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London In Early May - Suggestions For Things To Do, Places To See

Discussion in 'Europe' started by BWL, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. BWL

    BWL New Member

    Hi!

    I'll be travelling to London right at the very end of this month and will be staying over Labour Day weekend. Any suggestions regarding places to see and things to do during my short visit? I'll most likely be staying somewhere around Camden-Islington, close to King's Cross.

    Would appreciate any travel tips!

    Thanks in advance,
    B
     
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  2. DangerSuit

    DangerSuit New Member

    Go to Kings Cross station and pretend to be sucked through the wall onto Platform 9 3/4 (if you're a Harry Potter fan!)

    Nearby to Kings Cross you'll find Farringdon, Clerkenwell and Old Street, which leads into Shoreditch and Brick Lane. All very trendy at the moment, where the young people tend to spend their time. Lots of fashion, music and food to be found here.

    If you're going to be around during the middle of May, don't forget to check out the state opening of Parliament! The Queen will have a procession through the streets around Whitehall (government area), and there will be thousands of people around, usually an interesting spectacle.

    Other than that - hit all the main attractions, they're all good and a lot of them are free!
     
  3. WilliamV

    WilliamV New Member

    Аvоid Mаdаmе Tussаuds! Pоintlеss tо gо аnd sее sоmеthing thаt yоu саn sее in аny оthеr сity - plus it's inоrdinаtеly еxpеnsivе аnd thе quеuеs аrе hоrrеndоus. Tоwеr оf Lоndоn is dеfinitеly wоrth visiting thоugh.

    Tаkе а rivеr bоаt tоо, dоwn tо Grееnwiсh - lоts оf fun аnd а grеаt wаy tо sее thе сity (thеrе аrе а numbеr оf stоps аlоng thе rivеr).

    Dоn't оrdеr соffее аt thе hоtеl оr саfеs оn Lеiсеstеr Squаrе - supеr silly еxpеnsivе.

    Gо sее оnе оf thе аmаzing (аnd frее!) musеums аnd gаllеriеs - thе British Musеum, Nаturаl Histоry Musеu, V&А Musеum аnd Nаtiоnаl Pоrtrаit Gаllеry аrе grеаt сhоiсеs.

    Dоn't stаnd оn thе lеft hаnd sidе оf thе еsсаlаtоrs оn thе Tubе. It will аnnоy еvеryоnе.

    Tаkе аn umbrеllа.

    Dоn't shоp оn Оxfоrd Strееt - high strееt аnd bоring. But dо shоp in Libеrty, Sеlfridgеs, gо tо sоmе оf thе lосаl mаrkеts, Соvеnt Gаrdеn is оkаy аnd аvоid Саmdеn (tоurist trаp аnd full оf tаt).
     
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  4. Qoelet

    Qoelet New Member

    I second the Oxford Street - you'll waste so much time just shuffling in between the crowds trying to get into the same shops you see anywhere else.

    I'd recommend Tower Bridge, Westminster and the dockside around Canary Wharf. It's all within walking distance and while there are the inevitable crowds, it's still quite a spectacle.

    I've been to London many times but had never gone up to Westminster up close and personal and it really is an impressive building, while at Tower Bridge you can just feel the history. That's the beauty of London, you can be in the middle of a twenty first century metropolis and then turn a corner and you're transported back into Victorian Britain.
     
  5. Zenith

    Zenith New Member

    If you're going to be near Kings Cross, and you like books, the British Library is just round the corner. As the repository for all books published in the UK, you need to be a member to access the standard archives but it does have some good exhibitions. These exhibitions can be well worth seeing, e.g. the Magna Carta exhibition last year included a surviving copy of the Declaration of Independence. You'd have to check their site to see what is on in May.

    If you're looking for something unusual to do in the evenings, the Kings Cross Theatre is still showing the Railway Children - with real steam train (well, they are performing on a converted platform!) but you'd need to book ahead and its not cheap.

    Tower Bridge is very good, not just for the history and the pump rooms but, if you can, get a walk over the high walkway. The view of the Thames is amazing. They do have a regularly updated schedule of when the bridge opens on their site, so you can check if it is opening while you're here.
     
  6. Coco

    Coco Active Member

    I recommend going to:
    • King's Place. If you're into art and entertainment, it has some events all throughout the year. There's even music and comedy shows that you can watch.
    • The British Library. I do recommend seeing some of the older and ancient books, it's quite fun, at least for a bookworm like me, lol.
    • Exmouth Market. There are shops, bars and restaurants here. Aside from that, you can go early to catch the weekend market and buy some locally made goods.
    • Camley Natural Park. If you enjoy serenity and relaxation, then this place is perfect for you. You can just enjoy nature at its best, with a pond and lots of trees in the area.
    • London Canal Museum. You will know more about the history of canals, including its people, the vessels and the trades.
    • Granary Square. There's choreographed fountains and the place is definitely family-friendly. Perfect for families as well as solo travellers who enjoy quaint and simple places.
    I hope this helps!
     
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  7. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    From what I know, the month of May is still spring in London so that means the temperature will hover around 15 degrees C. It's a good time to visit Kew Gardens since the cold temperature is conducive to walking. Of course, don't forget Buckingham Palace because that's the main landmark of London. And the Big Ben too is worth a selfie. Pardon me if I sound like all-knowing even if I haven't been to London yet. My knowledge is what my husband had given me since we were corresponding when he was in London from May to November.
     
  8. BWL

    BWL New Member

    Thanks for the information! Wow that's a pretty exhaustive list :) I really appreciate it!

    I'll actually be staying about 20 minutes away from Madame Tussauds (on foot), but was initially turned off by the price and tales of never-ending queues. Now I know my hunch was right, thanks! Tower of London it is, then.

    I love river cruises would love do to one if the weather is OK (definitely appreciate the umbrella tip)

    I am looking forward to the free museums! The Natural History Museum and V&A are definitely top on my list.

    Won't be doing much shopping (or at least just window shopping) :)

    Thank you again!
     
  9. BWL

    BWL New Member

    I'm definitely a bookworm, the British Library sounds amazing! I'm checking out the site right now :)

    Yes, I would definitely love going to see the Tower Bridge. As a self-confessed selfie addict, what's a better souvenir than a selfie taken with the view of the Thames from there :) ?

    Much appreciated :)
     
  10. BWL

    BWL New Member

    It is incredibly helpful!

    Every one of my friends who've been to London have been recommending the British Library to me (I'm a bookworm and linguist) so yes it's been steadily creeping to the top of my list :)

    I love parks! Camley sounds cool too!

    So many things to do, so little time :) I'm definitely looking forward to visiting Exmouth Market and I read lots of great reviews from travelers who've been to Granary Square too.

    Thanks!
     
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