Sie sind auf Seite 1von 100

A friend of mine came to me for advice on his next

family

trip.

Without

hesitation,

recommended

he travel to London.
He had a few questions, so I thought it would be good to
share some of my answers, as it helped him make a
decision and I hope to intrigue you to make the same.
If youve been, there is no reason not to come
back, because each time you travel to London there is
always more to see and learn.
Why travel to London?
London is made up of 31 boroughs, all with their own
distinct charm. These boroughs are all easily accessed
via underground train service (the tube).
Central London is a place that you can walk for hundreds
of hours and still find new things to do in London with or
without the kids.
There are endless shops, museums, historical sites; you
name it Londons got it. Being a leading metropolitan city

in the world, it is also diverse in culture and in food.

The energy in London is infectious, it just makes you


want to embrace everything English.
This is best captured in some of the oldest and most
traditional pubs in the world. In London, a pub lives up to
its name, a Public House. This is where friends and
family meet, and children are welcomed to join in the
daily festivities of enjoying each others company and
conversation.

Is London good for families?


London is perfect for families because it is safe, clean,
and a perfect destination to soak in a great deal of
knowledge from its proud traditions and the role it plays
in history.
Anything special we should pack for travel to London?
There are preconceived notions that the sun never
comes out in London. In fact, it comes out much more
than we imagined. When it does, its glorious.
However, the stereotype does have some validity. It can
be damp in these parts, so bring a waterproof jacket and
lots of socks.
Keep yourselves dry so your spirits wont be dampened,
because there is always something to do, and you dont

want

little

rain

to

stop

you.

Where is the best place to stay in London?


Depending on the exchange rate, travel to London can be
expensive for travel, especially for families. There are,
however, many options for cheaper places to stay in
London.
With Central London being so easily accessed by public
transportation, staying outside of Central is always a
good idea.
We are currently staying in Hampstead, a village in the
borough of Camden. Its about 20 minutes to central by
underground.
The village of Hampstead

In a town like Hampstead, the family can enjoy an


alternative side of London. One that is lush with nature,
and sites not as frequented.
Hampstead is posh, but still has a deeply rooted village
essence, which is very storybook. In fact, it has been
considered an artist colony for centuries, with the likes
of Robert Lewis Stevenson having lived here. This vibe
continues

until

this

day.

Accommodation options in Hampstead are also quite a lot


more palatable in price, for what you get in Central
London. Try, onefinestay.com and airbnb.com. For a true
travel experience, stay in a room upstairs from a
traditional pub, just like the old days.
There is the Kings Boutique Hotel, which sits atop the
King William IV pub. A traditional pub, it has the
quaintness and charm you would want in a village such as

this, combined with modern amenities, of course, such as


wifi and satellite television. The balconies are a treat,
with views of the village.
Whats the first thing we should do when we arrive in
London?
Go to Covent Garden. Theres always something going on
there that the family can enjoy. There are countless
street performers, shops, and eateries.

Dont miss Covent Garden when you travel to London


Get a space on the balcony of the Punch and Judy Pub
and watch the energy that swirls around this historical
marketplace. Its Londons answer to the great piazzas
of Italy, just about everybody convenes there at some
point of the day, so join in.

If there are a couple of sites in London, outside of the


obvious, what would they be?
Day trips are a great way to see the outskirts of London
as well as taking in some great sites.
Our favorites are Hampton Court Palace which is about
45 minutes from Waterloo Station in Central London and
Oxford University which is about an hour from
Paddington

Station,

also

in

Central

London.

Age of the Tudors


Hampton Court Palace was the greatest palace in the
Age of the Tudors. Beautiful and opulent, there is a lot
of history to gather in this one place. Imagine
yourselves walking alongside the likes of King Henry
VIII or King William III and Queen Mary II. Enjoy the
grounds that rival Frances Versailles, and walk through
the topiary maze that dates back centuries.

For an amazing tour, book with Context travel. They


specialize in private and small group tours and their
docents are all blue badge guides (highest ranking in the
UK) and are always friendly and knowledgeable. Our
docent was like a history book you did not want to close.
Oxford University is the oldest academic institution in
England. It has graduated more Prime Ministers than
any other University and has housed some of the most
renowned names in literary history, which include the
likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Oscar Wilde just to
name a few.
38 Colleges make up the University of Oxford

38 different colleges make up the University of Oxford,


the most prominent being Christ Church, where its
dining hall is the inspiration behind the one in the Harry

Potter Films.The town is also bustling and quite


beautiful. A touring company, named
The town is also bustling and quite beautiful. A touring
company, named City Wonders offers a great tour of
the

University,

highlighting

some

of

the

most

prestigious colleges. We had a guide that was a great


storyteller, and she kept Bailey interested throughout.

As an extra, if you can catch a football match, few


experiences are more fun. We were fortunate enough to
attend a Chelsea game and Bailey loved the energy and
the very funny, spirited, and sensor free chants.
Wheres the best place for lunch in London?
A great experience, without having to spend a fortune,
but part of the luxuries of the place, is sitting at one of
the many eateries in the Food Court at Harrods.

Our favorite is the Rotisserie, where the servings of


chicken are not only wonderful in taste, but large enough

for two to share.


If you are in the midst of sightseeing, our favorite stop
is The Clarence, a traditional pub with an updated
aesthetic inside. They serve up some of the best roasts
in town. Its also well located, between Westminster
Abbey and Trafalgar Square.
(note: Cazs brother was once the manager of this pub.
Many Aussies have served on the bar here!)
Whats the best place for dinner in London?
For an adult night out, we recommend trying to book a
table at St. John at Smithfield. Its been rated as one
of the top restaurants in the world for years, and it will
make you a believer in more adventurous offal based
offerings.

For a family night out, go to the Spitalfield Market area


where there is lots of energy and no shortage of
eateries in many different price points.
In Hampstead Village, there is the historic Holly Bush.
It is a very kid friendly and dog-friendly environment.
Eat in the pub area (there is a more formal dining room
available) and try to grab a table near the fireplace.
Enjoy wonderful sharing platters of British favorites
such as sausage rolls, scotch eggs, cured duck, ham,
country bread, and, of course, chips (fries). The beer
selection is wonderful, but not nearly as wonderful as
the charm of the place and the neighborhood crowd that
fills it.
Whats the best way to have a budget friendly day in
London?
One of the best budget things about travel to London is
that the National Museums are free. They are also some
of the most beautiful.
This list includes The British Museum, The British
Library, The National Gallery, The Tate Modern, The
Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History
Museum, just to name a few.

The British Museum


Insider Tips for London
Buy something called an oyster card while there. You can
put any nominal value that youd like in it. It is easy to
refill if you need to.
This card facilitates your daily transport and is an
accepted form of payment for all systems, underground
and otherwise. There is a charge for the card, which is
refundable when you are done using it, along with any
cash that may have remained in it. It saves a lot of time
rather than purchasing single tickets.

Withdraw from your bank card, as exchange kiosks


often offer the worst rates and charge additional fees.

London is a safe city, but extra precaution while


traveling is never a bad idea. Money belts are always a
good idea. They have come a long way from where they
started, there are high tech ones that are unintrusive.
A company named, Amphipod, makes a good one.
Taxis are quite expensive. However, if there are three
or more passengers, it may be the best way to get to
your door from Heathrow Airport. It may cost you less
and without hassle as opposed to taking the Heathrow
Express.
Subterranean London five unmissable sights below
the city
By Caz Monday, May 6th, 2013 12 Comments

This post is brought to you in part by Accor

Are you looking for a slightly different view of London?


If riding in black cabs and queuing at Madame Tussauds
is not your thing, why not try looking below the surface
of this teeming metropolis.
Youll discover a hidden world of secret tunnels,
terrifying tombs, elaborate train routes and ancient
cave systems.
Start your adventure by booking through Accor for
great-value London hotels. Then descend into a littleknown layer of this fascinating city.
1. Cabinet War Rooms

Photo: Flickr
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Blitz with a
trip down into the historic Cabinet War Rooms. This
warren

of

bunkers

under

Whitehall

was

the

headquarters for Britains war effort during WW2.


Start by exploring the War Cabinet Room from where
Winston Churchill planned Britains next move.
You can actually see the chair (complete with scratch
marks on its arms) which he used during highly stressful
meetings.
In the Map Room, nothing has been changed since 16 Aug
1945, when the lights were finally switched off.
Wartime

maps,

colour-coded

telephones

and

even

rationed sugar cubes, remain exactly as they were when


the war ended. Book your tickets through the Imperial
War Museums.

