Areas of London
There's a problem in that there are lots of distinct areas of London, some of which are geographically quite small, and some of which share a name with an administrative unit (Camden is in the London Borough of Camden, which also covers King's Cross, Regent's Park, Bloomsbury, Holborn and Hampstead.
There's a problem with districts - the central area is too small. I'd say it needs to cover Zones 1 and 2 on the Tube map.
Would it be an idea to do a geographic split followed by areas (rather than boroughs)?
It might therefore look like this:
Central Westminster Whitehall Trafalgar Square Oxford Street the City the Temple Leicester Square Covent Garden South South Bank Southwark Lambeth Battersea the Borough North Camden Islington Regent's Park East City fringe Hackney Dalston Hoxton Shoreditch Tower Hill West Chelsea Hammersmith Earl's Court Notting Hill Hyde Park Sloane Square
Away from the Centre
Southbound Brixton Northbound Hampstead Heath Primrose Hill Eastbound Greenwich Canary Wharf Westbound Kew Garden Wimbledon
Thanks, Denis. I wasn't talking about districtifying - just a more coherent structure within this page. Sound like a good idea to you? 188.8.131.52 06:09, 16 February 2007 (EST)
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 beerintheevening.com. Would it be worth setting up a separate section called 'pubs'?
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 184.108.40.206 (talk • contribs) 20:00, 19 July 2006
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: http://www.londonbusroutes.net/ 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. 220.127.116.11 11:52, 12 Jan 2005 (EST)
I don't think we need districts for London at the level of granularity presented on this page. The twelve top-level (lessee here) boroughs seem like at about the level we should have Wikitravel articles. I'd like to see this revised to a) use Wikitravel names for the districts and b) without the sub-districts listed. -- Evan 04:18, 12 Nov 2003 (PST)
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.
18.104.22.168 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
District Heirarchy (Again)
The heirarchy here is just too deep and fine grained. I've got some 'see' and 'do' attractions I want to add, but despite knowing central London I cannot decide which of the lowest level districts to add them to. I mean where exactly is the boundary between Soho/Chinatown/Leicester Square.
This reorg needs some thought though; so I don't lose the attraction into I'm temporarily adding it to a new page at Talk:London/Other Attractions; I'll move it into the right places when I work out where they are.
To Anonymous User 22.214.171.124
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
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)
I removed this editorial comment from the page, in the description of Uxbridge:
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 Hotels-London.com. 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)
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.
what does "understand" mean as a section heading?
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)
North East London
This is usually counted as part of East London, due to sharing the same postcode prefix (the NE prefix belongs to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; E is used for the whole of the east of London [north of the river Thames] [apart from various places with IG postcodes...]). Incidentally, the East London article already mentions Walthamstow, which is more north-east than east. So there is no real need for a "North East London" article.
I'm planning on doing some work on the London-related articles (including making some maps) and one problem I see so far, especially as far as maps are concerned, is the difficulty in defining the exact boundaries of areas like Soho or Paddington. One possible solution I've been thinking of is dividing according to postcodes. So major postcodes (like WC1 or E14) have their own articles (though maybe called something else, E14 for instance would be Docklands) while less important areas could be defined according to a group of postcodes or a postcode prefix (SE, W, NW and so on). It might seem an arbitrary division, but anyone who's lived in London will tell you that individual postcodes definitely bring up certain associations (I know people who've turned down properties that were in the "wrong" postcode even though the "right" postcode was on the other side of the street). In any case the Paris arrondissements are just as arbitrary, but they seem to work well there. At least there's a definite way of telling where WC1 ends and WC2 begins in a way that's not true of Soho and Chinatown. --Paul. 23:21, 22 August 2006 (EDT)
"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)
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.
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)
Stay Safe: transport
> if possible sit on the lower deck of night buses
Dear 126.96.36.199 and fellow contributors, do we really need to delete this piece, or only need to rephrase to something more objective? Like, for example:
--DenisYurkin 17:19, 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 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs) 3 January 2007
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?
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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
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)
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 184.108.40.206 18:49, 4 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.