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A great city to visit..... but not so great to live in.
London in General
Member Name: annie47
London in General
Advantages: Amazing sights and attractions. Full of history
Disadvantages: Over populated, expensive, can be a stressful place to live and work in.
I have lived in London virtually my whole life apart from a very brief period when i was away abroad for about 6 months. There will be some negative aspects to this review, but for the beginning I would like to focus on the positives. In some ways my own views will of course not reflect other peoples as each one of us is individual and have our own thoughts and opinions and different things that we may want from the place in which we live.
London is truly a magnificant city. I have certainly not been to that many other cities in the world; but from what i have seen i would rate London as being definitely in the top 3. (At the present time I rate Rome and New York within that 3). I think the reason is in regard to London, is that there is so much to do and to see. We also have a great history which people from many other countries seem to be intrigued by. For example.... we have a Royal family.... with plenty of history surrounding the Royal family, past and present being relevant to London. Now there will be some people who for whatever reasons are perhaps not keen on the Royal family... i have mixed views... but one thing i do like is that it gives us something to be proud of.
Well, where do i start? I shall start with my must see list...
~~~The Tower of London~~~; Its unique, so much history here (as well as the crown jewels). it is located close to Tower Hill Station; right next to The Thames. I think it is a great location.
Building started on The Tower of London in the 1070's
Some things to see at The Tower of London include; The White Tower; The Bloody Tower, The Ravens! The Beefeaters!, The Crown jewels, Yeomans (Beefeaters)warder tour, Medieval palace & Torture at the Tower
For further information including entrance fees see; http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/
~~The London Eye~~ (At day or Night).
The London eye was introduced to The South Bank in. It is a magnificent sight and a great addition to London. I have only been on it once when my children were much younger, but I really enjoyed it. You can see for miles around. You can also go on The London Eye at Night, which is supposed to be great too. Its 443 feet tall and was built in 1999.
~~~The South Bank of The Thames~~~
I love The South Bank. Its a lovely place in The Summer in particular. Along The South Bank there is loads to do and see including as previously mentioned The London Eye; The Royal Festival Hall, Tate Modern, The London Aquarium, various mime artists/acts along the The South Bank, trendy cafes and outside places to eat and drink. The National Theatre and plenty plenty more. Its buzzing with activity in the summer and just very pleasant to stroll along the Thames there, even if you havn't got much money.
~~The Imperial War museum~~
Close to The South Bank at Lambeth Road. If you like or are interested in anything to do with War; this is a must! Its great (and its free!!) apart from occasional exhibitions which you may have to pay extra to see.
~~Madam Tussauds ~~
Located a few yards down the road from Baker Street Station; Madame Tussauds in particular is extremely popular with tourists. A word of advice...in summer it gets very busy and you may not enjoy the Madame Tussaud experience, due to both very long queues and overcrowding. There are loads and loads of waxwork dummies, which are made extremely well. I would recommend visiting in Autum/Winter
~~Theatreland in Londons West End~~
If you are a very infrequent visitor to London, i would suggest that going to see a show or Theatre production is a must. We have some amazing old Theatres; as far as i'm concerned the best in the world. Personally i prefer going to the theatre than watching say a film at the cinema. There is nothing like seeing a live performance and a great play or show. It is extremely expensive though!!!!
~~Hampton Court Palace~~
This is King Henry V111' s former residence. whilst it is located in Surrey; you can get there by train and even by boat along The Thames. However, i remember the journey taking about 3 hours by riverboat. You are probably best going by car. Nearest station is Hampton Court. There are buses that go there too.
Maritime museum; The Cutty Sark; Greenwich park; a lovely area, also with some great little souvenir shops, pubs and cafes.
~~~Changing of the guard and Buckingham Palace~~~
Their changing guard at Buckingham Palace!
Usually taking place daily at 11.30am. Its free!
~~River Boat cruises~~
There are a few places on the Thames where you can hop on a Riverboat and travel short or longer journeys. (Westminster Pier, Tower Pier, Greenwich Pier and London Eye Pier. You can sometimes get drink and food on the boats too.
~~Other places to visit~~
You may wish to see Buckingham Palace. the Queens London residence. Who knows perhaps you will see her waving out of the window! You will know when she is in reisdence as the Union Flag will be flying . Buckingham Palace was built in 1702 and the first Monarch to reside there was Queen Victoria in 1837. It is open during the summer months from the end of July to Sepetmber. Unfortunately you wont be able to see all of the palace but just The State rooms.
