Help us have a jolly old honeymoon over the pond.
October 3, 2006 10:25 AM   Subscribe

HoneymoonFilter: Help two head over heels for each other Americans find the most romantic things to do in London. There's

Last night I was asked to name any place in the world I'd most like to go with my sweetie, and I named London. He promised me a honeymoon there- I'm thrilled. What are the most romantic (but not completely cliche) things to do?

Keep in mind I'm a bit of a history buff and love sightseeing (particularly in small groups) and we're both computer nerds. Help us enjoy the week or two we'd have to the max- problem is, I don't know in what month the wedding might be, and therefore don't know the time of year of the honeymoon, so try and name things we can do year-round or specify if they're seasonal. :) Thanks, MeFites!
posted by Glitter Ninja to Travel & Transportation around London, England (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Morbid at all? Take a guided walking tour of the Ripper murder sites in Whitechapel. Tons of fun after dark.

Make time for the British Museum. Lots of amazing artifacts.

Skip Madame Tussaud's-- the line stretches for blocks, and it's not all that impressive.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:29 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Ride the London Eye. It's beautiful.
posted by brautigan at 10:36 AM on October 3, 2006

I personally love just walking the South Bank of the Thames, from Big Ben/Westminister Bridge all the way down to the Tower of London.

I believe you can do night-time rides on the London Eye, which would be beautiful. Although if you want privacy it'll cost you a fair penny.

Take a walk up to Primrose Hill near Camden late at night - you get to (just) see London in the distance. And then you can walk along the canals and be mugged. Maybe.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 10:40 AM on October 3, 2006

On further inspection it turns out you can hire a capsule for just the two of you. More here!
posted by brautigan at 10:40 AM on October 3, 2006

Oh gosh. Just walk along the South Bank in the evening. It's beautiful.

I seem to remember, also, you can take balloon flights from Vauxhall, for even more thrilling sightseeing. This was the only thing I could find, perhaps a Londoner with a copy of Time Out could post the non-marked-up details?
posted by randomination at 10:46 AM on October 3, 2006

...gaaah... attacked by preview monster... please feed budgie... *dead*
posted by randomination at 10:47 AM on October 3, 2006

Response by poster: The london eye at dusk, at least from the Wikipedia page, does look gorgeous, but I suppose I might as well mention that I'm terrified of heights. That includes open balconies with shorter railings, high staircases, anything you can imagine; though for some reason ferris wheels are usually okay. Are the booths on the London Eye well enclosed?
posted by Glitter Ninja at 10:49 AM on October 3, 2006

I took a ride on the London Eye this summer. I was expecting to be underwhelmed, but it was actually good -- not quite dusk, but heading that way... very beautiful. I'm not specially afraid of heights, so maybe I'm not the best judge, but I felt well enclosed although you are surrounded by glass.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:57 AM on October 3, 2006

The London eye is completely enclosed, it's basically a fancy modern ferris wheel. It's very nice.
posted by glip at 10:59 AM on October 3, 2006

If the Eye's too high, the view from the recently renovated Hungerford Bridge facing towards St Paul's fits the bill for fine night-time vistas. There's Greenwich for the Royal Observatory, South Kensington for the museums (nerd++). And I'd head a bit further out: Kew, Richmond and Hampton Court by boat, or up to Hampstead Heath.
posted by holgate at 11:12 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I also forgot to mention: bonus points for very photogenic regions, both architecturally and rurally, because I'm a shutterbug. I think that's the last thing I forgot. :)
posted by Glitter Ninja at 11:18 AM on October 3, 2006

Because I am obsessed with the place, I offer the Soane Museum.
posted by annaramma at 11:30 AM on October 3, 2006

Oh! We went to London for our honeymoon, almost a year ago.

I can really only give recommendations for a winter trip (though I've been many many times in the warm months, never with a romantic partner) so here goes:

It was lovely to walk along the riverbank at night. In our case, we walked along the north side, to the Tower Bridge, crossed it, and had a very cozy pint in a very cozy pub. Lucky for you, I have my honeymoon journal with me - it was the Anchor Tap pub.

We also took a two-night trip to the Welsh countryside. More fireplaces, more cozy pubs, more snuggling up. Ahhh, it was very romantic and picturesque.

In the summertime, I've always been fond of picnics in Hyde Park and sitting outside in a beer garden for hours, drinking Pimms & Lemonade.

