Ideas for an 'adventurous experience' in London, England?
December 27, 2007 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for an 'adventurous experience' in London, England?

My girlfriend and I are headed to London tomorrow for 4 days. We're looking for some type of 'adventurous experience' within the city while we are there (aside from the usual touristy agenda).

We were looking for suggestions if any were available. We want to keep the price at a reasonable (around $300) and we don't want to have to waste an entire day unless it's absolutely an unforgetable expeience. We young (20-somethings), in shape and ready for whatever.
posted by bamassippi to Travel & Transportation around London, England (15 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Hoo boy - what does adventurous mean? I wouldn't recommend walking alone in Plaistow looking American. It would qualify as adventurous, but might not be advisable.

One favorite of mine is walk across one of the London bridges, especially the one that goes from Charing Cross to the South Bank center. Don't know why, but it's something of the feel of the place. You're crossing a footbridge adjacent to one of the main rail line bridges. It just feels Londony.

And you could always attend a concert or performance there - surprisingly un-touristy.

If you're feeling fit, do remember that most central London tube stations are "closer than they appear". You can walk more than you would think.

One other place I like, again not too touristy, is to head north east of Tower Bridge, along St Katharine's way, and duck just north into the boat basins and wander around.

On the other hand, some out of London stuff is not so far out. If you want an unforgettable experience, and it's a nice day, take the train to Dover, and go walk along the cliff edge towards St Margaret's Bay. Perhaps see France across the channel. Perhaps see the castle. Perhaps find the place where Bleriot landed the first cross-channel flight. Some real history here.

posted by blue_wardrobe at 5:19 PM on December 27, 2007

...also, I should preview before I post. There should have been no also. :)
posted by blue_wardrobe at 5:19 PM on December 27, 2007

Hit the pubs and clubs of camden town on friday or saturday night.
posted by londongeezer at 5:22 PM on December 27, 2007

I got the local papers and went to see some plays. Might be a nice wind down after a day of sight seeing.
posted by 45moore45 at 5:48 PM on December 27, 2007

London Walks

The Jack the Ripper was was written and used to be guided by Don Rumbelow who wrote *the* book on Jack the Ripper (He still does one or two a week, but he's older now)

I went on an excursion day to Stonehenge and the lady that guided the tour was a docent at Salisbury Cathedral.

Great stuffs....all of them!
posted by legotech at 5:58 PM on December 27, 2007

We want to keep the price at a reasonable (around $300) and we don't want to have to waste an entire day unless it's absolutely an unforgetable expeience

Well. Tube to St. Pancras International, train to Paris for the day? I mean, Paris! Not that I don't love London, mind you.

I really enjoyed Greenwich -- the geekiness of the line, the lovely park, the Queen's House and National Maritime Museums, and some amazing views of the city. You can get a water taxi from Westminster Pier, if the weather isn't sucky.
posted by eriko at 6:00 PM on December 27, 2007

You might enjoy The Masque of the Red Death.
posted by sueinnyc at 6:18 PM on December 27, 2007

Not sure what you are looking for in the way of adventure - but the best thing to do in London is simply walk, and the best book for that, imho, is Walking London by Andrew Duncan. All the walks I've done so far have taken me places I would never have known to go to, down little alleys and through churchyards, and I often feel as if I've been told to go somewhere I'm not supposed to be. The book also recommends pubs and places to eat along the way. Each walk begins and ends at a tube stop, so you'll have no trouble getting to them.

You can look through the book and choose which walks you think might injterest you, but I second londongeezer's suggestion to include Camden Town. Also Hoxton and Shoreditch.
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:26 PM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Go Canal Boating?
posted by Rumple at 7:46 PM on December 27, 2007

I'll tell you what will definitely save you 20-30 minutes...

There's a little crap place called "The Pit of Despair" or the "Torture Chamber" or something like that behind the Old Globe Theatre in the alley. It's right past the William Shakespeare marker. They charge 13 pounds for their little walkthrough, and it's an American tourist trap.

Go to the pub instead. Have a Hoegaarden, or a Strongbow.
posted by jimmyhutch at 8:18 PM on December 27, 2007

By adventurous do you mean sporty? Or spooky? Off the top of my head...

Chislehurst Caves
Kelvedon Hatch - Secret Nuclear Bunker
Westway Climbing Centre
London Rigid Inflatable Boat Voyages

pm me if you want public transport help for any of these. Not all of this stuff may be open during New Year's.
posted by randomination at 2:57 AM on December 28, 2007

If you're going to take in a play or a musical or whatever (Phantom of the Opera is still superb, twenty-one years on), buy your tickets on the day from the half-price Leicester Square tkts booth (what's-on list here). Best thing to see: The Woman In Black - only £8.75 from the booth (as opposed to £50 or so for your average West End play), and it is brilliant. Scared me out of my wits. The Fortune is a lovely little theatre just next to Covent Garden, and the acoustics are excellent; when that first bloodcurdling scream rings out, I promise you'll be screaming right along :)

I confess I've not much more to offer - I was about to post almost exactly this question myself, since I'm off down to the Smoke tomorrow and was after something along these lines. I'd love to be able to explore the deep tunnels, but I've no idea if the public can still get into them or not...
posted by aihal at 5:59 AM on December 28, 2007

In response to Sue: Masque is completely sold out until March (because it's really great).
posted by adrianhon at 8:54 AM on December 28, 2007

Dans le Noir is a restaurant where you eat in complete darkness. I think that sounds adventurous.
posted by happyturtle at 10:57 AM on December 28, 2007

I don't want to sound contrary, but in response to adrianhon, there are still (expensive) tickets for The Masque of the Red Death available for New Year's Eve.
posted by sueinnyc at 8:10 AM on December 29, 2007

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