What to do in London for a week?
September 5, 2011 1:50 PM   Subscribe

What was your very favorite thing you did as a tourist in London??

I am in London for a week with my 15 year old sister, 12 year old brother and mom. We're looking for fun, cheap, interesting things to do. We're not tightwads and will spend money when we need to. We love quirky things off the beaten path. I'm sure this question has been asked before but I asked a question about Sydney and got seriously the best answers ever. I am just looking for fun, interesting stuff to do.

I have a Lonely Planet, we've all been to London before (done the Tower, the torture museum, the bus rides, etc).

Also if you know of any good bands playing while I'm here I'd love to take my little sister out.

Thanks in advance.

PS: I am dying to see the wedding dress but everyone tells me NO and that is is $$ and boring. So I guess what I need from this question is the opposite of that.

Much love in advance!
posted by timpanogos to Travel & Transportation around London, England (63 answers total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
Best thing I did in London was go to Speakers' Corner and argue.
posted by Paragon at 1:57 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Going to Greenwich via boat. Transport museum. Spitalfields weavers house.
And previously here.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:58 PM on September 5, 2011

As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, and Dr. Faustus are playing at The Globe. I highly recommend getting there an hour or so before showtime so you can stand right up next to the stage. Yard tickets are only £5.00.
posted by valkyryn at 2:04 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

We really enjoyed the walking tours. They were inexpensive (by London standards) and led by very knowledgeable people, many of whom were actors and comedians supplementing their income.
posted by DrGail at 2:04 PM on September 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

Ahh, Ideefixe that was my idea too! We took Thames Clipper to Greenwich and went to the Royal Observatory. I love the little museum they have there, where you can see the AMAZING Harrison timekeepers.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:05 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I spent several weeks in London in June. I went to soooo many museums and walked around a lot. The things I liked the best:

-the Tower of London (I know you've been here, but for anyone else looking for tourist options) was expensive as hell, but I really enjoyed it. Make sure to go on one of the tours. It's worth the hype.

-Sir John Soane's Museum is Sir John Soane's house, full of all of the neat little things he collected over his life. The house is awesome, his stuff is awesome, it's definitely worth seeing. (Free, too, and right across the square from the Hunterian (the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons), which is cool in its own right.

-walk to Highgate. This one I just kind of happened upon by accident. I intended to go to Highgate Cemetery, but unfortunately didn't get there until after it had closed. It was a great walk, though. I started at King's Cross, went over and walked through Regent's Park, walked through Camden Town, walked though Kentish Town, and up through Highgate. It was just...really charming. I'm going back in a few weeks, and I definitely intend to do it again. (Earlier, though, so I can see the freaking cemetery finally.)

-the Imperial War Museum. Great museum. Learned a lot.
-the Museum of the City of London. Another great museum. I was really impressed by how well organized it was--good flow. If that makes sense. Worth going to, if you're the sort who enjoys museums. Or history. Or the history of London.
posted by phunniemee at 2:09 PM on September 5, 2011 [4 favorites]

I liked Leighton House and Linley Sambourne House.

There was also a house that had limited hours, and it was set up as a family who had just heard that Prince Edward had died and supposedly rushed out onto the streets. You were supposed to be quiet throughout the tour, listening to the clop-clop of horses on a recording and other such noises. It was very realistic, down to the half-filled chamber pot in one of the bedrooms. I can't find the name of it, but someone else here might know.

On preview, I also went to Highgate and it was very interesting, especially all the explanations of why certain people had this or that headstone and the fact that the walk above the morgue was quite wide to allow for Victorian ladies' skirts.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:12 PM on September 5, 2011

Every street market I could find. Lots of theater. Climbing Monument. Walking across the famous Abbey Road intersection, realizing that after all this time, I'm nowhere near the only person doing it, and reading the graffiti on the recording studio walls.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:14 PM on September 5, 2011

Best answer: What about markets? I do enjoy my visits to http://www.portobellomarket.org/ - and nearby there is a piece of brutalist architecture, the Trellick Tower.

Another one is the http://columbiaroad.info/ flower market, mainly flowers, but it seems to be a hotspot for photographers (I got my picture taken when trying to take pictures lol) - and there are lots of yummy food stalls around the area too.

