Sometimes I absolutely love London, and sometimes i cant even stand being there. I don’t live there but I do like to go at least once a year. People's thoughts about the capital will all depend on when they go and what they do while they’re there.
Last time I went was 2 days after Christmas and I can safely say I will never go there again during the sales!! I was meeting a friend from Canada and a friend from France at the time so I can’t complain about the company at all. Neither of them had been to London before so it was all down to me to entertain them and do the tourist stuff with them. (Not that I complained at the time). I haven’t even done all the tourist things myself but I showed them what I could.
Somewhere I really wanted to take them was Harrods but i really wish I hadn’t now. There were queues all along the side of the shop for the Gucci sale but luckily we didn’t wait in this. Once inside it was manic! You couldn’t really have a good look around because of the amounts of people everywhere, especially in the food courts and the perfume department. We literally had to fight our way through the crowds. I’m sure the sales were fantastic but we never really got to see much of them.
I’m going to do this is 2 parts. Things i love and things i hate!
Great things in London!
1. The shows - I’ve been to a couple of West End shows now including Grease and Dirty Dancing. Tickets can be extremely expensive but shop around the half price shops in Leicester Square and you're bound to get a good deal. You can normally get pretty decent seats for about £25 but can pay more if you want better ones. My advice would be to go early in the day though to get the best deals. From about 3pm everywhere starts selling out and ive had to take what was left just so I could see something.
2. Can be done on a very tight budget - Getting to London and paying for a hotel isn’t cheap so i like to do as many free or extremely cheap things as I can while I’m there. Most of the museums etc are free but ask for donations. I don’t mind giving a couple of quid as a donation because i thoroughly enjoy myself looking around and they can easily take up a full day.
3. Places to eat - In the city centre you can get any food imaginable really. Great thing especially if everyone likes different things. There's always something for everyone. Although prices are more expensive than anywhere else in the country it all depends on what you're willing to spend. There are loads of pizza places in Piccadilly Circus which are cheap but of course sit down restaurants will always end up costing more.
Bad things about London!
1. After Christmas sales - As you can see from the start of this review, I’m not a big fan of the sales in London. There are just far too many people around fighting for items in Harrods and the designer shops because their sales are just too good. I’ve been to the sales in Manchester before and would easily choose going there over London any day.
2. When they kids are off school - If you actually want to look around museums (especially the Science Museum) don't go when the kids are off. You wont be able to see much of anything or try out any of the experiments because everywhere is swarming with kids. Choose you're attractions well if you plan to go at these times because there will be huge queues all over London and you'll end up wasting a lot of your time.
3. There's so much to do! - Now I know this is normally a good thing but there's too much choice sometimes. I’ve been going to London for the past 4 years now and I’m still yet to see everything that I want. It's very tiring if you try to fit too much into the time you have and you'll find yourself needing more time off work etc just to get over your trip. My trip at Christmas near enough killed me trying to fit so much into 2 days for my foreign friends. Take comfortable shoes and even a 2nd pair of good ones. My most comfortable shoes even hurt me after walking around from 9am till about 11pm.
Everyone needs to go to London at some point but just make sure you plan your time really well and give yourself time to sit down!