Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A few years ago I went to a conference where various topics were being discussed. One topic was London and the moderator was an American who had lived in there for several years. During the session, I mentioned that I'd been to London several times and had seen all the major tourist attractions. I asked if he could recommend something new and exciting for me to do on my next trip? He answered with all the day trips I could take to Oxford, Brighton, etc.

Me: No, no, I mean I want to find some interesting "out of the way" things to do in London.

American who lived in London: What?

So I'm afraid I came away from that session none the wiser about new or different things to do in London. Too bad I hadn't yet discovered 24 Hours London by Marsha Moore. This handy little guide is bursting with interesting, unusual and exciting things to do on your next visit.

The book is arranged in a really interesting way. Since London (like NY, NY) is a city that doesn't sleep, there are numerous things to do at any hour of the day. The book starts at 5:00 am and lists activities which can be done at that time. Each hour of the day has ideas and suggestions for things that are happening at that time. Not all of the activities are time dependent -- some things don't necessarily have to be done at 5:00 am, but others do. Still, if you find yourself at a loose end at 3:00 am one day, it's nice to know there are things that you can be doing so as not to waste valuable tourist time!

Each entry also includes helpful information such as whether it's a family-friendly activity, whether it's an activity centering on food and drink (I've made a note of all those!), or whether it is an activity which has varying hours based on the season. There are also website addresses, contact phone numbers, and nearest tube stops for nearly every activity mentioned.

So, what sort of things could you get up to in London in the wee hours? Well, I'm sure there are plenty of things I'd rather not know about, but the book suggests a visit to Billingsgate fish market, fishing at Clapham Common Pond, a hot air balloon ride over the city, and great places for early morning coffee and/or a full English fry-up!

As if I needed more things to fill my frantic time when in London! This is a wonderful and very handy guide that has already given me loads of ideas about what to do on my next trip. The author, Marsha Moore, blogs and tweets about more things to do when you next find yourself in London. The book is available for $13.95 with free postage worldwide from Prospera Publishers.

Marsha kindly sent me a review copy of the book. I've got shelves full of London guidebooks, but I can honestly say the unique format and content of this one will make it one I turn to again and again!

Final verdict for 24 Hours London: Five Gherkins, for being a new take on guidebooks with many unique suggestions


Expat mum said...

Have to agree. I think it's so unique and even people living in London should buy it and do a few of the things suggested.

Lisanne624 said...

Yes, I'm so anxious to try out some things that aren't mobbed by other tourists! Sounds like there's plenty of those type of activities, I just never knew where to find them before!

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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