2. Chislehurst Caves

Photo: Flickr
This network of 8000-year-old caves in the greater
London area is an unexpected treat. The caves, which
extend for 20 miles, were initially created as a result of
flint and chalk mining.
You can take a lamp-lit tour deep into this labyrinth and
explore the caves varied history; from their origins as
mines to their subsequent use as an ammunitions depot
and then as air raid shelter during WW2.
You can read more and buy tickets here.
3. The London Bridge Experience / London Tombs

Photo: flickr
This spine-chilling historical tour takes you through the
early days of London.
Begin by discovering the most haunted bridge in the
world London Bridge then youll be taken through
Roman, Viking and Victorian times and you can watch
Queen Boudicca defeat the Romans in battle and see the
great fire of London erupt before your very eyes.
For a really frightful time, youll need to go deeper
underground into the depths of the London Tombs. This
former plague pit has been given a Hollywood inspired
makeover and now boasts state-of-the-art special
effects and live actors, to bring Londons bloody history
to life.
Although The London Bridge Experience doesnt have
any age restrictions, all children under 14 must be
accompanied by an adult. The London Tombs are not
suitable for children under 11.
For more information click here.

4. Tour of the London underground

Photo: flickr
Youre sure to have a renewed respect for the tube
after this two hour tour of the worlds oldest metro
system. This feat of engineering has been transporting
passengers for 150 years and youll be able to see its
original plans along with steam engines that were first
used.
Along your route, watch out for the ghost station at the
British Museum and discover the secrets behind the
original hand-dug tunnels. Take a look at Insider London
for tour details.
5. Brunels underground tunnel

Photo: Flickr
Discover how Isambard Kingdom Brunel helped his
father Marc build one of the worlds first tunnels under
a river. The Thames tunnel, which is 170 years old, was
originally designed to allow people and horses to cross
the Thames without obstructing the passing ships.
Once known as the eighth wonder of the world, the
tunnel was reopened in 2010 as part of the London
Overground. You can now descend into The Grand
Entrance Hall at the tunnel and even discover a secret
chamber. Tours can be organised through the Brunel
Museum.
Things to Do in London
By Craig Thursday, November 8th, 2012 60 Comments

Image: Shutterstock.com
Looking for tips on things to do in London?
As part of our city guides series we interviewed Lucy
Dodsworth who lived and worked in London for over ten
years, and is now starting to get to know London as a
visitor instead of as a resident.
Lucy shares with us her insider tips on the best things
to see and do, and where to eat, sleep, drink, shop and
explore.
Why Visit London?
London is a real world city with some of the most
famous buildings, museums and galleries in the world and
2000 years of history to go with them.
But its not just looking backwards, theres always a new
bar, play or concert to see. Its also one of the most

international cities, with people from all around the


world making their home here, so its just as easy to get
Indian street food as it is a roast dinner.
Yes it might rain a lot and no people wont smile on the
Tube, but whatever youre interested in from museums
to shopping, rock to opera, budget to luxury theres a
London that will suit you.

Tower Bridge
Best Things to Do in London?
Walk along South Bank: follow the Thames from
the London Eye along to Tower Bridge and youll
pass some of Londons most famous buildings, like
the Tower of London, Shakespeares Globe and Tate
Modern.

Get a great view: to see the city from above, you


can climb to the top of the Monument and the dome
of St Pauls Cathedral, and from February therell
be a viewing platform at the top of Londons new
tallest building, the Shard.
Visit the museums: the permanent collections at
Londons museums are free so you can dip into as
many as you like. Choose from big names like the
British Museum and National Gallery, or check out
some of the smaller museums like Sir John Soanes
Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms.
Escape the city into the parks: London has plenty
of parks and gardens, from the manicured gardens
of Hyde Park and St James Park to huge, hilly
Hampstead Heath and the hidden gardens tucked
away in residential squares.
Walk through Londons history: London Walks run
themed walking tours around London, from the
haunts of Jack the Ripper and night-time ghost
tours, to Harry Potter film locations and Olympic
London.

Inside the geology gallery at the Natural History


Museum
Best Neighborhoods to Explore?
Covent Garden was one of Londons early markets and
the original marketplace still stands in the Piazza. But
today its one of the citys main entertainment and
shopping areas, with stalls selling crafts and gifts
rather than fruit and veg, with street performers and
musicians, surrounded by bars and restaurants.
South Kensington is the place to go for museums, with
the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A
are all in easy reach of each other. From here you can
walk up to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, or
window-shop
Knightsbridge.

at

the

seriously

expensive

shops

in

Bloomsbury is Londons academic heart. Its still home to


the University of London, the British Museum and
British Library, but was made famous by the Bloomsbury
Group of 1930s intellectuals. Youll find blue plaques on
their former houses all around the area, along with
garden squares and coffee shops.

Inside the British Museum in Bloomsbuty


Where to Eat?
You can find food from almost any part of the world in
London like Bangladeshi in Brick Lane, Middle Eastern
in Edgware Road and Caribbean in Brixton.
Good-value food chains to look out for include Leon,
Busaba (Thai), Tas (Turkish), Pho (Vietnamese) and
Wagamama (Japanese).

Street food has really taken off in London too, try


Portobello Road Market and the Real Food Market on
South Bank.
My favorite London food market though is Borough
Market with over 70 different stalls selling produce
from the UK and beyond and lots of tasting samples.
While youre there, dont miss nearby Neals Yard Dairy
for amazing cheeses.

Delicious cakes on a stall in Borough Market


You Cant Visit Without Eating?
For a classic English tradition, its got to be afternoon
tea. Preferably with a glass of Champagne to go with

your sandwiches, cakes and pastries, all served on an


elegant cake stand with a pot of tea.
Some of the most well-known places for tea are The
Ritz or Fortnum & Mason. But I love the afternoon tea
at the Kensington Palace Orangery, in a light airy
building in the park.
Where to Drink?
Steer well clear of the overpriced touristy bars and
clubs around the Leicester Square and Picadilly Circus.
If youre looking for recommendations in a particular
area, check out the review on the Time Out website.
Some of my favourites are the Booking Office and
Champagne bars at St Pancras a train station might not
sound the most exciting place for a drink but the setting
is beautiful.
Or for city views, perfect for a sunset cocktail, try
Vertigo 42 in the city. And you cant beat a cosy pub
with a log fire in the winter, like The Flask in Highgate.

St
Pancras Station
Best Places for a Night on the Town?
Londons West End has a huge choice of musicals and
plays. For the best tickets either book in advance or try
the tickets booth in Leicester Square on the day.
For cinema, small independent places like the Screen on
the Green in Islington, Curzon Soho and Prince Charles
offer a wide variety of independent and foreign language
films.
For live music, check out Ronnie Scotts in Soho for jazz,
the Barbican for classical, the O2 for big names, and
the Camden and Dalston areas for up-and-coming bands.
Where to Stay?
Londons not cheap, but you can find a few budget
options.

For hostel accommodation try the YHA London


Central, about five minutes walk from Oxford
Street, or the Safestay Hostel.
For a budget hotel the Asian chain Tune have four
hotels across the city from about 35 a night.
For high end you can splash out on world-class
hotels like The Savoy, The Dorchester or Claridges.

view across the Thames to St Pauls Cathedral and the


Millennium Bridge from Tate Moderns Cafe
Markets & Shopping
London has a wide range of markets.
Some of my favourites are Borough Market for food
and drink, Portobello Road Market for antiques and
fashion, Camden Market for vintage and alternative
clothes, and the Colombia Road Flower Market.

Oxford Street is the citys most famous shopping


street, but its mostly full of chain stores and big
department stores.
For more interesting independent shops check out
Carnaby Street, Covent Garden or the Kings Road.
Also worth seeing is Harrods, though more for its
completely over-the-top dcor especially at Christmas
than for actual shopping.

The lights of Canary Wharf at night


Festivals & Events
London has hundreds of festivals and events each year,
so you can usually find something going on whenever you
visit.
For old-school British events, theres the Trooping of
the Colour in June, a huge military parade to celebrate
the Queens Official Birthday (she gets to have two, her

real one is in April) and the Lord Mayors Show in


November.
Other major events include firecrackers and fireworks
in Chinatown for Chinese New Year, the Caribbean style
Notting Hill Carnival in August, cheering the runners at
the London Marathon in April, and getting a glimpse into
some of Londons normally inaccessible buildings over
Open House weekend in September.
Getting Around
Central London is fairly walkable, but the city sprawls
out so youll need to use the Tube or bus. Get an Oyster
card to save money on transport you load it up with
money and touch in and out on the bus or Tube.
Also try the riverboat services along the Thames for a
scenic view of the city. But watch out for line closures
on the Tube at weekends and it closes every night
around 1 am, so youll need to get a night bus or cab
after that.