~Leicester Square & Piccadilly Circus~~
Its a hive of activity here; some great places to eat; amazing cinemas!! where many of the film premieres are shown; good souvenir shops and The famous Trocadero http://www.londontrocadero.com/
China Town and Soho can be found here
Londons famous food market with great produce from the UK and Internationally.
Tooley Street/ London Bridge area. (with The London Dungeon) and The Britain at War Experience. There are loads of old pubs and eateries here too. Also worth seeing is The London Bridge experience
~~Whats free in London?~~
In my view there are definately some free things which are well worth seeing.
The Museums at Kensington; Natural History, Science, Victoria & Albert.
The Museums are great, very interesting and best of all..... free! There are plenty of hands on things to do, particularly in The Science Museum (which is my personal favourite) Each museum will sometimes have special exhibitions which you may have to pay extra for.
~~The British Museum~~
There are various artifacts from around the Globe housed at The British Museum. They also have exhibitions although you usually have to pay to see these. Its located in Great Russell Street, near to Holborn Underground Station. Well worth visiting.
You can be entertained for free here with various street artists and acts. Its a great place though of course gets busy.
Its great looking at this magnificant clock which was completed in 1858 in. Its just over the road from Westminster Underground Station.
~~The Royal Gardens~~
St James' Park
These parks really are lovely, my favourite being Hyde Park and The Serpentine Lake. I remember when i used to work in London many moons ago; us all going out at lunch and taking a boat out on The Serpentine. We sort of forgot about the time and ended up getting back very late for work!! It was great fun though.
~~~Shopping in London~~
You really are spoilt for choice here!! You can find all the big named stores and some of their largest stores nationwide in Londons Oxford Street . You'll have a great time shopping (if you don't mind the crowds!)
~~Some fantastic and unique and quirky shops here~~
Make sure you have a full wallet if you plan on going shopping here! You will find Harvey Nichols and Harrods here.
Bond Street, Mayfair (Also very expensive!)
Regent Street; more great shops including the magnificant Hamleys Toy Store.
Carnaby Street; lots of uniques shops can be found here.
Kings Road, Chelsea; some great independant clothes and shoe shops here
Camden and its market; To be honest I rarely go here; i dont like the area; its pretty grimey, but there are some great shops here and the Market is very well known. You will find plenty of alternative fashions and interesting products. It is extremely trendy and gets busy both during the day and night. There are lots of pubs/clubs around where you can enjoy plenty of live music.
Portobello Road ('The Worlds Largest Antique Market') http://www.portobelloroad.co.uk/
Well worth visiting.
There are countless pubs and nightclubs; also comedy venues and live music. There are far too many places to mention here; but take a look at this link and you'll get some good information;
There are thousands of restaurants and places to eat; from fast foods to fine dining. You will i am sure find what you are looking for in regards to eating out!! Again look at this website for full information http://www.londontown.com/restaurants
There are of course Londons Buses; they will take you all over the place, and many travel quite long distances out into the suburbs
London Underground; You can get to all the attractions and sights quickly (unless there are delays which there sometimes are!!). Its important to mention that on most weekends some lines are closed due to repairs/upgrades. Also prepare to be packed in like sardines, especially at rush hours or if in Central London areas, particularly in the main tourist season.
A few things have been briefly mentioned already. London is very highly populated. It is tgo populated for my liking and ideally i would much rather live near the sea or in the countryside! But thats another story!
It is also very fast paced. You almost can't help but rushing around all over the place and everyone is always in a hurry. This creates stress which isn't good for the health!
Its very expensive to live here, even in the suburbs of London Housing costs a fortune. Renting is very expensive too. If you are fortunate you may be able to get Council Housing. I say fortunate because it is in extremely short supply.
London really is a great city; there is so much to do and to see. To have a good standard of living in London you really do need money! I can't remember the last time i went to The Theatre, simply due to the cost, but i do intend on going again one day because its fantastic. It will just have to be something i save up for!
There is alot more to see than i have talked about in this review, but i would be here all night writing about it!
Really all age ranges can enjoy London. There's something for everyone.
For me i would, if i could, live away from London, somewhere alot quieter and more relaxing with a nice view; but then again, maybe thats because im not wealthy and im getting old!!
I just prefer the quieter things in life now. However, to visit London is great and you can have a fantastic time here.
I think London overall is worth a 4 star rating. Its a very multicultural place and pretty amazing. I won't award it the full five stars due to the reasons i have already mentioned.
If you live away from London and you have never been.... i'm sure you'll have a great time... just be prepared for the costs and the crowds!!
Summary: A unique city with plenty to do and see. Well worth visiting. A pity its soooh expensive!
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