Looking for a good time in London

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Snowboy71, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Snowboy71

    Snowboy71 Been here awhile

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    No! Not that kind!

    I’m traveling for work to Ethiopia then London over the next couple weeks and will have some extra time in London nov. 17-20. Looking for cool stuff to do in London that is the off the beaten track kind. Love ideas and suggestions. Moto fun certainly accepted but also other interesting stuff. Any London based custom builders with open shops to drop into? Favorite bars or espresso joints? Edgy art galleries or amazing modern architecture? Any suggestions welcome! Also up for meeting locals who enjoy showing off their city.
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  2. MikeMikeOnABike

    MikeMikeOnABike Adventurer

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    Worth a trip to The Bike Shed. Usually have some custom bikes on display a half decent restaurant and beer on site. They do run certain events/talks there also, so worth looking up.
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  3. Snowboy71

    Snowboy71 Been here awhile

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    Thanks MikeMikeOnABike. Just looked it up and it seems like a good spot to check out. Keep 'em coming!
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  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    No one mentioned the Ace Cafe?

    Like any big city, London has more cafe's/coffee shops than you can shake a big stick at.
    If there are other interests then that may help people point you in a general direction rather than say try Covent Garden or Borough Market.

    Trawl through the Guardian for things to do in London, usually off the beaten tourist track. They did have an article about traditional English workingmens caff's some time ago. Huge mugs of rosie, vast plates of full English breakfasts, that sort of thing.
    As I 'm sure you know, London is kinda big and getting from one end to the other can be time consuming. It can need planning.

    Just in case you find you want to do a tourist day, I often take overseas friends first to Buck house (Buckingham Palace, this is always requested) walk thru St James Park to the Admiralty, thru the Arch to Whitehall. On to Westminster, then along the Southbank to Tower Bridge. Lots of stuff along the way, and hostelries. You could do a tour of HMS Belfast or the Tower at the end.
    Another thing to do is to take the river taxi from wherever central to Greenwich. Take in the Observatory and the Meridian. Most important is to have a look at the Harrison chronometers. Absolutely stunning. Especially when you realise John Harrison had no formal training, and was actually a carpenter. His contribution to navigationis absolutely fundamental to our modern world and our own sport of adventure riding.
    You can walk under the Thames (worlds first under sea/river bed tunnel, by Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel - still the same method used today). Then catch the driverless DLR (Docklands Light Railway) great if you can get to sit at the front. Thru Docklands and Canary Wharf and Billingsgate market to Bank.

    There are endless museums and galleries. Natural History, Science, V&A, British etc etc. IWM, which also has a branch mostly air related at Duxford. Easier to get to by train/public transport is Bletchley Park (train to Bletchley, station just a few steps away) home of the Enigma codebreakers. Lots more to it than you may imagine - 10,000 people worked there during the war.

    As you can tell, I'm not a Londoner, and don't like cities much, especially big sprawling ones. Paris is OK, you can do most of it on foot.
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  5. Snowboy71

    Snowboy71 Been here awhile

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    Wow, this is great. The walking tour will be perfect and love the idea of seeing the chronometers. So With Ace Cafe and The Bike Shed I should get my fix of motos. I think I'll also take a day to run up to Oxford and tour some of the schools. Actually about to board my flight from Addis to London now. I sleep like crap on flights so when I get in at 7am London time I'll be searching hard for that first espresso to keep me going.
    Cheers!
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  6. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    The Greenwich Observatory is really something.

    The alternative to Oxford is Cambridge, which is a bit more compact and accessible. (Allumni may bridle at this).

    If you want to take the train, Bletchley Park. From London St Pancras - a nice visit in itself - Bletchley station is a very short walk from the Park) is well worth it. An all day visit.
    https://bletchleypark.org.uk/

    Bit more on Duxford, a pre war airfield - very active during the war of course, the branch of Imperial War Museum which focuses on aircraft. Wander through the halls where ancient aircraft are being restored, chat to the mostly volunteer guys doing the work. Lots of planes awaiting restoration and the big hanger with a changind display - sea planes and flying boats one time I was there. Concorde and a few other air liners on another occasion.
    There are several set piece displays about air warfare with planes, a whole large pavilion dedicated to the USAF - most of the US planes I could put a name to - B52, to give you a sense of how big it is, a Blackbird, lots of other significant planes. Well displayed, I thought.
    At the rear, a hall dedicated to armoured warfare. Summer times there are flights round the locality in vintage planes.
    Not sure how you would get there. Right on the M11 - not far, but needs self transport I think.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford Maybe some clarification in here.
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  7. bozo92

    bozo92 Adventurer

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    And don't forget the Ace Cafe in Wembley. Good fun!
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