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Old 03-13-2013, 04:42 PM
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Bonzo_CR Bonzo_CR is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: A Brit living in Switzerland
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Default Re: Need recommendations for London sightseeing

Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
If you get a chance,visit the original Hard Rock Cafe.I hope Bonzo's snare drum is still mounted on the wall downstairs.
Yes it is. I was there a couple of weeks ago and it's there along with one of his Ludwig kits (it's set up a bit like the Tom Angles thread LOL, but there it is!).

Here are some ideas from my point of view:

Getting Around: You can get around easily by using the London Underground trains (‘tube’ trains), which go everywhere. Buy a ‘travelcard’ and you can go anywhere on the underground trains and the buses for a day – this costs about 7-8 pounds). I would also suggest you buy an ‘A to Z’ map book which is a useful pocket-sized reference map book showing the streets with an index in the back – you can find these in almost any shop at the side of the street it will help you find your way around the streets when you come out of the tube station. (This is better than downloading maps from Google in my opinion!)

The two things I would most recommend (if you are visiting London for the first time) are:
1. London Eye –the big wheel just across the river from the houses of Parliament (and Big Ben the clock tower). You can ride it (you go round once which lasts about 30 minutes)and you can see great sights of London from high up –you can see Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace. Nearest tube stop: I would suggest you go to Westminster (for Houses of Parliament) and walk across the bridge.
2. London Bus Tour is very good and a great way to see lots of the sights and learn a bit of the history of the city. Buses leave from one of the streets between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus (Haymarket might be the right street) . It’s an open-top bus so choose a nice day and sit upstairs!

Music stuff:
As everyone has said, good drum shops are a bit of a dying breed in UK. Pro Perc is gone, Footes has moved to 41 Store Street WC1E. But Denmark Street is not bad for music shops (not specifically drums though) and the North end of Charing Cross Road also.
Hard Rock Café is on Piccadilly (near to Hyde Park Corner tube stop) and does a great burger.

Nice places to walk around, see the people and take in the atmosphere of London:
Leicester Square (Leicester Square tube stop) – a big open square with some restaurants, and large cinemas where they have the premieres. Lots of activity going on here. A couple of streets north of Leicester Square (Gerrard Street) is Chinatown: lots of great Chinese food (we were there for Chinese New Year and it was pretty lively)
Piccadilly Circus –the Times Square of London with the big advertising screens and some nice shops (Piccadilly Circus tube stop)
Covent Garden – nice arty piazza area with small shops, cafés and some street theatre. (Covent Garden tube stop)
You can easily walk between these three areas – they are quite close and they are all together on the blue (Piccadilly) tube line.
From Leicester Square you can also walk to Trafalgar Square which is quite nice – it’s the place everybody goes on New Year’s Eve, and to celebrate. Nelson’s column (a big column with a statue of the famous general Nelson from history) and the National Galleries (art) are there.

Art and Culture:
Museums: British Museum has lots of ancient artefacts of Egypt, Greece, China etc (Great Russell Street, Holborn tube stop).
South Kensington tube stop has several museums all on Exhibition Road (South Kensington tube stop) such as:
Natural History Museum has dinosaur bones, interesting evolution themed stuff.
The Science Museum also which my kids loved, with lots of stuff about technology, space, travel etc, plus experiments and fun games and shows for kids.
Victoria & Albert Museum is all about design, arts and crafts.
All the museums are FREE (but you are expected to make a donation of 5 pounds)
Art Galleries: National Gallery at Trafalgar Square (Charing Cross tube stop) is very good. I also like the National Portrait Gallery which is next door (I like portraits of people). There is a very good modern art museum called the Tate Gallery but it’s a bit further away from the central areas.

Harrods is the most impressive of all the big stores and has a touch of class about it. On Brompton Road (Knightsbridge tube stop).
Hamleys is a great big toy store (if you have kids with you or want to get something for them). Halfway along Regent Street (nearest tube stop is Oxford Circus)
There’s lots of other shopping on Oxford Street too (Oxford Circus tube stop).

For restaurants my favourites are:
Café Pacifico: Tex-mex food, margaritas etc – I have no idea how authentic it is, but I do like it! Langley Street, just off Long Acre (between Leicester Square and Covent Garden).
Wagamama – A chain of large Japanese noodle restaurants. They are all over London. Reasonably priced, fresh, healthy and delicious!

There are many, many other things you can do in London, but these are my favourites.

There is some more information on most of these items here:

Hope you have a great time!
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