he can go with me on trips like these when they come up. Right now I can't even imagine what it's like to fly overnight with a 1 1/2 year old.

Limey
09-07-2007, 05:05 PM
I have no advice because I haven't been to London for many years. Don't know what the fuss is about...the North West (Liverpool, Manchester, etc.) is much better!

Hope you have a good trip anyway!

As a dyed-in-the-wool northerner, Jen, I couldn't agree with you more. I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't get up to the Lake District every couple of months.

Do you like Kendal Mintcake? I'll fetch you some back next time I go. Play your cards right, there'll be a stick of Southport rock coming your way.:teehee: Shouldn't have told you that, you'll not get to sleep for the excitement.

Cheers

Ellie

Boogs
09-07-2007, 05:12 PM
Right now I can't even imagine what it's like to fly overnight with a 1 1/2 year old.

It's not that bad at all - it's the only way we flew to England, (the flight back was always during the day though).

Every time we've been in London Hubs and I have just done whatever we felt like doing on the day.

The parks are all great though and a walk along the Thames is very nice. :thumbsup:

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 08:46 PM
I was only looking at the Terracotta Army online the other day. The figures must be truly amazing to see in reality.

I would love the Lake District in the UK..sigh...:)

willowangel
09-07-2007, 09:24 PM
willowangel..I imagine the British Museum has some truly amazing things. Can you recall things that really stood out to you? I love Museums and galleries.

For me, the B.M.'s Egypt section fascinates me, as such an advanced culture in so many ways. It's actually often not the big things that get to me in their collections, but the tiny things that were used every day by people just like us - the little things they used to make life easier. It gives me a sense of connecting across history, that no matter where or when we are, we're all still human beings with essentially the same lives.

Susan P.
09-07-2007, 09:50 PM
I agree, in some exhibitions it is the items that show as the daily life and what was important and kept by people that can be most intriguing.

jillliv
09-08-2007, 07:38 AM
Perfect!

What about yarn shops? Anything good? I've heard the London LYS's can be very expensive but that's it so far.

I was in London last week. I reccommend iknitby Vauxhall tube/rail station.

I think the link is http://www.iknit.org.uk/

karendawn
09-08-2007, 08:43 AM
I was in London a few years back and will definitely find ways to get there again, and again, and again. I love it!

We did do a lot of the tourist-y things. The Tower of London was a must, as well as the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert (and we didn't see everything in the museums - we got maps and went to the places we were interested in - for me, in the British Museum it was the medieval area - I absolutely had to see the materials from the Sutton Hoo burial). And I had to see the manuscripts on display in the British Library. Oh, and shopping (or really mostly just looking) at Harrods was a lot of fun.

There is a tour group called London Walks (http://www.walks.com/) that I highly recommend. There's a great variety of types of walking tours, the tour guides are quite knowledgeable (and usually very funny), and it's very inexpensive. (They also do day trips to other locations - we went to Salisbury and Stonehenge, Oxford and the Cotswalds, Leeds Castle and Canterbury, and Bath - loved them all!) The Jack the Ripper walk with Donald Rumbelow should definitely be something on your list.

The re-creation of the Globe is absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, we were there in March, which is off season, so were unable to see any plays. Next time, I'm going to make sure our trip is during the season because I want to see a Shakespeare play in the Globe! (The re-creation is very meticulous in detail - the only major change is the sprinkler system put on the roof in case of fire - don't want the re-creation to go like the original!)

Food can be expensive and don't expect refills on your drinks (or much ice). Eating in pubs is the way to go because it's usually less expensive and really great food. Pizza Express (found all over London) was a place we went to frequently.

Susan P.
09-08-2007, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the info about the Globe. I have heard in Sydney and I believe London you can go on special walks that actually take you down into the 'cellars of the city' so to speak. Using old train tunnels and so on so that you actually see the city from a somewhat archaeological perspective. It wouldn't be high on my list but definitely interesting.

Mariblue
09-08-2007, 12:37 PM
(They also do day trips to other locations - we went to Salisbury and Stonehenge, Oxford and the Cotswalds, Leeds Castle and Canterbury, and Bath - loved them all!) The Jack the Ripper walk with Donald Rumbelow should definitely be something on your list.

