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Her Top Tips About London...

 

Free movies, cheap rail fares...

As a Londoner I thought I would answer Journeywoman's call for more info about my city. I live in Notting Hill, West London which can be an expensive place. Here is my tip to keep costs down as you experience this part of town. Please enjoy the parks here. It is one of the greenest boroughs in London and during the summer there's loads of free entertainment going on. For instance we went to see Matrix Reloaded (free) as part of the Portobello Film Festival (http://www.portobellofilmfestival.com). This festival happens every August and has free screenings (everything from the Hollywood Blockbusters to arthouse short films) in parks, pubs, and various other locations.

My next tip is not exactly for London but more the escape of it. If you intend to travel north, our standard rail fares are beyond ridiculous. You could pay as much as £300 from London to Manchester if you didn't book in advance and traveled at peak times. But a bit of planning and your costs could go down to about £15. Virgin Trains run what they call Virgin Value Advance tickets which can be booked on their website or over the phone (http://www.virgintrains.co.uk). It makes sense to give this option a try.
Rebecca, London, UK.


Souvenir shopping...

For original and less expensive souvenir shopping, check out stores like Boots Chemist. Their store brand line of toiletries is phenomenal and they also sell makeup products not available at home. Another option is to shop foodhalls. Even if you can't afford Harrods, you can afford to buy a tin of cookies or tea or a Harrods tote bag. Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason also have great foodhalls with great choices of jams. mustards and English marmelades.
Erin, Maplewood, New Jersey, USA

South side of the Thames...

I just returned from several weeks in Europe including a few days in London. For anyone who has not been there for a few years, be sure to see all that's new on the South side of the Thames. A suggested itinerary is to start at St. Pauls (mostly under wraps for a much needed cleaning), Walk across the Millenium Bridge and turn left/east to the New Globe Theater. The only way to see the inside is to take a tour. Then head west and spend some time at the Tate Modern - a fabulous re-creation of an old power plant! (It's free, like all the other museums). Continue along the riverside. In the OXO building is an upbest and inexpensive cafe called EAT. The building features several designer/artist studio/stores - wonderful browsing. Further on is an almost always open, open-air book sale. This new area is called Southwark and pronounced 'Sutherk.' You'll pass by/under several upgraded bridges and end up at The EYE. You can cross back over at several points along the way and be at a Tube stop in minutes. My regards to the Queen.
Brenda, Phoenix, USA

Tips on theatre tickets...

As a single traveller to London I didn't pre-order any theatre tickets and simply relied on showing up early at the box office. I found most tickets were quite easy to get if you're not too picky about where you sit. However, be aware that many of the London theatres do not have elevators so if you have a problem with stairs let the box office know this in advance. I was running late to one show and had to climb six flights of stairs before I got to my seat--I thought I was going to die before I even saw the show. P.S. If you tell the box office people what hotel you're staying at it allows them to print this information on your ticket. Then if you lose those tickets (as I once did) some kind fellow tourist just may turn them into your hotel and your outing will be saved. Mine sure was.
Cynthia, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.


Buy your favorite masterpiece in London...

What a great gift idea for you or a special somebody in your life! Visitors to the National Gallery in London might want to seek out the 'Print On Demand' service located in the museum's gift shop (Sainsbury wing). JourneyWomen can now select a personal favourite from about 900 National Gallery paintings and order an individual print to take away. This can also be done by mail order from the museum's website found at: http://nationalgallery.org.uk
Eve, Edinburgh, Scotland


Do you know about MUJI...

Just wanted to share with readers my new favourite shop in London. When I was there in June, I got a chance to visit MUJI and fell in love. MUJI has something for everyone - office/school supplies, home wares, clothes, toileteries and best of all travel products. I bought their stackable pots (a steal at 5 for £1.95), their P.E.T. travel bottles, the multi-tool, some beautiful sleeveless sweaters and my new favourite bag. Next time, I'll be sure to pick up their portable cardboard speakers.
There are 8 stores in London, including a branch in Selfridges & Co. on Oxford Street. Apparently, there are also stores in Nottingham, Reading, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. Their website is www.mujionline.co.uk.
Nicole, Ottawa, Canada


Bonus London shopping tip...

If you are a Burberry fan looking for a bargain, head to the Burberry factory outlet in East London. It's not located in the most attractive of areas but is easily accessible by bus. They sell the great classics -- trench coats and polo shirts as well as a wide selection of other rain coats, shirts, bags and accessories -- all at a great price. Tube stop is Bethnal Green, address is: 29-53 Chatham Place Hackney London E9 6LP, phone: + 44 20 8985 3344. Happy shopping, ladies!
Celine, London, England

Another reader writes...

I went to Hackney by myself. Not a good idea. Celine did say it's not the best neighborhood and she was right. If anyone wishes to go there, please take a friend or drive. This is a run-down, depressed place and I felt that it is not suitable for a solo tourist like myself to go shopping. My best advise, if you feel the same way as I do is to spend the extra money and shop at the Burberry stores in Central London.
Michelle

More great tips 1/2/3

 

 

 

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