London Underground, aka The Tube


Finding WiFi
Free wifi access in London isnt great but its getting
better. There are free wireless hotspots in Islington
and the City of London.
Otherwise chain cafes like Pret a Manger, Starbucks
and Coffee Republic give free wifi to customers, and
there are a whole load of other independent places with
wifi listed on the Time Out website.
Best Time of Year to Visit
Londons weather is always unpredictable and if its bad
then there are plenty of things to do inside.
In the summer you can spend time outside in the parks
and at outdoor festivals and events.
But winter is a great time to visit too, with Christmas
markets in Hyde Park and along South Bank, and outdoor

ice rinks in the Tower of London and (my favourite for


its beautiful setting) Somerset House.

The ice skating rink outside Somerset House just


before Christmas
Favorite Side trip
In the summer Id head an hour south of London to
Brighton to paddle on the pebbly beach, eat candyfloss
on the pier and check out the cool shops in the narrow
streets of the Lanes.
Otherwise Id head west to Oxford to see the famous
university colleges, visit some of the museums and try
out punting on the river.

Brighton beach
Getting There & Away
London is a major international hub with five main
airports

Heathrow,

Gatwick,

City,

Luton

and

Stansted. But watch out as although theyre described


as London airports theyre often way out of the city, so
youll need to get a train or bus into central London.
Theres also the international Eurostar train service
which runs from Paris and Brussels right into St Pancras
Station in the centre of town.
Best insiders tip
To see the real London, get out of the centre to some
of the outer neighbourhoods. Each has their own totally
different feel.
Try Hampstead and Highgate for literary history,
celeb spotting and leafy parks.
Notting Hill for coffee shops, retro shops and
antique markets.
Shoreditch for street art, hipster boutiques and
and Brick Lane curries.
Or stand on the meridian timeline and check out the
National Maritime Museum and pubs along the
riverside in Greenwich.

The Anchor Pub on the banks of the Thames


I love London because?
Theres always something going on and you can come
back again and again and see a completely different city
every time.
Plan Your Trip to London
Weve been traveling consistently for 17 years and have
come to rely on a few trusted websites that save us
money and time when booking accommodation, flights
and car rental. Below are our preferred partners:
Accommodation
Booking.com has over 600,000 properties worldwide
including hotels, apartments and hostels. You get
free cancellation on most rooms and a best price
guarantee.
Flights

Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches


millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, you
book directly through the airline or agent (no extra
fees).
Car Rental
RentalCars.com is the worlds biggest car rental
booking service that compares all the major brands
like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Enterprise, Europcar and
Thrifty.
London Travel Tips
By Craig Monday, October 10th, 2011 63 Comments
I love London.
We have visited many times on our travels and Caz even
lived there for two and a half years from 1997-99 on a
UK Working Holiday Visa.
London has so much going for it. Amazing history, great
vibrancy, and an energy to rival any major city around
the world. Its also a great base for exploring the rest
of the UK and Europe.

Thriving Metropolis
So what is it about London that keeps us going back?
Below are our highlights of London, PLUS, some tips
from our Facebook community members.
Covent Garden

Convent Garden Photo: GTMC Knight


Located in the heart of the West End, Covent Garden is
a popular shopping and leisure site.
Go and enjoy the wonderful street performers that
entertain and the local street market. Its amazing and
you can easily spend the whole day there. Whilst there

grab a drink at the popular and original Belushis Cocktail


Bar from Blues Brothers fame.
Caz could be regularly found here sipping on jugs of
Thunder Trousers. And the Punch and Judy Pub is one
of Londons most iconic pubs with an upper floor balcony,
which is particularly good in summer especially for
people watching.
Camden Markets

Photo: Ashlourey
One of our favorite days out is heading to Camden Town
in North West London. Its a sea of entertainment and
overflows with a variety of open-air and indoor markets,
shops, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, theatres and
cinemas.
There are great deals to be had, and the people
watching is first class. The town attracts enormous

crowds of Londoners and tourists alike and there is


always something happening.
Sundays in particular is a great day for visiting the
markets and stopping into one of its many pubs for an
afternoon beverage.
London Parks
St. Jamess Park is the oldest Royal Park in London and
offers one of the best views of Buckingham Palace. Its
very green and is also surrounded by Westminster
Palace and St James Palace.
Its

quite

pleasant

walk

from

Parliament

to

Buckingham Palace through this park on the way.

Hyde Park
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are side by side and
are enormous and include the ever popular Diana
Memorial Playground and the Peter Pan Statue.
Changing of the Guard

photo: supersum
A visit to London is not really complete without seeing
this military tradition.
The Queens Guard in London changes in the Forecourt
inside the gates of Buckingham Palace at 11.30am every
day in the summer and every other day in the winter.
Try to get there early and view the spectacle from
outside the front gates.
Trafalgar Square

photo: mauricedb

Trafalgar Square is the largest square in London and


one of its most well known areas. Its an iconic square
with many sights including Nelsons Column, the National
Gallery, and many other statues and sculptures.
It plays the role of both a tourist attraction and the
main focus for political demonstrations. The square is
famous for its pigeons, but their population has dropped
since measures were put in place as they were
considered a health hazard.
It is also the place where you catch the night buses
after the last tube has left and you missed it because
you were too busy with that last pint in the pub. You
should see how busy it is down there then.
Westminster Abbey

Photo: toastbrot 81
This 700-year-old building in the heart of London is a
must see. It is steeped in British history having played

host to many Royal weddings, including the most recent


of Prince William to Kate Middleton.
Its the final resting place of seventeen monarchs and is
a very impressive looking Gothic building with stained
glass. It really is beautiful both inside and out and
worthy of a visit.
If you wish to worship you can visit Westminster Abbey
for free. Others are charged and admissions fee.
Greenwich
Its a classic photo opportunity: have your photo taken
standing on the Prime Meridian Line at Greenwich.
Head up the hill to The Royal Observatory and in the
courtyard is a metal strip where you stand over the line
and can be in the eastern and western hemispheres at
the same time.
You can get to Greenwich easily by train or bus, or by
taking a

boat

down

the

Thames. For the best

experience, go by river, weather permitting, and return


by rail.

Caz in Greenwich, London


Not only will your children enjoy the boat ride, but youll
get to see the London Eye, St Pauls Cathedral,
Shakespeares Globe, The Tower of London and Tower
Bridge.
Youll be traveling the Thames the historic water
highway from London as royalty have traveled to
Greenwich for hundreds of years. Also, arriving by river
puts you in the perfect position to begin exploring
Greenwich.
By water, the trip is about 30-60 minutes each way. You
can get on board sightseeing cruises at Waterloo
Millennium, Westminster and Tower piers.

Take a boat ride to Greenwich


Greenwich has many attractions; the Royal Observatory,
the National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark, Gypsy Moth
and Greenwich Market are just a few.
It has some outstanding pubs too, and the Trafalgar is
one of them. This magnificent Regency style pub was
built in 1837, the year Queen Victoria came to the
throne.
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth IIs official
residence, and has been the official London residence
of Britains sovereign since 1837.
Buckingham Palace operates a timed-ticket system, with
admission every 15 minutes throughout the day. Tickets

are valid only on the date and at the entrance time


specified on the ticket. Regrettably, late-comers cannot
be admitted.
Notting Hill

Photo: Steve Chilton


Notting Hill, made famous by the movie featuring Julia
Roberts and Hugh Grant, but always well known by
Londoners, is a district to watch the cosmopolitan world
go by in one of its coffee shops, before some high end
shopping or more of an alternative feel at nearby
Portobello Markets.
The best way to experience Notting Hill is at the very
popular Caribbean style Notting Hill Carnival held
every August.
Richmond

Photo: James Stringer


A fave day out for Caz was to take the tube to
Richmond and walk along the Thames River and have a
beer or two.
The walk through Richmond town centre, along the river
and up Richmond Hill to the park is very beautiful and
youll soon see why for hundreds of years it has been a
favourite retreat of Royalty, the rich and the famous.
The frontage around Richmond Bridge has plenty of
cafes and pubs for you to enjoy some quiet riverside
life. The area is also close to Royal parks and historic
houses, theatres, museums and galleries.
Oxford Street

Photo: Bahi
Brave this famous shopping district of London if you
dare.
Be prepared for crowds so thick you will need heavily
greased

elbows

to

plough

your

way

through.

If

you like shopping though, youll love the high end stores
that line this one and a half mile shopping mecca.
London Pubs
It is really hard to recommend pubs in London as there
are so many of them and so many that are great. Ive
just chosen a few of my favourite, frequently visited
watering holes for you to check out.
Waxy OConnors in Leicester Square

Waxy Oconnors Irish Pub in London Photo credit


Magalie
Waxys is one of our fave bars to go for its warm
atmosphere and quirky decor. It is a labyrinth of 4
unique bars covering 6 levels all linked together by a
maze of staircases and passages.
Spend time in the tree room and be transported into a
magical pixie land sitting amongst tree branches and
tree trunks carved into seating area. And the beer
selection is pretty good though. Come early as this place
gets packed.
O Neills in Muswell Hill
Not usually on the tourist trail, this pub is housed in an
old restored church.

