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omg i'm like a kid in a candy shop! i'm going to spend the evening looking at the london porn you've all suggested. i'm so excited!

i have to admit, though, that i'm going to have to do two extremely touristy things: go to madam tussaud's (i know, i know, persiflager) so that i may molest the figures in inappropriate poses (i've been to the one in las vegas, and need to keep the tradition alive); and i want to take the hop-on-hop-off double decker tourist bus that hits the major sights in a tourist binge and purge.
...seething with jealousy... wink.gif ...Catlady, you'd better have extra fun for me...
cocl, don't forget to have your picture taken in one of the old phone booths! you have a great location. make sure you can get a london tour guide that provides you a map of the underground. once i got my barrings down, i was able to figure out how to get around, even with the bus. i kinda freaked my friend out with my good sense of direction.

i'm so excited for you! make sure you take lots of pictures!
COCL, just wanted to butt in to say you should definitely get yourself an Oyster card from the tube station as soon as you get to London - they make travelling around a lot cheaper! Have fun!

Oh, and completely off topic, but is anyone else watching Being Human on BBC3? It's amazing, and I am actually in love with Mitchell.
Booked my tickets to England/Ireland this week. Woo!

Any suggestions on what may be cool to check out in london or dublin much appreciated smile.gif
Woo foryoursplendor! See the posts below on this page for lots of London tips.

ETA: I forgive you for tussauds cocl! It's good tacky fun tongue.gif I stand by the other points though - I went to the tower of london a few months ago and was horribly disappointed by the paucity of historical information, and oxford street is just dire (with the noted exception of topshop).
a lot of great places to visit i can think of have already been mentioned. the covent garden piazza/square is quite a cool place to wander round, with a few quirky shops/places to eat and lots of random street performers. oh and all the surrounding little streets are packed with small theatres if the high-budget westend musicals arent your bag

i didnt dig the london eye myself, but perhaps you have to be a real tourist to appreciate that. the first time i went on it it was cloudy and grey and a complete let-down. the second time was a clear night which was much better- pretty.

and if youre only here for a while a daily travelcard is probably better than an oystercard cos you gotta pay a few pounds to get one of those

i think it's hard to get too lost in london, and if you do you usually end up finding somewhere cooler than what you were originally looking for so s'all good:)

oh, and i think oxford st is over-rated too. and way too busy for my liking:/...
yeah, I think that the Tower of London is pretty shite. too expensive for not really enough punch and it takes half the day to get around. That said, I do have a wonderful photo of me at the Tower of London, fondling two cannonballs that are stacked at the foot of a cannon, making it look just like a gigantic nob. (everyone was thinking it, I just DID it)

and yes, Oxford street will make you want to tear your hair out. I'm not a huge fan of Topshop (I know, throw stones at me now) my one weakness on Oxford st is Selfridges. Just to wander through it. I did love Carnaby St, though - I can't believe I never went there when I lived in London! (thank god, actually)

As far as Dublin, something I really enjoyed doing is downloading the podcasts of different walking trips around the city that Dublin tourism has on it's website. They're really cool, and totally free. and it gives you your own personal glimpse of the city. they have like 10 of them (at least) on the site.

A must do is the Guinness Storehouse (the guinness factory) People are NOT exaggerating when they say that Guinness tastes better in Dublin than anywhere else in the world! It's true! (they say it's cause Guinness doesn't hold up well to the preservatives that have to go in it to ship it - in DUblin they're not present, and of course the beer is totally fresh each day - so it's amazing.)
I'm a fan of Top Shop but I would recommend hitting up any London branch besides the Oxford Street one: too big and too crowded. As zoya noted Selfridges is divine for serious shopping, far better than Harrods or even Harvey Nicks in my opinion. The Tate Modern is well worth a visit, although allocate several hours if you can as it is huge. I second the travelcard recommendation.

Dublin's city centre is really accessible by foot: tourist areas like Temple Bar, Trinity College (university) and St Stephen's Green (a small city park simply called Stephen's Green by locals) are all within easy walking distance of each other. I second the Guinness Hopstore recommendation. Other choice places to sample the dark stuff would be old school pubs like the Long Hall or Mulligans (both city centre, tho Mulligan's is a bit off of the beaten path). The library bar on the 2nd floor (1st floor to europeans) at the Central Hotel (George's Street) has long been a lovely place to people watch and have a drink or a coffee. Locals still hang out there. Whelan's pub and venue has some great gigs if you check in advance.

Temple Bar has morphed from an arty place frequented by media types and musicians to a total tourist trap, but it's worth a brief wander during the day. The Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar does great chips if you want lunch in an arty atmosphere.

Hope that helps...

(still--unfairly--jealous of London meetup...)
Ooh ooh oooh! Big day of geeky games at the Barbican on Saturday 7th March! Giant games of hide and seek and cool stuff! Check it out.
wee! hide and seek! i've printed out all your suggestions and am going to start putting some semblance of an itinerary together. it's roughly going to be sight-seeing/direction bearing the first few days, then wallet-busters shopping the last few, with some serious pub crawling inbetwixt.

so, um... what are you busties doin' next week? tongue.gif
hey guys - I feel like a shithead, but I don't think I'm gonna be able to make it to London - I'm moving this week and I just don't think I can manage to make everything work out to get down there... sad.gif

zoya, no worries. you gotta do what you gotta do.

london's gonna keep me busy. which reminds me, i should probably get my shit together and pack, or something tongue.gif
Roller derby double-header in London on 25th April!

Also, saw a really awesome cabaret act called Frisky & Mannish and a very funny burlesque troupe called Polly Rae and her Hurly-Burly Girlies the other night, do see if you can.
Whoa, I hadn't checked this thread in a while, but thanks for all the help!

Especially zoya, with the dublin walking tours. I'm definitely going to be checking that out.

This will be my 5th time to London, so I'm not really into tourist stuff. I love going to topshop on oxford st, but it sucks that I end up spending so much time there waiting in lines. Is there a better location? I haven't checked out Selfridges yet, is it as expensive as Harrods or Harvey Nicks? (geez, I can't even think "harvey nicks" without feeling like Eddy from Ab Fab.)

What about thrift stores?
Charity shops depend on what you're looking for - here is a general list of good ones sorted by area. For vintage second-hand clothing I'd go to the Camden markets.

Sadly the oxford street branch of topshop is the flagship store with the biggest range and the latest new things - there are lots of other branches around, but mostly about a fifth the size of that one. When are you coming? I'd normally say that it should be quieter on week-days, but the 2-week Easter school holidays start on Monday so the kids will be out in force mad.gif

I think Selfridges is broadly in line with Harrods and Harvey Nicks, price-wise - not outrageously expensive, but definitely not cheap. I don't go there very often so I'll bow to the superior knowledge of more hardened shoppers.
*bump for Emmy*
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