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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:48 pm 
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I am going to be in London for a short stay in early March of '20. I have a room near Heathrow, and have two nights and what amounts to a day and half to explore. So...I am looking for suggestions both regarding public transportation and "must see" activities.

One source has suggestion a train to Victoria station and plan to spend the full day in that area? One caveat, health issues (and age) limit a massive amount of walking.

Thanks for the help. P.S. If anyone is familiar with Porto, Portugal, suggestions would also be welcome.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:15 pm 
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Of course it depends on interest, but the British Museum is probably my favourite museum in London. The Science and Natural History Museum are great, but more aimed towards children to some extent. British Library has some amazing things too.

London Underground can be packed at peak times but is damn useful.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:49 pm 
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You are right to plan in advance, quite a lot of things to do in and around Victoria, some walking but the tube is the best way to keep that down. Fares are sorted by a credit card, one card per person swipe at the entrance to the tube, there is a capped amount you can spend. Or you can get an 'Oyster Card', credit card works fine though.

A couple of suggestion, but there are loads more!

Churchills War room are interesting. Part of the Imperial War Museum

Westminster Abbey

If you fancy afternoon tea, very British! In a classic London Store, House of Fraser.

The Tea Terrace


The Tea Terrace - LONDON VICTORIA STREET
2nd Floor, House of Fraser
101 Victoria Street London SW1E 6QX
Tel 0844 8003762
Victoria@TheTeaTerrace.com


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:56 pm 
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Forgot the National Gallery if you like that kind of thing. It's also well placed for seeing lots of nice buildings.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:02 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
Forgot the National Gallery if you like that kind of thing. It's also well placed for seeing lots of nice buildings.


And Tate Britain (Art Gallery) is close as well good point!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:10 am 
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I love the Imperial War Museum. Truly brilliant place, but guess you need to have a passing interest or stronger in WWI/II. Also, the top floor is the permanent holocaust memorial. That is interesting, it is chilling, it is worth seeing but it's not exactly a good time. Natural history museum is also bad donkey. Buckingham Palace did nothing for me. Trafalgar Square has the National Gallery (I think, it has a big art gallery at least) if you like to see 10000 paintings of Jesus or his mother, wasn't my cup of tea. Parliament and Big Ben are kinda cool, though I'm not sure how much you can see of Big Ben. I liked London Zoo. They had a couple of beautiful big gorillas, penguins and a brilliant butterfly enclosure, if you like that kind of business. However, if I remember correctly, the underground near the zoo seems to be located in the centre of the earth and was down hundreds of steps with one elevator/lift and none of the moment. Some stations can be a bit tricky if you/your party has some issues with lots of stairs etc. I'm not sure how to easily check that. Anecdotally, it seems like most stations were pretty decent with easy access but a couple of them could be an issue.

If you like Harry Potter, I don't think it's all that much hassle to get to Watford from, say, Euston Train Station?

I've heard the Grenwich Observatory is interesting and also has some beautiful views.

Again, if you are into the WWII side of things, Bletchley Park is 45 mins away on the train. I have only ever heard glowing recommendations for it, and I would very much like to visit it someday.

As for travel, Transport For London has a nifty new service where you just tap your contactless card each time you use the underground or buses etc and at the end of the day it charges you but the amount is capped and it ends up cheaper than getting individual tickets or an oyster card [As I now see Option or Prime has already mentioned]. I would strongly recommend not being on public transport before 10am, or 16:30-18:30 (someone else may advise on times but those are my avoidance times for rush hour). If you have access to mobile phone data, there is an app that lets you know the best ways to get from point A to point B. The London transport system has flaws, but it really is rather brilliant.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I am traveling with my brother who wood cathedral to the north pole barefoot than visit an Art museum, but the museum's certainly appeal to me! I might be able to convince him t to see the Imperial War Museum, however. Sounds fascinating to me. I saw a Thames river cruise for a reasonable price...???

A matter of curiosity...does the public transport run 24 hr? In some cities (ie. Barcelona), I have found late evening shutdowns, thus requiring taxi rides. With that in mind, what would be the expected taxi fare from city center London to Heathrow?

One more question. Neither of us are big drinkers, but would be interested in some London nightlife (ie. Food and entertainment with perhaps social drink), any ideas?

Thanks again,
Blake

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:00 pm 
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Taxi's are damn expensive, even for short runs. The underground runs to all the terminals at Heathrow. That would probably be your best option.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Probably not the suggestion you want, but get out of London! Try Bath or York or somewhere instead :)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:21 pm 
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minchy wrote:
Probably not the suggestion you want, but get out of London! Try Bath or York or somewhere instead :)

Minchy, I could go for that, but I suspect my brother might prefer the landmarks. Are Bath and York reasonable day trips from Heathrow?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:37 pm 
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Windsor is very close to Heathrow and is very pretty and historic. You may get invited into Windsor Castle for tea with the Queen.

Brooklands, the worlds first purpose built banked track, isn't too far from Heathrow either. It has an amazing museum for car and flight enthusiasts. I've been many times and will probably visit again next year. I love the place.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:47 pm 
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Much to my surprise my brother said he would prefer to take our full day in England to visit a quaint village/city of two where we could experience the rural culture/life/architectural of the country. As for hotel is near Heathrow, we would be looking for convenient train routes, or bus...I don't think I am ready to try learning to drive on the "wrong" side of the road??? IF I did rent a car for the day, would it be a traffic nightmare in that area to get to rural settings???