Can't help with the band thing - if you are into jazzy stuff though, Soho has many jazz club type places, e.g. Ronnie Scotts, Pizza Express Jazz, Spice of Life and several others.

Oh oh! One more! Greenwich is nice to visit, the meridian and all. What's more, you could take the chance to explore the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, and once you've hit the isle of dogs, visit http://www.mudchute.org/ farm.
posted by TrinsicWS at 2:17 PM on September 5, 2011

Just came in to say that if you visit any of the pricier attractions, it may possibly be worth buying the cheapest possible National Rail tickets in order to use 241 vouchers.

Have fun!!
posted by Carravanquelo at 2:18 PM on September 5, 2011

--Take a tour of Highgate Cemetery..

--Go swimming in the bathing ponds of Hampstead Heath

--Go visit the tiny but fascinating Grant Museum of Zoology

--Have pie and beer at Newman Arms

--Take the Inns of Court walk and see Charles Dickens London

--Go to Columbia Road Flower Market on Sunday
posted by vacapinta at 2:19 PM on September 5, 2011 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Last time I was in London we did the Greenwich via Boat thing and it was wonderful. Highly recommended and great for all ages.

The first time I was there, though, I was barely fourteen, and my mom and dad and I went out to Piccadilly Circus on the first night, to Madam Tousaud's Rock Circus, which was perfect for my age and strangely educational as well. A wax museum of Rock History. When we emerged from the museum there was a busker in the Circus playing Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet Suite on a steel drum (you can actually see a split-second shot of the guy in the Trainspotting "London Montage") and it was one of the most beautiful things we'd ever heard. We stopped to listen for a few minutes and a large crowd gathered until the bobbies came to chase us all off to many boos and hisses.

That last part probably isn't repeatable, so much, but the point is to pay attention to the thriving street culture. It will inevitably create the most treasured memories if you do.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:20 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Your 12 year old brother is young enough to get away with messing with the palace guards.

Other than that, go see a show in Soho and get mocked by authentic street punks. I saw Spamalot.

Tate Modern.
posted by cmoj at 2:20 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's hardly off the beaten path, but because it focuses on design rather than fine art, the Victoria and Albert Museum contains the most incredible collection of quirky objects you can imagine. I'll also second the Imperial War Museum.
posted by drdanger at 2:21 PM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

It's been years, so I'm not sure that it still happens, but we did a night-time "Ripper Walk," where a tour group goes through London on foot to see notable places connected with the Jack the Ripper case. our guide also pointed out places where other notable murders happened. It was played for laughs, mostly, and was really interesting. Not scary at all.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 2:22 PM on September 5, 2011

You can tour the BBC (£10 or so)!
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:22 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding the V&A Museum as well. That was my second-favorite moment from my month in London as a kid. They had an installation up on 20th Century fashion trends, which one would not think would hold much interest for a straight teenage boy, but because the fashion trends were so closely tied to musical scenes, it was like another dose of Museum Rock History. I'm almost certain it was a temporary installation, but the point is that the V&A does amazingly cool and accesable stuff, and you never know what you'll find.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:26 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, oh, The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret! The best part is the operating theatre presentation that takes place in an old operating theatre -- they walk you through an example surgery from the early 1800s, before painkillers and germ theory. They spare no details and yet it's really ok for kids who are into the quirky and curious. Plus, you get to see all the neat things they made medicine out of centuries ago. I was so happy there.
posted by mochapickle at 2:26 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ditto Sir John Soane's Museum and the London Walks (I've done several of these, and they're always fun; be sure to wear comfy shoes).

The Foundling Museum.

You could spend a whole week in the British Museum. Also check out any special exhibits at the British Library.

If you're up for a day trip out of London, there's Warwick Castle.

Hampton Court.

Nthing V&A and the Tate, plus I always like wandering through the National Gallery (another place where you could spend a whole week...) and the National Portrait Gallery.

You should definitely see a play or musical in the West End or at the RNT.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:30 PM on September 5, 2011

Oh, and Westminster Abbey!
posted by thomas j wise at 2:31 PM on September 5, 2011

I live in London, but I will second DrGail in recommending London Walks.