I loved Bath and Canterbury. Canterbury so much so that when we moved back to the states, I got a cat and named him Canterbury. He's gone now, but what a character he was, although I suppose he couldn't help himself with a name like that. :teehee:
If you have time, suzie, you might go wandering around Portobello Road, (http://www.portobelloroad.co.uk/) too. It's fun, just to browse through and see everything that people sell. I bought a blue enamel locket there that looks like a book, with metal pages to turn and everything, with pictures of the Canterbury Cathedral and what not.
And Bath is awesome. Sigh, I miss England!

CTbarb
09-09-2007, 12:23 PM
I also lived in London when I was in high school several years ago, I went to the American School in London. You will love London, there is so much to see. Have fun!!

Mariblue
09-09-2007, 12:34 PM
I also lived in London when I was in high school several years ago, I went to the American School in London. You will love London, there is so much to see. Have fun!!
I went to the American Community School (ACS). I loved it!

AussieYank
09-10-2007, 01:33 AM
Man, oh man, oh man!! Too many places to recommend. One you may not have heard of, but is unmissable, is called Kentwell Hall (if you're there in the summer). It is a Tudor home, but all summer people live and work there as though it is still Elizabethan times. They talk as though it is still 1580 something - one of the most fabulous experiences I have ever had.

I also recommend "The Mousetrap" as a fabulous play. You may also check out some of the big name plays/musicals that are on. Ask about their matinee specials - we went to see "Les Miserables" for 8 pounds, but you have to keep insisting that you know there's cheap tickets available!

AussieYank
09-10-2007, 01:34 AM
Oh, and the other thing is the Imperial War Museum, which is really great.

suziehomemaker
09-10-2007, 08:43 AM
These are all wonderful suggestions! I think I'm going to have to start a notebook or keep a folder of all the ideas. We are definitely a couple that likes to only do what we feel like doing so this is great to have an arsenal packed with ideas depending on the weather and out energy at the time!

misha rf
09-10-2007, 11:30 AM
Not that I've been in years, but I loved seeing the Tower. And the National Gallery is wonderful.

suziehomemaker
10-17-2007, 03:55 PM
My flight is tomorrow and I think I've packed my purse/knitting bag at least 5 times now. I don't know why I'm so nervous!

I'm planning to knit/sleep on the way over and read on the way back. I wrote down all of your suggestions of places to see and things to do so I can share them with DH once we meet up. Now I just have to figure out how to work in visiting the I Knit yarn shop without DH objecting!

Thank you all for your suggestions! I plan to take a ton of pictures and post them on my blog when I get back.

Abbily
10-17-2007, 04:13 PM
Just wanted to say I'm SO jealous! :) I lived in London for 2 weeks (and then in Scotland for 5 months) and I absolutely loved it. Definitely ride the tube. :) Do the Tower of London tour, it's fun. Have a wonderful time!!

ladyjessica
10-17-2007, 04:21 PM
I know this sounds touristy, but when I was in London I really enjoyed doing the double decker bus tour. It gives you a good ride around the city, and you can get on and off at places that interest you. My friends and I did one full ride around the whole route and then started to get off at certain places the second time through.

Have fun! Sooooo jealous. lol. :waving:

PurlyGyrl
10-17-2007, 04:24 PM
Have fun on your trip and enjoy the knitting on the way over. You will have a blast:woot:My niece visited England and Scotland two years ago and now wants to move there!

Kaydee
10-17-2007, 04:31 PM
I know this sounds touristy, but when I was in London I really enjoyed doing the double decker bus tour. It gives you a good ride around the city, and you can get on and off at places that interest you. My friends and I did one full ride around the whole route and then started to get off at certain places the second time through.

Have fun! Sooooo jealous. lol. :waving:


I did that too and thought it was great! They drive you around and show you everything and you can get on and off whenever you want.

AnnaT
10-18-2007, 12:59 AM
My husband has a work trip in October to London and we decided to use all of those frequent flyer miles for me to join him there for a weekend. YAY!


There are no words for how jealous I am!!! That's great that you are getting to go! :woohoo:Whenever I finally get to go to England, my first stop is going to be Hampton Court Palace (a little outside of London) and Stonehenge (some distance from London). Wait, that's two stops. :teehee:

KnittingNat
10-18-2007, 04:58 AM
My flight is tomorrow and I think I've packed my purse/knitting bag at least 5 times now. I don't know why I'm so nervous!

I'm planning to knit/sleep on the way over and read on the way back. I wrote down all of your suggestions of places to see and things to do so I can share them with DH once we meet up. Now I just have to figure out how to work in visiting the I Knit yarn shop without DH objecting!