Photo: 55935853@N00
The

building

is

beautiful

inside

and

out.

The

architecture makes for amazing acoustics for their live


music sessions. Used to be a favourite night out for
Cazs travelling household.
Have a pint on a boat on the River Thames

Photo: rpmarks
I was originally going to recommend the Queen Mary,
but have sadly discovered she has been moved.

As soon as the sun came out in London, you could


guarantee our lively group would head down to the
Queen Mary moored on the Thames at Embankment for
a pint of snakebite or two in the sun. It was a great day
and sometimes night out.
There are other boats on the Thames where you can go
for a lovely summer ale. Truly worth it.
The Church (for ferals)
The Church is a bit of an institution for antipodeans
living in London.
It is not the place where you go to worship the Lord but
beer. It is held on a Sunday, hence the name and used to
be in a massive warehouse in Kings Cross. When the bell
rings at midday you order a huge plastic garbage bag full
of beer and find a place on the straw-filled floor to
stand with your circle of mates.
For three hours you are be entertained by comperes,
comedians and strippers (I know) and proceed to get
really drunk with thousands of travellers. It is really
feral, but good for a visit and a laugh. After that you
may find yourself wandering to the nearest:
Walkabout

Photo: 55935853@N00
When I lived in London, the Walkabout was called the
Outback and there was only one of them in Covent
Garden.
During my time there more and more opened up
throughout the city and now they can be found
everywhere throughout the country.
Another antipodean place, which does draw in visitors
from all over the world, it is is great place to get your
Down Under fix, listen to live music and have lots of fun
with fellow travellers.
Circle Line Pub Crawl
Try it if you dare. There are over 30 stops on the Circle
Line. Get off at each stop and head for the nearest pub.

Photo: nicasaurusrex
Drink only half a pint (believe me by stop 5 youll realize
why) and then move to the next one. Caz did it with a big
group and made it even more fun by creating rules for
each pub.
If you broke the rule you had another drink. Just see if
you can make it thee whole way round, we certainly did
not.
Weatherspoon Pubs
Weatherspoon

pubs are scattered throughout the

entire city (and country). These pubs dont always have


the most happening vibe and atmosphere, but they do
have really cheap food and drink.
For those on a budget you might find yourself
gravitating to these pubs for a cheap night out.
The South Bank

Big Ben and Parliament House


The South Bank area has many of the famous landmarks
you would wish to see on a trip to London, including the
London Eye and the Tate Modern, along this stretch of
the River Thames, from Westminister Bridge to London
Bridge.
The Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament are only a short walk down


Whitehall from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square.
The building is stunning from Parliament Square, but its
worth taking a walk over Westminster Bridge and
getting the view from the South Bank.

Note, Big Ben is actually the name of the bell in the


clock tower (St. Stephens Tower), which chimes every
15 minutes.
If you can somehow find your way inside a good
place to have a drink is the bars from within the houses
of Parliament. Caz knew someone who worked in there
and was able to sneak her in for a few with the toffs. A
great experience.
Facebook Fan Suggestions
Below are tips from members of our facebook fan page:
Marian Krueger The National Gallery with free
admission is a must see! http://nationalgallery.org.uk/
Lucy Dodsworth Bloomsbury is a fantastic area with
lots of museums, history, and places to eat. Afternoon
tea is great too at the Ritz if youre feeling flash, or
the Charlotte St Hotel for a cheaper but still glam
alternative.
Brian Hicks Frevds on Shaftsbury Avenue, little jem of
a cocktail bar. A Long Island Iced Tea for 6 and thats
cheap for London. Great vibe and lovely bar staff.
Travlrz

The

Borough

market

(http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/) is a great place to


visit if you are a foodie its a must. Open on Fri and
Saturdays I think. From there you can walk along the

river and some history alleyways to the Tate modern art.


Even if you are not arty-farty that is also a must see.
Joanna Golding have pizza at Dickens Inn at St
Katherines Dock (next to the Tower of London) its
incredible!
Never-Ending Footsteps Definitely Camden Town, one
of the coolest places in London. If youre into music then
Denmark Street is a must-visit too.
Joanne Griffith-Poplar Great curries or fantastic
bagels on Brick Lane. Check out the views of London
from Alexandra Palace (known as Ally Pally locally!). Sing
karaoke in Leicester Square and take in some great
culture at the Tate Modern on the South Bankthen
walk along South Bank. Enjoy my hometown!
Staci Welch Camden is still my favorite with young
punks sitting along the streets like a scene straight off
a Clash album cover, all of the different levels, indoor
and outdoor markets, crazy shops tucked into nooks &
crannies. Luv it.
Sean Bredbenner Just got back from 5 days in London
and absolutely loved it. The Windsor Castle pub (Notting
Hill) has to be the best pub in the city. Get there early
to get a table.
Elizabeth Hughes Im in London. Best thing have
bought for my trip is a Palace Pass its for 5 palaces

(Tower of London, Hampton court, kensington, kew and


another I cant think of) 41.00 and its valid for a year
so you can go back to your fave palaces over and over

again

and you get discounts and free stuff.

Tours By Locals I love love LOVE London. My sister


lives near Camden Town and it was the highlight of my
year to visit her for a week in 2010. So many faves, but
Ill mention three: I loved Borough Market, watching an
excellent Shakespeare production at the reconstructed
Globe Theatre and strolling around the Hampstead High
Street, then enjoying a walk on Hampstead Heath and a
pub lunch at the edge of the park.
Kaylin E Stephens For airports, I prefer Gatwick. Its
smaller and easier to get around, although more
expensive to get to (Gatwick express train is around 15
each way, I think; I chose it because I had an early
flight out that morning, but there are probably slower,
cheaper ways to get to/from). From Heathrow, you can
take the tube 4 to/from the city, although it takes an
hour to the center.
Robin Dickinson Allow plenty of time. Take your sketch
pad!
Traveling with Sweeney Churchills War Cabinet Rooms
are fascinating. Love walking along the South Bank (stop

at the Tate Modern and then have lunch near there), see
a play at the Old Vic. A hotel I like is the Sherlock
Holmes on Baker Street. I love a lot about London,
actually. Really nice view is from the upper walkway of
the Tower Bridge. The ferry to France is an enjoyable
way to go to and from England.
The Bill: Keeping London safe
By Caz Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 24 Comments
There isnt a city I feel safer in than London. This is
a result of my two years living in London, even during the
time when IRA bomb scares and actual bombings were
going on.
On my first day in London, an announcement came on the
Tube that the next station was closed due to a security
alert. A security alert meaning a suspicious package had
been left behind. The pub that I worked at in Liverpool
St had been damaged by a bomb that had gone off in
the city a couple of years earlier.
Despite all this, I felt safe in London.
There is not much that gets past the eyes of the Bill,
the English police force. They are notorious for being
super sharp and good at protecting their citizens. And
get this, they do not carry guns. At least, they didnt
when I was there. They keep that city under pretty
tight security and I never felt unsafe riding the tubes

alone at night-sometimes drunk- and walking the streets


on my own.

The Bill: Keeping London safe


See, I trust them. I know how with a squeal for help
they will be there in literally minutes. It happened to
me. I squealed and The Bill came to my rescue.
It was yet another night in Convent Garden with my
travelling-house

comrades.

We

found

ourselves,

sometimes three nights a week, drinking either at


Belushis, Southside or the Outback, or Walkabout, as it
is now called.
I think on this particular evening we found ourselves at
Southside. Two for one cocktails on a Thursday night
will do that. I still have the menu in my souvenir boxes
in the garage; it will go in my bar one day as a reminder
of great times with great friends, as well as a recipe for
some pretty delicious cocktails.