Email's in profile if you want more detail.
posted by pyjammy at 12:08 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

London Eye for sure. It is totally enclosed and moves so slowly you might not even notice it. Also, if you have the means I would highly recommend the Marriott County Hall hotel, which is on the Thames. It's right next to the Eye and directly across the river from Parliament and Big Ben. The views at night are fantastic. My wife and I stayed there on the last night of our honeymoon and drank champagne on our balcony over the river while the sun set.

Also, if you are there in the summer you can go to a play at Shakespeare's Globe. We saw Midsummer Night's Dream, and it was the absolute best theater experience I'v ever had. My wife, who is not a big Shakespeare fan, loved it too.
posted by sbrollins at 12:13 PM on October 3, 2006

My husband and I had our honeymoon in London last year as well. One of our favorite parts of the trip was the "Explorer Day" we took to Salisbury and Stonehenge with the official London Walks people. It was moderately pricey, but we thought it was totally worth it. It wasn't even in London, but I'd say it was one of our favorite days of the entire trip. Your tickets includes all travel fares and entry to the sites you attend. And the guide was very funny and knowledgeable. We recommend.

Consider seeing Shakespeare in the Globe. I've read you can buy standing only tickets and come in and out as you please. I think it's supposed to be akin to the original performances. Perhaps take a nice picnic? We liked Covent Garden in the afternoon/early evening. You can catch all kinds of performers...classical music, juggling acts, magicians....all free. Nice place to grab some wine or beer in the pub inside the garden, too.

By the way, definitely get the week long tube pass. You may think it's a lot of money, but trust will use it way more often than you think. It will save you money in the long run. And watch out for the exchange rates. Yikes. Feel free to email me if you're interested in restaurant/hotel/etc recommendations.
posted by theantikitty at 12:17 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

On (no) preview...sbrollins and I had the same thought!
posted by theantikitty at 12:18 PM on October 3, 2006

Outside the city, I'd recommend Bath, Winchester, and a trip up the Thames river. I stayed in Marlowe, which you can easily reach by train from London, this summer for a few days for work and brought my wife on that trip. It's a gorgeous little village that straddles the river and has a wonderful old suspension bridge that crosses it.

Also, if you are not too intimidated, I'd recommend driving out to the places you want to see in the country. If you get off the main motorways the countryside is fantastic.

On preview, you can can buy standing room tickets to the Globe, but I would go for the seats, as they really pack the groundlings in (at least at the show we saw), and you can't sit down during the show.
posted by sbrollins at 12:20 PM on October 3, 2006

Had a few more ideas:

Canal boat trip on Regent's Canal, from Little Venice to Camden. (Okay, so no one would call Camden romantic, but the boat ride's not bad.) And then you can walk up the canal path to some pubs. I remember one (not the name) with a gorgeous garden to sit in.

I second the London Walks idea. We did a great one in Hampstead. It was a, well, pub crawl. (Okay, we spent a lot of time in pubs.)
posted by pyjammy at 12:58 PM on October 3, 2006

Second the British Museum - make sure you book for afternoon tea in the restaraunt overlooking the Great Court - explain it's your honeymoon, request a window seat. Champagne is optional.

The rooftop restaraunt in the National Portrait Gallery is also worth it, again, ask for the window seat.

Pub wise, go to The Grenadier near Hyde Park Corner. Trying to find it is part of the fun.

Make sure you queue up to go to the Visitors Gallery in the Houses of Parliament.

On Sunday go to church with the Chelsea Pensioners at the Chelsea Hospital. Dress smart (gentlemen wear ties) and chat afterwards.

Highgate Heath offers a good walk and a good view down on London.

The Barbican and the ICA for the most geek-friendly art, buy Time Out before you go and read it on the aeroplane.

Have a lovely time.
posted by einekleine at 1:01 PM on October 3, 2006

Cambridge and Oxford are both about an hour away from London by train, and they're well worth visiting. If you go to Cambridge, make sure you go punting on the Cam.
posted by lukemeister at 2:44 PM on October 3, 2006

If you two computer nerds make the pilgrimage to Oxbridge, don't miss nearby Bletchley Park, wartime home of Alan Turing & the Codebreakers. Recently, some of the Enigma-busting equipment has been reconstructed. Bletchley, of course, is also where the early Colossus programmable computer was built.
posted by rob511 at 2:35 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

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