Look, in particular at their Saturday and Sunday "from the repertory" walks, which take in residential neighborhoods off the beaten tourist track or unusual perspectives on central London - usually 2/3rds of the attendees or more actually live in London. Recent ones we've been on include a fascinating history of Tooting, and a walk in St. Giles (next to Covent Garden) focused entirely on its history as a notorious slum. Great stuff.
posted by Wylla at 2:33 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

On Saturdays, they kick all the tourists out of Westminster Abbey before the Vespers service, but if you tell them you want to go to the service you can stay. I am not Christian, or really religious at all, but it was an amazing experience to observe in such a historic place. (Obviously, you cannot have your camera or be a touristy jerk while the service is happening, but it was very spiritual and moving even to a non-religious person).
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:44 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

They've already been suggested, so just for the nthing value, I was going to suggest Colombia Road flower market, then cross Bethnal Green Road and continue your walk up Brick Lane and through Spitalfields - if you want to make it even more interesting, read On Brick Lane by Rachel Lichtenstein, a fascinating account of the area's immigrant history and inhabitants, and follow the guided walk she provides at the back to see it come to life.

Also another vote for the Hampstead Heath bathing ponds. The ladies pond is by far the best, but obviously only open to ladies, so you might have to plump for the mixed pond (there's also a men's pond).
posted by penguin pie at 2:45 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

My absolute favorite thing was wandering around the Camden Markets. Interesting wares for sale and seriously the best street food EVER. (I still dream about a halal Thai green curry I got from a stall there.)

Borough Market is also pretty awesome, but go on the weekend when it's livelier.

And do the food halls at Harrods if you haven't done that before.

On the not-so-cheap-but-still-really-interesting side, if you haven't done Windsor, do that -- I loved wandering around the town as well as doing the tour of the castle. And you can walk across the river and tour Eton as well.
posted by devinemissk at 2:50 PM on September 5, 2011

Thirding Imperial War Museum. In a similar vein and also very cool are the Churchill war-time bunkers.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 2:52 PM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

I've often taken friends to the Camden Market area AKA Camden Lock. Lots of cool indie alternative rock and roll stuff in the various street market areas and strangely decorated shops that line Camden High St.
Just get the tube to Camden Town, take the exit on your right after you come up the escalator, turn right out the door and walk up Camden High St. The fun starts right away.
posted by w0mbat at 3:03 PM on September 5, 2011

Go see one of the events at The Cinema Museum in Lambeth (near the Imperial War Museum) an awesome place full of cinematic bric-a-brac, run by very enthusiastic collectors and housed in the workhouse where Charlie Chaplin stayed as a child!

Also the Wellcome Collection usually has something weird and wonderful going on.

Nthing John Soames' House - dude had a crypt in his townhouse basement!

Lastly, Little Angel Theatre is a charming puppet theatre that does more and more shows for adolescents/adults. (NB. I'm biased because I used to work there)
posted by dumdidumdum at 3:15 PM on September 5, 2011

The Ceremony of the Keys. It may well be impossible to get tickets on short notice as their official site says that they are fully booked until the 22nd (not completely sure if you're there right now based on your question), but I'll recommend it in case it's possible and for future visitors. Admission is free, though you have to write in advance and tickets are hard to come by, especially in summer. Hotels may know of brokers too. Here's a little video about it.

The Ceremony is the procedure they have used to lock up the Tower of London every night for the past 700 years. You show up at 9:30pm, they let you in the Tower, and ask you to move "as quickly and quietly as you can" to observe the ceremony. There's a lot of pageantry as the Chief Yeoman Warder and the guard stomp their feet and exchange salutations: "Whose keys? Queen Elizabeth's keys!" You stroll through the complex and watch as they up various heavy metal doors with gigantic keys. At precisely 10:00, the clock chimes as they salute the Queen and complete the ceremony. It's all very quaint and it's very fun to be in the Tower at night with such a small group (they only take 40-50 visitors or so).

The best part for me though was the very end. After going through this whole procedure, us visitors are ushered out through an unmarked side door. This door is then unceremoniously locked by your Yeoman Warder escort with a plain old ordinary key and no stomping or pageantry of any kind.
posted by zachlipton at 3:19 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

As others have pointed out, walking is a good option for getting the most out of London. And the king of walks, IMHO, is The Thames Path. You could spend two full walking days going from the Thames Barrier up to Kew Gardens - taking in many of the other places mentioned. The Thames Clippers would be a useful way of speeding up parts of your journey in the lower part of the river.

