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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasperBoy View Post
    This is the National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Restaurant. It is on the top floor of the NPG in Trafalgar Square. No matter where you sit you will be at roof top level with the buildings, up with the flags and gargoyles. Not quite at eye level with Nelson. The food is good, service good, view spectacular.
    http://www.npg.org.uk/visit/food/restaurant.php
    Hey JasperBoy, this is one of our favorite restaurants too! It's a beautiful space.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingsit View Post
    One caveat for the British Museum: it can be horrifically crowded. When we went a couple of years ago we gave up after about 90 minutes. It was HOT in London that week (90 degrees F), and between the crowds and the heat (it's not air-conditioned) I couldn't stand it...
    I dealt with the British Museum by deciding upon 2 exhibits ahead of time and spending all of my time on them: Ancient Egypt and the Elgin Marbles.

    If you're into gardening or horticulture you must see the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and/or the Chelsea Physic Garden.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post

    Personally, I'm with Lao Tzu, who said, "A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
    Lao Tzu has been dead for over 2,000 years. Travel has moved on.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Lao Tzu has been dead for over 2,000 years. Travel has moved on.
    But some of us travelers haven't.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    But some of us travelers haven't.
    Easyjet certainly hasn't!

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    If, as it appears, you have been to the U.K. before, CarolineL, surely you know that British train schedules are merely aspirational.

    Personally, I'm with Lao Tzu, who said, "A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
    Lao Tzu must have had a lot of extra money, which I do not. Pre planning saves you a fortune!

    And we stay 40 minutes from London so the trains are frequent. I have never had an issue with them (probably cause we go in the summer and there is no ice or snow on the lines, just the occasional sheep)

  7. #67
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    IIRC, Lao Tzu was a middle-class Englishman who lived just outside of London.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/news/?q=train%20delays

  8. #68

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    I think I'll stick with what I know so far haha! I'm just planning out my itinerary and even the first day is action packed! Either way I'm so excited to see London. So stoked! I'm thrilled to finally be able to see the other side of the pond
    Kyle

  9. #69

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    Gay Village(s)?

    Hi All,

    Just planning my trip and perhaps someone can help me with this one... I'm trying to read and understand. I'm looking for funky shops and pubs in terms of a gay village, would one find this in SoHo? Vauxhall? Whereelse? I'm a bit confused. I may hit G-A-Y if I feel but I'm not really focused on partying and drinking this trip. I want to see and explore so any further clarification would hugely appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Kyle
    Kyle

  10. #70
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    Kyle--I can't answer your question above, but I just want to throw out a piece of advice.

    Don't over plan your days. Leave some room to wander and enjoy new places. It has been nine years since a friend and I spent ten days in England, but I have a good memory. We set out with carefully planned days and itineraries (not in laminated folders, but still planed). And we ended up scrapping a lot of it in favor of doing what we felt like, wandering the towns, and seeing what we found. We didn't miss any sites on our agenda, but we didn't stick to the schedule. And some of the best times on our trip were the totally unplanned moments and places.

    Have a great trip!

  11. #71

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    Oh I completely understand what you're saying and chances are there will be some random moments and enjoyable time but I also have this one very set out. I've really figured out what I'd like to see as well. London has been a dream of mine since about the 6th grade. I'm finally getting to do it (turning 25 this year) and I want to make sure that I see what I want. I'm going to let Paris be a little bit more random and just go where the tour and wherever else it takes me
    Kyle

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylet3 View Post
    Oh I completely understand what you're saying and chances are there will be some random moments and enjoyable time but I also have this one very set out. I've really figured out what I'd like to see as well. London has been a dream of mine since about the 6th grade. I'm finally getting to do it (turning 25 this year) and I want to make sure that I see what I want. I'm going to let Paris be a little bit more random and just go where the tour and wherever else it takes me
    We started planning our England trip when we were 10. And let's just say we waited longer than you. Anything more than that will give away our advancing age

    Just don't forget to stop and soak it all in!

  13. #73
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    One piece of advice: don't be disappointed/sad/angry that you missed something on the itinerary. I went on a Contiki tour in 2007 and although my stay in London was very brief (beginning and end of the tour), I loved what I did. On the first day when my friends were too tired and went straight home after doing the London Eye, I said "screw 'em" and I wandered around on my own. Somewhat of a mistake as I got really lost and didn't even know the name of the hotel I was staying at, however I got to appreciate watching people and British culture than sightseeing (I did stumble across places like Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street). Luckily I speak English and I was able to find my way back to the hotel.

    At the end of the trip some of my new Contiki friends and I went and watched the play Wicked; here I rediscovered my joy of watching theatre.

    I vow to go back to London. I want to try a full English breakfast/fry up!!! And some fish and chips (I can't believe I didn't do it then).

    Have fun!

  14. #74

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    I've got a full 4 days in london with a half day and it's do it as you please according to my schedule so I'm planning it out all for myself, if people would like to come along the more the merrier, but I won't let anyone/thing slow me down. London is my city and I'm going to see it how I like, come hell or high water
    Kyle

  15. #75

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    Er Uh Russell Square to Windsor Castle?

    Um HELP!

    Google maps is saying 2 hours... London Tube is saying like 50 minutes but the Windsor Castle isn't the obvious one, HELP! Is it really gonna take 2-3 hours to get out there. London Tube is taking me to the wrong spot... Can someone help me plan out to get there? I need to arrive by 9:45 AM and assume the visit will take 2-3 hours (I move quickly lol) and help me get back?

    So confused right now...
    Kyle

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    Quickest way is to take a train from Paddington. Depending on the time of day you can get there in half an hour or so. Train gods permitting, of course. There are 2 stations in Windsor - you want Central. Seems like there used to be a change of trains at Slough but I'm not sure if that is still true. Even if there is it's still quicker than a bus. The train starts running pretty early in the morning.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  17. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by kylet3 View Post
    Hi All,

    Just planning my trip and perhaps someone can help me with this one... I'm trying to read and understand. I'm looking for funky shops and pubs in terms of a gay village, would one find this in SoHo? Vauxhall? Whereelse? I'm a bit confused. I may hit G-A-Y if I feel but I'm not really focused on partying and drinking this trip. I want to see and explore so any further clarification would hugely appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Kyle
    I haven't heard anywhere in London described as "gay village", that title is usually used in the context of Manchester's Canal Street where everything is all in one place more or less.

    The gay scene in London is much more spread out. Old Compton Street is probably your best bet in terms of numerous gay bars/shops in close proximity. Vauxhall i've heard of in terms of clubs and some pubs (and Chariot's sauna ) but coming out of the tube station it isn't immediately obvious where you would go to find pubs and clubs.

    Do some google searching for different online guides and maps. Once you get to London if you go to some of the bars in Old COmpton Street you'll pick up free local publications that will tell you what is about and what is on where.

    I'd also say drop michaelfsfan a PM on here as he knows the gay scene in london well.

  18. #78
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    You do have to switch trains at Slough; but the whole journey from Paddington still takes less than 30 minutes

  19. #79

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    Stupid Question but where is Paddington? Is that a Tube Station?
    Kyle

  20. #80
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    Paddington is one of several railway stations in London. There is also a Paddington stop on the tube.

    The recommendations about travel to Windsor are about taking the train from Paddington with a change in Slough and getting off at Windsor Central station.

    Enjoy!

    P.S. Paddington is also, IIRC, the station for the Heathrow Express train which is also the fastest way to and from Heathrow Airport.
    Can't skate but love to watch

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