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Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

Seattle
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Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

We will be in London for four nights in mid-May. This is not our first time in London (the 7th, actually) and this time we would like to include some new sights along with our "old favorites" to which we return each time. We will arrive around noon on a Thursday and stay until Monday morning, when we depart by train for Edinburgh. We have tickets for the opera at Covent Garden on Saturday night. We may book a Parliament tour which would be Saturday morning, but that hasn't been decided yet.

With that in mind, I would like some help with planning the best day (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) to do some of the following:

Bike ride along Regents' Canal, and a visit to Camden Locks Market: I believe the market is supposed to be most active on Sunday, but we would prefer to avoid crowded times, especially on the bike path. So would Friday or Saturday be a better option? Or should we just wait and see what the weather brings?

Visit to Kew: this has long been on my list (I am an amateur botanist) but have not yet made the time to visit. This time I will for sure, probably in the morning. then find a Richmond pub for lunch. So again, would it be better (less crowded) to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? Or just let the weather dictate this too? I suppose if it is rainy that need not stop us and might keep the crowds down a bit.

Abbey Road: is any time better than others (i.e., morning or afternoon) and is it hopeless to think of getting "the picture"? (There are four of us and I would probably ask a stranger to join in the pose while I take the photo).

On Thursday, after arrival on a flight from the US west coast, we will freshen up and go for a long walk, the best cure I know for jet lag. We like to include a quick visit to he Tate Modern in this walk. I am wondering if the 6th floor bar is open on Thursdays for a glass of wine around 5:00? According to the website, the restaurant is not open Monday through Thursday, but then it says "Bar stays open all day." Does that mean every day, even when the restaurant is closed?

Thanks for your help.

Hampshire, England.
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1. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

If you look at the Abbey Rd webcam during the day, you'll see many groups of tourist taking "the photo": http://www.abbeyroad.com/crossing

You do realise that it is not the original zebra crossing that is on the Beatles album?

Sheffield
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2. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

Kew is large and I have never found it crowded. You might consider the White Cross on the river at Richmond but if you are in a car, don't park outside around high tide.

Seattle
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3. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

Great webcam---thanks! It is night there now so I saw no one posing the photo, but I will check back another time. And no, I did not realize it is not the original zebra crossing from the album, but neither will anyone I show the photo to!

Thanks for suggesting the White Cross in Richmond--I will have a look. We will not have a car, but if we did---what happens at high tide? A flooded carpark?

Hampshire, England.
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4. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

"Great webcam---thanks! It is night there now so I saw no one posing the photo, but I will check back another time."

As I said, it mainly happens during daylight (for a better photo).

Hampshire, England.
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5. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

Details of when the crossing was moved:

existentialcamera.co.uk/post/41314343517/abb…

Then you can put your photo here.:-)

http://www.abbeyroadcrossing.com

Edited: 16 March 2014, 22:32
London
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6. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

"Details of when the crossing was moved:

existentialcamera.co.uk/post/41314343517/abb…"

I've seen that link before and it actually proves the opposite - that the crossing *is* the original. The OP can take their photo and show it to their friends with a clear conscience.

Hampshire, England.
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7. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

Well, he puts a very good case but it's up to the individual whether they believe it or not.

Plymouth
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8. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

Camden Lock Market is excellent, and the buildings in which it is housed are a bit of fascinating London history, but it gets VERY crowded on Saturdays. Best to go there by about 10am if you want to avoid the worst of tfe crowds.

East Sussex, United...
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9. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

That Abbey Road crossing is a bloomin' nuisance and a danger. Just watch the webcam for a few minutes to watch the confusion it causes motorists.

London, United...
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10. Re: Advice on Organizing our Time in London, Please?

For cycling on the canal towpath, make sure to avoid rush hour on a weekday. It is used by lots of commuters and tends to get very busy with foot traffic. Some of the paths along the locks are narrow, so you may need to jump off your bike now and again for safety.

I've been to Kew in the pouring rain and it's fairly unpleasant. Even the glass houses leak! A light rain/drizzle would be fine, but it's mainly an outdoor attraction and rain makes it hard to stop and admire the outside plants.

There are several pubs by the river in Richmond where some of the outdoor areas flood at high tide. People sometimes forget that the Thames is a tidal estuary, so tide times make a substantial difference to the water levels.

The wording on the Tate website about the restaurant and bar *is* confusing. It does look like the 3rd floor "espresso bar" is open every afternoon and I seem to recall that they serve wine (but probably not as nice as the wine list upstairs).