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  1. #1
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    I am going to London in February, suggestions please

    I am going to London with my girlfriend in 14 of February we will stay in Kensington for 6 days.

    So any suggestions? Forget those obvious places to go, i want stuff that tourists usually don't see.

    1) Any good restaurant? Cheap one... 14 is valantines day so i was thinking in some romantic place for dinner.
    2) a nice park to give a walk
    3) anyone knows what is the best spot to take a picture of Pink Floyd Battersea Power Station?
    How do i get there? Should i go to Sloane Square metro station and cross the bridge?
    4) i read about the London pass and the Oyster card, can i buy them in any tube station?
    5) Best way (cheap) to go from Heathrow Airport to center of London? Train? Cab? Tram? Bus?

    6) And major question, can anyone explain me the "changing of the guard" i always thought that it was only in one place, but i saw that there are 2 and also horse parade/change guard or whatever it is. But some sites point almost 10 places where changing guards occurs.... i am confused... where is the main one? Is it true that we need to be there 1 hour before to get a spot?

    7) what are the areas that i should avoid related to safety at night? Center only areas 1 and 2, i should not go beyond those areas...

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I used to work in London, near to South Kensington tube station. It was almost 4 years ago now, so some things may have changed....

    1) Kensington is not cheap in general, but there are heaps of restaurants around there. Look down smaller side roads rather than large main streets.

    2) Hyde Park is nice and very close. It's big.

    3) It's an easy walk from Sloane Square to Chelsea Bridge. There would be a bus too but it's quite a nice walk. You should get some good pics from either side of the river.

    4) You can get a paper ticket (travelcard) from the stations for Zones 1-2 that allow unlimited tube and bus travel. When I was in London you had to pay extra for an oyster-card (you could then put cash on it or load it with an electronic travel-pass). They'll help you at the counter, or you can just use the machines if you're happy to go paper.

    5) Heathrow has a tube station. A cab will cost a bomb and the buses will be slow and a grotty journey. I don't know exactly where you are staying but the tube will get you very close and then either walk or take a short cab ride form there

    6) Uh.... Very long time since I saw that as a kid. Go to Buckingham Palace. If you want to be near the front to peer through the big gates and metal fence you'd need to get there early, yes, it's popular and very touristy - http://www.royal.gov.uk/royaleventsa.../overview.aspx

    7) Anywhere there are plenty of people should be safe. Don't wander into dark alleys and don't stray into council estates (usually signalled by big tall, ugly concrete towers). If you're doing touristy things you should be fine, London isn't as dangerous as it was, and Kensington is very wealthy, hence pretty safe. Just keep your wits about you, as you would do in any city. Even outside of Zone 2 is OK.

  3. #3
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    I used to go to London all the time to visit the art galleries, exhibitions and museums. Loads to do.. so much that I still have a load of stuff I want to see there. Don't write off the main tourist attractions though as they are great.

    JT has covered a lot of your questions, but I will add..

    1, I wouldn't eat in Kensington itself as it is one of the most expensive areas. I always used to eat around Leicester Square. There are the big cinemas there too and all of the main theatres, so you could see a show like Phantom of the Opera.

    Also if you do go to Leicester Square visit the Trocadero centre http://www.londontrocadero.com/ brilliant entertainment centre with a multi level gaming arcade.

    There are also loads of galleries close by.

    4, The London Pass is definitely worth it. http://www.londonpass.com/ I've purchased it a few times. You can buy it from the Picadilly Circus Tube Station. Although I would highly recommend you buy it in advance and buy with travel included then you can use it to travel on the underground train from Heathrow Airport into Central London when you arrive.

    With the pass it is really good because it lets you bypass queues where you want to get in. Just walk past the queue, show your card and get straight in. You also get a travel book with it showing you all the places included, plus extra info and maps.

    The London Dungeon is well worth visiting using the card. It uses Wax Works to show the gruesome past of London, such as murderers, torture, plague, fire of London etc.

    Regarding using the Underground (tube) as JT said, I also always just buy Zone 1 and 2 day travel cards from any tube station and then can use it all day to travel around the underground and on buses.

    Finally try to visit some of the museums and art galleries, especially as you are into Photography. The British Museum is still brilliant for me to visit every time I spend a few days in London, and I always enjoy the Natural History and Science Museums (next to each other). The V&A is also amazing. And if you are still into trains then I also really enjoyed the London Transport Museum some time ago (when it's interactive displays were powered by Amiga CD32s!!!).

    The National Art Gallery has always been my favourite, but the Tate Modern is worth seeing just to say you have been and seem some of the best known and iconic modern art.

    The Photographers' Gallery is worth visiting for anyone interest in Photography. There is also Hamilton's, The V&A Photographs Gallery, Getty Images Gallery.. and loads more.

    There are some Photography exhibitions this year worth visiting. David Lynch: The Factory Photographs is at the Photographers Gallery http://www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk/ . And Terry O'Neill: The Best of, at the Little Black Gallery http://www.thelittleblackgallery.com/ . Both worth seeing.

    Another favourite place of mine is http://designmuseum.org/ But I am a designer so it is great both for art and design, as well as the history of design.

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    Thanks for info !
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  5. #5
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    No problem, have a good time.

    London is a great city to visit as a tourist...... but a shit-hole to live and work in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J T View Post
    London is a great city to visit as a tourist...... but a shit-hole to live and work in.
    Are you sure?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J T View Post
    <snip>

    London is a great city to visit as a tourist...... but a shit-hole to live and work in.
    Not wrong there.

    Having said that, Get into the City by Liverpool Street Station. Check out the round Ice Rink sat in Finsbury & Broadgate building zones. You come out of Liverpool Street Station right under & in this development complex.

    Broadgate-Ice-at-Night.jpg

    I was involved in building those buildings with their external Aluminium/Glass & Granite façade's (cladding). Some of those window units weighed 7 Tons each once the Granite was mounted on them. 5m x 3m & slid into place via Tower cranes locking into massive Aluminium Dove-tail blocks sat on the concrete platforms (floors). Joseph Gartner also built the very impressive Lloyds Bank in London from Stainless Steel. It all lights up Purple in the evenings. Not sure if their re-fit might have a different colour scheme though.

    lloyds-bank-hq-london04-night--large-msg-11753720624.jpg PRlloydsbuilding7_2460749b.jpg

    Whatever you do in London, I'm sure you'll have a great time. The Natural History Museum is a long day but definitely one not to be missed either.

    The-Natural-History-Museum-2.jpg The-Natural-History-Museum-3.jpg

    Enjoy.

    PS. - If you must do Soho, be careful you don't get ripped off.
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