Although the finances and timeline seem to favor the purchase of Mark Hunt’s property, but at what cost? We need to examine what this investment means to the
What shouldn’t I do in London?
Many of the answers here have revolved around etiquette and while that’s helpful, it does make Londoners sound slightly psychotic.
Instead, here are some practical things you shouldn’t do in London.
Visit Madame Tussaud’s
I know, heresy, right?
But it’s one of the most overrated tourist attractions you could possibly go to.
First, here’s how you get in.
Britons love a queue. But the one thing we love more than a queue is making other people queue up. Getting into Tussauds is like a training camp for being British.
You will spend hours standing around outside. The other salient point to remember about London is you can experience four separate seasons in as many minutes, so you could run the whole gamut from being soaked through by the rain, to overheating in the sun, to shivering in an icy wind.
And what do you get for this sacrifice?
You get to awkwardly pose next to a creepy wax figurine! All for just £35! And remember that long queue you were in beforehand? Guess what! Now they’re all queueing up with their selfie sticks to take their perfect Instagram shot of themselves with their passing fad celebrity of their choice – the exact same celebrity YOU want you to take a picture of with your selfie stick. So now you have to wait for that too.
Don’t go to Madame Tussauds.
Alternative: Hover around any celebrity haunt in London and burn £5 notes to keep warm while waiting for an unsuspecting famous person to emerge for an unsolicited selfie. Has all the awkwardness and hanging around but will be marginally cheaper.
Visit Oxford Street
Heresy again, right?
After all, it’s London’s famous shopping destination!
For the Americans reading this – Oxford Street is like a mall, but with fewer senior citizens going for a jog, 20 million more people actually visiting, no parking, higher prices and no climate control.
Literally everything for sale on Oxford Street can be bought online for cheaper – or at the very least, somewhere else in London with far fewer people getting in the way. Definitely don’t go into Primark, it’s like wandering into a conceptual art exhibit illustrating the inside of someone having a nervous breakdown. Also don’t go into the Apple Store because it’s EXACTLY like every other Apple Store you’ve ever been in and let’s face it, you’re not going to be buying any luxury technology at British prices even with the current Euro and Dollar exchange rates.
Don’t go to Oxford Street.
Alternative: Go on a busy bouncy castle and use the Amazon app…or more positively, see if any of the stores you might actually be interested in have other branches elsewhere in London.
Visit the Natural History Museum during the school holidays
Children love dinosaurs. Parents want to feel that their kids are doing something educational on holiday. This is a combination for disaster.
The Natural History Museum is genuinely the best museum in the world bar none, and frankly I would live in it if I could. But unfortunately, it is insanely popular.
Don’t visit the Natural History Museum during the school holidays
Alternative: Plan your visit to be on a weekday that isn’t during British school holidays. But DO visit, and during the busier times, look at some of the other excellent museums London has to offer. Theis an often overlooked secret gem.
Visit M&M World
So you’ve flown for several hours in a metal tube filled with other people’s flatulence to get to one of the world’s most exciting, interesting, innovative, historic and creative cities.
Why on earth would you then choose to go to M&M World?
You’d think that the concept of a peanut or nodule of vomit flavour American chocolate in a colourful shell would stretch to, well, about one pocket sized packet of sweets., wouldn’t you?
You sure as s**t wouldn’t expect it to stretch out to FOUR F***ING FLOORS of prime real estate in the world’s greatest city.
There is not a single person on earth who thinks “hey, I need at least five different items of merchandise themed around one type of confectionery.” Frankly I’d be surprised if there are that many people who really even need one item beyond the packet of confectionery itself. If you’re the sort of person who genuinely wants a pair of M&M-themed pajamas, an M&M-themed keyring, a cuddly M&M thingy and a candle that smells like M&Ms, don’t come to Britain because you will almost certainly be the sort of person who can’t go for five minutes without losing your passport and giving your wallet to someone claiming to be a Nigerian prince who’s fallen on hard times.
There is literally no reason for this place to exist, and even less of reason for it to exist in Britain where we’ve been doing sugar coated chocolate far better for longer.
Don’t go to M&M World
Alternative: Absolutely anything else you can think of. Even visit Madame Tussauds.
Ride the Emirates Air Line cable car
Traditionally, a cable car is something that you go on to either get a bird’s eye view of some scenery or travel between two places that are difficult to get to by any other means.
The Emirates Air Line cable car does none of these things and expects you to pay through the nose for the privilege.
On paper, the Air Line allows you to travel from the O2 in North Greenwich to Royal Victoria, bypassing an entire one station where you change from the Jubilee to the DLR. Except it doesn’t. The interchange at Canning Town is served by trains at very regular and quick intervals. Emirates Greenwich Peninsula, however, is nowhere near North Greenwich tube station which means that by the time you’ve walked over to the stop it would have been quicker to just go to Canning Town and wait for a DLR.
Making things worse is that unless you have the misfortune of living there, there is no reason on God’s green earth why you would even want to get off at Royal Victoria anyway. Look at it!
There aren’t many places in London where you can be near absolutely nothing of interest whatsoever but Royal Victoria is one of them. There’s a reason why post-apocalyptic everyone’s-died-and-civilisation-has-collapsed movie 28 Weeks Later was set mostly in Docklands.
So bearing in mind that the Air Line doesn’t take you anywhere you want to go, and takes you there very slowly, perhaps the view’s stunning?
It’s Docklands. It is, as I say, where civilisation collapses and stops. Generally in London you’re never more than sneezing distance away from some beautiful park, an ancient building, an artistic endeavour – in short, something worth seeing from a cable car – but some genius thought that the one bit of London which doesn’t have any of these things was where they should build the Emirates Air Line.
And best of all, you have to pay for this white elephant. You can’t even use your Oyster card on the reader, you have to buy a separate ticket and then Emirates have the cheek to suggest you want to pay them another fiver to go into a corporate propaganda indoctrination centre AKA the Emirates Aviation Experience.
Don’t ride the Emirate Air Line cable car.
Alternative: If you really want to try some ‘off-grid’ travel with some nice views which you can pay for with your Oyster card, get the Thames Clipper and go up and down the river – either to Woolwich if you’re after post-apocalyptic squalor, or to Putney in the evening to see the spectacular Albert Bridge all lit up. Plus, they sell booze onboard.