Convent Garden Photo: GTMC Knight


We had just left Southside to make our way to another
bar through one of the cobblestone back roads off the
garden. Having lived here for quite awhile we knew all
the shortcuts. Our Irish mate Antone was with us.
Antone is one of the craziest guys I know and one of the
most fun to hang out with. There was never a time we
went out that we werent in stitches over his antics.
You can read more about what he did on our Circle Line
pub crawl. Antone was always fooling around, and on this
night hell never forget how silly antics can sometimes
get out of hand.
The boys in our house used to do this crazy wrestling
thing with us girls, usually after several pints of beer or
games of three man. They would throw us on the ground
and pretend to spank us, while we would squirm and
squeal, Get off us! You are so gross
As we turned to go up another back alley, Antone
thought it would be funny to throw me on the ground
(albeit gently) and spank me. After a few minutes of

tussling and me screaming Get off me Anton, I broke


free and ran up the street to catch up with the rest of
our group, laughing hysterically.
I turned around, expecting to see Antone right behind
me, so I could laugh and celebrate my victory in
escaping. The laugh fell on my face. A very sober
Antone stood at the bottom of the alley looking at me
with pleading eyes. Two policeman had a hold of his
arms, ready to put him in the backseat of their vehicle.
I hadnt even heard them pull up and they were there
within minutes of our silly game starting.
Oh, come on Madge. Youve got to help me out here.
Gingerly, I walked back down the street, savouring every
moment of his desperation, trying not to laugh, as well as
trying to sober up. Anyone who could appear from thin
air like that needed to be treated with the utmost
respect and reverence.

Excuse me officer. Um. But he is my friend


Are you sure about that maam? It didnt look too
friendly to us

No seriously, he is. We live together and we were just


mucking around. We do this all the time. Im really sorry
for worrying you.
Their eyes pushed their brows up to the hairline.

Dont be afraid miss. We can take him down to the


station for questioning and sort him out.

No really, I promise you. This is Antone. We are


friends. We have been drinking at the Southside and we
are on our way to another bar, we were just playing is
all. Can you please let him go?
See I told you, were just friends. Antones shaking
eyes looked at them. I think they were really enjoying
scaring him.
They released him, No more silly buggers hey. Be nice
to the ladies. shaking their heads they jumped in their
bat mobile and drove away as fast as they came.
Antone threw his arms around me and we walked up the
street together.
Fookin ell. That was sooo close man. Thanks Madge, I
owe ya one.

Where the hell did they come from? I cant believe how
fast they got here. How would they have known?
The Bill have cameras everywhere Madge. Theres not
a street in this town where they dont have eyes on the
ground.

Well, you got lucky didnt ya? Drinks on you then. And
no more silly buggers hey?

Dicho esto, pasemos a lo importante, a por lo que


realmente has venido a parar a este blog, una visita
virtual por Londres! Como siempre, os dejo el plano con
las huellas para que tengis una referencia a seguir
durante vuestro viaje a Londres.

La primera parte de esta ruta ser algo ms corta


puesto que est pensada para empezar despus de comer
y terminar a la hora de la cena, nos ocupar toda una
tarde.
Las distancias en Londres son bastante grandes (como
ocurre en Paris), por lo que recomiendo comprar una
Oyster Card para viajar en el metro de una punta a otra
sin grandes esfuerzos. Os dejar anotado en cada punto
la parada de metro correspondiente a cada lugar por si
no queris andar demasiado o no disponis de mucho
tiempo.

1. MUSEO HISTORIA NATURAL: Metro de South


Kensington. (Gratis. 10-17.50h) No tenamos ni idea de
porque la gente nos recomendaba tanto este museo hasta
que entramos en su interior, es espectacular. No solo por
lo que contiene, sino porque el edificio en si ya merece
una visita por s solo.

Destacamos 3 partes de este museo (aunque si tenis


tiempo merece la pena ver el resto):
La escalera principal con la estatua de Charles
Darwin.
La parte dedicada a los dinosaurios con animatronic
del

T-Rex

incluido,

los

ms

pequeos

les

encantar. Nada ms entrar os encontraris con el


esqueleto de dinosaurio ms completo y largo que
jams se ha descubierto (26m).

La gran sequoia que se encuentra en la parte


opuesta a la escalera principal.

2. HARRODS: Metro de Knightsbridge. (Gratis. 1021h) Como ancdota curiosa decir que Harrods presume
de poder encontrar cualquier artculo que se pida y
enviarlo a cualquier punto del mundo (cualquier cosa
menos te de canela sin mezclar que era lo que nosotros
buscabamos, de eso no tienen jajaja), pero si han enviado
un caimn, un beb elefante o una figura de cera de ti
mismo, tambin venda cocana hasta 1916.
Los hermanos Al Fayed compraron el centro comercial en
1983, y es por eso que en su interior podis encontrar un
memorial a Dodi y la princesa Diana de Gales donde
exponen su anillo de compromiso. La zona en la que se
ubica es original porque est decorada con motivos
egipcios, bastante alejada del resto de la decoracin que
tiene este centro comercial.

Pero lo ms bonito de Harrods est en su exterior, y es


que la iluminacin nocturna del centro comercial es
simplemente grandiosa.

3. HYDE PARK: Metro de Hyde Park Corner (aunque es


tan grande que a su alrededor tiene varias paradas como
por ejemplo Marble Arch). Si vais en navidad podis
visitar Winter Wonderland (Gratis. 10-22h). Es una
especie de parque de atracciones con temtica navidea,
podis leer ms sobre esto en la entrada que le
dedicamos a las 10 cosas que ver en Londres durante la
navidad.

Qu cosas interesantes tiene para ver? Sin duda lo ms


conocido es el Speakers corner. Hay una especie de
banqueta a la que puedes subirte para discutir con la
gente sobre cualquier tema que no vaya en contra de la
ley. Aqu han hablado gente tan conocida como Karl Max,
Lenin, Engels u Orwell.
Tambin hay una estatua de Peter Pan, en el cuento
Peter Pan sale volando de la guardera y aterriza al lado
de Long Water, en el actual emplazamiento de la estatua.
En general es un buen lugar para detenerse a hacer un
picnic (si hace buen tiempo), siempre digo que en todas
las grandes ciudades es necesario tener un pulmn verde
dnde desconectar, este es el de Londres.
4. COVENT GARDEN: Metro Covent Garden. Si podis
es mejor visitarlo a primera hora de la noche cuando hay
ms animacin. Originariamente era un jardn donde se
cosechaban las verduras que servan de alimento a los
monjes de un convento cercano. En el siglo XVIII fue un
lugar dedicado a la prostitucin, como veis, se alej
bastante del propsito original del lugar. En la actualidad
es una especie de mercado mezclado con bares. Como
curiosidad, la acstica es tan buena que siempre hay
algn msico tocando, nosotros tuvimos la suerte de
disfrutar de un cuarteto de cuerda que tocaba msica
clsica.

5. NEALS YARD: Metro Covent Garden. Este es un


lugar que poca gente conoce en su primera visita a
Londres. Es una plaza muy colorida con ambiente
bohemio, naturista y alternativo, que se convirti en
lugar de visita obligada si pertenecias al movimiento
hippie. Esta en el cruce de Seven Dials, una plaza en la
que convergen 7 calles.
Muchos se han enamorado de este lugar lleno de
colorido, entre ellos los Monty Python, quienes ubicaron
en este lugar sus estudios de produccin (podeis ver el
lugar exacto marcado por una pequea placa azul).
Como recomendacin, aqu se encuentra uno de los
mejores lugares para comer pizza de todo Londres, el
Homeslice.
6. LEICESTER SQUARE: Metro Leicester Square. Es
una plaza muy animada dnde hacen las premieres de las
pelculas, nosotros en concreto vivimos el estreno de En

el corazn del Mar, si queris ver algn famoso este es


vuestro lugar. Pero lo mejor de esta zona sin duda es la
tienda de dos plantas de M&Ms, la delicia de los ms
golosos con cosas muy curiosas.
7. PICADILLY CIRCUS: Metro de Picadilly Circus.
Quien no conoce la famosa plaza llena de neones de
Londres? Tengo que confesar que fue de las cosas que
menos me gustaron del viaje, quizs tenga que ver con el
hecho de que ya he estado en Nueva York y contra Times
Square no hay competencia.
La famosa escultura que corona la fuente de Picadilly
Circus retrata al dios griego del amor, Eros, aunque en su
origen la figura representaba a su hermano gemelo
Anteros, dios del amor desinteresado, levantada en
honor

de

Lord

Shaftesbury,

un

desinteresado

benefactor de la ciudad de Londres, nosotros por


desgracia la vimos en obras.
Cuando se levant esta plaza tena forma de crculo de
ah su nombre, pero con el paso del tiempo y la
construccin de edificios fue perdiendo esa forma,
aunque no su nombre. En la novela de Bram Stoker,
Dracula, el conde vampiro compra la casa del nmero 347
de Picadilly, en realidad, las casas no llegan a un nmero
tan elevado y la direccin es ficticia.

8.

REGENT

STREET:

Metro de Picadilly Circus.

Subiendo de Picadilly a Oxford caminaremos por Regent


Street. En la esquina que hace curva pegando a Picadilly
hay una foto preciosa. Si aun os sents un poco nios
podis entrar a Hamleys y fascinaros con los mltiples
juguetes y peluches en su interior.

