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  #11  
Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Most of England is a 2 hour train ride from London. Seriously, you can't get more than 70 odd miles from the sea anywhere in the country.

I lived in London for a few months years ago, within walking distance of Greenwich (pronounced Grennich so you don't sound TOO much like a foreigner ). It's a wonderful city, unlike anything, anywhere here. From what I hear the Thames has been hugely cleaned up since but when I was on it, it was possibly the single most disgusting place I had ever been - an ancient open sewer. I'd go to the coast if I wanted to go sailing.

My best advice for travelling there? Take lots of money - LOTS of money. It's a wonderful city to be rich in but if you've got the shorts, not nearly so much. I think you will be stunned by the cost of everything there.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Go on a weekend trip to the Isle of Wight. Definitely a visit (or several actually) worth !
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

CalbD, love the pronunciation guide!

I personally enjoy the waterboat ride down to Greenwich. Pick it up next to the Houses of Parliament..and admire the statue of Boadicea, Queen of the Icenae ("Thy posterity shall sway nations Caesar never knew"); also worth having a look at the Thames Flood Barrier while you are at Greenwich. Good idea with global warming...

Too many other things to list!
- Hyde Park Corner ('cos that's where I was born :-)). Look over at Apsley House, which has the best address in the world. It's postal address is No.1, London.
- If you get the time, listening to a debate in the House of Lords/Commons is fascinating.
- London Eye, or course
- St Paul's Cathedral (having first looked up the photo of it during the Blitz)
- Natural History Museum
- British Museum
- Imperial War Museum
- Harrods (just because)
- Trafalgar Square, and the Mall down to Buckingham Palace. As you look down The Mall - look at the top of the streetlights for model ships sunk in the battle of Trafalgar.
- Walk down the embankment, especially at night. Have a look at Cleopatra's Needle - the twin of the one in Paris, both "acquired" from the Temple of Karnak in Egypt (as I recall). The lion statues still have bomb damage from the war. By the way, down parts of the embankment - and around other parts of London - there are metal "bollards". Originally many of these were French cannons.....
- The Inns of Court near the Old Bailey are..well, old.
- Whitby is lovely, but quite a way (there is an old expression: In the UK, 100 miles is a long way; in the US, 100 years is a long time). Personally I would recommend Cambridge. Go punting (if you are on the upper river, take a picnic and make a day of it). Some of those colleges are astonishing, even to the most jaded eye.
- Windsor Castle is nice and quite close.

just scratching the surface....
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
just scratching the surface....
Not even. More like the faintest whisper. Don't forget the air museum in Hendon - it's a train ride but has an amazing collection of WWII aircraft.

The Tate gallery - absolutely astounding collection of Turners and some of the most famous works of other artists - they had Picasso's "Nude Descending Staircase" hung at the landing of a main staircase.

Any of the museums listed could use up your whole trip. Just a slow walk through the models at the Maritime Museum takes hours. Just a decent visit to the highlights of London would take months of full time touring - it's an amazing city.

Then you can start on the rest of the country.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 02-14-2013 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Well, if you're going to visit Hendon, then get up to Duxford too, I think a better collection of aircraft, and a bunch of them still fly too (time it with the warbirds display, it is fantastic).
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Old 02-14-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Haven't been to the UK for a number of years, but getting around by rail on the weekends used to be problematic because that's when they did their railway maintenance. Be prepared with "plan B".

A trip to Portsmouth ("The Flagship of Maritime England") and neighboring Southsea would be worth your while. A walk from the port entrance (starting with a pint at the pub there) to the fort built by Henry VIII in Southsea will give you a better idea of the history of this historic, sea-based area, including harbor defenses across several centuries. The HMS Victory is a must see and you might also fit in a ferry ride to Ryde on the Isle of Wight to get the waterside perspective.
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Forgot to mention - since you asked - Foyles Bookstore (Charing Cross, as I recall) used to be the biggest bookstore in the world, with around 30 miles of shelving; so if you want to look for a book, that's a good place to go.

Also, the Thames has *really* cleaned up. When I was a lad, if you fell in the Thames, it was standard to get your stomach pumped. Last summer when I was there I saw a guy *fishing* off The Embankment. I was stunned.

Also - HMS Belfast - just over from Tower Bridge - is interesting. Many people also like the London Dungeons. Although I have never been there, apparently the massive Victorian engines which raise and lower Tower Bridge are occasionally open to the public....
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

If I might suggest... it's easy to get sucked in to trying to see everything; it's impossible. Prioritize and take the time to enjoy!
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Old 02-14-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Take your time. There will be more to see in the square mile around Big Ben than you could possibly see in a month. Don't build a tight schedule as you will see a dozen things an hour that you will want to see/do and can fill your schedule with.
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Old 02-14-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Mini-thread-hijack. For those of us who are members of yacht clubs in the USA, which clubs in London and nearby areas such as Portsmouth, IOW, etc., would be both hospitable and interesting? Also, are there more options for the OP's original question about finding a place to hire or get on a boat without specific RYA credentials?
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