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This article was the Collaboration of the week between 06 November 2006 and 13 November 2006.

This article was the Collaboration of the month for December 2009.

All discussion of London's districts structure is at Talk:London/Districts. Please direct all future discussion to that subpage.


I've added a section about the Oyster card to the get around section. The references to Oyster from the rest of the section can probably be removed. Need to add a note in Get Around about Oyster so people arriving at Heathrow etc. can benefit from it from the start and cash it in at the end.


Can we scrap the Court, the Rocket and the Euston Flyer? They are horrible pubs and the Court is relatively expensive. I've added a few more as well as a link to Would it be worth setting up a separate section called 'pubs'?

Go ahead and plunge forward on any pub changes you think helpful -- and thanks! I removed the beerintheevening link because we want to have listings for pubs here so that we are useful as a printed guide and not dependent upon some other website to be a full and complete travel guide (check out Wikitravel:External links for the details). -- Colin 20:14, 3 December 2006 (EST)

The point about the cost of alcohol dropping from the center is not strictly true. It might be the case for cocktails, but beer in pubs tends to cost the same throughout london (except in witherspoons) ie about £3. some areas of outer london are actually more expensive than central london.

cheap lets

Can anyone help with this: I'm thinking of working in London but properly living out in the countryside where I can breathe. I'd like somewhere to stay in town on Mon-Thu nights that is as cheap as possible, on a fairly long-term basis (eg 1 year). The idea would be to work most waking hours, just stay in a minimal crash space, then get out to the countryside for leisure time at the weekend. Some people buy little pied a tierre flats for this, but that seems v wasteful as they don get used during the day or the weekend. I looked at the easyHotel capsule hotel but there's still fairly swanky (at least they are in swanky areas of town). Anyone know of any capsule-style crash space out in zone two or anything like that?


This page needs a more coherent structure, particularly in the middle section: certain paragraphs appear only vaguely relevant and some repeat information already given. I'll do my best to plunge forward gradually over the next few days, but if anyone has ideas/comment to make, let me know... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:00, 19 July 2006

There is NO information of climate during the year, not even a mention of the rain. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22 October 2006

Could you please write some info about the cinemas in London like every other european capital? Thanks in advance. Misaerius

Bus Section

Bus section makes no mention of the demise of the Routemaster--heritage routes now running only on 9 and 15. More information about bus routes at London Bus Routes (unofficial but oft-updated) website: Ian 16:55 03 Feb 2006



Major improvements for cyclists in London? You must be joking. Has the person who has written this actually tried riding a bicycle in central London recently? I do it every week and I certainly haven't noticed any, apart from a few new blue signs here and there. On the day they manage to build one uninterrupted cycle path through London we may start talking about major improvements. Now is a bit premature. I'll rephrase the over-optimistic statement. 11:52, 12 Jan 2005 (EST)


Oh, yeah, can somebody write something about bookstores in London? I live in a French speaking country, and therefore am taking an extra suitcase for english language books... ;) -- Uchuha 02:59, 2003 Nov 13 (PST)

"London" vs. "Greater London"

So, one of the problems we had with Los Angeles was a fuzzy idea of what "Los Angeles" actually means. Some people considered LA to be anything in Los Angeles County; others considered it only the city of Los Angeles itself. This probably comes out of a sort of verbal foreshortening -- we tend to say "I'm going to LA" when we mean "I'm going somewhere in Southern California."

My familiarity with England is pretty much confined to novels by Nabokov and Maugham, so I have a pretty sloppy understanding of London and its vicinity. I'm wondering, though: do we have a similar problem with London? Is there a difference between "London" and "Greater London"? Do people use the term "Greater London" at all? Does it have any legal standing -- is Greater London its own county or anything?

I guess I just find London a very troubling part of Wikitravel. B-) --Evan 17:23, 5 Jan 2004 (EST)

AFAIK, "Greater London" is a region, consisting of 31 boroughs, 2 cities (and Inner and Middle Temples); 2001 population 7 172 036. (Information from the Wikipedia.) This area includes some very non-London-like areas, such as [[Biggin Hill] and Crews Hill. 15:20, 23 Feb 2004 (EST)

Yes, Greater London is used to describe, basically, the area within the M25, which is a big motorway that forms a ring around London. It's famous for traffic jams... And yes, it does have a 'legal standing'. There is currently a body called the GLA (Greater London Authority) that supposedly has responsibility for (according to their website) Transport, Policing, Fire and emergency planning, Economic development, Planning, Culture, Environment and Health, though to be quite honest most Londoners would be aware of the transport aspect and little else. Alternatively Greater London is used to describe the area inside the M25 excluding the centre (basically Zone 1 on the Tube). The centre includes the cities of London and Westminster, etc. No-one would say 'I'm going to Greater London', though - 'I'm going to London' includes the 'tourist' bit in the middle, and all the outlying boroughs.

It depends on perspective. Technically, by "London" is meant all the boroughs who call themselves "London Borough of...", and there are 32 of them. For the purpose of this article, (as it is aimed primarily at tourists) I would suggest to limit the scope to the inner London boroughs of London, ie. any borough that shares borders with Westminster and the City. -dearsina

To Anonymous User

You have just added the fact that Railcards are valid to the Gatwick Express entry, but there is no other reference to railcards anywhere in this article. Please explain what they are, or provide a reference to another article that explains this. -- Chris j wood 19:32, 21 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

If you see a play here, it might be worth spending a little more for a place to sit down...standing in the yard for two and a half hours can take some of the fun out of the experience.

Unless you’re having trouble with standing up, standing in the yard for two and a half hours, appreciating Shakespeare old-style, like yesterday’s commoners, is the experience. A place to sit down (other than the yard ground itself during the breaks) takes all the magic and the fun out of it. In the yard, it isn’t really difficult to picture yourself “choked / With the stench of garlic... pasted to the balmy jacket of a beer-brewer” (John Marston).

This holds however only on a dry day. If memory serves me right, umbrellas are forbidden in the yard. Standing in the yard in the rain for two and a half hours really can take some of the fun out of the experience.

