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bootlegga London - A travel report by James
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London,  United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom
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bootlegga's travel reports

The most expensive place on earth

  19 votes
Page: 1 2
I had thought that Tokyo was an expensive place to visit, but I think London has surpassed that city as the most expensive city in the world. Despite the cost of a visit though, it is still worth the trip!

London travelogue picture
The heart of the former British Empire and a world centre for finance, London is an incredible city. Incredibly cosmopolitan, it boasts one of the most diverse populations in the entire world.

London has plenty of world class sights to see, including the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and the British Museum to name but a few.

The climate in London, like much of the UK, is cool and wet. The city gets plenty of precipitation all year long and for most of my visit was cool and dreary.

Favourite spots:
Cleopatra's needle on the banks of the Thames
Cleopatra's needle on the banks of the Thames
Walking along the River Thames. As most everyone knows, there is plenty to see in London, and I didn’t get to see half of it. Still, by walking along the Thames, I got to see a fair bit of it. The best part was that is was free and good for me!

What's really great:
The London Eye and River Thames in the evening
The London Eye and River Thames in the evening
The nicest thing about London was walking along the river Thames. If you start at Big Ben and the Parliament buildings, you can walk to the Tower of London, cross to the other side, and head back, thereby seeing most of London’s major tourist sights.

Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings
Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings
Central London is full of well-known sights, from the Parliament Buildings and Big Ben to the Tower of London to the London Eye.

Shakespeare’s Globe theatre is a must for any fan of his works. Located just off the Thames Riverside walk, it offers guided tours. It is about halfway between the Tower Bridge and the London Eye on the south bank.

Some other obvious sights include the British Museum, full of stolen antiquities from all over the world, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.

One of the easiest ways to see everything is the Big Bus. This company lets you buy a pass (about 20 pounds) good for 24 hours and then you tour London, hopping on and off the buses at will, seeing what YOU want, not following a tour.

Big Ben at night
Big Ben at night
London hotels are incredibly expensive, and as such, we chose a hostel for this leg of our journey. The Journey’s Waterloo Hostel was about what I expected, clean, tiny and expensive, much like London itself. But it was in a great location, maybe a 10 minute walk from the London Eye and the Parliament Buildings, so it was easy to see a lot of the action on the Thames simply by walking, which saved us from using expensive taxis. It was also only a short walk from Lambeth north tube station on the Waterloo line.

The hostel itself offered a free cold breakfast (cereal, juice, toast) and had a large central room where visitors could eat, play billiards, surf the Net, or just relax. It also had private and dormitory rooms, with private rooms at 20 pounds/night and dorm rooms at 13.

London travelogue picture
Unfortunately, due to the shortness of my stay, I did not get a chance to visit any, but I had wanted to check out Soho. I gues that will have to happen next time!

The best name for any pub anywhere!
The best name for any pub anywhere!
Pubs and bars in London kinda suck because last call is at 11pm! One place I went to in London included Lambeth Walk Pub, around the corner from both the hostel and Imperial War Museum. It reminded me of a stereotypical British pub.

The Walkabout Pub was an Australian take on the North American ‘Sports Bar’, with lots of TVs, plentiful beer and decent snack food. I got to watch English rugby team play the Italians in the Six Nations Cup.

Liverpool Street Station
Liverpool Street Station
There was a pretty good Mexican restaurant nearby Covent Garden station, but I don’t remember the name of it. It’s right beside a place called Pineapple Studios. The fajitas were great and pretty affordable for London. At Leicester station, near the square with several large movie theatres (used to hold premieres) there are tons of great places to eat. One of my favourites was Wagamama, a Japanese restaurant. The menu was reasonably priced and the fare authentic.

In Lambeth, Yao Fu offers a three course lunch for 4.5 pounds. It is across the street from the Lambeth North tube station.

Some other cheap eats we found included a Tesco Express right across from the Parliament buildings, selling sandwiches and drinks at good prices, as well as a Spar convenience store about a block from Lambeth North station.

Other recommendations:
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Windsor Castle can be reached by taking the train from London Waterloo to Eton Riverside or by taking the Green Line bus from London Victoria. St. George’s chapel is incredible! Filled with suits of armour and stunning architecture, it is sure to amaze.

Another option is to take a tour by Premium Tours that includes both Windsor Castle and Stonehenge, as well as a stop in Bath, for about 60 pounds. On this tour, you’ll get to have lunch at England’s 2nd oldest pub.

Paris is only 3 hours away on the Eurostar via the Chunnel. The City of Lights is spectacular and well worth the trip. If you feel uneasey travelling under the Channel, you can also fly EasyJet to Paris.

Published on Wednesday October 26th, 2005

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Fri, Aug 04 2006 - 08:57 AM rating by sajjanka

this is reality

Tue, Apr 11 2006 - 12:45 PM rating by terje

Lets hope you didnt move the Arc de Triumph through the Tunnell.... :-)

Thu, Oct 27 2005 - 09:47 AM rating by nataliediane

I like your assessment of London, very well rounded, factual yet full of significant opinons, and a little bit of an historical intro, which was nice. I was only able to spend one day of sight seeing in London on the way back from a mission trip to Russia but in that short span of time it quickly became my favorite place that I've ever visited. I found the people of London to be the most surprising aspect of my mini-visit. The British/English (what's the difference between the British and English anyway? That'd probably make a good joke if I had a punch line:) are so often characterized in American TV, films, etc. as snobby and uptight but I found them to be the most open and funny people I've ever met(there was only one crabby waitress at this restaurant but she was probably just having a bad day.) I hope to go again after the holidays sometime. Where else have you travelled?

Thu, Oct 27 2005 - 09:07 AM rating by isaacmolina

Explendid report!

Thu, Oct 27 2005 - 06:44 AM rating by gloriajames

Hiya James
Nice report and pics..!

Thu, Oct 27 2005 - 05:05 AM rating by bear495

Very nicely written, James.


Thu, Oct 27 2005 - 05:01 AM rating by davidx

It's difficult to make a report on a place so over-written as London seem alive - but you have done it. Congrats.

Wed, Oct 26 2005 - 08:10 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice peport

Wed, Oct 26 2005 - 03:02 PM rating by jesusferro

Good report, James!

Wed, Oct 26 2005 - 02:05 PM rating by magsalex

Have to admit i feel sorry for those tourists coming to London because it can be pretty expensive. Glad you enjoyed it though! Some nice pics

Wed, Oct 26 2005 - 12:07 PM rating by rangutan

A good *** brief report on a very large city, I deducted a star in the rating for the negative comments and views but add it back for honesty. Another two stars should be added for the briliant carefully chosen pictures and some great tips, also referance to a possible escape route (channel tunnel). I loved London too, it made me broke though back in 1990 when I arrived in Europe looking for work, I found work quickly on the continent but have been back numerous times for enjoyment and shows/shopping. I think going on a budget or knowing costs in advance is important.

Wed, Oct 26 2005 - 11:53 AM rating by mortimer

James definitively a good read with lots of information... I for myself am a big fan of this city because its so lively and boasts with a tremendous amount of things to see and do. Maybe next time you visit you'll find some time to go to musicals I have seen many a great show there!
Thanks for sharing

Wed, Oct 26 2005 - 10:33 AM rating by toribio


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