|Subject: Re: London|
I go to London at least four or five times a year as my girlfriend is stationed there on business, and never run out of things to see when I am there. I would like to try to answer your questions, from a perspective of a fellow tourist and not a resident, but I would need to know some more information, such as when you plan on going, and what are your interests, budget, etc. Have you ever been to London, and if so, what are your likes and dislikes? It is a very expensive city, but if you plan carefully, there are many wonderful things to do that are not budget-breakers. Some things that I recommend are: the free (or very inexpensive) concerts in the churches in the afternoons, the half price ticket booth for theatre in Leicester Square, and above all, The Original London Walking Tours, especially the ones that combine boat rides with the walks and/or museums. My favorite museums are the V&A, the Tate, and British Museum, but they are all huge, and will take up a good deal of your time. I wouldn't miss walking through the great parks, and especially like Hampstead and Richmond. I think that most first timers will like the overly touristed markets at Portabello Road and Camden Passage, but they are not for my tastes. I much prefer the markets in the East End, which you will see if you go on the walking tours. I have also managed to avoid the Milennium Dome, but I do enjoy Greenwich very much.
The best source that I have found for all things London, is the magazine, TimeOut, and even better are the city guides that they publish for London, such as where to find cheap eats, good lodging, walks, shopping, etc. You should try to stay in Central London (zone 1 or 2) so that you can save money with a travelcard for public transportation. There are good deals on five day travel cards that you can purchase in the States, before you go to London, that can save you a bit of money, or you can purchase your travel card when you get there. I have the websites for the London Transport, as well as a whole bunch of others about London, which I can email to you if you are interested.
As far as areas to stay, and hotels, I'm sure that once you give us more of your requirements, that many people on this list can respond with helpful information. Please let me know if there is anything that I can elaborate on for you.
best wishes Jonathan Chimene Chicago