London Wikitravel Meetup Group

I have just created the London Wikitravel Meetup Group - as the only member thus far (already feeling lonely!), I'm really hoping that other Wikitravellers in London / England / the UK / Europe will decide to join in! For details, click here. Let's get organised and find a nice cosy pub or restaurant for our first gathering.... Suggestions? Pjamescowie 16:34, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)


Moved from Wikitravel:votes for deletion by Evan

  • London. The history is currently at London (United Kingdom). We need to delete London, then move London (United Kingdom) back to London where it was. -phma 09:08, 18 Oct 2004 (EDT)
    • I don't think the VFD process is appropriate for this situation, since in this case deletion is only a step in actually keeping the page. So I guess I'll take the initiative and fix it, following which I vote don't delete, since we will then be talking about the real London. -- Mark 10:17, 18 Oct 2004 (EDT)
    • Keep, since Mark has moved "the" London back there. -- Hypatia

link # 36 is dead

- anon

When you see a broken link please de-link it. Thanks - Mark 11:58, 3 Feb 2006 (EST)


I removed this editorial comment from the page, in the description of Uxbridge:

(This seems a tad generous description and makes me wonder if there is an Uxbridge Tourist Board...)

Please, anonymous user, feel free to Wikitravel:Plunge forward and edit the description of Uxbridge. --Evan 12:32, 6 Feb 2006 (EST)

But, "Uxbridge is more or less the heart of London and is an ideal place for all visitors", and "Venice of England"? Not as I recall - and not a place to recommend tourists to London to visit unless they have loads of spare time and money! 11:05, 11 April 2006 (EDT)
OK. We believe you, but rather than leaving a comment for somebody to make the changes you would like to see please go ahead and edit the current text to describe Uxbridge as you see fit. Thanks! -- Mark 12:03, 11 April 2006 (EDT)

I would think this was an example of very thinly veiled sarcasm. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:57, 19 July 2006

Finding accomodation

So, I've had some really bad experiences with London hotels over the last couple of years, and have just had a really good experience, thanks to a booking I made through I've added a link to their site to Finding accomodation, but would like to add one to the London article instead since they are specific to London. I suppose there could be an argument for tossing such a link as an "Other guides" link, but they only do hotels, and nothing else so I think it should be allowed. I'm going to wait a bit for responses and then add the link here under Sleep. -- Mark 15:11, 8 April 2006 (EDT)

"Hotel booking services" are specifically cited as something not to link to in Wikitravel:External links. My thought is that while most of the booking sites that have been added here in the past have been mostly spam, there are definitely cases where they are called for. Perhaps we need to modify that policy in some way to allow some booking services, such as adding a sub-section under sleep to be used for such services. There are cases where this would be very useful - in addition to your example above, rates in Las Vegas vary so widely based on events, time of year, conventions, etc that an online booking service is the only way to find a decent-priced hotel. However, such an exception would need to be done in such a way that we don't open ourselves up to a flood of links. Maybe move this discussion to Wikitravel talk:External links to solicit more opinions? -- Ryan 15:33, 8 April 2006 (EDT)

I don't work for top table but I think that site is great. I'm sure people traveling to London would like to know about the deals.

Nope, both are aggregator sites. Please check Wikitravel:External links Travelempire 06:42, 13 March 2008 (EDT)


what does "understand" mean as a section heading?

Understand is a section that should include the history of a particular city, why the citizens do a certain thing or react a certain way, or something that is cherished to th residents. Furthermore information about climates, and which newspapers locals read fit into this section. You may also find Wikitravel:Where you can stick it helpful in understanding this and other sections. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 02:05, 26 May 2006 (EDT)

One day in London....

Just an idea, but how abouts having an itinery for a one day visit to London to see the must see sights? I think it would be really useful for someone who's got only the one day to have the absolute best places to go rather than a huge list of everything like we have on the main page, which is basically turning into a directory and is way too big to be useful for anything other than checking locations and opening times... Tsandell 10:14, 16 June 2006 (EDT)


Listings have been creeping into the main London page. They really should be in the district pages, unless a few (very few) are unique/important engough to be mentions (ie the hugely popular landmark hotel or super-well known recommended hostel, etc)

According to a cursory Google search there are a couple of hundred websites offering hotel reservations in London, however if you intend to book by internet you should probably look at the London-specific sites mentioned under Finding accommodation.

Unless the listing is a chain of hotels or hostels across London we should be putting correctly formatted Sleep listings into district pages. Let's also keep an eye on people link spamming this talk page with aggregator sites! - Travelempire 09:20, 19 March 2008 (EDT)


In the 'Get Out' section it lists Brighton as being a 'nearby sea resort'. My geography ain't perfect, but isn't Brighton about 50-60 miles away? jo 15:35, 31 July 2006 (EDT)

That makes it a bit more "nearby" than, say, Tynemouth or Nice or Miami, doesn't it? As seaside resorts go, Brighton's as close as they come, and considering that it's close enough for a day-trip, I'd say "nearby" is a reasonably accurate description. - Todd VerBeek 16:04, 31 July 2006 (EDT)
Fair enough, but what about places like Southend-on-sea? jo
Please feel free to add Southend-on-Sea as well. WindHorse 3 Aug 06

"Stay safe" terrifies me, and I lived in London

Looking at the "stay safe" section I can't help but think that it's too long, to the point of being positively frightening. I'm not sure how useful, and how London specific (as opposed to UK specific), some of the information is. Is it really necessary to advise travellers not to annoy policemen armed with sub-machineguns, and not to wave tasers around on the street? --Paul. 19:33, 30 August 2006 (EDT)

You're completely correct. Please change it. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 19:43, 30 August 2006 (EDT)
Yeah, stay safe should mostly detail the special concerns that this particular city has that are not universal concerns. I'm pretty sure "don't annoy people armed with sub-machineguns" is a worldwide constant. Also concerns that are UK-wide should be moved to United Kingdom (unless they are obvious and should be deleted). -- Colin 19:59, 30 August 2006 (EDT)

This may be a little off-topic, but what exactly is going on in West London these days? My wife and I moved here in March, and while it's always been crowded, people were generally polite and peaceful. However, that all seems to be changing now. People just plow into each other now, not even bothering to look where they're going. Also, I have noticed an increase in heated verbal exchanges between people on the tube and buses, and personally witnessed a physical altercation on the tube just this weekend. Just seems like things are getting nastier here.

