What urbanist/transit/maps/architecture/local history-related attractions should I hit up in London?
I just booked a trip to London from Feb. 25 to March 4. I'm incredibly excited -- while I've traveled to the Continent before, this will be my first trip to London/the United Kingdom.
I'm planning on hitting up all the tourist spots of course (Westminster Abbey, British Museum, Hyde Park, palaces, etc.). However, I also wanted to ask Metafilter to suggest some London attractions in interests, which run along the lines of:
- urbanist/smart growth/city planning
- architecture and local history
If this question seems familiar, I asked it about New York in August with great results, so I thought I'd hit up the hive mind again!
For example, I loved the New York City Transit Museum in Brooklyn and had a blast during Open House Chicago, an event where they opened up lots of city buildings normally off-limits to the public and let you venture inside. Here in Chicago, where I live, I'm a fan of the history museum and the parts of the Science & Industry where you can walk inside old trains, etc. I've taken a quick look at the London Transport Museum, which would seem to be right up my alley.
I'll be staying with a friend, I'm not sure exactly where she lives but it's accessible to Tube and busses. I live in a big city now so I'm totally comfortable with public transport (and conversely I will not have a car). Although I'm going to try to maximize my time in London, since I'm also planning on hitting up Paris and Brussels*, I'm also up for day-trip suggestions.
So I welcome any and all suggestions! Also this is my first big international trip alone since I've started working, so if you want to reassure me that it will be a blast I'd welcome that too. ;)
*If your alarm went off of "too many countries! too little time!" not to worry. I've been to these places before and am going strictly to visit friends who are there, to experience the Eurostar, and not to go see touristy sites (as opposed to London, where this is my goal!) This is by no means a "London on Monday, Paris on Tuesday, Brussels on Wednesday" kind of tour.