Emergency London Tourist Stuff(s)

Tourist Stuff in London

Anyone who knows me appreciates I’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind in the last couple of weeks. I went from going to Taiwan to cover some metal, to suddenly acquiring a new girlfriend (who was formerly in said band) and who turned up in a planned way on my doorstep last night intending to stay a month.

As I was trundling towards T3 on the Picadilly line the night before last, I started sketching out things we could do in London. Before long I had more that 50 things I regarded as essential, many of which I hadn’t done before. So there’s the list I came up with. We’ve already knocked off Covent Garden, the National Gallery and Chinatown.


  • Tate modern – great building, meh exhibitions
  • Tate Britain – good exhibitions
  • Hayward – free at the moment I believe
  • Victoria and Albert – will miss the next big Friday late, but still good to visit
  • National gallery – lovely art, great buildings, great commentary
  • National portrait gallery – hopefully something photography that won’t piss me off
  • British library – anything worth seeing for non-members?
  • Royal Academy – anything free and decent? Worth it if we’re near Fortnum and Mason
  • British Museum – cool stiff we stole
  • Photographers gallery – 50/50 chance of pissing me off
  • Canary wharf (museum) – can double up with Greenwich

Historic Buildings

  • Hampton Court Palace – she likes Henry VIII
  • St Pauls – great building, great view from the top
  • St Martin in the Fields – nice café in the crypt
  • Westminster Abbey – never done it. Would be nice
  • Buck House – actually neither of us care about this

Theatre Stuff

  • Avenue Q – yeah yeah. it’s cheap and funny
  • Globe Theatre – bit of culture
  • ICA – I’m a member and they show cool films
  • IMAX – not especially London, but I want to see Harry Potter 🙂


  • Forbidden Planet – laugh at the nerds
  • Japan Centre – good books, good food
  • Hamleys – just because
  • Harrods – same
  • Carnaby St – not what it was, but Austin Powers


  • Camden Market
  • Spitalfields
  • Brick lane
  • Portobello road
  • Covent garden
  • Chinatown
  • Borough Market
  • Marylebone high street
  • Greenwich

Other Random Stuff

  • London zoo
  • Smithfield
  • Tourist bus
  • River bus/tour
  • Primrose hill – view London, nice pubs in the village
  • Tower of London/London bridge – at least look at the outside
  • Cinema Wednesdays – I got her an Orange SIM. Would be rude not to


  • Pie and mash eels
  • City fullers- PIE!
  • Teachi – good, cheap dim sum
  • Leongs – Taiwanese food in case she gets desperate for home cooking
  • Crown and goose – my local. Foamy ale
  • Somers Town coffee house – nice pub in an odd place
  • Fish and chips
  • Brick lane curry
  • Drummond street curry – mmmm…dosa

Other Towns

  • Brighton – English seaside
  • Bath – My old home town
  • Windsor – The Castle!

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17 Responses to “Emergency London Tourist Stuff(s)”

  1. Stray Taoist says:

    Sitting in any of the Royal Parks? (The pelicans in St James’ always amuse me at lunchtime.)

    And if you are listing further-out-than-London, punting on the Cam is always a relaxing and fun way of spending an afternoon. Do the Backs, sure, or go out to Granchester, pub lunch, punt back.

  2. Heath says:

    How about going to Abbey Road and doing the famous Beatles walk across the zebra crossing?

  3. You forgot my favorite: The Royal Albert Hall!

  4. Phil says:

    When you get to Greenwich, be sure to make the most of the Prime Meridian photo op!

  5. Tamlyn says:

    I’d add some nature to that list:
    * Hampstead Heath
    * Kew gardens
    * Greenwich park (get the river taxi there from Embankment – there’s a bar on board!)
    * If you fancy going a bit further go check out the Thames Barrier

    * The Globe is probably worth checking out too.
    * The Geoffrye Museum in Hoxton is also pretty cool. It’s basically a collection of British living rooms through the centuries.

  6. Daniel says:

    Definitely remove Brick Lane curry from your list: some of the worst food in London, if not the world. The only curry places worth going to are Tayyabs (http://www.tayyabs.co.uk/) or Lahore (http://www.lahore-kebabhouse.com/)

  7. rosamundi says:

    The Museum of London (near the Barbican, on London Wall) is ace. Funnily enough, it’s about London, from Neolithic times to the modern day.

    The scones in the cafe were rubbish the day mum and I went though.

  8. Niall McCormack says:

    Not too sure about Brick Lane – I’d try some of the Rasa restaurants. They are delicious. The seafood one on Charlotte street is very good as is the vegetarian one in Church Street…

    Brick lane’s worth it for the sites and the markets tho, and of course a brick lane bagel!

  9. Parker says:

    Some of the places I’ve been recently that were pretty cool:

    Proud Gallerys Camden (may piss you off though)
    Hire some roller blades from club blueroom (nr Marble Arch) and skate round Hyde Park (if you’re any good you could get involved on the Sunday stroll – http://www.lfns.co.uk)
    Open Air Theatre in Regents Park

    Oh and I agree with Daniel, Tayyabs is a MUST!

  10. Chris Devers says:

    You’ve covered most of the ones I can think of, with one exception:

    Boat ride down the Thames.

    We took one from Westminster to Greenwich and it was a lot of fun. Granted, I was with a 2 year old and you’ll be with your girlfriend, so it might be fun in a rather different way, but there you go.

  11. Rob Ainsley says:

    There’s plenty worth seeing at the British Library, free and open to anyone!

    In the Ritblat Gallery you can see:
    – original Beatles manuscripts and memorabilia
    – original Shakespeare folios and documents
    – the ‘earliest Christian Bible’, the Codex Sinaiticus from 350
    – two of the four surviving originals of Magna Carta

    We have a temporary display of Codex Sinaiticus in the hall with some misprinted Bibles, one of which is open at the page with the commandment ‘Thou shalt commit adultery’.

    Among the other free displays is ‘Sound and Fury’, where you can hear some of the most historic speeches from the last 100 years (I have a dream, One small step, etc etc).

    We also have free wifi and an excellent cafe, and we’re easy to get to – right next to Kings Cross/St Pancras stations. More: http://www.bl.uk

  12. Neelesh says:

    I’d second Daniel’s comment: why does everybody go to brick lane for curry! Try Tayyabs instead, much better and much more authentic. Though diff region, actually Pakistani so food synonymous with more north Indian cuisine.

    Also try a walk down Jubilee walk along the southbank of the thames. From Borough market to Waterloo. Nice stroll.

    May be Parliament Hill instead of Primrose Hill.

    I love taking visitors on a late night drive through the city too.

    Nice list, cheers

  13. […] Dave Hodgkinson Music Photography Travel and Music by Dave « Emergency London Tourist Stuff(s) […]

  14. […] is an updated version of this list. Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions! I also remembered a few more things. In two […]

  15. admin says:

    Thanks all for the comments. I’ve put up an updated version here:


  16. This is good advice for tourists around the London area. We came here from the US in August and having a great time visiting Europe. StPancras station was amazing, we went from the new station in at StPancras London to France and Paris, we return to the UK for another two week before going home.

    The guides suggested that we could get free or discount fees at London attrations any ideas. thsnkd

  17. Thanks for posting, Camden Lock has lots to offer every type of visitor, and it’s why it’s one of the city’s!the capital’s top holiday magnets.

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