It's a phenomenon that happens ever year called "Winter". It makes Londoners very grumpy. -- 16:11, 30 March 2010 (EDT)


This article does not match our manual of style or needs other editing. Would be helpful to detail somewhere on the article/discussion page, what specifically needs editing or how specifically this article does not match the manual of style. I don't mean to advocate its current condition, but I would find it helpful for me as a contributor if such specifics for this page would be provided in some form. --DenisYurkin 16:40, 10 September 2006 (EDT)

Ok, here's a short list:
-- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 16:57, 10 September 2006 (EDT)
What's wrong about having information on skating here? I don't find it "too much". Are there any ways to improve this without removing info that may be useful for some travelers? --DenisYurkin 20:36, 17 February 2007 (EST)

Stay Safe: transport

> if possible sit on the lower deck of night buses

Dear and fellow contributors, do we really need to delete this piece, or only need to rephrase to something more objective? Like, for example:

Travelling on lower deck of a night bus is generally safer, as (there are more people around|people frequently come in and out|you are visible by driver|you are visible for people outside on the streets).

--DenisYurkin 17:19, 2 December 2006 (EST)

I thought double-decker buses had been decommissioned after the London Tube/Bus bombings. Does anyone know for sure? -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 17:24, 2 December 2006 (EST)
Nevermind it was the "Routemaster" version of the double-decker that had been retired and replaced with updated and modern double-deckers. I'm going to plunge forward and use Denis' language for the stay safe section. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 17:29, 2 December 2006 (EST)


To whoever edited this section and put this: "London has formerly had a reputation of not serving the best food, but this is an outdated view and no longer true. In fact, with a bit of research either on the internet or by talking to locals, it is easy to unearth some hidden treasures. Due to London's cosmopolitan population and tolerant culture, you can find restaurants serving food cuisine from every country in the world, sometimes better quality than the food in the country of origin!"

Do you even live in London? If so, where are you finding these great places to eat? I mean there's being polite, and then there's misleading readers. In general, London has terrible food and service, with very few exceptions. I live (and eat out) constantly in Central London, and 9 out of 10 times have had a bad experience of some sort. And this is not just me. Londoners, Europeans, (especially) Americans, and the world over generally share this opinion of the food in London: It's just plain bad. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 3 January 2007

Ah, I guess you aren't using Wikitravel guides to find restaurants, are you? Otherwise you'd be having really great experiences. Probably start on Wardour street. Consider a trip out to Brick Lane. Or perhaps you don't like South Asian cooking? -- Mark 16:11, 3 January 2007 (EST)

In reply to 'unsigned': I do live in London and have lived here all my life. I have also travelled extensively around the world and lived for some time in Spain, France and South America, always seeking out the best restaurants. I can confidently say that London has some of the best food in the world. If you manage to eat out 'constantly' in Central London but yet still have such awful experiences, perhaps it is time for you to move on somewhere else. Stereotypical American perception of the 'bad' food in London is generally because they are tourists passing through, seeking to confirm their preconceptions, disappointed with the lack of the fawning service and immediate free water that is provided in America in return for the larger tips that are extorted from the restaurant goers. Personally I would rather have fantastic food with bad service than the other way round; you only need to visit any restaurant in Paris to see this in action!

I know several Americans who live in London, Londoners, English people who have moved to London and even French and Chinese people (notoriously reluctant to recognise good food in countries other than their own) who happily delight in the food in London.

The problem here is that with your negative, outdated and 1970s description of food in London, you are simply fuelling the stereotype. You are encouraging tourists in London to eat in fast food chains and buy food from the supermarkets to eat in their hotel rooms. Surely you can admit that places like Borough Market are world class.

A more balanced view is needed on this page; it should not be a harbour for the personal resentments of one person who clearly has no idea about food.


I quite agree with the gentleman above. London plays host to an unrivalled variety of Angus Steak houses, all uniquely the same. The red velvet booths are a throw back to the 1970s, mocking the distasteful décor of a time when taking in food was a minor irritant, undertook merely to placate our bowels. Surely rising obesity rates in the UK are testament to how far we have come since then?


I understand your need to be patriotic, and defend your city at all costs... But, in my opinion, what you are saying is simply not true. The many British I work with bitch about the food more than anyone I know. True, there are some exceptions. For example, there is a really good Italian place called "Prezzo" (part of a chain) on Kensington High Street that is amazing. Also, the Churchill Arms in Notting Hill does great Thai food and is a good value. But, these kind of places are few and far between, and your average tourist is probably not going to be fortunate enough to find them. And for the record I do use the Wikitravel guides and Harden's to find restaurants. This site is for tourists, and you people are purposefully misleading people about the quality of the food here. I've travelled throughout Europe, and London, by far, has the worst food in all of Europe. And believe me many of my colleagues and friends here share this opinion, sometimes begrudgingly. The biggest laugh I got was the part about the "Angus Steak houses" when even the locals here tell you to avoid them at all costs, they're a tourist rip-off. Go to The States sometime and just eat at an "Outback Steakhouse" (a chain) and you'll never eat British beef ever again. My wife and I also ventured out into the outskirts a little yesterday (Park Royal area), and had the misfortune of trying a Tex-Mex place called "Chiquito." For those of you from The States, imagine eating Tex-Mex with no spices, just plain and bland. What's the point, right?
Look I'm not trying to London-bash. I love London. My wife and I have lived here for well over a year now, and we are planning on enjoying the 2 years we have left here. And London is great, and is known for many great things. But a great dining experience just isn't one of them, no matter how you slice it. I'm sure if one was willing to pay top-dollar every single time they went out to eat here they might have better experiences than I. I consider myself basically middle-of-the-road when it comes to how much I'm willing to pay for a meal out. Most people travelling here are on a budget of some sort. They probably eat out at a really nice expensive restaurant for one or two nights their entire trip. But mostly they're going to eat at the moderately priced places. Our "Eat" section should reflect this.

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Oh dear; you seem to have completely missed the irony in the comment preceding yours regarding Angus Steakhouses. Clearly you have to work on your English sense of humour a bit more!

I have no interest in being patriotic at all. If you want a good steak, go to any of the Gaucho Grills across London, where there are better Argentinian steaks than in Argentina (due to the weak economy, they export the best and they end up in London).

