Posted in London, Tips

6 Days in London – the practical bits

Not only is there so much choice of everything in London, even the good stuff that I mention here might not be the best when you decide to go.  But the info and links here might trigger thoughts for you to go and explore yourself.  Don’t live someone else’s holiday – live your own.

Where to stay?

Hotels are not your only choice!  We stayed here –

5 bedroom house in Shoreditch

Yes, its expensive – but don’t forget that there were 8 adults and 3 children.

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One of the Living Areas
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The Upstairs Conservatory

I’ve also stayed many times in the Travel Lodge on Drury Lane near Covent Garden.  Keep your eye out for a bargain.  Its really central.  Its a travel lodge.  It is what it is.

Where to eat?

When you wander around a city you dont know timings, weather or how you are going to feel.  You might have grand plans to eat in certain places, but are too tired, hungry or full to eat when you thought you wanted to.  Our trip to Ottolenghi was excellent – but pushed us more than we wanted.

Other places of note that we visited and would recommend –

Byron Burgers Shoreditch – for all things burger in a relaxed atmosphere.  I’ve never been asked how I like my burger cooked before!

Banana Tree Wardour Street – I don’t get chance to eat as much Thai food as I want.  There are probably better places than this, but we really enjoyed it, they were able to seat 11 people walking in off the street no problem.  Wendy now has sought out and bought Tamarind paste, if only she could get a recipe to use it in.

Reds True BBQ – for that donut burger (drool)

Standard Balti House Brick Lane – there are a million places on Brick Lane.  How do you choose?  Barter it out like the guys we saw one day, or read some reviews?  We were impressed here.

If you are looking to save money, don’t underestimate the value of meals deals in places like Tesco and Sainsburys.  I think Tesco do a deal for about £3.

Getting Around – 

Absolutely do as much as you can on foot.  Its the best way to take it all in.  Travel to the furthest point of your trip and walk back, or plan out a circular route.  The tube is great, but its not pleasant with a buggy.

You can get a weekly tube pass for about £30.  You can also go to one of the major train stations and get a pass with your photo on that allows you some 2 for 1 offers on attractions.  You need to take a photo with you, so do your research on that before you go.

We just tapped at the barriers with our bank cards and let TFL work it all out.  Kids under 11 travel for free – Charlotte just scraped in.

We never used a bus, taxi, bike or Tuk tuk bike thingy.  Its not not really possible with our large pram.

Costs – 

Money in cities just evaporates.  There is always something cool to buy, try or eat.  Our biggest expense by far was food, followed closely by the price of attractions.  If you can collect 2 for 1 deals, use Tesco clubcard vouchers and all those great things, do it.  If you can pre-book attractions and pay for them in advance, it costs the same, but doesn’t feel like you’ve spent as much when you are there.

On a normal day out we could easily have spent £200.

Weigh it all up against what you are getting back.  They are plenty of things that you can do for free.  We tried to mix up free activities with spending activities.  You can live cheaply there, but it does take some planning.

Attractions – 

Again, these are things that we liked.  Not necessarily what you should do, or you will like.  But we recommend them.

Sky Garden – A must do in our opinion.  Book before you go.

Tower Bridge – walk along the glass floor.

Borough Market – go hungry.

Royal Observatory at Greenwich – although we didn’t go in, I wish we had.  The view and area though was worth it alone.

Londons’ Central Sights – Big Ben, Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Seven Dials and so on……and of course Shoreditch.  There are plenty of Museums.  My favourite is the British Museum and should not be missed.  I wasn’t allowed to do it this time!

The Tate Modern – for the viewing platform.  Take in the rest of the Southbank area too.

City breaks are not for everyone.  Its busy, noisy and full on.  But when they work, they really work.  Enjoy!!

 

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Author:

www.notalwaysdown.com

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