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United Kingdom : London - September 2010

Country Code: Dial ++44 for United Kingdom

Pedal power rules this month as London’s new cycle hire scheme sees 6,000 bikes for rent (tfl . gov.uk/barclayscyclehire). Take part in a great British tradition by going to a one-day cricket international at Lord’s (20 September), or see world-class dance at Sadler’s Wells. Jenny McNeely is our city guide

Getting around

London is served by Gatwick Airport, which is 46km south of the city centre.

Bus: National Express coaches to London Victoria take one hour 35 minutes. Single tickets cost €9,80/£6.60 and the service runs 24 hours a day.
Train: The quickest way to get into the city is by taking the Gatwick Express to London Victoria. It takes 30 minutes and runs every 15 minutes from 5am to 11.45pm. A single ticket costs €22,60/£15.90.
Taxi: Outside rush hour, a taxi to the city centre will take about an hour and cost €114/£77.
Tourist information: The main tourist office is at 1 Lower Regent Street (tel. (0)870 156 6366, visitlondon.com).

GREENWICH

On the south bank of the Thames, Greenwich is the place to explore maritime history and the origins of Greenwich Mean Time.

Culture vultures – The National Maritime Museum (Romney Road) takes you on a voyage of discovery from Captain Cook’s diaries to the newest seafaring technology. Trek up the hill, past the crowds having their picture taken astride the Meridian Line, to the Sir Christopher Wren-designed Royal Observatory (Blackheath Avenue). For something completely different, the Greenwich Comedy Festival (greenwichcomedy festival.co.uk) will take over the Old Royal Naval College from 6-12 September, including Bill Bailey and Tom Green.

Must eat – The Old Brewery (The Pepys Building, tel. (0)20 3327 1280) in the Old Royal Naval College is a great place to have lunch or sample some Meantime beer, made at the onsite microbrewery.

Shop til you drop – Greenwich Market (Durnford Street) has been trading since the 14th century and still buzzes with stalls. For collectables, try the Clocktower Market (166 Greenwich High Road).

BRIXTON

Explore one of London’s most dynamic and multicultural areas.

Culture vultures – The Ritzy (Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane) is an arthouse cinema with a great pavement café. Upstairs At The Ritzy offers non-cinematic entertainment, from reggae to comedy.

Must eat – Dine at the Gold Coast restaurant (40 Acre Lane, tel. (0)20 7326 0164) and delay the onset of autumn with hot African cuisine such as spicy ribs or hot and crispy king prawn salad.

Shop til you drop – Brixton market curves right around Electric Avenue. Best known for its African and Caribbean food, clothing and jewellery, Prince Charles was recently spotted handling the fruit ‘n’ veg.

EXMOUTH MARKET

In the heart of Clerkenwell, sandwiched between Angel and the City, Exmouth Market is foodie heaven where you can breakfast, lunch and dine on one street.

Sleep soundly – ‘Rookery’ is slang for the slums once common in London, and the three 18th-century houses which now comprise The Rookery Hotel (Cowcross Street, tel. (0)20 7336 0931, rookeryhotel.com, rooms from €210/£175) were once in the centre of a notorious area. Now far from Dickensian destitution, the hotel’s 33 rooms are filled with burnished wood, antiques and quirky Victorian baths.

Culture vultures – The world-famous dance venue Sadler’s Wells (Rosebery Avenue) stages a new work by Russell Maliphant, Afterlight, on 28 and 29 September.

Must eat – The all-day menu at Caravan (11-13 Exmouth Market, tel. (0)20 7833 8115) is perfect for a weekend brunch; coffee fans will love the fact they roast their own beans and make a top flat white.

Shop til you drop – Take a break from eating at Clerkenwell Tales (30 Exmouth Market), a stylish independent bookshop whose beautiful editions are difficult to resist.

ST JOHN’S WOOD

This wealthy area of northwest London is notable for its stately architecture and the spiritual home of cricket, Lord’s.

Culture vultures – Lord’s Cricket Ground (lords. org) is a must for anyone who loves the sound of leather on willow; this month sees a One-Day International between England and Pakistan (20 September). The MCC Museum is the oldest sporting museum in the world, and contains memorabilia from the club’s long history.

Must eat – The food at The Vineria (1 Blenheim Terrace, tel. (0)20 7328 5014) is as elegant and refined as the restaurant itself. White linen tablecloths and impeccable service make this a great place for high-class Italian food.



Compiled by Jenny McNeely

Previous issues for London
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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