I thought the whole point of guides like these are to point 'the average tourist' towards restaurants like the ones you mentioned. Guides should be a shortcut for people visiting a city so that they can take advantage of the knowledge and experience of people like yourself who have spent, oh 'well over a year' here. There is really no point in recommending that people eat in the highly visible chain restaurants that populate the streets.

There is really no need to spend any more than £10-20 a head (not including wine) to have a world-class meal in London.

I'm so sorry you think otherwise but surely if just two people are in such disagreement with each other, then the guide here should at least be pitched in the middle?


Of course when choosing a place to eat in London a certain degree of common sense is required. As a general rule of thumb don’t trust places that describe themselves as a “mexcellent place to go”. I thoroughly recommend you try the local dish of irony.


Listen, this sounds like a perfect time for a compromise, something we Americans excel at. :) So I propose the following changes to the "Eat" Section:
"The quality of the food in London is a subject of much debate. Some feel the food is substandard, while others find London cuisine to be fantastic."
Or another twist:
"The quality of the food in London is a subject of much debate. Some feel the food is substandard. Americans, in particular, may find London cuisine to be quite bland and ordinary. However, many other peoples happily delight in the food in London."
So... Agree/disagree/care to make any amendments? The latter is because at work today I was discussing this with 5 or 6 fellow Americans, and we all admitted to "smuggling" in American food every time we come back over here. We were relaying stories about packing as many suitcases as possible to their maximum allowed weight, all of it American food. An Indian colleague overhearing our conversation just shook his head in disbelief. This made me ponder that perhaps this disdain of London food is more of an "American thing" than I realized.
Only Benjamin need reply as I have no idea what Kate is. j/k! :)


Interestingly, I find the food in America to be generally bland, very unhealthy, greasy and sickeningly huge portions. Every time I go to the States I overuse the Tasbasco to compensate - a trick I had to resort to in Russia as well! That is not to mention the ridiculously sugary oversweet drinks, watery burnt coffee and terrible tasteless beer. Of course there is fantastic food in the States; but once again you have to know where to look. It is not just a case of popping into your local 'chain steak restaurant' you seem intent on plugging, where a perfect fillet steak awaits you.

I know plenty of people, English and American, who take food back from England to America. So you see, despite your perspective, you must be able to admit that other people see things differently.

I have asked an American friend who now lives in London to contribute to this debate as she loves the food here.

Incidentally, your suggestion is not a compromise. It is your opinion, with an added comment sneering at people who 'delight in the food in London'.


How nice of you to bring your "friend" into this. Surely we can get an unbiased opinion from her. Am I supposed to get my wife, friends, and coworkers to post here in my defense also? Also, it absolutely astonishes me that you consider 'delight in the food in London' a sneer when it's YOUR OWN WORDING! I used it in an effort to provide a balanced view of our differing opinions on this matter. Remember this:
"I know several Americans who live in London, Londoners, English people who have moved to London and even French and Chinese people (notoriously reluctant to recognise good food in countries other than their own) who happily delight in the food in London."
Also, what does your opinion of American food have to do with this discussion? We should just agree to disagree here, and find a compromise so we can ammend the "Eat" section. I've offered a suggestion... Now where is yours? Obviously I can't say what I truly feel (that London food tastes like somebody's ass) and you can't say what you truly feel (that London food is great) so let's either provide the readers with a combination of our two opinions or find some other common ground.
P.S. You aren't, by any chance, a restaurant owner in London, are you?

Bobby, I'm American and have lived in London for 8 years now. I enjoy dining out quite frequently and definitely not at the most expensive restaurants. The best aspect of eating in London is the sheer amount of authentic foods on offer from around the world. The diverse population in London ensures that you're able to enjoy Italian food prepared by actual Italians (definitely not an Olive Garden meal!), Lebanese food prepared by Lebanese, etc. And while you may not be able to find the best Mexcian food here, you can probably blame that on the low number of Mexicans emmigrating to London. But I feel the same way about authentic Indian food in America- though it is starting to become more popular in recent years.

It really is just a matter of knowing where to go, just like in America. I've had some of the best French food I've ever eaten right here in London, great Spanish tapas that would rival anything I've had in Spain, and I could go on.

And while i still have a soft spot for many American foods- I too pack Mrs Butterworths in my luggage. I can understand why non-Americans aren't always so impressed. Cheese for instance, the fact that all cheese in America has to be pasteurized prevents the importation of such amazing cheeses that are on offer here in markets across London. When i walk through the supermarkets back home i'm disgusted by all of the plasticky-processed 'cheese' they have on offer!

And the fact that more and more restaurants in America are chains has negatively impacted the experience of dining in many parts of America. Applebees, Bennigans, Bertucci's...God help the unsuspecting European diner that ventures into one of these places, much like Angus Steak house here.

I really believe that eating out in London has completely evolved from where it was in the 70s/80s. Londoners are a sophisticated and well travelled bunch of people therefore the bar has really been raised on the quality of food they expect these days. I'm not saying there isn't bad food out there, as in any city there's plenty of it. But following tips from locals and reputable guides will definitely point you in the right direction for great food here in London.


Thank you for your unbiased input. And if you've lived here for 8 years now wouldn't you consider yourself more British than American at this point? Certainly you can at least admit that your tastes are probably more "British" than "American" now. Nichole, I am not trying to bash London and it's cuisine. But there are a large number of American tourists who come over here every year, and they need to know that they may not find the food very palatable.
If you have a problem with American supermarkets, Olive Gardens or Applebees this is not the place to discuss it. Wikitravel has pages and forums dedicated to America and it's cuisine. So perhaps you can warn British/Europeans/whoever about all the horrible food they will encounter while in The States over there.
It's funny that you mention how a lot of the food over here is "authentic." I dine out quite regularly with an Indian colleague, and he has (in my opinion) the very bad habit of always asking the waitress whether or not she is from (and then the cook) the country of origin where we are dining. Now, I must say I feel this is very rude of him, and would never ask this myself. However, with that being said, the answers he gets are quite interesting. With the exception of Indian, Asian and usually Middle Eastern places, it's usually someone from Eastern Europe doing all the cooking and waiting on you. We have not once found an Italian restaurant that actually has an Italian cook. The same can be said for just about every French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mexican, American, etc. etc. restaurant we have encountered.

