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Large Living and Small Queues – An Alternative London Guide

This post was written by Robin Adams on behalf of the National Trust. Some good ideas for tourists and Londoners alike.

We all know London's well established favourite tourist spots. The London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower of London, British Museum, Tower Bridge, Tate Gallery... the list goes on. These are the attractions which consistently make London the most popular tourist destination in the world.

But popularity comes at a cost and that cost is queues. If you've only got 48 hours to spend in London you don't want to waste your time standing about waiting to get into attractions. With that in mind we've picked out five alternative ideas for your trip to London – places where you can enjoy great sights without having to spend ages waiting to get in.

1. Discover Some Hidden Gems

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Hill Street Blues By Chris Lockie

This is the third post from Chris Lockie who writes things for fun and money on his website: http://www.cidlockie.com. It was originally posted there, but he's agreed to share it with all of you. You can also read about his walk to Paddington and getting lost in Barnsbury.

londonwalk-hill-street

11.55am on a Tuesday only-just morning and I emerge blinking from the cocoon of a grimly-lit Knightsbridge office. I have just been begging a woman twice my age for a job half my brain wants and half my brain wants to drink and drink to forget about, which is handy as I'm now due a mile or two to the north for a liquid lunch that may (does) last the rest of the day.

Sloane Square was my original starting point, a square so fraught with difficulty for the left-wing man screaming to get out of my middle class body I wonder what heinous crimes have occurred to land me an interview here, but certain aspects of my financial existence demand rectification and I am the beggar who must not choose. The interview has apparently gone well enough; no names were called, no objects thrown, and it's clear lessons have been learned from that incident at the Wetherspoons head office some weeks ago.

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The Barnsbury Vortex By Chris Lockie

This post is another from Chris Lockie who writes things for fun and money on his website: http://www.cidlockie.com. It was originally posted there, but he's agreed to share it with all of you. You can also read his earlier post here

londonwalk-barnsbury

There is no single part of London that I can get lost in as easily as Barnsbury.

Clearly I'm talking about the London north of the river. I can get off the tube at any station south of the water, walk for 500 metres in any direction and be more oblivious to my location than a senile old dog, twitching as it defecates in the corner of the room yet again to the chagrin of its luckless owner.

Thankfully only a senile old dog would voluntarily go south of the river anyway.

And don't let me give you the impression that I happily get lost in Barnsbury, in some wistful Narnia-style adventure in the lovingly tended pastures of a tree-lined London suburb. Certainly not. I mean lost in the traditional sense of “Just around this corner there's a...right so it's the next corner and there'll be a...a...wait, is that the sea?”

I think I've worked out what the issue is. The area between Highbury & Islington and Caledonian Road lacks the one true staple of a London suburb - the humble public house, which for a man such as myself is the only sure-fire way of navigating the twisting, swirling street's of this brutally confusing city. There are so few pubs in and around Barnsbury that I once walked through here desperate for a leak and started eyeing up trees longingly, like that same dog before the mind went blank.

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Perplexed In Paddington By Chris Lockie

This post comes from Chris Lockie who writes things for fun and money on his website: http://www.cidlockie.com. It was originally posted there, but he's agreed to share it with all of you.

londonwalk-chrisl-paddington

This is why leaving London is always a terrible idea.

One fine Tuesday lunchtime in February, with the late winter sun stressing the eyeballs and the Arctic wind whistling up the trouser leg, I set off for the Prince Regent, a pub on the Marylebone High Street, to meet a friend for lunch.

I have disembarked the tube at Warren Street, as it's the nearest I can get to my destination without having to change lines, and the weather's pleasant enough to warrant a stroll. Though my inclination is to eschew the main thoroughfares of London in favour of curious back-streets, I'm a little pushed for minutes on this occasion and head off down a busy Euston Road. Or at least I think I'm pushed; I have of course fouled up my timings and accidentally end up at the pub precisely fifteen minutes early, where I duly sit by myself at noon with a pint of some half British, half American ale, looking like the first lonely act in a play that won't end well.

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