9. CHINATOWN: Metro de Picadilly Circus. La calle


principal se llama Gerrard Street, hay arcos de entrada
en forma de pagodas y las calles tienen nombres escritos
en chino. Si tenis fobia a ver animalitos muertos, no
miris a las vitrinas de las tiendas, en Chinatown es
tpico colgar patos lacados en todos los cristales.
Si pasis por Shaftesbury Avenue entrad al Rainforest
Caf, los que hayan viajado a Disneyland Paris sabrn de
lo que hablo pues all tambin se encuentra esta
cafetera/tienda ambientada en la jungla, es muy
entretenido ver los animales animatrnicos moverse

mientras escuchas los sonidos de la jungla o visitas la


cascada cubierta del interior.

10. SOHO: Metro de Oxford Street. Sin duda alguna


Carnaby Street es la calle ms colorida y animada de
todas las que visitamos. Su decoracin navidea era la
ms bonita, no os la podis perder (aunque los carteles
de Carnaby Street estn puestos durante todo el ao).
Al parecer esta zona antes se usaba para la caza del
zorro, y de ah viene su nombre puesto que los cazadores
gritaban so-hoe.

11. OXFORD STREET: Metro de Oxford Street. Si


queris trasladaros a un pueblecito de los Alpes os
recomiendo una visita al exterior de Liberty, tiene una
fachada de cuento. Es una calle ideal para ir de compras.

Como siempre, si os ha servido de


Como viene siendo habitual aqu tenis el mapa de la ruta
para que sigis la gua sin problemas.

1. St Martin in the Fields: Metro de Charing Cross. (820h) Realmente no os anoto este punto en la ruta por la
iglesia en si o porque sea un sitio imprescindible, sino
porque si descendis por la entrada que est en un
lateral (con forma de mini-cpula) entrareis en el Cafe in
the Crypt, que, como su nombre indica, es un caf en la
cripta de la iglesia, un lugar muy curioso para tomarse un
caf y comenzar la maana.
2. National Gallery: Metro de Charing Cross. (Gratis.
10-18h, viernes hasta las 21). Todos los cuadros que hay
en su interior fueron ocultados durante la Segunda
Guerra Mundial por orden del primer ministro Winston
Churchill, hoy, en esta galera, podis ver algunos de ellos
como por ejemplo los famosos Girasoles de Van Gogh, el
Estanque de nenfares de Monet o la Venus del espejo
de Velazquez.

Si est leyendo estas lneas algn fan de James Bond le


interesar saber que el cuadro que admira Bond en la
pelcula agente 007 contra el doctor No es el retrato
de Goya al Duque de Wellington. Este cuadro fue elegido
para esta pelcula porque sufri un curioso robo (el nico
robo que ha sufrido esta galera), el retrato fue robado
por un taxista quien lo guard durante 4 aos hasta que
confes su fechora devolvindolo a la National Gallery,
al parecer quera pedir un rescate y repartir el dinero
entre los pobres de Londres.

3. Trafalgar Square: Metro de Charing Cross. La


estatua del rey Carlos I se usa como kilmetro cero para
medir todas las distancias de Gran Bretaa, tal y como
ocurre con la puerta del Sol en Madrid.
Si os fijis hay 4 plintos en Trafalgar Square, uno de
ellos qued vaco por falta de dinero, por lo que las obras

de arte se turnan el plinto cada 18 meses, durante


nuestra visita haba un curioso esqueleto de caballo.
Debido a la superpoblacin de palomas el ayuntamiento
concedi permisos a algunos dueos de halcones para
sobrevolar la plaza con ellos y as espantar a las palomas
(o cazarlas). Cuidado con darlas de comer porque est
prohibido!
Desde esta plaza tendris vuestra primera toma de
contacto con el Big Ben, su silueta asoma a lo lejos de
Whitehall. En Trafalgar Square tambin se encuentra la
crcel ms pequea del mundo con tan solo espacio para
2 personas, est en la esquina sudeste de la plaza, es una
cabina cilndrica con una pequea puerta y un telfono
dentro.

4.

10,

Downing

St:

Metro de Charing Cross o

Westminster. Bajamos por Whitehall y dejamos atras el


puesto de la guardia montada a caballo al que volveremos

en el siguiente punto. En esta calle se encuentra la


residencia del Primer Ministro britnico, se ve bastante
mal porque la calle est cercada por unas vallas y
bastante polica, pero para hacerse una idea del lugar es
ms que suficiente.
Londres es un sitio muy usado en la filmografa, en este
caso la puerta nmero 10 se us en la pelcula de Love
Actually, si queris una foto tenis un clon de esta misma
puerta en el nmero 10 de Adam Street.
5.

Horse

Guards: Metro

de

Charing

Cross

Westminster. (A las 11h). Volvemos para atrs sobre


nuestros pasos en Whitehall a la puerta que comentamos
en el punto anterior. Un poquito antes de que se haga el
famoso cambio de guardia en Buckingham se hace el
cambio a caballo en este lugar (Desfile de Guardia de los
Caballos o Horse Guards Parade).
Si os quedis a verlo no os entretengis mucho o
correris peligro de no llegar al cambio de guardia del
palacio ya que empieza a las 11.30 y hay un paseo hasta
llegar a Buckingham desde aqu. Atravesar la puerta que
os llevar directamente al parque para llegar ms rpido.

6.

St.

James

Park:

Metro

de

Charing

Cross,

Westminster, St James Park o Victoria. Es el parque


ms antiguo de Londres, Enrique VIII fue el primer
propietario de esta zona pantanosa que ms tarde se
drenara para convertirse en un inmenso jardn.
Tenis unas vistas fantsticas del Palacio de Buckinham
desde el puente que cruza el lago. Este parque me gust
ms que Hyde Park, tena algo ms de magia y me pareci
ms relajante y fotognico. Adems est lleno de
curiosas ardillas que os perseguirn pidiendo cacahuetes.
Como dije ms arriba, Londres es un gran escenario de
pelcula, aqu se rodaron pelculas como 101 dlmatas de
Disney, Muere otro da de James Bond o 28 das
despus.

7.

Palacio

Buckinham:

Metro

de

Charing

Cross,

Westminster, St James Park o Victoria. (11.30h) No se


hace todos los das, tenis que informaros segn la fecha
en la que viajis, por ejemplo, en mi caso (Diciembre)
solo se hacan los das impares del mes.
Dura unos 40 minutos, y si queris tener un buen sitio al
junto a la valla ya podis madrugar. Como nosotros
vinimos de ver el cambio de guardia a caballo a las 11 ya
no pudimos ponernos tan cerca, pero nos quedamos en la
rotonda en la parte de la izquierda del palacio y la
verdad

es

que

lo

vimos

estupendamente

porque

desfilaban junto a nosotros para poder llegar dentro,


todo un acierto.
Antes, por protocolo, solo se ondeaba la bandera en el
Palacio de Buckingham si estaba la reina en su interior,
pero cuando Lady Di muri en 1997 los londinenses
mostraron su enfado al ver el mstil vacio (ya que la
reina no estaba dentro del palacio y por tanto no haba

ninguna bandera que pudieran ondear a media asta). La


reina en ese momento decidi romper el protocolo y desde
entonces la Union Jack (bandera de Gran Bretaa) siempre est
presente en Buckingham y cuando la reina est dentro se cambia
por su estandarte real.

8. Cabinet War Rooms: Metro de Westminster. (16.35. 9.3017h) Si sois amantes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial quizs
querris entrar a este edificio. Se cerr al pblico el 16 de
agosto de 1945 y todo lo que contena en su interior ha
permanecido prcticamente intacto desde entonces.
Desde la habitacin de los mapas se pasaba la informacin a las
tropas britnicas durante la guerra y desde la sala del telfono
transatlntico se comunicaban con Estados Unidos para la
provisin de alimentos y armas, hay incluso un telfono
codificado camuflado en un bao que comunicada directamente
con la Casa Blanca.
La mayora de los funcionarios que trabajaban aqu tambin
pasaban la noche, por eso tambin disponen de habitaciones. Pero
la sala ms importante es la del Primer Ministro Winston

Churchill, aunque este ltimo prefera dormir en el nmero 10 de


Downing Street que estaba a un paso de este edificio.
9. Abada Westminster: Metro de Westminster. (20. 09.30
15.30, mircoles hasta las 18h). Si sois seguidores habituales del
blog ya habris ledo nuestras entradas de Edimburgo donde
hablamos de la piedra del destino y su papel en la coronacin de
los reyes de Gran Bretaa, pues bien, dentro de la Abada se
encuentra el trono donde se sentaban todos los reyes ingleses
para ser coronados y si os fijis debajo de el hay un hueco, en
ese hueco es donde ponan la piedra del destino.
Pero sin duda lo ms bonito es el Rincn de los Poetas donde
estn enterrados escritores tan reconocidos como William
Shakespeare (solo est una placa conmemorativa no su cuerpo) o
Dickens. Este rincn se extendi ms tarde a otras categoras
como la ciencia, dnde estn enterrados Newton y Darwin entre
otros.
10. Parlamento/Palacio Westminster: Metro de Westminster.
(25.50. 9-17h) Aunque este edificio es ms conocido como el
Big Ben, en realidad este nombre se refiere solo a la campana de
su interior que cada cuarto de hora suena tocando su famoso
Westminster Chimes. Si creis que el reloj no es para tanto u
os lo habais imaginado ms grande, tener en cuenta que la altura
engaa, y es que sus agujas miden 2 y 4 metros y los nmeros son
de medio metro de altura.
Los ingleses son conocidos por su gran puntualidad, y no es para
menos porque el reloj de Westminster se ajusta gracias a un
montn de monedas de un penique que componen su pndulo, tan
solo con quitar una de ellas la velocidad del reloj varia en cuatro
dcimas al da.

