London Journals

London-Once is Never Enough

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An October 2002 trip to London by zabelle

Victoria Station Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: London is a city that can be visited time and time again and never lose it's magic. This was visit 14 for us and we combined a few old favorites with some new friends and can’t wait for our next visit.

London-Once is Never Enough

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Overview

Victoria Station Photo, London, England
Quote:
Visiting London is endlessly enchanting. We began this trip armed with a list of places we would like to see, tickets to 2 exhibits and theater tickets to two shows. I always believe is getting tickets for particularly popular shows and exhibits in advance, it costs only a small service charge and saves disappointment. This trip, our friend Bob walked up to the theater on the night of the show for Grease and Les Mis and got stall seats both nights. He was however alone, I’m sure singles are easier and though he got a discount for Grease, Les Mis was a full 40pd ticket. When I am in London my most precious commodity is my time and I hate to waste it for a few pounds savings. My most memorable m...Read More

Wallace Collection

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Attraction | "WIlliam Wallace Memorial and More"

Wallace Collection Photo, London, England
Quote:
For most of us the name William Wallace would have been meaningless before Mel Gibson made it a household name with his outstanding performance in Braveheart. Actually I have always been interested in the history of Scotland but I was never aware that there was a memorial to William Wallace in London. It is located on the south side of Smithfield Market in the City of London. It is near the site where in 1305 he was hung, drawn and quartered. This was the punishment for those found guilty of treason who were not of noble blood. I was expecting perhaps a little more than the large plaque on the wall giving the details of his life and death but it was gut wrenching all the same. With the shriek...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2002

Wallace Collection
Hertford House
London, England W1M 6BN
+44 20 7563 9500

St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum

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Attraction

St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum Photo, London, England
Quote:
Having planned to visit the Wallace Memorial and the Museum of London I made an effort to find out what else of interest was located in the neighborhood. This was a great find. We were the only ones there when we arrived at about 3:00pm in the afternoon (the museum closes at 4pm) and the very friendly man at the desk asked us if we were just going to dash through or if we had time to view a video. We opted to see the video. It was very interesting and documented the history of St. Barts. St. Bartholomew’s is one of the oldest hospitals in the world. A monk named Raheen, a former courier at the court of Henry I, founded the hospital. He had made a vow to found a hospital in London in exchange fo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2002

St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum
West Smithfield
London, England

Museum of London

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Attraction

Museum of London Photo, London, England
Quote:
This museum is a must for every visitor to London. In the most interesting way possible, it documents the history of the city of London. There is a headphone tour that runs about 2 hours that you may choose to listen to. You can do it on your own, however, as all the displays have plenty of written information. Many museums in London have benefited from a new scheme that makes entry into them free. The Museum of London is one of these, though I have to add that the first time I visited this museum many years ago, entry was free, and later a rather steep entry fee was instituted. At the moment, there is quite a lot of construction going on, and the entrance is rather difficult to get to, but go ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2002

Museum of London
150 London Wall
London, England EC2Y 5HN
+44 (207) 814 5613

Chelsea Physic Garden

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Attraction

Chelsea Physic Garden Photo, London, England
Quote:
Over the years, I have developed a list of places that I would like to visit in London. The Chelsea Physic Garden has been near the top of my list for many years. Last year, I actually got there, but it was closed, so this year I made sure that I would visit it on the first day we arrived in London. The garden is a challenge to visit, not only because it is only open on Wednesdays and Sundays but also only April through October and 2pm to 5pm. This is a very small window of opportunity. Also, the closed tube station is Sloan Square, which involves a healthy walk, or you can take the 239 bus, which is the only bus that goes by the garden. We took the bus. Now, having explained all the diffi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2002

Chelsea Physic Garden
66 Royal Hospital Road
London, England SW3
+44 20 7352 5646

Buckingham Palace

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Attraction | "The Queen's Gallery"

Buckingham Palace Photo, London, England
Quote:
After several years of renovations the new and enlarged Queens Gallery opened in May 2002 to celebrate the Queens Golden Jubilee. It is now a very impressive structure not the small hole in the wall that it used to be. Not that I didn’t love that little whole in the wall and somehow for me this new structure though beautiful is quite cold and the staff much more formal than before. The exhibit was entitled Royal Treasures and what a treasure it is. You come up the formal stairway and are greeted by a bust of Her Majesty. There was a young man stationed beside it who was more than happy to gush on about it, but I was more interested in getting into the gallery. The first gallery, the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2002

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace Road Pall Mall
London, England SW1A 1AA
+44 (207) 321 2233

Westminster Cathedral

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Attraction

Westminster Cathedral Photo, London, England
Quote:
This is not to be confused with Westminster Abbey. Westminster Cathedral is the Roman Catholic seat of the Archbishop of Westminster. It was constructed in the Early Byzantine style at the end of the 19th century. It has a wonderful tower that dominates the skyline in the neighborhood of Victoria Station. We actually have attended Mass here many times but after attending Mass on Wednesday morning I decided to actually look at the Cathedral as if I were a tourist instead of just a communicant. We attended morning Mass in Our Ladies Chapel and frankly it was hard for me to concentrate on the Mass with so much going on on the ceiling and walls. It’s phenomenal, all gold and glitter, but distract...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2002

Westminster Cathedral
Victoria Street
London, England SW1P 1QW
+44 20 7798 9055

I'll Take Piccadilly

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Story/Tip

Princes Arcade Photo, London, England
Quote:
Where can you be waited on by clerks in cutaways, attend a lunch time piano recital, get the latest bestseller and see the original Beatles costumes? Why on Piccadilly of Course. Running from Hyde Park in the west to Piccadilly Circus in the east Piccadilly has one of the most eclectic selection of attractions anywhere in London. With an afternoon to spare Al and I head for the tube and began our adventure. Take the Bakerloo or the Piccadilly line to Piccadilly stop. Get off on the south side of Piccadilly. (There are a lot of different exits from the tube station) St. James Piccadilly- This Christopher Wren Church makes a good first stop especially if it is lunch t...Read More

Things That Can Go Wrong

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Story/Tip

Fortnum and Mason's famous clock Photo, London, England
Quote:
Now that we are back home, we find the many problems we encountered on this trip quite amusing. However, had we not been flexible and had we not had a lot of alternative plans, our vacation could have been quite ruined. Sunday: Gales hit England and most of Northern Europe. We, being unfamiliar with gales, thought it was just a little wind and headed off to Gatwick to pick up our rental car. We had an uneventful Gatwick Express trip, and here another new lesson was learned. Never accept the rate you were quoted before you arrived as the best deal you can get. I had my Avis voucher in hand and a rate fully inclusive for a midsize automatic car of 99pds for the day. At home, this is the be...Read More