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Discussion in 'Personal' started by peakster, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I had a day in London yesterday - a little treat I promised myself last week but got postponed to this week because the trains don't run in this country when the sun shines. Even when it rains (like yesterday) there appear to be problems.

    My destination was the Natural History Museum - I first visited this when I was 10 years old and although I've been a few times since - it's still a magic place. There were some old friends (like all the stuffed animals and birds) but I still love to sit in the gallery where the model Blue Whale is and just be staggered by how big the thing is. The dinosaur gallery was absolutely packed as was the central hall and even the Geology section was pretty full of people. The Darwin centre is a bit of a missed opportunity I think. I went upstairs to the top floors where the labs are. It's nice but there is too much to read and not a lot to see.

    Next I went to the Science Museum, which is now a place to flog IMAX shows I'm a little sad to say. The rest of the museum is a bit boring now (and I say that as a Scientist) although the kids section in the basement was full and the forensic section was interesting enough. One other minor criticism though - the cafe and restaurant prices are too expensive.

    Next a quick flip through the V+A and then I took a packed and stuffy tube to Green Park and had a wander round the lake in St James's park, which is always nice. Then back on an even more overcrowded and stuffy tube to Kings Cross and that's where the fun started.. Lack of drivers and cancelled trains meant it took me ages to get home again although I did have a seat.

    But this morning - I am glad to be at home - London is a nice place to visit but it's not a place I would ever want to live.
  2. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    I went to the Stanley Kubrick exhibition yesterday. Really enjoyed it. I understand why people might not want to live in London but it's home for me and I love it.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    My Sister has lived in London most of her life and my Daughter went to University there and is moving back on Monday to start a new job in a big hospital in central London.

    Although I've travelled round the world a far bit and have been in some really big and overcrowded cities (Jakarta, Beijing etc...) I am a country boy at heart and even though I live in a (pretty small) city now I appreciate my green spaces. I just couldn't be doing with moving around London every day.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I was disappointed with the Natural History Museum the last time I went - too many shops/cafés, too few exhibits. But the Imperial War Museum's new displays, however, were very good I thought. Maybe try that next time... Or the super art galleries...
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'm not really an IWM type of person although I have been to a couple of air shows at Duxford.

    I'll be back in London on a nice Sunny day at the end of August for my annual trip to London Zoo.
    Lalad likes this.
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I did my PGCE and my first six years of teaching in the outer London suburbs, living in New Malden, then moving out to Guildford when we married. The novelty of being plugged into the capital city in our early twenties steadily wore off and I'm glad we'd moved well away by the time our eldest arrived. Docklands was still full of crumbling warehouses when we left - now it's like Mega City One. The Tube has been upgraded over the years but it's still as crowded as ever.

    As you say peakster, day visits and short breaks only - wild horses couldn't drag me back.
    Lara mfl 05, bombaysapphire and nomad like this.
  7. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I'm buying a Friend of the Royal Academy for my husband for his 70th. We haven't been to London hardly at all this year and this will give us good reason to go again. We want to go through the magic Members Only door in the foyer.Now husbands knee is so much better I think he'll cope with it just fine. We love going and usually take son 2 out for dinner which, of course is another good reason to go.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    When I was 10 we spent a week in London on holiday - We went to the museums and a test match and all the famous places I'd only seen on telly or in books and even though the weather was a bit miserable I really enjoyed it.

    I don't think I could cope with being there full time though. I didn't enjoy being almost shoved over on a tube platform yesterday or travelling in a tube that was so crowded I could only hold on to a safety rail with one hand.

