Friday, July 29, 2011

London - my top tourist picks

(see number 3)

I've only been the two times to London, but since I glossed over or omitted some of my favorite tourist sites in my more detailed posts, I thought I would provide a condensed list of my recommendations should you find yourself in this amazing city.  I am sure there is much more to do that I haven't experienced, but here are my personal top picks, if you're interested.  There are 9, and although I wish there were 10, I have been highly selective about this list.

1.  See a play at the Globe.  If your legs and back can handle it and/or you are strapped for cash, stand.  It's not that bad.

2.  London Walks.  I did the pub walk, but I hear the Jack the Ripper tour is quite interesting as well, as long as you accept no substitutions and make sure you get the real Jack the Ripper expert (Donald Rumbelow)!

3.  Read a book set in London, and set out to find the places in the book.  The first time I was there, I read Mrs. Dalloway.  This time, as I was leaving, I bought a book called The Girl in the Mirror, historical fiction based on the execution of Lord Essex by Queen Elizabeth, and found myself wishing I could tour all the gardens mentioned in the book.  It's a good way to get yourself to places in the city that you wouldn't otherwise have a reason to go to. 

4.  Eat the food.  Fish and chips with malt vinegar, a cheddar and Branston pickle sandwich, or bacon on a roll with butter and HP sauce.  And tea, and a pint of beer or 3.  For a culture not exactly known for their food, there are some tasty treats to be had. 

5.  Visit the National Gallery and the Tate Modern.  I am particularly fond of these two art museums.

6.  Visit St. Paul's and, if you can, climb to the top.  Leave lots of time, because between the climb up and the visit to the crypt, you could spend a whole day there.

7.  Go to Leadenhall Market and wander around the City of London for a day.  If you are like me, you would probably enjoy getting yourself an American Hot Pizza from the Pizza Express in Leadenhall at lunchtime. 

8.  Tour the Tower of London.  I did this last time, and wished I had time to do it again this visit.

9.  If you're there long enough, get out of London.  Go to Stratford-upon-Avon for some Shakespeare, visit nearby castles or gardens, trek to Bath.  There is much to be seen.  Also, I know Stonehenge gets mixed reviews, but I, for one, found it worth the trip.

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