What's a sailor to do in London? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-12-2013 Thread Starter
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What's a sailor to do in London?

It looks like I'll be heading to London for a few weeks - ostensibly for work, but I'm also going to try to expand my nautical horizons while I'm there. I'm going to make the pilgrimage to the Greenwich Maritime Museum and Observatory and, hopefully, make it down to Portsmouth to see the Mary Rose and HMS Victory. I'd also like to go sailing down at the Docklands center, but the their website says I'd need a RYA Level 2 certificate, which I don't hold.

Are there any other destinations or activities that I should try to work into the trip? Is there any place that would rent me a small sailboat after I demonstrate competency? I'll be there for the first couple weeks in March.

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post #2 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

pints.

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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

St Katharine Docks close to the Tower Bridge and The Tower of London.
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post #4 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

I'd bet if your experience merits an RYA2 level of competency they will let you sail.
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post #5 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Cutty Sark/HMS Belfast are pretty cool. Are you just looking for maritime things? London has a mind-boggling number of museums, attractions and some proper history (things more than 100 years old )

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post #6 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Greenwich, Portsmouth, St Katherine's Docks (and the Tower) - all great 'salty' destinations. The former two are day trips.

In Greenwich, remember to visit the Prime Meridian, to stand on both the east and west of the planet. The clocks are awesome (read Sobel's book Longitude first!)

Portsmouth will take a sailor a while. In addition to the Victory, have a look at HMS Warrior - the ultimate hi-tech battleship. Sadly never used in actual combat, as she was so advanced any aggressor just gave up on the spot, or ran away.....

It's always interesting to compare two great ships - the USS Constitution and HMS Victory. Old Ironsides was built in 1797. and was a 44-gun frigate. the Victory was built in 1778, and was a 104-gun first rater. However, tragically, some dimwit decided to keep the Victory in drydock - a tragic thing to do to a wooden vessel. She should be afloat, like the Constitution.

Plenty more suggestions available on request.
(Disclaimer: I am a Londoner born and bred, and have an absolute conviction that it is still the greatest city on Earth - and I have seen quite a few other of the world's 'greatest' cities. Totally objective, of course!)
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Since you have some time, Whitby has to be one of the most charming places on earth.

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post #8 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Paul: I'm going to be in London this summer as well. I will be dragging along some non-sailors, and I love your suggestions. My info is that Southampton is about a two hour train ride from London; is that right? I think we are going to be staying in central London; how far is Greenwich?

Any other suggestions (like a nautical bookstore) would be most definitely appreciated!

Mike
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Greenwich is right there in central London - if the weathers nice take one of the touristy water taxis and got some history on your way.

Southampton isn't far.

The science museum (just off Hyde Park) used to have a good nautical section.


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post #10 of 33 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: What's a sailor to do in London?

Greenwich (pronounced: gren-itch) is on the River Thames (pronounced: temms) but east of central London, downriver a ways. IIRC you can take a tourist boat from the Tower of London area down to Greenwich.
I'd love to get down to Portsmouth and the Solent sometime. I haven't been there, yet.

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