Obviously, I have completely got the wrong end of the stick with Wikitravel. I was under the impression it was to be an unbiased guide to help tourists get the most from their travelling destinations.

You seem to think it is a survival guide for Americans in 'Yurop':

"there are a large number of American tourists who come over here every year, and they need to know that they may not find the food very palatable."

Aw the poor Americans who might get exposed to a culture different to their own! We must protect them and their delicate tastebuds. Thankfully with the influx of these American chains soon they will be able to heave themselves from restaurant to restaurant and their stomachs will never even realise that they have left the States...


Yes Bobby (he said wearily), those were my own words and they made perfect sense IN CONTEXT, but you took them out of context and appended them to your own opinions so that they take on a different meaning.

No I'm not a restaurant owner in London.


Fine, let's just leave the section the way it is.

I trust that was an attempt at native sarcasm Bobby. Otherwise what's the point in having this discussion? The article is very unhelpful as it is; if people take it to heart, they might as well shelter in their respective hotel rooms, rocking backwards and forwards and whimpering the Star Spangled Banner until it is time to go home.

This discussion is closed until I see some sort of compromise being offered. So far all I've mostly seen is anti-American rants. There are probably thousands of other messages boards out there with people who would love to engage you in such discussions. I've offered what I thought was a fair compromise. So where's your counteroffer?

I would suggest being more positive:

Take out the patronising, offensive and inaccurate sentence, ‘London has long had a reputation of not serving the best food, and this still holds true. In fact, some feel London has some of the worst food/service in all the world’.

Remove the recommendations to go to chain restaurants like ‘such as Caffe Nero, EAT, ASK and Pret-A-Manger’, it is patronising and unhelpful. If people want a chilled premade sandwich, they can find them for themselves. Recommendations should be for unique delis where for the same price they can find a sandwich made to order with fresh ingredients.

Don’t tell people to eat in their hotel room. It is condescending and defeats the object of being in a foreign country.

Remove references to fast food outlets. Every city in the world has fast food outlets and everyone knows what they look like and what to expect. It is unnecessary to recommend them.

That’s a start at least. Also let people had their own individual recommendations to slot into the general text, instead of just reverting to your previous edit.


Hi all! Glad you are enjoying the robust conversation. Sorry for butting in here, but you all might like to know that you can sign and date your comments using 4 tildae, like so: ~~~~. That way it's easier for the rest of us to understand the timing of the conversation.
I really like Busaba Eathai in Wardor street a lot by the way. -- Mark 11:15, 10 January 2007 (EST)
Thanks for the tip, Mark. Benjamin, I am only responsible for two sentences of the entire section.
"London has long had a reputation of not serving the best food, and this still holds true. In fact, some feel London has some of the worst food/service in all the world (well, for a big city anyway)."
That is my handy work. All the rest of it is the work of others. So who am I to edit other people's work? I was only suggesting editing mine, meaning the two sentences above. - Bobby Grimlock 18:09, 10 January 2007 (EST)

Couldn't agree more Mark. It's better than a lot of the food in Thailand. It's just a pity they got rid of the Beef Penang and the Roast Duck Red Curry! There is also another branch in Store Street and another near Bond Street.

Fine Bobby let's take out your two sentences then as they cause so much consternation. I amended the whole eat section and the drink section with my own suggestions; you erased them when you reverted to the previous version. I don't know how I might get my version back, perhaps you could do so and then give other people a chance to see what they think. In it I suggest a lot of other restaurants, markets and pubs in different areas around London.

Benjamin Benjamin London 04:28, 11 January 2007 (EST)

Benjamin, I am unwilling to delete my contribution. I had offered to amend it, but am now starting to see that working out a compromise with you will be impossible. Also, I am not the one who reverted the section back, wiping out your changes. Maybe a moderator has locked you out, or perhaps the entire section has now been locked. I don't know. - Bobby Grimlock 09:58, 11 January 2007 (EST)

Hi all. Well this is quite a discussion you've got going! I just wanted to jump in and say that compromises are always possible! Let's try and come up with some new text that makes everyone happy and move away from the my-sentence your-sentence thing. We're all working towards the same goals and the traveller comes first! Maj 10:12, 11 January 2007 (EST)

BTW Bobby, we don't lock people or pages (with a few exceptions). HTH and feel free to ask for more input from the community. Maj 10:12, 11 January 2007 (EST)
BTW Benjamin, you can find your contributions by clicking on the "history" tab at the top of the page. Maybe it's worth copying them to a new section here on the talk page where we can work out some consensus text. Thanks again. Maj 10:12, 11 January 2007 (EST)

Where can you get breakfast with a "rack of bacon" for £3 !! i dont think so, looks like the price here is a bit out of date. Hey guys, unfortunately london food gernerally is pretty bad. To get good food is very expensive even for london prices. sorry thats just the way it is.

Some of the best food in the world is in London. You often have to pay up for it, but there are also economy options which are very, very good. As the London articles develop you will see more and more of those listed. --Burmesedays 08:59, 11 December 2009 (EST)

removal of audio guides

The removal of audio guides from this article (and from Wikitravel) is discussed in Wikitravel talk:External links/Archive#Audio guides - "otherguide" status. --DenisYurkin 20:21, 17 February 2007 (EST)

Free wifi in London

For future reference, this site shows all the free wifi connections in central London. -- Tim (writeme!) 19:19, 3 June 2007 (EDT)

Nice map, but it will be rather hard to import that information. Maybe someone has an idea? Jamboo 05:17, 21 March 2008 (EDT)

Don't really know, I guess manually? We could create this thing better ourselves... Travelempire 08:43, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

where to stick: shopping recommendations

I have a recommended place for those looking for buying shirts at a price (it's T.M.Lewin chain)--and I'm not sure where to stick it. Generally London is a world-known place for buying shoes, suits and shirts and we are likely to reflect it somewhere at Wikitravel with more details; I'm just not sure which first step would most help us in that. --DenisYurkin 16:12, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Stay safe

Yeah, the 'stay safe' section comes across as silly and paranoid - I've lived in London for two years and frankly the advice given is either completely self evident (be wary of large gangs of youths) or unnecessarily scaremongering 18:49, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

