Best London Tube Stops...
Stephanie W. is
a twenty-something New Zealander who's lived in London for five
years. As a postgrad student and poverty-stricken traveller she
happily has discovered some of the moderately priced treasures that
this wonderful city offers. Here are some of Stephanie's favorites
all accessible via London's underground system.
or Aldgate (Hammersmith and City line)...
Not only has the
Whitechapel/Aldgate area got a rich and interesting history, it's
walking distance to some of the best eateries, markets and galleries
in east London. It's now mainly a Bengali neighbourhood but it
used to be a Jewish neighbourhood. In fact, if you fancy a Jewish
snack, the Brick Lane Beigal Bakery (159 Brick Lane) is open 24
hours for a bagel and cream cheese treat. Fancy an Indian curry?
This area of London is the place to be. I haven't found a bad
curry house there yet, but I'd like to recommend three restaurants
in particular -- The Clifton,
one of the first in the area to offer Indian and Bangladeshi food
Spice (138 Brick Lane) and Cafe
Naz (46-48 Brick Lane).
terms of shopping, you can still find a bargain in Petticoat
Lane (the original home of the rag trade) and
the other east London markets (http://www.eastlondonmarkets.com).
Be aware that these market merchants will try to entice you with
all sorts of offers and deals to get you through the door. This
is part of the charm so buyer beware. P.S.
If you want something badly don't be afraid to haggle with the
owners. You might get yourself 'a deal'.
the evenings, there is a brilliant Jack
the Ripper tourist
walk which takes people in and out of the twisting lanes with
re-enacted stories of murder. You can also do a Charles
Dickens literary walk
during the day.
is just a five minute walk from Tower Hill and the Tower of London
and a beautiful walk along the Thames back to central London (about
Camden Town (Northern
is one of the most vibrant and exciting parts of London -- www.camdenguide.co.uk
will give you listings of everything you need to know about the
always a gig playing if you're into music (check out Timeout magazine,
for listings) Bear in mind it's mostly new rock music, although
there are some excellent jazz clubs too.
are also really great comedy clubs. If you're travelling alone
you may be asked to share a table since they get pretty busy,
but you can usually ask to be seated with women or near the bar
and it's a fun way to enjoy an evening. Watch out for improv nights
- the audience participation is great fun. I like to go to Etcetera
Theatre (for fringe comedy) as well as Laughing
terms of shopping, Camden Markets
are legendary and perfect for people watching (and the source
of a very cheap and yummy meal during the day). The pubs overlooking
the canal are always humming with activity, and the local community
is diverse and artistic. If you fancy a nice meal and a relaxing
drink, try the Crown & Goose
on 100 Arlington Road, the Camden
Tup at 2-3 Greenland Place or the Lockside
Lounge at 84-87 West Yard Camden Lock Place.
Richmond (District Line)...
station is in west London, and takes you outside of the busy city
to a gentler and slower paced lifestyle. Overlooking the River
Thames, Richmond is a beautiful spot for a picnic, and a great
place to while away the evening in one of the many restaurants
or pubs along the river bank. Some pubs even give you your pint
of beer in a plastic cup, so you can walk along the riverside
drinking it without having to return your glass. Richmond has
some excellent shopping, including some interesring boutiques
for women's clothing that you won't find in the high street or
shopping malls in central London.
short bus or train ride from Richmond is Kew
Gardens (the National Botanic gardens), Twickenham
(home of rugby union) and Hampton
Court (the home of Britain's best loved Tudor
palace), where you can spend entire days without realising you're
still in London. Richmond Park
was once a royal hunting enclosure and you can still find deer
roaming the park today. If you have time to stop off on your way
back to central London (and especially if you have children with
you) visit the Barnes
Wetland Centre and see amazing wildlife up close in the heart
of the city - this center does a sterling job of protecting endangered
species of birds and mammals, and encouraging them back to this
part of the world.
Canary Wharf (Jubilee/DLR
may not have the most compelling of London's tourist attractions,
but the rich history and amazing views at Canary
Wharf make up for it. Off
the beaten track, this financial hub houses some of the richest
and most powerful companies in the world. Skyscrapers rise up
out of what was once the derelict docklands area, and the DLR
(docklands light rail) cris-crosses the landscape with views in
all directions. Canary Wharf is a safe area to eat out or drink
alone at night because it's all owned by a private company, who
have their own security guards in the area. Once you get past
the rush of 'men in suits' drinking after work, it's a very relaxing
and lovely area in the evening. In addition, it's a temporary
home to thousands of people who are staying in hotels or serviced
accommodation for work in the financial district, so you often
find people eating at 'tables for one'. Canary Wharf is also home
to the Museum in Docklands,
the history of London's people and ports (http://www.museumindocklands.org.uk/English/)
which is well worth the effort if you have the time.
Canary Wharf you can make quick trips to Greenwich for the National
Observatory, and to stand astride the Meridian
line in an excellent photo opportunity. To go there grab the DLR
south to Cutty Sark (about 15 minutes). P.S.
Don't miss the Maritime Museum
while you're in Greenwich (http://www.nmm.ac.uk/)
- locals have named it the most under-rated museum in all of London.
I saw a gripping exhibition about the slave trade but even when
there aren't special exhibits, this museum beautifully illustrates
the impact of a maritime life in the UK and around the world.
Stations with women's
This is a brief
and essential list of tube stations that provide women's toilets
that are generally clean and safe. Please note that these toilets
are usually only open during the day. Carry a 20p piece with you
to get through the turnstile, or be prepared to ask a member of
staff for access. Tube stations with toilets in London include:
Old Street (Northern),
Acton Town (Piccadilly),
Canary Wharf (Jubilee/DLR),
Hammersmith&City, District), Liverpool
St (Central, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan,
Circle), London Bridge
(Northern/Jubilee), Victoria (District/Circle/Victoria),
Charing Cross (Northern/Bakerloo),
(Waterloo & City/Jubilee/Northern/Bakerloo), North
What's near this station...
TubeGuru online guide (http://www.visitlondon.com/tubeguru/)
allows you to locate hotels, theatres, bars, restaurants and sites
of interest near any underground station in the London system.
You could choose the station (1) nearest to your hotel, (2) where
you think you will be at the end of the day, or (3) just pick
a spot in in the city you'd like to try. You can also search by
how far you want to walk from the station (great for safety at
night), and it shows you a small map of the immediate area so
you can find your bearings. This tool is absolutely perfect for
a Journeywoman's all important "where shall I eat tonight"
We love these London podcasts...
has a wonderful selection of downloadable maps and podcasts at
their website. In this series of entertaining and informative
podcasts, presenters Jim Davis, Paul Sylvester and the expert
Blue Badge Guides, walk us through some of London's most fascinating
villages. The guides will take you from tranquil Kew and historic
Dulwich, to star packed Primrose Hill and buzzing Canary Wharf.
You'll find idyllic spots, discover hidden history and sample
the lifestyle of these amazing areas of London. We also enjoyed
the selection listed under,' Live London Like a Local Podcast.'
Enjpy the treats, everybody! See: http://www.visitlondon.com/maps/podcasts//