View Full Version : 24 hours in London

02-26-2011, 09:20 AM
So, I have tucked a whole day of touristing at the end of a European business trip in early April.

Anybody have any off the beaten path gems in London I should not miss? I was there 3 years ago and so I have done most of the big stuff (Eye, National Galley, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's, Tower etc) so I am looking at some of the less obvious things to do.

Considering the Tate Modern, RAF Museum, Hampton Court Palace (maybe too far out?) and others and trying to do the tube as much as possible. We are staying off the Piccadilly line at Hammersmith, so it should be pretty easy to get around.

Also open to any restaurant ideas and suggestions for the perfect little Curry house!

Frank II
02-26-2011, 11:40 AM
London is one of my favorite places on earth.

I've taken numerous guided walks with London Walks. Never had a bad one and they have an eclectic selection.


In the evening I'd suggest either a pub crawl (London Walks offers them) or the theater.

If you are interested in theater, you can get discount tickets for that evenings performance at TKTS:


Since you mentioned the RAF museum, there's also the Naval Museum at Greenwich and the Imperial War Museum in south London.

Hampton Court will take up a good part of the day. Windsor Castle is another idea about 45 minutes outside of London. This will also take a good part of the day.

Fat Crip
02-26-2011, 09:51 PM
Though the UK isn't a large country, I live at the other end, however, until my injury I used to go to London a couple of times a month.

For galleries/museums, I love Tate modern. It's fairly central, just a 5 min walk from St Paul's over the Millennium Bridge, which is almost an icon in its self. While you're over there you should see the Globe Theatre. Even if you don't see a play there, it's interesting to see the authentic stage where Shakespeare first put on his plays - actually it's all fake, but good all the same!

The other gallery/museum is the Victoria and Albert, always known as the V&A, in Kensington. It's on Exhibition road, known for the Science, Natural History and Geological museums too, not to mention the Albert Hall. You could easily spend a week down there and still not see everything.

The RAF museum in Hendon holds a place in my heart as my great, great uncle (D'Acy Greig) was one of the RAF's original members, a founder of the Caterpillar Club, holder of two world air speed records, winner of the Schneider Trophy and all round mad man, he inspired my Grandfather to join the RAF as a bomber pilot and he was to become the youngest Wing Cdr ever in the RAF's history gaining a DSO and DFC en route before being killed in a Lancaster on his third tour. His brother, my namesake was also a bomber pilot, sadly killed just one moth later. My other Grandfather was in costal command, won 2 DFCs and became an Air Vice Marshal (still going strong at 91) and both my parents were RAF officers. Of course I took a commission in the Navy! However, it's. Bi out of town. The Imperial War Museum is easier to reach and you can take. Boat up to Greenwich for the Naval Museum.

If you fancy a curry, then all the best authentic curry houses are in Brick Lane. This is the centre of the cloth trade, and every other door is a curry house or a cloth shop/factory. It's seedy and a bit down at heal, but still the best place for a curry.

The tube is great for getting about but get either an A to Z book or better still, one of the little pocket A to Z maps a well. These have tube maps on them but they are better 'joined together' than the tube map is. For example, on the tube map, which is a topographical representation only, Trafalgar Square (celebrating Nelson's 1805 victory) looks like it's miles from Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Soho, China Town and Regent's Street, but, in truth none is more than five or ten minutes walk from the others. The pocket map illustrates this a bit better than the A to Z book, and far better than an iPhone' Sat Nav.

Enough to be going on with?

02-27-2011, 04:27 PM
The Silver Vaults are very interesting if that is your sort of thing.

So is the Greenwich Observatory. Add to the fun by taking a GPS along to check the real location of the Prime Meridian - it isn't actually at the marked location any more!

The museum there is very interesting and the original Harrison timepieces are all on display.

Don't forget to set your watch to GMT while you're there. And if you have a pocket tape measure check that as well - the official yard standard is also at Greenwich.


02-27-2011, 05:47 PM
Thank you all this is wonderful!

Love the Walk suggestion Frank! One of their pub crawls looks to be just the ticket.

Eric, thanks for the reminder on the V&A and the lovely background on the RAF Museum. I will take a look at the Imperial War Museum and see if it fits in the schedule better. Also, thanks for the advice on the Tube...I do remember taking a tube ride last time I was there and almost being able to see the previous stop when we got off.

Audrey, the Greenwich Observatory sounds like a good idea.

Now I just have to be a bit brutal to get all the ideas down to one livable day!

Frank II
02-28-2011, 08:36 AM
Actually not as difficult as you think as three of the things mentioned are in the same area (basically).

Start in Greenwich (SE London), head over to the Imperial War Museum (South London), and one of the pub crawls is along the south bank of the Thames (also south London).

So, no running around the entire city. You, sort of, stay in the same area.

02-28-2011, 09:04 PM

Check out the Borough Market, a great open air market with lots of stalls to browse and plenty of yummy goodies to pick up - one of our favorite discoveries when my hubby and I went over in '07 to visit a pal.

03-01-2011, 03:54 PM
A friend took me to Sir John Soane's museum, which I found pretty fascinating.

Their web site is http://www.soane.org/

If you go to Brick Lane for curry, I'd avoid any shop with a salesman out front.

03-01-2011, 05:55 PM
RAF museum is a must see.

Fat Crip
03-01-2011, 07:13 PM
If you go to Brick Lane for curry, I'd avoid any shop with a salesman out front.

Good point, but at least that narrows your choice down a lot!

03-02-2011, 09:13 AM

I. Love. Curry. If I ever visit London and get tired of trying to find Gordon Ramsay, I'll go find some curry there. :cool:

03-02-2011, 10:51 AM
The best curry places are up North,,in Yorkshire....