Author Topic: American Woodworker in London  (Read 2856 times)

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Offline pyleg

  • Posts: 38
American Woodworker in London
« on: July 30, 2015, 11:49 AM »
In a few months, I will be doing my first travel for pleasure...in so long I'm embarrassed to say.  I'm *not* on a tight schedule (I will be there 8 days, net of travel).  I've never been to the UK, but I'll have help in navigating the transit system from a college friend I'm staying with in Dulwich.  I won't be driving. 

While there are things that immediately leapt to mind as "gotta go" (National Gallery for a few days, Tate Modern), I'd definitely be interested in recommendations about places to see, tool shops to visit, cool antique stores or shopping districts, etc.

It doesn't need to be woodworking specific--I'd be fine seeing cool/pretty stuff be it made out of wood, metal, stone, glass, fabric, leather, etc.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2015, 05:54 PM »
The title reminds me of a Warren Zevon song.

There is so much there in general.
Camden markets is worth a visit (shopping area) especially if you have female company especially.
Greenwich if you know what it is.
We stumbled into a photo exhibit which had Capa's work.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 06:38 PM »
The title reminds me of a Warren Zevon song.

Agree - a howl is certainly in order!

Offline dibnah

  • Posts: 28
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 07:35 PM »
Thursday mornings at Old Spitalfields Antique & Vintage Market is worth a look not too far from Dulwich. Dibnah

Offline DB10

  • Posts: 911
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 09:22 PM »
Lucky you visiting the best city in the world, but then I'm a bit bias.
If your staying in Dulwhich, there's A nice walk over to Greenwhich for a mooch about, plenty to see, all the Navy history, then get The DLR (Docklands Light Railway) back into the city via Canary wharf which is Docklands also worth a mooch about.
Jump back on the DLR and get off at Bank where it terminates that's in the city, jump on the Drain, which is the Waterloo underground line, goes one stop to Waterloo, get off there and that will take you to the South bank, there you have the Big millennium wheel, best if you book a slot for that once you get there, this will get you all the views of London on a clear day. And while you are on the south bank there is the Festival hall, Hayward gallery, OXO tower, walk up the south bank, not to far this will take you to Black fryers  for the Tate modern, free and worth a look, hop over the Millennium bridge Better known as the wobbly bridge and you will be at St Paul's cathedral. Good luck and enjoy London.

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 120
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2015, 05:09 AM »
If you head to Greenwich - the Observatory straddles, quite obviously, the Greenwich Meridian and you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere - you can see John Harrison's* sea clocks and the original chronometer 'H4'. 
(* he who solved the 'longitude problem').

Whilst in Dulwich, a local attraction is the rather lovely Dulwich Picture Gallery; a purpose-built museum designed to illuminate the exhibits by natural light. It's our oldest public gallery (about 200 years old) but also has a modern extension which I've yet to visit

If you are vaguely interested in museums, nearby is the quite extraordinary Horniman Museum (recently had a fortune spent on it).

As it's your first visit, are you interested in seeing the major attractions or are you more intrigued by more off-beat or lesser-known things?

I'm just a few miles from Dulwich; don't know quite where I'll be or what I'll be doing when you visit, but do keep us posted on your plans. Are you interested in cars or motorsport?

Offline pyleg

  • Posts: 38
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 07:07 AM »
The title reminds me of a Warren Zevon song.

Agree - a howl is certainly in order!

Both perceptive! Was referencing the semi-related Landis movie title. 

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2672
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2015, 07:26 AM »
Greenwich and visit the Cutty Sark. Check out my Great Grandfather's ships carpenter workshop. Also try and do some guided walks of London, some are themed. Thames boat to Geenwich - DLR back, British and Imperial War Museums, any number of public and commercial art galleries, the London Eye, Tower of London - how much time have you got!   [smile] [big grin] Oh and I suppose there is some shopping to do.  [smile]

http://www.walks.com
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 07:35 AM by Untidy Shop »
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Offline pyleg

  • Posts: 38
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2015, 07:53 AM »

As it's your first visit, are you interested in seeing the major attractions or are you more intrigued by more off-beat or lesser-known things?