    ...and why do people run up the escalators ?
  9. mkl

    mkl New commenter

    I agree that London and public transport can be very stressful, but many people do not have to use the worst routes on a daily basis, and one's experience depends a lot on where exactly one lives (sorry for sounding like the Queen). For the last 36 years I have found London a great city to live in: when my children were small we could always find free activities in the many museums; traffic where I live is not bad and we could cycle around along the docks even without hitting any road. There are plenty of green spaces, and now that I have more time I can also discover the many not so well known gems (last Sunday, for example, I went up the Jewel Tower and visited the LASSCO Brunswick House). The best thing is that one doesn't need a car because public transport on the whole is excellent, and now that I have my Freedom Pass I also explore the extensive overground network. - Not quite an Apologia pro Londinio, but I love London!
    Doglover and lindenlea like this.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I'm from Cheshire. I identify as a Northerner. A lot of Yorkies and Lancastrians would beg to differ but that's another story. Is my loathing of London just folk-memory and inborn prejudice?

    Or derives from it being the filthiest city I have ever seen? With the least polite inhabitants?

    Probably it's just that it isn't the countryside and will never be the countryside. I have a 100 mile limit. That's my exclusion zone. As long as I stay more than 100 miles away then I can breathe easily.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Hmm...selective eyesight, I think. Plenty of dirty cities in the North too....;)
    jarndyce likes this.
  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I always enjoy visits to the many cultural centres in London. Meeting an old college friend at the RA next week.
    Museums have changed since I was younger. I think this is mostly for the better.
    I have never felt that I could afford to live in London, and for the most part enjoy the pleasures of rural small town life.
  13. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    My daughter lives in that London and last year for my birthday she paid for us to have a weekend in a very swanky boutique hotel in Shoreditch. People were friendly and we made friends with all the staff who provided great service (and loads of freebies) - I suspect because we were the only guests who actually talked to them. Everything went swimmingly UNTIL we visited an artisanal craft beer bar. Partner (the beer ‘enthusiast’) ordered a half of something dark and chewy and the woman behind the bar said ‘that will be £24 please.’ She clearly spotted the accents as she said it before she poured. I replied with a cheery smile ‘we won’t pay that - we’re Northern.’
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    A cooked lunch, dessert and a coffee in the restaurant in the Science Museum yesterday would have set you back something like £20 - that's too much money for what you actually get.
  15. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    You should have got a £3 meal deal from Tesco in the Old Brompton Road. The Science Museum (like all the South Ken museums) has tables and chairs for visitors to eat packed lunches.

    If you prefer something hot, Leon in Thurloe Street (near South Ken station) does a Thai Curry for £5.95 and Aioli Chicken for £6.95. Raspberry Custard Tart £2.40. Filter Coffee £1. We often have a bite there when going to proms in the Albert Hall.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    Mrsmumbles, JL48, ViolaClef and 4 others like this.
  16. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Don't be too disappointed to find it is possibly more crowded in the café there than you might have hoped. There is a staircase somewhere behind the members door that leads downstairs to a small, outside terrace (through a bar, if I recall correctly). Not so many people know about that. When I went there with a member friend it was a little secluded oasis of calm.
  17. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I'd hate to live in London, too, but we are so lucky to have such an amazing city to visit, with so much variety - often free. I love visiting it.
  18. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    We have lived in London for over 40 years. We dislike traveling on the tube but use it occasionally. I personally find it expensive and yet there are times when it becomes interesting, One winter they had the Lumiere light shows and Christmas is one of my favourite times to walk London. I also stop at statues and then go home and discover who the hell they are!
    I rarely use its other places as having led school parties to most of the museums I have little desire to visit them.
    For me, the best way is to wander a route down into or out of the city eg from Whitechapel down to Threadneedle St calling in at many of the old churches enroute. I love photographing buildings so wander there but avoid shops unless I really need to go to them.
    There are large parts of London we have never seen and have no desire as a couple to do so, but on my own, when allowed to escape, I do wander down highways and byways! lol
  19. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    It's the 230 theatres in London that appeal to us, along with the five full-time professional symphony orchestras (and 20 or more smaller orchestras), opera houses and permanent theatre for ballet. Nice though it is to live in the Cotswolds, it is the performing arts that I miss most (although Oxford is good for mostly non-professional performances).
  20. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    It's good exercise.


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