I agree. While it's all basically true, it does seem to be a bit of overkill. The moderators here frown upon anything that paints London in an unfavorable light, so I'm sure they'll edit it out soon enough.Grimlock 14:53, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
Hey Grimlock. Just to let you know, you are the moderator here. We have admins, sure, but they aren't supposed to have any more editorial authority than anybody else. If you think somebody is being heavy-handed in deleting stuff that shows London in a negative light then please plunge forward and fix it. -- Mark 15:02, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, I gave up on this page long ago (see the "food fight" from up above). I still like to browse through it from time to time, as I'm in London for about six more months. But I don't consider this a true "travel guide" for the city of London... It's more of an advertisement and a way to bolster the city's image. Grimlock 19:07, 6 April 2008 (EDT)

Just wanted to say kudos to whoever made the most recent (as of Oct. 14, 2008) changes to the "Stay safe" section. Instead of just putting in a lot of "happy talk" you really told it like it is! Excellent job! People who read this will now know where to go and where not to go. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Grimlock (talkcontribs)

It is often difficult to get the right balance here, but to say that anything south of Westminster or East of Liverpool St is practically not safe, is really to advise against visiting many parts of London, that would not pose a danger to an average tourist. Similarly, I can't imagine a visit to London being complete without going to Camden, yet this is discouraged also. --Inas 19:37, 14 October 2008 (EDT)
My wife and I have lived here for almost 3 years now, and we make it a point to get out and about as much as possible. We've gone everywhere in and around London - seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Most tourists stick out like a sore thumb... they're very obvious, even if they don't mean to be. So, in certain parts of London, if you don't look like you "belong" there than you greatly increase your chances of getting mugged or at the very least being "challenged" by one of the locals. It's sad, I know... It wasn't like this just two years ago. But Wikitravel has to keep up with the times. I tell anyone who comes over to visit: Stay within the Circle Line and if you wander over to the South Bank of the Thames, don't get too far away from the river. Better for them to miss out on a little than to come back to me with a horror story. Grimlock 05:24, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

City code for London.

I have put back the City code for London to LON. LCY is the code for London City Airport, not London City, and of course there are others such as LHR STN and LGW. Many large cities have a different code to their airports.--Dmol 01:41, 21 March 2009 (EDT)

That's precisely why it's confusing to say "London (City code: LON)", and much better to say "London (all airports: LON)". Jpatokal 05:43, 21 March 2009 (EDT)
We should not use inaccurate information just because some people are confused. What needs to be done is to clarify it so that it is more easily understood. The official code for London (as set by IATA – the International Airline Transport Association) and used be all airlines and travel agencies in the world is LON. It is know as its City Code, and there is no such thing in the travel or aviation industries as an “all airport code”. If you want you can continue the sentence with the “airport codes” for the other airports which will include London City Airport that you feel is causing the confusion. City Code and Airport Code are the two correct terms used by the industry that I have worked in for over twenty years.--Dmol 19:08, 21 March 2009 (EDT)
The term "city code" by itself lacks context. "IATA city code" is technically better, but needlessly obscure for travelers that don't already know what IATA is. "All airports", on the other hand, is immediately understandable and is the phrase used by every airline booking site I can think of - type London into BA's flight search and it immediately pulls up "LON, London, all airports". I don't see how it's either inaccurate or poorly understood. - Dguillaime 19:19, 21 March 2009 (EDT)

Format for Tube Station information

It would be nice if we could standarise this in each article.

I am using a simple format, eg here.

Somebody has tried a coloured format here (the colours correspond to the colours for each line on the London Tube map). I am not sure about this..... and it uses html tags.

Views please. --Burmesedays 10:06, 8 December 2009 (EST)

I like the simple format, the colored format looks a bit messy. Globe-trotter 18:04, 8 December 2009 (EST)
The html tags could easily be put into a template if required, so I don't think that part is necessarily a show stopper.
As an aside, within Central London, listing the tube stations and the lines isn't really that helpful on some districts. Since it is likely the primary way to get around for visitors, putting the closest tube stop next to the attractions or listings would seem like the best way. People will figure out the right line for them to get there. Some of these districts will have at least 20+ tube stations, which is quite a list at the top of the article, and quite unhelpful with that volume. --inas 17:08, 9 December 2009 (EST)
Good point Inas. Wherever possible I think the tube station (and even exit number) should be given in each See and Do listing. I also think there should be a full list in the Get in section of each article though. --Burmesedays 08:54, 11 December 2009 (EST)

Listings in the main article

There are lots! I think all should be moved out to the relevant district articles and overviews only left here. Any objections? --Burmesedays 11:10, 9 December 2009 (EST)

What about reviews for chain restaurants? --DenisYurkin 11:19, 9 December 2009 (EST)
There are some listings in Drink and Sleep Sections, which should be moved out. Besides for that, I do not see much that need to be moved out to district articles. However, some of the bullet lists might have to be transformed to text and also should be less detailed. And we need more links from the main article to district articles. ClausHansen 11:29, 9 December 2009 (EST)
IMO, all listings must go. With the exception of very significant chains (a quick mention of Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Pret a Manger within overview prose should be fine), a case should be made for individual locations within individual districts. Listings within main articles just deter people from a) actually realizing that there are district articles full of our bread and butter travel information, and b) adding listings to those articles, instead of cramming stuff onto the main article. --Peter Talk 12:04, 9 December 2009 (EST)
I see plenty of listings in Drink, Eat and Sleep, another good task for the collaboration: get them to the districts. Globe-trotter 12:38, 9 December 2009 (EST)
Yep there are quite a lot which is why I brought it up. Have started moving them and expanding the overview prose. --Burmesedays 21:16, 9 December 2009 (EST)

It seems like all the listings on the main page are now cleared? I think I got the last hostels out of it. Now we just need to rephrase some of the Drink, Eat and Sleep sections. Globe-trotter 12:43, 18 December 2009 (EST)

Just about yep. Did the student halls accommodation listings get moved as well as the hostels? I don't remember seeing them anywhere. Have to deal with those chain restaurants..... just convert to prose I guess. And I will reformat those ugly front-linked gay magazine listings. --Burmesedays 12:56, 18 December 2009 (EST)
Yes, I moved the hostels and student hall accomodation to Holborn-Clerkenwell, Notting Hill-North Kensington and Bloomsbury. Globe-trotter 13:00, 18 December 2009 (EST)

Additional Sections

Cope is the key one I think...... and a bit of a scary thought. There is hardly a country without an embassy in London. What is the ideal here please? A selection of larger embassies or the Full Monty as at Washington_D.C.#Cope?