Es un sitio que tenis que visitar de forma obligatoria de da y de


noche, podis intentar hacer coincidir vuestra visita con el
atardecer as la veris de las dos formas. Seguimos la ruta
cruzando el Puente de Westminster para llegar al London Eye.

11. London Eye: Metro de Westminster o Waterloo. (23.00.


10-20.30h). Siguiendo los consejos de muchos conocidos no
subimos al London Eye, es caro para lo que quizs puede
ofrecerte (y en la tercera parte del recorrido os voy a ensear
un mirador precioso que es gratuito).

Se construy para celebrar el cambio de milenio, por eso tambin


tiene el sobrenombre de la rueda del milenio. Personalmente
creo que es ms bonita de noche que de da, y si no queris

acercaros hasta su base podis verla perfectamente desde el


puente de Westminster.

12. Museo Britnico: Metro de Holborn o Tottenham Court


Road. (Gratis. 10-17.30h, viernes hasta 20.30h). En una ocasin
le que si dedicramos tan solo 1 minuto a cada pieza del museo
tardaramos 12 aos en verlo completamente.
Nosotros hicimos seleccin con lo que nos pareca ms
interesante, el Moai de la Isla de Pascua, el Partenn, las momias
de Egipto, y por supuesto, la joya de la corona: la piedra Rosetta.

Cmo trasladarte con los nios por Londres:


Easybus,Terravisin y Oyster
ste es el segundo post de una serie de ellos donde os contar
todo tipo de detalles sobre mi viaje a Londres con los nios,

para que os sirva de informacin y de gua a la hora de organizar


el vuestro.
El artculo de hoy tratar sobre varias opciones de traslados del
aeropuerto-ciudad-aeropuerto y sobre cmo moverse por
Londres.

Para trasladarte del aeropuerto de Stanted a Londres


elegimos Easybus. Al reservar los billetes con Easyjet, v la
opcin que me daban para trasladarme a la ciudad y como
tenamos prisa porque fue un viaje pensado a ltima hora y con
poco tiempo, la reservamos tambin a todo correr, pero debes
saber varias cosas importantes:

EASYBUS O TERRAVISIN

EASYBUS

Como ya os explicaba en el primer post dedicado a Viajar con


nios a Londres Easyjet, ste viaje fue organizado a ltima
hora, y sin mucho tiempo de investigar, as que no pude mirar

mucha informacin sobre los traslados, y elegimos la primera


opcin econmica que me daban cuando reservaba los billetes con
la compaa area.
Tengo que reconocer que a diferencia de lo que suelo hacer
cuando viajo, en esta ocasin compr los billetes del traslado
primero, y luego mir las opiniones, a riesgo de encontrarme
algunas que no me gustaron nada, como por ejemplo que el
autobs de esta compaa no era puntual etc. As que ya iba con
la idea de poder encontrarme con cualquier sorpresa cuando
llegara all.

Mi experiencia con Easybus

1- Muy Barato: 16,36 euros ida y vuelta por cada pasajero.


2- Muy puntuales: sale cada hora del lugar concretado. Aqu os
quiero hacer una puntualizacin.
A la hora de reservar los billetes, te preguntan a qu hora tienes
previsto coger el autobs, as que tienes que calcular mas o
menos segn la hora de la llegada del vuelo, y ponerlo en la
reserva.
Pueden pasar dos cosas:
Que llegues a la hora que habas calculado, as que genial
Que no llegues a la hora calculada, bien porque el avin se
ha retrasado o cualquier otro motivo: aqu pasa una cosa y
es que tienes que esperar a la hora siguiente para que salga
el prximo. Es un poco arriesgado, intenta calcular bien.

A nosotros la operacin nos sali muy bien, no hubo ningn tipo de


retraso y llegamos a la hora prevista, as que nos pusimos rumbo
a Londres en cuanto llegamos.

3- Duracin del viaje: Stanted no est especialmente lejos de la


ciudad, pero al haber mucho trfico y miles de semforos, el
viaje en el autobs se hace bastante pesado la verdad, tarda 2
horas, aunque ya lo sabamos porque esa informacin te la dan
cuando haces la reserva. Hay que tener en cuenta lo barato que
nos han salido los billetes, as que estaba mas que asumido.
4- Amabilidad: a diferencia de lo que pude leer en muchas
opiniones, los conductores, fueron muy amables con nosotros.
Est claro que depende mucho de con quien coincidas.
5- Autobs grande; pensbamos que se trataran de microbuses
de unas 10 plazas, pero nos encontramos con un autobs de los
grandes.
6- Seguridad: Cmo podis ver en las fotos, todos los asientos
tienen cinturn de seguridad, y para los mas pequeos hay
alzadores, as que genial.

7- Wifi: nos vino genial porque las dos horas se hacen muy
tediosas sobre todo cuando ya ests deseando llegar al hotel. Con
el wifi, estuvimos mas entretenidos,mandando whatsapp a
familiares para contarles que ya estbamos all, cotillear internet
y qu te voy a contar que no sepas...
8- Limpio: imagino que depender tambin de la experiencia de
cada uno. Los dos autobuses que cogimos tanto para la ida como
para la vuelta al aeropuerto, estaban impolutos.

TAXI
Tambin est la opcin de llamar a un taxi que te lleve a la ciudad
y te haga sentir como un londinense original jeje, pero sta, es
una opcin que logicamente no era viable, ni quiero imaginar lo que
te pueden cobrar, as que os dejo con otra opcin tambin muy
econmica, ah va:

TERRAVISIN

Respecto a esta compaa no puedo hablaros mucho porque no fue


la que reserv y no tengo la experiencia, pero si tengo que
deciros, que nos encontramos con un stand en el aeropuerto de

Bilbao, donde una chica muy amable venda los billetes para los
traslados de Londres.
Para saber la diferencia entre ste y Easybus, le pregunt a la
chica y me dijo que los autobuses de Terravisin salen cada 15
minutos, es decir que si el avin se retrasa y no llegas a la hora
concretada etc, los autobuses estn pasando cada 15 minutos.
El precio es muy similar al de Easybus y tarda lo mismo en llegar
a la ciudad.
sta opcin me gust mucho, as que he querido controslo para
que os informis y eligas bien.
Tambin est genial, que en el mismo aeropuerto te vendan los
billetes de traslados, siempre hay algn despistado que las puede
comprar all mismo.

Mi experiencia con Easybus fue muy buena, as que echar un


vistazo, comparar opciones y elegir la que mas os convezca.

Para movernos por Londres en metro: La Oyster sin duda.

El primer da de metro result ser un poco "lioso", menos mal que


Alberto es el encargado siempre de estos detalles viajeros
Siempre nos gua genial!

En mi vida haba visto tanta gente en el metro, ni en Pars, ni en


Roma, ni en Nueva York que ya es decir. Tambin es verdad que
la semana de febrero en la que fuimos, coincida con vacaciones

escolares all y por eso haba tanto movimiento en el metro, pero


an as me pareco una pasada. Soltar la mano a la nia? Inviable.

Tenis que tener en cuenta que en Londres el metro es bastante


carillo, as que mirar la opcin que mejor os convenga. A nosotros
la que mas nos convenci sin duda fue la Oyster.