Open air swimming on Hampstead Heath might be fun too - definitely not something at the top of the clichéd tourist destinations.

On the tube you could spend a little time looking for ghost stations.
posted by rongorongo at 3:26 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

London Walks
posted by Fairchild at 3:33 PM on September 5, 2011

I really like the Cast Courts at the V&A - plaster casts taken by the Victorians of statues and architectural features from all over Europe.

London's museums are fantastic. It's obvious, but the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum are truly world-class museums. I miss them now that I can't easily visit London. Then there's the National Portrait Gallery, which has the paintings of the monarchs that you see in the history books. And like phunniemee, I have a fondness for the Museum of London; and there's often an interesting exhibition on at the Hayward.

The Millennium Bridge, sadly, no longer bounces, but it's pretty cool. And there's a bridge that curls up once a week (every Friday at noon), near Paddington station.

Camden Market is indeed a fun place to spend an afternoon.

Do any of you watch Doctor Who? There's a blue police box outside Earls Court Underground station.

Finally, there's a living wall on the Athenaeum Hotel in Piccadilly; and, speaking of plants, Kew Gardens have a treetop walk, which I should think is nice at this time of year.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:35 PM on September 5, 2011

I don't usually like touristy things, but I really liked the London Eye.

Get the "fast track" express boarding pass - it's worth it.
posted by devbrain at 3:52 PM on September 5, 2011

London Eye. I thought it would be so gimmicky, but it was simply amazing at dusk.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 4:02 PM on September 5, 2011

Dennis Severs House
posted by wayward vagabond at 4:26 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'll warn you that I only visited London for a week, so this will be one tourist leading another. And my interests run more toward food and long walks. That said, here are some things I enjoyed:

- fish and chips at the Sea Shell on Lisson Grove (note: a single order comes in a pizza box and easily feeds three)
- curries on Brick Lane
- jellied eels from a little street cart along Aldgate

- John Gerard's garden, with 40 medicinal plants and little placards describing each, in the backyard of the Right Worshipful Company of Barbers next to the Museum of London
- Queen Mary's gardens in Regents Park, where you can find a few little gaps in the shrubbery leading into a maze of tiny shadowed footpaths, probably for gardeners' access
- The Wall Walk, which is about 23 placards scattered over a distance of a mile or two following the original wall encircling the roman settlement, especially St. Alphage's garden by the Museum of London
- a little garden by Love Lane around Moorgate station, with a monument to two of Shakespeare's colleagues who apparently singlehanded saved all his work from being completely lost.

Okay, I guess the short version is that London has a lot of public gardens, and you should try to visit them all. Now I want to go back myself.
posted by d. z. wang at 4:50 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh man, I LOVED the Natural History Museum; great dinosaur exhibit, but that's just the beginning. I could have spent days there. No charge to get in.

If anybody's into poster art, I would go to the gift shop at the Transport Museum; the Museum's great if you're into old trains and things, but what really got me were the prints of old tube posters. Super cool, all different styles and about 10 pounds each. I bought several, then bought more off the website when I got home to the States. You have to pay to get into the museum, but I think the gift shop has a separate entrance.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 5:14 PM on September 5, 2011

Last time it was the 5 pound standing 'seats' at the National theater. I love the Tate Modern too, and was sad on my last visit that the Borough Market was closed as I think that would have become another fav.

No to the Brick Lane curries- that ruined my afternoon afterwards (and I am NOT delicate foodwise) ...some places have v dodgy food these days!

When I was 15 I loved Carnaby street, that shopping place that looks shakespearian off Oxford St (fortnams??), and St. Pauls cathedral as well as Trafalgar Square. (But that was many years ago!)

Everywhere is fun to walk around. Especially around Embankment and the Southbank.