Should also be a short Stay healthy section I think. This is an easy one - a brief reprise of the NHS background from England and a short summary of London's private medical fame (Harley St etc). --Burmesedays 07:05, 10 December 2009 (EST)

I'll get started on the embassy list. Since almost all will overlap with the D.C. list, it won't be so bad (we won't have to add all those flag image codes again...). --Peter Talk 13:59, 10 December 2009 (EST)
I've added all the embassies, sans addresses, phone #s, and urls. 171 in total, so that may take a little while—hopefully we'll work together on this one ;) (By the way, I was happy to confirm my blind assertion in the D.C. article that D.C. has more embassies than any other country: 176 to London's 171. I do believe that London has the second most, but I'm not positive.) --Peter Talk 20:44, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Well done. There is a list of all embassies with complete contact details [1]. It is a PDF though and I am still hunting for a more friendly format. --Burmesedays 21:23, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Copy and pastable details here and here but incomplete lists and both require a 2nd level dig to get the details.

This is by far the easiest source of contact details...... a raw text file that I extracted. I will not put it up at shared as I anticipate a debate :) Download the .txt file from here.
That brings up another question I've had -- do we need to include the "SW7 1QQ" address information in our guides? --Peter Talk 23:21, 10 December 2009 (EST)
I would say yes. --Burmesedays 23:27, 10 December 2009 (EST)
The format for Afghanistan and Algeria looks fine. I tried email addresses but they look terrible. --Burmesedays 01:25, 11 December 2009 (EST)
If anyone wants a task that requires zero local knowledge this is the one! :) A and B and S to Z are now complete. All the details are here. Just copy and paste the address, phone number and website (dont forget to add http:// manually) into the table. The table is currently masked but just go to the Cope section and hit edit and you will find it. --Burmesedays 06:06, 18 December 2009 (EST)
The first one of the list I tried was Burkina Faso, but it's embassy is in Brussels??? That's a fair hike from London :P I suppose we don't include entries like these ? Globe-trotter 11:30, 21 December 2009 (EST)
Delete that one, I must have been tired :). A few small countries will cover the UK from Brussels or Paris I guess. --Burmesedays 11:40, 21 December 2009 (EST)
The long list is done! --Peter Talk 20:09, 27 December 2009 (EST)
If only I could get some of those hours back... Just kidding :P Great work everyone! Globe-trotter 13:42, 28 December 2009 (EST)
Indeed. Great work. I shall now delete the info file off my server :)--Burmesedays 20:58, 28 December 2009 (EST)

Images for the London articles

One of the key tasks highlighted in the London CotM announcement was to find and upload images. I have been doing this steadily and with a final push today, all of the inner and central district articles have at least 2 good images. The full London image library at shared is now quite substantial but we do need more so please keep this task moving. A great source of suitably licenced (usually) London photos is This resource is very helpful when searching for any UK pics. --Burmesedays 02:07, 19 December 2009 (EST)

Underground maps

Showing a good overview map of the London Underground is rather complicated. Since it is so complex and expansive, it will be impossible to display in-article using just one image. We can either opt for a very large map that won't be readable in-article, or use multiple maps. Here are the maps I've uploaded:

We can, of course, show the relevant stations in each individual district article. So the question here is just what to do in the main article's "Get around" section. Thoughts? --Peter Talk 20:36, 19 December 2009 (EST)

Tough one. I would lean towards showing the central London stations map as this is the most detail that the majority of visitors would need, plus the full map as an overview. There is an argument perhaps for extending the central london stations map a bit northwards (providing it stays legibile in a screen size). The difficulty of this task only re-enforces my view that the official London tube map is one of the greatest pieces of graphic design ever produced. --Burmesedays 23:18, 19 December 2009 (EST)
That sounds like a good solution for now, and I have extended the vertical range of the central tube map. Ultimately, it would be best if someone here would create an original stylized graphic of the system map, since the to-scale version is extremely unwieldy, even for printing. I'll think about it, but I know well that that would take a lot of time—it would certainly be a lot more complex than this one was. --Peter Talk 16:39, 20 December 2009 (EST)
The Full Map does not display correctly on my computer (running Windows Vista) The grey sections are displayed as white, and as a result, the thumbnail in the London article appears almost completely white with some faint thin coloured lines just visible. It looks the same on both Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. The file looks the same on Windows Picture Viewer, but on Windows Paint the grey sections appear black making the text invisible. I have viewed the London article on computers at work running both Windows XP and Windows 7 and the thumbnail is displayed OK. The file is displayed OK on Windows Paint on a Windows 7 computer, but still has black sections on Windows XP computer. Anyway, there appears to be some compatibility problem. Alternatively, the Outer London map may be a better choice for the London article. This displays OK on all computers that I have viewed it on.Chris1515 04:41, 12 January 2010 (EST)
Hmm, I have no idea where these compatibility problems are coming from. I am not the author of the original SVG file from which I exported the PNG image, but it seemed normal. I could try making my own full, to-scale map, with the central London area greyed out. With creativity there is the remote possibility that I might even be able to get it somewhat usable in a large thumbnail (~800px width). But although I have most of that work done already, I'll still need to wait until I can find a couple hours to sit down and wrestle with it in Inkscape! --Peter Talk 13:41, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Actually, I just got an idea on a hunch, and may have corrected the problem. Please tell me if you are still having problems viewing this image. --Peter Talk 14:10, 11 February 2010 (EST)
This new version has not fixed the problem on my computer. I have looked at the original map on wikimedia commons and the effect is the same. Interestingly, looking at the .svg file on wikimedia commons on another computer, running XP, Zone 1 has a light grey (gray) check pattern and Zone 2 a darker grey check pattern. When converted to a .png file Zone 1 becomes white and Zone 2 becomes grey. On my computer the .svg file has Zone 1 in white and Zone 2 with the lighter grey pattern. This translates to an all white background in the .png file. It may be that this problem is due to some incorrect settings on my computer and if it does not affect anyone else, so I would not spend much time on it.
I note that the author of the original file (Ed g2s) has also contributed images for the Wikipedia article on png files. When I have had a look at this article for more information, I will put note about my problem on his talk page. Chris1515 18:31, 13 February 2010 (EST)