1. Se compran en el metro
2. Los nios menores de 11 aos no pagan metro en Londres

3. Segn los das que te vayas a quedar, haz un clculo y paga


la cantidad teniendo en cuenta que te van a pasar 5 libras
mas por la fianza. Para que os hagis una idea, nosotros
estuvimos 3 das, hicimos unos 9 viajes cada persona,
habiendo llenado cada tarjeta cuando la compramos con 20
libras mas los 5 de la fianza, nos gastamos 25 libras.
4. Hay que comprar una tarjeta Oyster por persona, no se
pude compartir.
5. La fianza de las 5 libras se devuelve: pregunta bien segn
en la estacin de metro que ests, en qu mquinas se
devuelve. Nosotros nos hemos encontrado con gente que
informaba en todas las estaciones de metro, as que seguro
que alguien te gua.
6. Con la Oyster parece ser que puedes montar tambin en
autobus: aunque nosotros no lo hicimos.
7. Muy cmodo
8. Colarse? no te lo aconsejo para nada, a diferencia de Roma
o Nueva York, nunca haba visto a tanto personal vigilando
para que esto no
pase.
9. ANDA PERO SI ME HE TRAIDO CONMIGO DE
VUELTA DOS TARJETAS OYSTER CON LA FIANZA
DE 5 LIBRAS CADA UNA , Y UNOS MAPAS DEL
METRO LOS QUIERES? S el primero o primera y
ponme un mensaje en facebook contndome porqu las
quieres ok??? y al que mas me convezca le mandar por
correo ordinaro las tarjetas con una funda de Londres
y el mapa del metro. QU TE PARECE?

Existe otra opcin mas econmica, seguro que es la mas


econmica del mundo Cual? "patear" as que calzado cmodo y a
recorrer lo que puedas andando, y si vas con nios pequeos que
van en silla, eso que te llevas por delante, y si ya no estn en
edad de silla, pues paciencia y poco a poco. No te dar tiempo a
ver todo lo que quieres pero como el ritmo es mas tranquilo
seguro que lo que te encuentres lo observars con mas
detenimiento, y si le sumas al pateo un rico y calentito caf de
Starbucks con rica canela, pues mejor que mejor.
Viajar con nios a Londres: cmo organizar un viaje low cost
Aunque parezca mentira, 3 das en Londres con sol, nos han dado
para mucho. Organizar este viaje con la nia no fue muy difcil,
primero porque ha sido un viaje planeado en el ltimo momento,
as que no tuve mucho tiempo para la preparacin de plannings, ni
tiempo all para visitar lugares que tena como interesantes. Todo
ha sido planificado en unos pocos das de forma rpida y sobre la
marcha, an as, la experiencia ha sigo increble y eso os voy a
reflefar en todo lo que os voy a contar.

Mi mayor miedo en este viaje? El dineral que me haban dicho


me iba a gastar, pero he de decir que no ha sido as, mas bien nos
hemos organizado para conseguir el efecto contrario, y de eso
escribir en mis siguientes post tambien.

Voy a tratar de daros un montn de informacin para que podis


organizar un viaje a Londres low cost con vuestros hijos, y que
voy a clasificar de la siguiente manera: ir escribiendo
diferentes post durante estas semanas donde los temas a tratar
sern los siguientes:

Viajar con nios a Londres


1. Billetes avin, Compaa Area Easyjet
2. Transporte del aeropuerto Stanted-Londres-Stanted:
Easybus o Terravisin
3. Moverte en metro: Tarjeta Oyster
4. Alojamiento: Apartamento en Candem Town
5. La comida: no es tan cara como cuentan
6. Visita Londres con nios 1 parte
7. Visita Londres con nios 2 parte
8. Un mercado muy especial: Candem Town
9. Lugares de la ciudad que quizs no hubiera visitado y otros
en los que me hubiera quedado mas tiempo.
10.
nios

Conclusiones para un viaje low cost a Londres con los

Qu me ha gustado mas? Londres o Nueva York? no tienen


nada que ver una con la otra, son totalmente diferentes, aunque
si bien es cierto que tienen similitudes en nombres de calles,
como el Soho, Chinatown, etc, Londres no tiene nada que ver con
Nueva York. Me ha parecido una ciudad muy interesante, an con
lo complejo del idioma, y que sin duda volvera a repetir en cuanto
pudiera. Quin sabe! quizs mas pronto de lo que imagino.
Coge papel y boli, o anota en tu mvil, tablet, y Atentos a mis
prximos post sobre Londres con nios!
Londres en un da y medio? Pero qu dices? Estas loca? No, si
quieres, se puede ver lo principal de Londres en un da y
medio. Eso si, olvdate de visitar todos los museos habidos y por
haber, de entrar en Westminster Abbey, en la Torre de Londres
y en dems atracciones tursticas. Tienes que priorizar e ir
directo a los sitios que ms te interese.
Os voy a describir el itinerario que yo realic para que os sirva
de gua, pero luego ya tenis que elegir lo que ms os interese a
vosotros. Tengo que comentar que yo me alojaba en el Easyhotel
London Victoria, que est muy cerca de la estacin Victoria, por
lo que poda moverme en metro por toda la ciudad fcilmente.Y

por supuesto os saldr rentable comprar la Travelcard o la


Oyster porque la vais a amortizar, os dejo el enlace a la web de
los Transportes de Londres (lo de los transportes en Londres da
para otro post)
DA 1
Salida del hotel Easyhotel London Victoria a la estacin de
tren Victoria para desayunar y comprar la Travelcard off
peak para se da. La Travelcard off peak se puede utilizar
desde las 09:30 de la maana.
De la Estacin Victoria andando por Buckingham Palace
Road hasta llegar a Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace
Andando por Buckingham Gate hasta el cruce con Victoria
Street.Llegada a Westminster Abbey, St Margaret
Church, Big Ben y Parlamento. No entr a Westminster
Abbey porque no tena mucho tiempo y prefera ver otros
sitios. Al lado est la iglesia de Saint Margaret, muy
pequeita pero con mucho encanto. Segu andando hasta el
Parlamento y Big Ben admirando el maravilloso edificio
estilo gtico. Cruc el Westminster Bridge para ver el Big
Ben y el Parlamento desde el otro lado del ro y aprovech
para ver tambin la noria conocida como London Eye.

Cruc el puente de nuevo y all cog el metro hasta la parada


de Tower Hill. Me diriga hacia la Torre de Londres.
Sal del metro Tower Hill y fui a ver la Torre de Londres
por fuera. Hay un paseo al lado del ro que la bordea y te
lleva hasta Tower Bridge. Recorr se paseo hasta llegar a
la mitad del puente, me di la vuelta y me met en el metro
otra vez direccin St. Pauls Cathedral.

Del metro fui directa a ver St. Pauls Cathedral. La verdad


que por fuera no me dijo mucho por fuera, slo me pareci
reseable la cpula, que se encuentra entre las ms grandes
del mundo. No entr por lo que no puedo opinar del interior.

St Pauls Cathedral
Aprovech que hay al lado un Starbucks para tomarme un
caf y descansar un ratito.
Despus del pequeo descanso enfil Cannon Street y
Fleet Street porque quera ver la Iglesia del Temple. Hay
un post sobre sta iglesia en el blog.

Fleet Street
Sal de ver la Iglesia del Temple y me dirig al metro para ir
a Camden.
Llegu a Camden, casi mi objetivo principal del da, a lo que
ms ganas le tena de todo Londres. Aprovech que era
buena hora para comer y compr comida china por 4 Libras
y me sent en unos asientos frente al canal que son unas
Vespas.

Despus de comer pase por la zona de los Establos y


Camden Lock aprovechando para hacer algunas compras.
Cuando termin de ver Camden me dirig a Picadilly Circus,
hice la foto tpica de los carteles luminosos y me met en

Lilywhites a seguir de compras


Despues de alguna compra ms, fui a Carnaby Street, cuna
del estilo mod y de las compras durante los aos 60.

Carnaby Street

De Carnaby Street fui dando un paseo por Soho Square


Gardens y Leicester Square hasta llegar a Trafalgar
Square, aprovechando para ver St Martin in the Fields
por fuera y la National Gallery por dentro. Me mora por
ver Los Girasoles de Van Gogh y el Matrimonio Arnolfini de
Van Eyck.

Sal de la National Gallery y me dirig de nuevo hacia


Westminster Abbey y el Parlamento para verlos
iluminados.

Parlamento iluminado
Y con sto puse fin a mi da agotador pero muy
satisfactorio, tocaba coger fuerzas para el da siguiente.
DA 2
Check out del Easyhotel.
Me dirig andando hasta Westminster Cathedral, de estilo
neobizantino y la mayor iglesia catlica de Inglaterra y
Gales.

Westminster Cathedral
Despus me met en el metro hasta el Museo Britnico, y
all me pas casi toda la maana. Impresionante la parte
dedicada al Partenn, alucin.

Cuando sal del Museo Britnico fui hasta St Jamess Park


y de all paseando por Churchil War Room, Horse Ward
Parade y Whitehall hasta llegar otra vez a Westminster.

De all en metro a Victoria y a coger el autobs hacia el


aeropuerto, el fin del viaje haba llegado.