Have fun!!
posted by bquarters at 6:19 PM on September 5, 2011

Oh yes, Madame Taussad's is very freaky when you are young! Oh and Covent garden to see the buskers. Also even seeing a film at night is a fun and interesting experience if you are tired from walking, don't have theater tickets and haven't experienced British cinemas before. (I was wowed by everything when I first went as a young kid!)
posted by bquarters at 6:23 PM on September 5, 2011

I am scared to death of heights, so one of the experiences that has stayed with me most was climbing to the top of St. Paul's and looking out over London. It was magnificent, I'd highly recommend, even (especially?) if you are scared of heights.

And nthing the V&A.
posted by lesli212 at 6:31 PM on September 5, 2011

The Treasures room at the British Library. Absolutely unbelievable. The Magna Carta! The original score for Handel's Messiah! Oscar Wilde's letters from prison! My brand-new husband and I spent three and a half hours in there, every minute imbued in slackjawed wonder.
posted by KathrynT at 8:02 PM on September 5, 2011

I loved the biking tours I went on in London. When I went on the Royal London tour, there were a few kids under 10. The rest of the group kept an eye on the kids, but everything went well and their enthusiasm was contagious. I also went on the River Thames tour by the same group. The biking is not difficult, and it's a great way to go over a lot of ground in one day.
posted by xmts at 9:28 PM on September 5, 2011

Best answer: Bikeshare. A week for £5 and you can grab one and go all over London.
posted by alexei at 10:37 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding the British Library, which I think is always worth visiting. As a bonus, they have an awesome sci-fi exhibition called Out of this World on at the moment! My favorite thing to do in London is get lost, though you'd have to be appropriately dressed as it's starting to rain more often.

I'm not sure what kind of music you like, but The Staves are a small band with three girls, a ukelele and an acoustic guitar & are really lovely live. They're playing at Union Chapel, which has a reputation as a great venue, especially for quieter music. The Rapture & The Drums will also be in London this week if you want something more upbeat. Have a look at www.timeout.com/london and you can enter your own search criteria.
posted by bibliophibianj at 12:58 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best ting I ever did in London was leave for the continent ;-)

Free museums are all pretty good, and as a lawyer I loved the courts / temple area.

Walking along the thames is also nice.
posted by jannw at 1:19 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Diamond Geezer - in all his crudmudgeonly glory - is one of the best sources around for suggestions on out of the way and often ignored London tidbits. His series on Lost Rivers and his jaunts through the London Boroughs are absolute treasure troves, but we warned, Diamond Geezer is a TV-tropes-level time suck for anyone planning to visit the city.

And of course, if you will be here on the 17th or 18th, Open House London is a must.
posted by Wylla at 2:20 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I always recommend London Walking Tours. They are led by fascinating guides and you'll hear amazing stories. They aren't expensive and you will come away knowing more about London than most locals.
posted by sleepy boy at 2:36 AM on September 6, 2011

Metafilter meetup!
posted by jonathanstrange at 4:28 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I keep remembering more interesting stuff...sorry for the multiple answers!

A few months back, I did the District 45 walking tour in Deptford, which was really great and highly recommended (if you aren't passing out after about 12 of us sent you on London Walks tours!)

Londonist has recently started a series of recomendations for alternative guided tours, which keeps growing and growing. All of those look good.
posted by Wylla at 5:21 AM on September 6, 2011

My (US) family went to the UK when I was 12. Here are my favorite memories of London:

-St. Paul's Cathedral. I'd never seen a cathedral in my life. I was totally amazed. There were several other churches and cathedrals I was also very impressed with. I LOVED climbing all the way to the top, whenever it was allowed. The top of St. Paul's was amazing. Also awesome: catacombs or crypts.
-Harrods and Selfridges. I think the fanciest store I'd ever been to was the organic food co-op my family frequented. I was awed by the spectacle and had a great time looking at all the fancy uppity merchandise. We didn't buy anything, just looked. At Selfridges somebody gave me a free sample of some yogurt drink.
-Finding the perfect sticky toffee. I discovered on my first day in the UK that sticky toffee is an amazing dessert, and since it's rare to nonexistent in the US, we decided to try every sticky toffee we could in order to find the best.
-Hyde Park and Kew Gardens.
-Finding little shops and trying out English/British candies and drinks that don't exist in the US.
-The Sherlock Holmes Museum, and getting there on the Tube (the station near the museum has little deerstalker caps on the walls). I don't necessarily think that every kid would love this, but I'm a huge Sherlock Holmes fan.
-The British Library. I got to see the Magna Carta, something to do with the American Revolution (forgotten the details, sorry), and a napkin that John Lennon scribbled a Beatles song on. Also, some really amazing old illustrated manuscrips. The British Museum, too.
-Feeding the pigeons at Trafalgar square. I'm sure this is terribly passe, but I sure had a good time.
-The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

