Friday, 2 July 2010

hooray for London!

on an impulse (and a bargain from Eurostar) I am going to be in London from 14th-18th July, avoiding the Jour de Fete Nationale (which is what the French call Bastille Day), mainly seeing my children and grandchild, but also for the first time in my life being a tourist in London - so what places and people should I see?  There is talk of a festival in Stoke Newington and of the Tate Modern among other things.  Suggestions please.


Anonymous said...

Tate Modern? Seriously, give it a miss. It’s vastly over-rated, and seems to attract the worst type of tourist and London resident alike. On the positive side, it has taken all the crowds away from Tate Britain on Millbank, and the National Gallery. Go to those before the Coalition reintroduces Admission Charges.

Then, go to Greenwich for a mooch about. Walk to the top of the Park (the best in London) and go onto Blackheath to see the Ranger’s House. Then back down to the Observatory, Naval Museum (maybe), Queen’s House and Naval Hospital. Lots to see, some good places to eat, and you can get there by boat or train – or on the top of a red bus, which is dead touristy.

See a play in the Globe if you like, but maybe Regent’s Park Open Air would be more fun – BYOB.

See if you can find the statue of Hodge, Dr Johnson’s cat, which is just off Fleet Street – I won’t tell you where, as you will have more fun, and see more of London, if you have to find it for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Stewart Lee is playing at the Just the Tonic Club in leicester square. He is the funniest man in the world. See you there

Anonymous said...

Go to Sarastro and visit the porny loos.

Or Maggie Jones's
Elder sister of Le Poule au Pot.

Anonymous said...

You could always get on the train to Reading and spend a Saturday afternoon wandering around, see what a hole it has become after 13 years of Labour.

Anonymous said...

There is an interesting exhibition at V&A. There is a good exhibition on maps at the British Library.

Several museums have been refurbished, expanded and completely changed - try the Museum of London, London Transport Museum, Jewish Museum (in Camden Town), Brunel Museum (Rotherhithe) etc. There are around 20 borough museums around London.

Try guided tours of theatres like the Globe Theatre, and sports gorunds like the new Wembley and Arsenal, as well as Spurs and Chelsea, Lord's, Twickenham, Wimbledon etc.

There are many different places of worship (churches, synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras), including a new Hindu temple in Wembley plus the one in Neasden.

There are also tourist sites, such as City Hall, and, of course, Parliament.

Don't forget Reading Museum, the Museum of English Rural Life and the almost destroyed Blake's Lock Museum.

Anonymous said...

London Zoo. Seriously!

Anonymous said...

Go to The Henry Moore exhibition at Tate Britain and have lunch for old times' sake in the restaurant.

Went to Tate Modern a couple of weeks ago to see a brilliant photographic exhibition about spying and prying on people unbeknowns.
Felt very unclean afterwards - not helped by the nasty retsaurant and supra snotty waiters. A request that we had a portion of butter and bread each was met with anger and barely concealed rage - and there is a nasty atmosphere to Tate Modern in its entirety.
I think it is because it was originally a gasworks - not a place where people used to frequent - like Musee d'Orsay - a delight of a place.

It felt like a gas chamber, actually.

Nowtas said...

Whitechapel Gallery - bit small, but quite a range of exhibitions and immediately next door to the tube entrance.

Borough Market on the Friday.

Saatchi Gallery - love this place.

BFI Southbank - website gives listings, quite a bit on the archiving projects at the moment, and always something to drop in to the exhibition room for, to justify a coffee at their bars.

I quite like the Tate Modern (I often start a day at Borough market, visit TM, then spend most of day at BFI) - but the Rude Brittania exhibition at Tate Britain appeals as quite a few friends have seen and enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

The Smoking Room.