Thanks for everybody's help, you are giving me so many too ideas.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:24 pm 
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Blake wrote:
Much to my surprise my brother said he would prefer to take our full day in England to visit a quaint village/city of two where we could experience the rural culture/life/architectural of the country. As for hotel is near Heathrow, we would be looking for convenient train routes, or bus...I don't think I am ready to try learning to drive on the "wrong" side of the road??? IF I did rent a car for the day, would it be a traffic nightmare in that area to get to rural settings???

Thanks for everybody's help, you are giving me so many too ideas.


Busy roads are easier if you are not used to driving on the wrong side of the road. You can just follow the other cars. It's when you are on roads all alone that you have to think a little more.

The South and South East of England has lots of rural areas although the population is high so it's never exactly quiet. Head into Berkshire along the M4 and perhaps visit places like Pangbourne.

Head along the M3 and you can visit Stonehenge in a little over an hour!

The Boxhill area is quite nice and not far at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:11 pm 
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Blake wrote:
minchy wrote:
Probably not the suggestion you want, but get out of London! Try Bath or York or somewhere instead :)

Minchy, I could go for that, but I suspect my brother might prefer the landmarks. Are Bath and York reasonable day trips from Heathrow?

Both are a short(ish) train ride from London and both have a really good history. York especially (although I'm biased as that's where I'm from) has good history with museums spanning 2000 years from Romans to Vikings, industrial and Victorian including a Medieval/Roman wall you can walk round for free. If you have 2 days, York is doable in 1 :)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:18 pm 
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Heathrow to Oxford on the train appears to be a little over 2 hours and not much over an hour by car. Oxford is amazing to walk around and has great museums too.

Like Oxford, Cambridge is within reach too and is another stunning place that's very 'English' if you're after that kind of thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:36 am 
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minchy wrote:
Blake wrote:
minchy wrote:
Probably not the suggestion you want, but get out of London! Try Bath or York or somewhere instead :)

Minchy, I could go for that, but I suspect my brother might prefer the landmarks. Are Bath and York reasonable day trips from Heathrow?

Both are a short(ish) train ride from London and both have a really good history. York especially (although I'm biased as that's where I'm from) has good history with museums spanning 2000 years from Romans to Vikings, industrial and Victorian including a Medieval/Roman wall you can walk round for free. If you have 2 days, York is doable in 1 :)


I'd wouldnt try to do York from Heathrow in a day. You'd be spending 6 hours of the day on a train.

I suspect Windsor might fit your requirements better.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:33 pm 
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Herb wrote:
minchy wrote:
Blake wrote:
minchy wrote:
Probably not the suggestion you want, but get out of London! Try Bath or York or somewhere instead :)

Minchy, I could go for that, but I suspect my brother might prefer the landmarks. Are Bath and York reasonable day trips from Heathrow?

Both are a short(ish) train ride from London and both have a really good history. York especially (although I'm biased as that's where I'm from) has good history with museums spanning 2000 years from Romans to Vikings, industrial and Victorian including a Medieval/Roman wall you can walk round for free. If you have 2 days, York is doable in 1 :)


I'd wouldnt try to do York from Heathrow in a day. You'd be spending 6 hours of the day on a train.

I suspect Windsor might fit your requirements better.


Yes I agree, Neither Bath, York, Oxford either to be frank, you are talking about someone who wants to get a feel for the country not learn how tiring travelling can be on the train or by car.
I'd stick with a well planned trip to London, masses to see at minimum travelling times. First thing to do though is decide what interest you though Blake, your parameters are getting wider not more focussed. If you give a couple of key interests and a rough location you will get best advice from those who live in the UK. Its small the UK but not that small!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:29 pm 
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Good points. I am not too concerned with the half day in London proper other than the best way to get there from Heathrow. For the full day, we would like to see and experience places like perhaps Shere? If we rent a car, we could maybe visit a few places in a given area? Suggestions to off the beaten path things of interest.

I do realize that the parameters are expanding, but we are just trying to explore our options.
Thanks

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:18 pm 
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Whilst I agree there is loads to do in London, if you want to get a feel for England, you need to spread your wings further than our capital. Given the time, visiting somewhere like Oxford means you'll see countryside en-route as well as somewhere quite different.

A train or drive to Brighton would be very different and give a real taste of a type of traditional English seaside resort.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:37 pm 
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An idea... rental car.
Heathrow to Windsor Castle to McLaren, Woking, to Surrey and back to Heathrow. Too ambitious??? Feasible??? I have no idea of how long a Windsor tour would take...and/or McLaren???

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:24 am 
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No idea about McLaren but Windsor isn't that big so you don't need too many hours there.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:47 am 
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If I remember from last time I went to Windsor, there isn't much there other than the castle and lego land, and I don't know what access there is for tourists to the castle? But Woking to Hethrow should be an easy drive in a hire car (M25 traffic depending).

(when I went to Windsor I was playing with British Grenadiers band for the day so we had fairly good access when we weren't performing. The actual Grenadiers took round the 'back of house' for the fun of it which was pretty good :) So all you have to do is learn to play in a British military marching band and make sure your visit coinsides with a royal event of some kind!!!)

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