As a young person in other cities in Europe (Edinburgh particularly, but also Rome, Venice and Amsterdam), I've done those historical walking tours. Usually a funny tour guide keeps you and a group of about 20 people entertained with historically-accurate stories while walking all the way through a big museum or part of a city. It's fun, but I've also found that it's the absolute BEST way to learn things in a foreign city, hands down. I think I've learned more history from walking tours than from years in school.

I have also found that a great way to enjoy European cities is to compare the religious art from place to place. This may sound weird, but I've really enjoyed it. If you go to a lot of cathedrals, you'll see many, many different representations of Jesus on the cross, Mother Mary, etc. Because European cities are really old (this was really amazing to me as a 12-year-old), there are many centuries of art represented, and you can start to recognize a 15th-century Jesus vs. an 18-th century Jesus. Some paintings of Jesus on the cross will have white doves. Others will have a ribbon. Each saint has his or her own symbol that s/he will be holding in paintings. You get the idea. Noticing this kind of thing is a great way to enjoy what otherwise might be "just another church" and it really makes things fun. (NB: I have absolutely no expertise in the matter.)
posted by Cygnet at 6:43 AM on September 6, 2011

Oh - I see feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square is now illegal. Scratch that one.
posted by Cygnet at 6:52 AM on September 6, 2011

Your brother and sister would probably think Hamleys is fun.
posted by troywestfield at 7:24 AM on September 6, 2011

Best answer: Thirding John Soane's museum.
posted by evadery at 10:54 AM on September 6, 2011

Response by poster: Did John Soane's museum today, the Tate and hit up the British Museum. I can't wait to explore the other suggestions on this page.

Question: Is seeing Kate's dress really worth it!!
posted by timpanogos at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2011

The Inns of Court and the Temple Church are very interesting. Off the beaten path, and a little difficult to find. We had to ask around quite a lot for directions. Surprising number of Londoners don't know where it is. What I liked about it in addition to the aesthetic was that it represented the intersection between historic and contemporary London.
posted by Breav at 11:47 AM on September 6, 2011

The canal boat tours on Regent's Canal (start in Camden or Little Venice) or the open top bus tours. I know, the latter seems especially cheesy, but you see so much of the city!
posted by pyjammy at 1:48 PM on September 6, 2011

Climb to the top of Primrose Hill for a fabulous view of London. (I have no opinion on the value of seeing Kate's dress.)
posted by not.so.hip at 3:15 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you are of a nerdy disposition, I found the Wellcome Collection to have some of the greatest science-themed art I've ever seen. It's got moderately sized exhibits so you can go for 2-3 hours, without feeling like you've missed 90% of the stuff.
posted by benzenedream at 4:43 PM on September 6, 2011

Climbing to the top of St Pauls, especially on a clear day. Not for the height-phobic or unfit, stunning views, amazing architecture and the whispering gallery is amazing.
posted by spongeboy at 10:23 PM on September 6, 2011

If you're near the British Museum, its worth dropping by the Building Centre. They have a model of central London.
posted by vacapinta at 3:04 AM on September 7, 2011

Question: Is seeing Kate's dress really worth it!!

I think you might correctly deduce from the fact that hardly anyone in this thread has mentioned it, that most people here don't care two hoots about it! I guess YMMV if you're particularly interested in Kate, or dresses.
posted by penguin pie at 3:57 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I did so many of the suggestions on this list. AskMeFi is the best ever. You guys rule. xoxooxoxoxox
posted by timpanogos at 12:11 PM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: An interesting place to eat is this Vietnamese restaurant for reasons I've explored before.
posted by Jofus at 11:27 AM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Also I didn't end up seeing Kate's dress- it was a mob scene and you had to have pre ordered timed tickets!!
posted by timpanogos at 3:01 PM on September 12, 2011

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