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First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Vancouver, Canada
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First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

I used to live in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, when I was 4 until my family moved away to Canada when I was 8. I'm now planning a trip to London for the first time in all these years and will be bringing my 14-yr-old daughter with me in March 2013 during spring break. Here are my questions:

1. My daughter is at that age where she enjoys shopping. A lot. Where are the primary places to shop for teenagers that are reasonably priced for that age group?

2. Where should we stay that's central and close to shopping and sightseeing spots (British Museum, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Covent Garden, etc.)? I like 4* hotels.

3. What are some good "must-try" restaurants?

4. I love street markets. We went to many when we were in Paris last year. What are your recommended markets to go to?

Thanks so much for your help! I barely remember anything from my childhood except for going to Piccadilly, Harrods and Selfridges.

Merthyr Tydfil...
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1. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Okay, been going to London for over 20 years, so here's my two penneth worth (in relation to the hotel), will say though being male and *cough* not a teenager anymore, I'll leave the shopping to those more qualified!

A Hotel I use and it's a 5 minute walk from Covent Garden is the Strand Palace, I find it convenient, well run, clean and secure, all i'm looking for in a central London Hotel.

I would say check out a show or two, although in the vein of full disclosure I must admit to being a Theatre addict! :o)

Sure you'll have a great time!

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Thanks for the quick reply for the hotel. I'll take a look at the Strand Palace. Covent Garden is an area I'm really interested in staying - seems to be a very vibrant place!

Dunfermline, United...
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3. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

1. For shopping, Oxford Street, Westfield Centres at Shepherds Bush and Stratford

2. Nowhere is close to all the sights, but Bloomsbury/Holborn is pretty central. Using the Underground or buses will mean you don't have to stay central. Victoria, Marylebone, Fitzrovia, South Bank, Westminster and Kensington are other areas worth looking at. What is your budget in GBP per night?

3. Depends what you are looking for, but there are a wide range of decent restaurants nowadays. We've moved on from the meat and 2 veg diet when you were last here!

4. Street markets - Camden, Spitalfields, Borough, Columbia Road, Brick Lane, Portobello Road, Covent Garden for starters

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Topshop has a big presence in the Bay (on Georgia Street), but it's nothing in comparison to the massive Topshop at Oxford Circus. Miss CA will almost certainly find it to her liking. There is a large New Look at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street that will appeal as well.

I think there are better options than the Strand Palace, but as dicanio said, please let us know your budget in ££.

London's transport knocks the spots off Translink's efforts. Travelcards and Pay As You Go on Oyster allow use on the Underground, buses, DLR, Overground and National Rail services, so travelling from point to point shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Excellent information - thanks so much!

My hotel budget is about £100-£125. I do like comfort and enjoy the pampering when I travel. I like modern, well-maintained hotels.

Top Shop was mentioned - you hit the nail on the head! Exactly where the Little Miss wants to go find some treasures. Little Miss also would like to find some inexpensive t-shirts with the British flag (especially to show her allegiance to her fave group, One Direction). Any recommendations where those can be found for cheap??? Thanks!

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6. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

In these straitened times many youngsters are eschewing the expensive designer labels and logos in favour of these and other stores

A bit of inverted snobbery perhaps?

http://www.primark.co.uk/

http://www.hm.com/gb/

zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/home/uk/en

Primark is awash with cheap snazzy tee shirts

Edited: 15 November 2012, 08:18
Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Excellent information - thanks so much!

My hotel budget is about £100-£125. I do like comfort and enjoy the pampering when I travel. I like modern, well-maintained hotels.

Top Shop was mentioned - you hit the nail on the head! Exactly where the Little Miss wants to go find some treasures. Little Miss also would like to find some inexpensive t-shirts with the British flag (especially to show her allegiance to her fave group, One Direction). Any recommendations where those can be found for cheap??? Thanks!

TravellerPlus, I had to laugh when you mentioned our Translink system. It's not in the same league.

London, United...
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8. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Definitely top shop. Have taken my nieces to westfield, but it was always top shop Oxford Street they ended up in, and loved it.

Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

I have a similar biography and a 14yo daughter also. We did this trip in Jan. You have been given great advice here. Top Shop and all the others on Oxford St for sure. Dicanio has suggested the right markets.

We stayed in Camden and really liked it, teenagers will like the clothing shops there. My daughter enjoyed the night we spent on Upper St Islington too.

If you want a break from shopping the London Walks Harry Potter walks engaged the younger ones really well if HP is her thing.

Nijmegen...
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10. Re: First time to London in 35 years - Lots of questions!

Your daughter might like this as well http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/ there is a store in Covent Garden, which has a lot of stores around it, and a street market area, a bit touristic but I enjoy it. Got some lovely earrings :)

Als if in Covent Garden I like to walk towards Neals Yard, more lovely shops on the way and I love the colourful area www.facebook.com/photo.php… (haven't actually bought anything there, but I love windowshopping). Plus the rather excellent Forbidden Planet(for cartoon/Star Wars/Star Trek/Angry Birds/DrWho etc etc fans) is just round the corner.

Enjoy! :)

Edited: 15 November 2012, 11:47