Other transit maps

When in London, I didn't really use any form of public transit other than the bus or the Tube. I would love to include a central bus system map similar to this copyrighted one [2] in the article, and hopefully someone if not me will create an original system map for our use. But are there any other forms of intra-city public transport that we should map for the main article? --Peter Talk 17:18, 20 December 2009 (EST)

A bus route map would be an amazing achievement and something I would imagine few have ever attempted. I think there are 800-odd London bus routes in total and my guess is at least 200 of those would pass through central London. On others, the various rail networks are possibilities but they are not used so much for intra-city travel, except for south London commutes where you have little choice. And commuter routes are of limited interest to visiotrs. Boat services on the Thames maybe? --Burmesedays 20:47, 20 December 2009 (EST)
During my stay in London, I have really only used the tube to get around. It's fast, user friendly and pretty much gets you anywhere. I think if a bus is required, we could just write so at the relevant attraction or at the Get In section of the district. Globe-trotter 08:35, 21 December 2009 (EST)

Get around by boat section

I really do not like this section too much. Far too long I think. It makes no sense that this is the least used form of public transport in the city and yet is the longest sub-section of Get around. Any ideas on how to streamline this? I am tempted to cut all detailed listing of the routes and just have a short paragraph of prose. We must though find a new home for that Greenwich photo which is a stunner! --Burmesedays 10:33, 21 December 2009 (EST)

Image:Cph_habour_transportation.png? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:43, 21 December 2009 (EST)
Would do the job beautifully :). And it ties in with Peter's request above. There is a (copyrighted) image of much of the system on page 4 of this pdf. Peter, does this tie in with anything you are already doing or shall I have a go? --Burmesedays 11:24, 21 December 2009 (EST)
No, please do—aside from the nice, lazy ride to Hampton Court, I never once rode a boat in the city. --Peter Talk 16:52, 22 December 2009 (EST)
Here is another well executed example for inspiration Image:Thonburi_boat_transport.png. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 15:46, 23 December 2009 (EST)
I see I forgot to upload the SVG-file of that.. I now uploaded it. Globe-trotter 10:31, 24 December 2009 (EST)

Sleep price range table

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under £70
Mid-range £70 to £140
Splurge Over £140

I have inserted the following table into London/Bloomsbury and invite comments about the ranges and whether we could apply this uniformly across the central and inner districts. I believe we can but that marginally lower banding should be used for the outer districts.--Burmesedays 03:07, 22 December 2009 (EST)

I thought the districts aren't supposed to have price tables? For example, the Chicago/Loop and Washington, D.C./Georgetown don't have these tables. Globe-trotter 14:12, 22 December 2009 (EST)
Hmm, there is no policy guidance on this one. D.C. and Chicago are not good places to look (for once), since I don't really like the price box to begin with, and have simply left it out. (I figure that as long as we include the actual prices for each establishment, it will be clear what is meant by budget, mid-range, or splurge—and that gives us a little leeway in distinguishing what we consider mid-range in a cheaper, outlying district from say, the City of London.) But I know others like the boxes, especially for cities that don't have sleep listings as developed or complete as the star-quality city guides, so I think it would be fine to put one in the main article. --Peter Talk 16:50, 22 December 2009 (EST)
The reason I went ahead and stuck one in is that sleep listings are being incorrectly categorised. If there is no sleep price table, then how does an editor, or indeed user, know what Budget, Mid-range and Splurge actually mean? Having to refer back to the main article seems clumsy to me. And Budget in Mayfair means something different to Budget in Walthamstow. If there is no guide table, then I suggest removing the sub-categories as well. --Burmesedays 21:52, 22 December 2009 (EST)
I think it's weird for districts to have "budget" mean something different than in another district. If I'm looking for a budget hotel, I'll probably head for a budget district. This means that some districts have no budget listings, while others have no splurge listings. I think that's a better approach than to alter the price scheme per district. Globe-trotter 22:06, 22 December 2009 (EST)
OK and understood. Personally, I would prefer a guide table in each district as I think that would be more user-friendly, but not a big issue and I will move the table to the main article. We still need opinions as to whether the banding range is correct. And please all editors, use the table and make sure that sleep listings in the sub-districts are categorised correctly. --Burmesedays 00:33, 24 December 2009 (EST)

London Hotels

Moved from User talk:Wrh2:

The hotels I listed were major hotel groups who have at least two hotels in Greater London. Apart from the internationally famous Savoy, Ritz and Waldorf, its not supposed to be a list of individual hotels. So can such listings remain in the general hotels section provided they are major hotel groups rather than individual hotels? I think this would be more useful and concise than an even longer list of individual hotels. Some tourists will just stay anywhere in greater London in a certain hotel group and travel around by tube.--Darrelljon 16:21, 21 June 2010 (EDT)

The comment above was addressed to me because I left an explanation of why listings were being removed on User talk:Darrelljon, although I haven't actually been involved with these edits. I don't know London well, but typically on Wikitravel we use the "Sleep" section of huge cities to point readers to the appropriate district article - for example, explaining what sections of the city hotels can be found and the price range / amenities to expect. In general, allowing listings of individual businesses, even if they operate multiple properties, has not been seen as something that makes the articles more useful but instead creates confusion for editors and readers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:28, 21 June 2010 (EDT)
Hi Darrell! I just visit London for business purposes some 3-4 times in a year. First I always focus on the borough and not the major chain because travelling within London is time consuming... Second I oppose your suggestion because it is a basis for touts which spam the article immediately. Third, e.g. Accor hotels vary significantly in quality and therefore this information is worthless for travelers. Last but not least, we already have good listings in the London boroughs and don't need yellow pages entries. jan 08:38, 9 July 2010 (EDT)


I updated the weather section to reflect what went on in December of 2010 and the chaos the snow caused. I was amazed to find that no one in London seems to know what a snow shovel is and how you use one. Many places including gov't building sat with snow and ice covered walkways and steps. I come from a place that sees annual snow fall of 12-18 inches. The inability of London to cope with just 2-3 inches is worthy of noting.



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