I enjoyed two days in London – is this normal??
Being a Neanderthal born in 1970’s coal mining village and then spending the last 15 years in Wigan, I had a perception that London was full of shouty shouty people all hip checking each other for space.
The reality was I found my experience in the city rather good. Stayed in a 5 star hotel near tower bridge, found most people to be very friendly and the prices were steep but there was good service given with it.
Looking forward to going back.Posted 4 years agojekkylMember
One of the great things about visiting london I find is the mulitude of things that are free. Free shows and exhibitions, free films, tons of free music and then there’s all the muesums, churches and galleries. Or you can sit and people watch in the one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and that’s free too.Posted 4 years agophiiiiilSubscriber
We were down from ooop, erm, midlands for a wedding last weekend. Foolishly we arrived by train shortly before 6pm on Friday evening.
Do people really put up with the tube like that, twice a day, every day? Seriously? I can’t actually think of anything I’ve done recently that has been that unpleasant….Posted 4 years agowoody74Subscriber
Generally in the the last few years I have always disliked visiting London with all the bloody traffic, pollution and constant madness. However we went to the Paralympics and had a great few days all around London. It was like the whole place chilled out for a while and everyone was really friendly!! I think lLondon is great if you can get to some of the less manic places. Travelling in and out is always a pain in the arse though. M4 being 2 lane is just madness. London could certainly do with a massive road infrastructure upgrade.Posted 4 years agosimons_nicolai-ukMember
Do people really put up with the tube like that, twice a day, every day? Seriously? I can’t actually think of anything I’ve done recently that has been that unpleasant….
Most of us who live there and post on here cycle most of the time. It’s far from perfect but better than almost anywhere else I’ve cycled in the UK.
As a Londoner for 20 years, and one who has uses tube when cycling’s not convenient, the one thing that really fills me with horror is the idea of sitting in a car for the best part of an hour at the start and end of each working day. Give me the tube any day.Posted 4 years agoaPMember
Yes, as Simon says – the last thing London needs is more roads. Public transport is where its at now. The notion that massive roadbuilding is a solution was discredited in the 80s – obviously though these ideas take time to reach other places (at the speed of an Arcturan Mega Donkey maybe?)Posted 4 years ago
The traffic mess can easily be avoided. It’s the suburbs that are choked – in town, you can walk, cycle or tube everywhere and it’s really pleasant outside rush hour. Also possibly avoid Soho in the evenings, that’s pretty choked with people looking for a night out too, but I’m not the most experienced in that part of town!
It can also be a brilliant place to live, if you are young and single – my social life was never better. Always stuff going on, and always good quality stuff not just sitting in a boozer with the same mates.
I think the reason a lot of visitors end up hating it is a) they visit in rush hour, for work or something, and b) the eye contact thing. It’s not that everyone’s rude and unfriendly, it’s just that people don’t make eye contact when travelling and work with reduced personal space. It’s not personal, it’s just convention. If you approach people in other situations, they are no different to the rest of the country.Posted 4 years agoooOOooMember
I’m doing 2 days next week for a conference, and like the OP I’m staying high end by the river. The plan is thames clippers & cable car for my commute, thereby hopefully maintaining a civilized (and potentially enjoyable) pace. Wish me luck!
Always thought living/working by the river would be the only way I could tolerate the place. For fun I started looking at flats to rent near Waterloo….when the prices are per week, not per month, you know the place has gone mental ;/Posted 4 years agokiloSubscriber
Always thought living/working by the river would be the only way I could tolerate the place.
Generally in the the last few years I have always disliked visiting London with all the bloody traffic, pollution and constant madness
You lot do know that central london isn’t representative of all of london, we have suburbs with parks and open spaces and shops, pubs and cinemas we can walk to.
Of course nowhere else in the UK has traffic problems or crappy commutes, and only young people or the uber rich can live here otherwise it’s Dante’s fifth circle of hell, just like Liverpool is full of smackheads, Manchester burglars and Scotland drunksPosted 4 years agosimons_nicolai-ukMember
flats to rent near Waterloo
Never going to be cheap by the river and that central. There’s lots of places near the river that are (relatively affordable) – Surrey Quays, Smugglers Way area of Wandsworth. I think the thrill of being able to walk to the river, or even a river view would fade pretty quickly living in either of those though.
I find I enjoy a couple of days in most cities but not really any more unless I know people who live there (both in the UK and worldwide) who can show me the places that aren’t on the obvious tourist trail. Still love living in London after nearly 20 years though.Posted 4 years agoononeorangeSubscriber
No idea what would possess anyone to drive in. It’s what public transport is for.
Sadly daily tube hell for me – 3 tubes (2 changes) each way at the most hellish times. You live with it as I wouldn’t be working if I didn’t. Too far to cycle right across London and I couldn’t deal with the idiots in cars and vans.Posted 4 years agoCountZeroMember
Unlike, say New York, which was built from scratch relatively recently, London is centuries old, and as a result has grown in a pretty haphazard fashion. Unless someone is advocating razing the entire city and rebuilding from scratch, I am at a loss to think how travelling around it could be made any better.Posted 4 years ago
As far as public transport is concerned there are buses as well as the Tube, and certainly the Tube can get really crowded, but the same is true of other major cities using similar systems; in Tokyo people are employed to cram commuters into carriages.
