One day around London
December 8, 2005 8:34 AM   Subscribe

WhatToDoInThisTownFilter : single day in London, this very saturday. What to do ?

Coming from France on saturday morning, leaving saturday evening. Yep, don't have much time, but the tickets were cheap, so... We're a couple looking for things to do, to buy, to see, and we don't have a huge purse - X-mas being around the corner and all that.
Any suggestions on were to go (like, the neighborhood were we can find the must fun/interesting things to do), what to see, what NOT to see/do/buy, etc.
We're more indie than anything, and the misses is not that much into crowds, but she thinks we can try the Notting Hill market or something.

Thank you for any ideas.
posted by XiBe to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
 
Argh, and then I see the next AskMe question about the same subject! Sorry!
Granted, the scope of my questions is shorte : one single day. That might prove tricky to some. Help!
posted by XiBe at 8:35 AM on December 8, 2005


i would go to the tate modern museum and do all of your xmas shopping in the gift shop. that was my favorite thing in london when i was living there.
posted by booknerd at 8:37 AM on December 8, 2005 [1 favorite]


Notting Hill, Covent Garden, all of the indie market hangouts will be HEAVING on a saturday this close to christmas. Anyone who has the slightest problem with crowds really shouldn't go - it'll just end in stress.
posted by Lotto at 8:49 AM on December 8, 2005


The Ritblat gallery at the British Library. It's free, it's right next to King's Cross, it takes less than an hour and you'll see more amazing historical texts than you can shake a stick at.

We saw ancient bibles and korans; the magna carta; beatles lyrics; original manuscripts by Carroll, Malory, Dickens and Blake; original Beatles lyrics; sheet music by Handel and Mozart and Beethoven; Da Vinci's sketch notebooks; etc., etc.. They even had the Canterbury Tales and Beowulf, fer chrissakes.
posted by ltdan at 9:10 AM on December 8, 2005 [1 favorite]


Apparently I was so impressed by the Beatles lyrics that I mentioned them twice. Sorry.
posted by ltdan at 9:12 AM on December 8, 2005


I'd highly nominate going ice-skating at the Somerset House Ice Rink just off Trafalgar Square. A more romantic wintery London location I have yet to find.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 9:31 AM on December 8, 2005


Anywhere shopping-related will be insanely busy this weekend.

Holgate mentioned skating at Somerset House in the other question which I think would be a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. If I enjoyed skating.

Chinatown is very pretty at this time of year. Brick Lane Market might not be as busy as the others and is chock full of wacky indie stuff. On checking: sorry, ignore that: it's Sundays only. South Bank is usually a bit quieter and more civilised.
posted by blag at 9:34 AM on December 8, 2005


Heh. Yeah, that.
posted by blag at 9:34 AM on December 8, 2005


I second lotto - do NOT go to Portobello (Notting Hill Market) if you don't like crowds. Wandering along the south bank is good for a day.
posted by gravelshoes at 9:36 AM on December 8, 2005


Borough Market- food, including possible food gifts, can be done in conjunction with Tate Modern.
posted by cushie at 10:26 AM on December 8, 2005


Spitalfields Market near Liverpool Street wasn't TOO busy last weekend. Worth a look.

Camden Town will definately be heaving, but is great for a bit of culture shock, with a capital 'cult'. Food on the Lock market up there is fun, cheap, dirty and interesting.

I'd avoid the museums, since they're all an investment of at least a good two hours, and if you want to see see see lots of things, you're better off tubehopping economically.
posted by armoured-ant at 2:56 PM on December 8, 2005


Assuming the weather is nice, I would second the South Bank. One itinerary is to take the Tube to Embankment, then walk across the Thames. Ride the Eye, and then walk along the South Bank towards the Tate Modern, stopping off at Borough Market along the way for a snack. Depending on the timing and your preference, you can then spend the rest of your afternoon in the Tate Modern, or can cross over the river and see St. Paul's Cathedral, or you can keep walking along the South Bank to the Tower Bridge.

If it's too cold or rainy or overcast to be outdoors, London is full of great museums. The ones I would most recommend, depending on your interests:

--The Tate Modern
--The British Museum
--The Cabinet War Rooms.

The Cabinet War Rooms were once the underground bunker from which Churchill ran the war effort; they've since been converted into an absolutely fascinating museum about Churchill and WWII.
posted by yankeefog at 6:10 AM on December 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


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