Thank you all for your suggestions! I plan to take a ton of pictures and post them on my blog when I get back.
Be careful with your knitting, Europeans are crazy with security now and they can just confiscate your stuff without any problem. Also, don't take any fluids with you on the plane on your way back, it will be confiscated too unless it's 100 ml or less.
And of course enjoy yourself!!!!

rachejm
10-18-2007, 07:51 AM
Have a great time, hope it doesn't rain on you too much, its alright in Birmingham at the moment but has been raining a bit on and off over the last couple of days, got back on tuesday completely soaked and I'd only been out in it five minutes. Hopefully you'll be lucky and the rain won't get as far as London!

suziehomemaker
10-18-2007, 08:52 AM
hope it doesn't rain on you too much

I'm packing a rain coat but rain has never stopped us from having a good time on a trip. We went to San Diego for a week a couple years ago and it rained the whole time. We had the entire San Diego Zoo to ourselves (well maybe there were 50 people at the zoo total) that day and it was the best time I've ever had at a zoo.

It it's downpouring we've got several indoor things on our list. I can't wait! My flight is tonight!

rachejm
10-18-2007, 12:45 PM
I can't wait! My flight is tonight!

Have a fantastic time!!!

VictoiseC
10-18-2007, 05:52 PM
SUZIE! Lucky lucky you! I have always been in love with London and lived there many years ago, and returned each year to see theater.

(please oh please don't waste your money on the mousetrap.... I'm a former actor / playwright and oh god, there is such amazing theater to see... go to the Royal Court ! (the best theater) (Kevin Spacey is now running it and Diana Rigg might be in a play there now) Billy Elliot the musical should be great, Patrick Swayze might still be in his show there, um Chicago?....
What I ALWAYS did, was at the airport, buy a copy of Time Out. the magazine. I'd read it on the way in and circle stuff to see. You can also read it now at
http://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/

They have the most amazing theater, I used to go to a Wed matinee, eat some Chinese in Soho, then go to a 7pm performance. Soho has great Chinese food btw.

I myself have always skipped that stupid Tower. Go to King's Road and walk along there... go to Covent Garden of course ... there is an incredible little place to have lunch, it's in a CAVE down at the end of Charing Cross, right before the station, it's a wine bar but they serve a great lunch. (that's near Covent Garden) I'm salivating thinking of all my favorite places. (I wrote a novel about London)

Well, the pubs are the best, I hope you like beer! Maybe pick up a Irish sweater at one of the outlets near Oxford Street. So much of this can be found in Time Out.

HAVE FUN and give a Limey (not Limey) a kiss for me! Bring back some English magazines, they cost a fortune here...

Feel free to ask me anything else!

VictoiseC
10-18-2007, 05:53 PM
uhoh, "flight is tonight" Maybe I did all that for nothin'!

suziehomemaker
10-24-2007, 03:05 PM
Thank you all! We had a great time and did as much as possible each day. I posted our pictures here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8185171@N07/sets/72157602643067579/

We did miss out on Westminster Abbey because it was closed on Sunday - not bad for being my only regret. I did go to I Knit and bought some yarn. I'll take pictures of those tomorrow.

What a great city!

PurlyGyrl
10-24-2007, 09:23 PM
Glad you had a great time and made it home safe and sound!:hug:

suziehomemaker
10-25-2007, 08:32 AM
I was talking to my DH last night and I realized about 2 years ago our luck with flying turned to crap. We have had more problems than ever before with delays, missing connections, flights getting cancelled for no reason, etc. He made it over to London just fine but my flight on Thursday ended up getting cancelled after I sat in the airport for 5 hours with over an hour on the runway waiting for clearance. Yup, I was sitting on the runway when they decided to cancel our flight.

They they rebooked me on a flight that left Friday night, that would have left me with a day and a half in London instead of 2 days and a half as originally planned. Not good. My husband and I stayed on the phone until midnight with United to get a better solution. I ended up sleeping for 2 hours and then driving to Rochester (1 hour 45 mins away) to catch a flight to Dulles then to London. What a tiring day that was.

On the way back we made it to Dulles just fine but there was a package problem so they cleared out an entire terminal and made us go through extra security checks before letting us into the main terminal. Then we sat in Dulles waiting for a co-pilot to arrive making us 2 hours late. Oh - that co-pilot was looking for us in Chicago. So we had to wait for another co-pilot to get assigned to us, have the paperwork sent over and then finally we took off.

I love taking these trips but the airlines are just horrible to deal with.