I work on the principle of not using a train if it’s really crowded, instead waiting for another with fewer people on board, which usually takes perhaps one, possibly two trains, or around fifteen minutes.
I’m not sure about using the Tube every day to commute, but if I had to, I’d adjust my travel time to allow for the busiest periods.
S’not difficult, plenty of trains are running. Unlike public transport outside the city, where you might be lucky to get two buses a day. Each way.
And I really enjoyed spending two days on my own in London last August, travelled up on a coach, booked a hotel near the north side of Hyde Park, tubed up to Hygate and visited the Cemetary, then walked down to the Roundhouse for a David Byrne and St Vincent gig. The following day I walked across Hyde Park, visiting the Diana Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery, then tubed over to Southwark, had a look around Borough Market, had a pint, then walked over to The Shard, spent an hour admiring the view, then back to the pub for another pint, then back to Victoria to catch the coach home.
Absolutely perfect weather, and a really wonderful couple of days I’ll never forget.
Several hundred photos prevent that… 😀
Try a PremierTravelTavernLodge and report back…
Why would I, the premierinn opposite the Grange Tower was £6 a night dearer 😛
The traffic was shocking (not unexpected), it took me an hour to get from tower bridge to Hendon (about 5 miles) then three hours to get from Hendon to Wigan 😆Posted 4 years agoesselgruntfuttockMember
Looks like I’ve had a bit of luck with my visit to london in August cos as far as I can see, I can’t go! My Mrs bought tickets for some show for 30th August on the expectation of the prison service giving me leave for the week before, but no, leave ‘not approved’. She was hoping we could go down on the Thursday before, see some sights etc & go to this show on Saturday then come home on Sunday.
Not sure if I’d rather be at work or down there TBH. 😀
Oh, & the tickets were £170. 😯Posted 4 years agojoolsburgerMember
London is brilliant you’d be mad not to think so.
2 caveats, be rich, enjoy stress. For example, the bike commute, for some it’s a nightmare with static and mobile hazards, rude people a plenty and dreadful infrastructure. For others it’s a daily challenge to be enoyed while taking in the street level sights of the worlds best city…Maybe you have to live here to get it.Posted 4 years ago
Even driving in is no great stress
I once drove to my job in Canary Wharf from Cardiff, to see what it was like, and because I was travelling very late Sunday and returning late some other day. I took a different route both times. I hit no traffic at all, never more than a few cars at the lights, but it still took me almost an hour to get from the end of the M4 to Canary Wharf. It’s the sheer concentration of traffic lights that makes it slow. If there’d been traffic it would’ve been a nightmare!
Re cycling in London – once you know what you are doing it’s fine.Posted 4 years agohatterSubscriber
Yup, with the right mindset London is ace. Nowhere else has more stuff to do and more going on in such a confined space, I must say I wouldn’t want to live there full time but I do enjoy my frequent visits.
You do need a bit of cash in your pocket to get the best from it though, it’s not a place for the nervous or skint.Posted 4 years agoourmaninthenorthSubscriber
I love London. Maybe because I was born there (albeit grew up in a rural corner of the Home Counties).
I have always visited fairly often for work and pleasure, and I do sometimes regret not having spent some of my adult life living and working there. I truly love Manchester (and miss living there) but there is no denying the specialness of London.
I just wish it would share all that greatness with the rest of the nation a bit more.
EDIT: I don’t think the travel there is anything to complain about: I do a 50 mile round trip motorway commute from Lancashire to the outskirts of Manchester. In the winter it’s often 2 hours in the morning and over an hour in the evening. There is no public transport option. It doesn’t take much longer for me travel to and from London….Posted 4 years agosamuriMember
It’s great for a visit, I’ll not knock it for that.
Especially if you’re a pie eater so I expect all that electricity and warm water was a shock (I live in Leigh).
Try working there for six months or even longer. Then you realise how dirty, noisy, unfriendly and uncaring such a big city is. I liked visiting but hate it now because I’ve spent extended periods down there.
My worst time was the 3 months at Canary Wharf when I stayed in West Ham. That Eastenders program is hilarious. Everyone seems like they’re really nice and friendly.
they’re not.Posted 4 years ago
You DROVE? Never drive into London.
Yep, I had two exhibition stands in the car with me.
My boss got the train down and back from Sheffield, in all the train tickets, cab & tube fares cost him £388.
I drove down in a comfy 5 series which did a nice 50MPG, costing me about £45 and £52 to park.
My boss only got home 25 minutes before me going home too. The car is always first option for me.Posted 4 years agojekkylMember
I remember my first ever visit to London when I was 16 for the Freddie concert. Coming from a little town in Cumbria the capital was a scary place, it seemed like there were hundreds of random mad people just shouting or going on with themselves in the street. & all the tramps, smelly people in doorways… very strange.Posted 4 years ago
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