London Journals

Summer in the City

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A travel journal to London by fizzytom

Quote: London in summer is full of contrasts -- hot yet cool, laid-back yet hectic. If there's one word though to describe London in the summer, it's got to be "sizzling". Here's my guide to the best ways to see (and be seen in) the capital in the summer.

Summer in the City

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Overview

Quote:
Take a trip on the London Eye -- the enormous Ferris wheel down on the south bank next to the old County Hall building. A clear summer's day affords spectacular views right over the city and beyond. (See my London Eye journal.) Don't forget London's green spaces -- parks, Hampstead Heath, public squares, the commons of South London -- there are loads of them! Great places for a picnic, a breather, or just to sit and people watch. Some of these places are also good spots to be entertained -- keep an eye on Time Out and other listings guides for free concerts (classical, rock, folk, jazz, and more), free live theatre in the parks (especially Regents Park), children's events, and artists displaying thei...Read More

Howard Winchester Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
This hotel is barely a minutes walk from Kings Cross station, making it well placed for public transport around the city. At £46.00 a night for a double room with private facilities, this seemed good value to us. The room had been freshly cleaned and was comfortable. However, the receptionist was not inclined to be helpful when I asked for a non-feather pillow (I'm allergic to feathers), but I stood my ground and a synthetic pillow turned up. She said she'd send someone to the room with a fresh pillowcase, but no one came. The bathroom (toilet and shower) was small but clean. Only one mirror and that was in the bathroom and the cord of my hair drier and sratightening iron wouldn't reac...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 30, 2003

Howard Winchester Hotel
9-10 Argyle Square
London, England
020 78377930

Travelodge Kings Cross Royal Scot Hotel

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Hotel | "Thistle Islington"

Quote:
Initially we had not considered hotels of this standard because we wanted to spend as little as possible, but when this one turned up through a discounted rooms website we decided to spend a bit more than we originally intended. Called the Thistle Islington, it is not too far from the Angel and Upper Street (the heart of Islington), and it is ideally located for Kings Cross and St. Pancras mainline train stations - within a couple of minutes walking distance but not so near that you get the sleaze that surrounds the immediate area of the station. The rack rate should have been around 175.00 Pounds but we paid just 63.00 Pounds for a double room - a great saving and a very good price f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 1, 2004

Travelodge Kings Cross Royal Scot Hotel
100 Kings Cross Road
London, England WC1X 9DT
0871 984 6272

The London Eye

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Attraction

Quote:
The London Eye is a definite must! Erected to commemorate the Millennium, this is the world's biggest observation wheel, lifting passengers 135 metres over the Thames. On a clear day, you can see down the river past the Canary Wharf Tower with its constantly flashing red beacon and up-river to Windsor, more than 25 miles away to the west. It's interesting to see where the well known landmarks are in relation to each other. When using the tube you miss so much of London and places seem much less far apart. But up in the air however, you realise a couple of things. One is that the real map of London bears no relation to the tube map, which has been stylised to make it look prettier and easier to f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 3, 2003

The London Eye
South Bank of the River Thames
London, England SE1 9TA
+44 (870) 500 0600

Hatton Garden

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Attraction

Quote:
What a great place to do some window shopping and given the prices that's probably enough. I'd heard about Hatton Garden long before I went there (to choose and engagement ring -- the wedding never came off but I still have a beautiful opal and diamond ring!)and reality exceeded my expectations. Historically Hatton Garden has been the centre of the diamond trade in London for several hundred years and this is where you head to buy something a bit special. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 18, 2003

Hatton Garden
Off Holborn Circus
London, England

South Bank Centre

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Attraction | "South Bank Sunday Book MArket"

Quote:
This outdoor market is held on Sunday mornings at the South Bank Complex on the Thames. The main focus is books but there are also stalls selling video tapes, CDs and old maps. The goods are laid out on tables and you can walk round easily. Some stalls specialise in a certain field (for example, there is one stall which has an excellent selection of books on film and theatre with a great choice of biographies), but most have a diverse range of books so it's best to have a good rummage around. The atmosphere is laid-back and you can browse at leisure. There's no hassle to buy and prices are reasonable. It's also possible with some vendors to sort out a price for a couple of items toge...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2003

South Bank Centre
South Bank
London, England SE1
+44 (0)20 7452 3400

Ye Olde Mitre

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Attraction | "The Mitre"

Quote:
Like many of the pubs in this area, the Mitre is a mix of the traditional and the modern. From the otuside the Mitre looks like an old-fashioned pub with its big wooden door and old leaded windows but step inside and it's very much modern design with a big steel bar and contemporary lighting. The Mitre offers a good range of (mostly) premium beers and some nice wines but also has a massive range of alco-pops and the latest trendy spirits and shooters like "Aftershock" and "Sourz". The clientele is young-ish (predominantly twenties and thirties), but is a good mix and tends to be more media/music/arty types than a particular age group. During the day the music is fairly low-key but th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

Ye Olde Mitre
1 Ely Court
London, England EC1N 6SJ
+44 20 7405 4751

Wimbledon Tennis Championship

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Attraction | "Wimbledon Tennis Championships"

Quote:
What could be more typical of summer in London than a day at the tennis? Strawberries, Pimms, cucumber sandwiches, and a day of top-quality sport. Not to mention star spotting! It's true that most of the best tickets are sold well in advance (you apply through a draw each December for the next year), but it it possible to enjoy a full day's tennis quite cheaply by buying a ground ticket, which means you can watch matches on all the outside courts (that is, everywhere except Centre Court, No.1 and No.2 courts). You will have to get there early to queue, but there are lots of tickets available and half the fun is the queueing - there are often bands playing and there are sometimes goodies b...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 2, 2003

Wimbledon Tennis Championship
Church Road
London, England SW19 5AE
+44 20 8944 1066