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Hilary asked

Places to see, places to go

I will be traveling to London and Scotland (Edinburgh) with my sister (approaching 30 years old, the two of us), early this November; we are looking for exciting things to do and see. This will be our first time in these cities so we will be hitting up the larger attractions but looking for something different as well. We don't mind walking or traveling outside of the area.

Great Britian (United Kingdom)

3 Answers
answered by
Sean from Hudson Valley

Hi Hillary,

The things that people suggest will be based on what they enjoy. What about you? What do you like?

Do you like art? If so, check out the National Gallery. There are many familiar pieces there, as well as other works of note.

If ancient History appeals to you, don't miss The British Museum. It's collection is unsurpassed. The British Library is fascinating, with a copy of the Magna Carta, collections of books from the earliest days of print, and even a special Beatles collection.

I'm not sure if this will appeal to you, but I'd, like to recommend the Churchill War Rooms, also called the Cabinet War Rooms. This was the command center for the British government during the blitz. In 1945 it was simply closed up, and remained that way until it was rediscovered in 1984, intact. It was opened as a museum in 2005.

The Imperial War Museum has an outstanding collection of airplanes and weapons from the second world war, and two walk through exhibits covering the blitz and the trenches of world war one.

If you take a walking tour, some of the things you might want to pass by are the Thames, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circusand Trafalgar Square.

London has some lovely parks too. The Regent's Parkand St James' Park are definitely worth a visit. Hyde Park is impressive, with Kensington Gardens adjacent. In the north west you'll find Speakers' Corner. It's an open air forum where people can voice their belief on any issue that they wish. It's democracy in it's most primal form, and can provide endless free entertainment.

Do you plan on doing any shopping while you're there?  If so, may I recommend some of London's open-air markets and off-beat shops.

First, try Portobello Market. In it's day if fueled the fashion conscious of the Punk Rock movement. Today it consists of several distinct market sections; Food, fashion, produce, new goods and used items. it's easy to loose track of time and spend the better part of the day there. Find them at,

Secondly, there is the Spitalfields market. London's oldest outdoor market, it's more like a number of shops that spill out onto the streets. It seems they've got just about everything; Fashion, food, jewelry, art, sporting goods, beauty products, ect. View what's there at,

Finally, you've got to visit The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities (11 Mare Street).It's kind of hard to describe. It's somewhere between a proper British shop and a Tim Burton movie. The staff is polite, helpful and courteous. There inventory is bat s**t crazy! Mind you, it's all tastefully displayed and presented. I recommend you not going there after any lengthy time in a pub, or you're libel to look at your purchase the next day and ask yourself, "WTF was I thinking." By all means, go there!

There's great Indian food all over the place. I remember enjoying Hot Stuff a great deal. Restaurant Alabamais an African restaurant I enjoyed a lot. Daquise serves wonderful Polish food in the South Kensington area.

Fortunately, it seems that traditional British food has been steadily moving back into the city. Maybe it's just being rediscovered. Either way, you may want consider the some of these; G. KELLY (Beef pie & mash), Newman Arms (Pints & pies), Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House (Great seafood & Oysters), The Cock Tavern (Pints & eggs with things like black pudding, calves liver or deviled kidney), Square Pie (Meat pie, beans, mushy peas and of course, well poured pints).

While in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh castile is fascinating! I highly recommend it.

If there are any nighttime walking tours, look for one that either dwells on hauntings, or the seedy underside of the 17th and18th centuries.

Happy travels!


    Comments (1)

    Thank you Sean! You are absolutely correct about the suggestions geared towards their personal taste. I will be looking into the markets, the open forum, and the Museum of Curiosities for sure!

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. National Gallery (attraction)
    2. The British Museum (attraction)
    3. The British Library (attraction)
    4. Churchill War Rooms (attraction)
    5. Imperial War Museum (attraction)
    6. Houses of Parliament (attraction)
    7. Buckingham Palace (attraction)
    8. Piccadilly Circus (attraction)
    9. Trafalgar Square (attraction)
    10. The Regent's Park (attraction)
    11. St James' Park (attraction)
    12. Hyde Park (attraction)
    13. Kensington Gardens (attraction)
    14. Speakers' Corner (attraction)
    15. Portobello Market (attraction)
    16. Spitalfields market (attraction)
    17. The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities (attraction)
    18. Hot Stuff (attraction)
    19. Restaurant Alabama (restaurant)
    20. Daquise (restaurant)
    21. G. KELLY (restaurant)
    22. Newman Arms (restaurant)
    23. Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House (restaurant)
    24. The Cock Tavern (restaurant)
    25. Square Pie (restaurant)
    comments (1)
    likes (1) thanks
    answered first by
    Wayne from San Francisco

    I don't know Scotland, but here are some of my faves in London

    Harrods great for shopping and people watching, Victoria & Albert Museum I always check the calendar to see whats on.  Saatchi Gallery They have lovely exhibits as does The Photographers' Gallery and National Portrait Gallery and my fav Tate Modern. Be sure to pop into PAUL Piccadilly Check out Piccadilly Circus to peoplewatch and walk along New Oxford St for shopping. Walk through Hyde Park.

    Comments (0)


    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Harrods (attraction)
    2. Victoria & Albert Museum (attraction)
    3. Saatchi Gallery (attraction)
    4. The Photographers' Gallery (attraction)
    5. National Portrait Gallery (attraction)
    6. Tate Modern (attraction)
    7. PAUL Piccadilly (restaurant)
    8. Piccadilly Circus (attraction)
    9. New Oxford St (attraction)
    10. Hyde Park (attraction)
    likes (1) thanks
    answered by
    Dabs from Chicago

    Depending on how many days you have in Edinburgh, consider taking a daytrip by train to Stirling.  It's a short ride from Edinburgh and there's a lovely town and Stirling Castle.  Also within short reach is Glasgow.  If you are a fan of the Outlander books/TV show, there are a bunch of places within short reach of Edinburgh, google Outlander filming sites and you will get tons of ideas.  In the evening you can do a ghost tour, I did one with Mercat that was enjoyable.

    There's enough in London to keep you busy for weeks, for a great view of London for free book a time slot at the Sky Garden and skip the pricier London Eye or Shard.  Within short reach of London there are dozens of daytrips, you haven't mentioned any interests so it's hard to advise but you can google daytrips and will find scores of choices.  Have a look to see what special exhibits are on at the museums, there's an annual photography exhibit at the Natural History Museum that is quite good, the Victoria & Albert Museum usually has something fashion related, the The British Museum usually has something as well.

    Comments (0)


    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Stirling (city)
    2. Stirling Castle (attraction)
    3. Glasgow (city)
    4. Sky Garden (restaurant)
    5. Natural History Museum (attraction)
    6. Victoria & Albert Museum (attraction)
    7. The British Museum (attraction)

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