I'm just a few miles from Dulwich; don't know quite where I'll be or what I'll be doing when you visit, but do keep us posted on your plans. Are you interested in cars or motorsport?

Thanks for the recs! Greenwich has come up from a few other folks (thank you to them, too!).  I don't have a checklist of sites and am happy to avoid lines and crowds unless something is really worth it.  I admit to being a sucker for museums with cool stuff (cool encompassing a broad range of things).  Some of the places on this list fascinate me:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9312875/Londons-most-unusual-museums-50-of-the-best-part-one.html 

Not a US motorsports guy and not very familiar with others (I did enjoy Ron Howard's Rush about F1 in the 70s).  Love old cars.  Also not sure what sports are going on in October when I'm visiting. 

Yeah...I know I'm planning early for an October trip.  What can I say?  I'm excited to be going someplace other than the US eastern seaboard  [big grin] 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 07:56 AM by pyleg »

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2015, 08:46 AM »
...
Are you interested in cars or motorsport?
...
Not a US motorsports guy and not very familiar with others (I did enjoy Ron Howard's Rush about F1 in the 70s).  Love old cars.
...

Is Goodwood over?
Brands in nearby.
Both of those are in the style of what is depicted in the "Senna" and "Rush" movies much more than "Taladega Nights".

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 120
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 09:41 AM »
Goodwood Revival is early September (that's the meeting which 'recreates' the atmosphere of '50s/'60s racing); I think the Saturday & Sunday tickets sold out a while back, despite being very expensive.
To be honest, there's plenty to see near London without devoting a possibly hit-and-miss day, weatherise, to such an excursion unless of particular personal interest.
Brands is nearby and still looks quite 'rural' and 'old school' (hate that expression, but it does the job here!) but even I, as a longtime enthusiast, have to admit that racing can sometimes be pretty tedious for the casual spectator.

My thinking was more prosaic: I hope I might have my Caterham Seven back on the road by then, so a breezy blast through our countryside could be a possibility.

There are some museums on that Telegraph list I'm not familar with: I'll have a good look through that. Quite a few of our larger ones such as the British Museum and The National Gallery (fabulous) and the Tate are free, apart from special exhibitions.

If I think of other suggestions I'll start making a list!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 10:01 AM by Euclid »

Offline Holmz

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Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 09:54 AM »
K18 powered?

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 120
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 10:04 AM »
No, mine has a fairly traditional Ford 'Crossflow', 1800cc. My 'engine upgrade' fund was swallowed up in major rebuild of the rest of the car, which is now almost entirely new - despite being "25 years old"...

Offline CrazyLarry

  • Posts: 276
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 01:33 PM »
+1 for the Hornimann very diverse collection big on palentology you could spend a day just looking at the evolution of the Horse for example, but also a big section on the evolution of instruments esp wind ones. A lot on slavery (which is a local recurring theme if you visit the National Maritime at Greenwich) Another plus is that the Hornimann doesn't have an excess of interactive cr*p, there is some of the modern stuff for those who cant concentrate past reading 3 consecutive words but it's not the only option.

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/

NMM at Greenwich but also visit Queen's House in the grounds, few people do and it's on a par with the Banqueting House opposite horseguards. Lots to see in the NMM don't know what's on right now but saw an Ansel Adams exhibition there that was packed all day everyday so it's not just ships etc. Speaking of which though some of the best exhibits are tucked away upstairs dozens of shipbuilders models across 300 years beautifully made with exquisite craftsmanship oh and a relocated chapel.
http://www.rmg.co.uk/

Walk through the old Naval hospital grounds downriver and there's a couple of good pubs on the waterfront that serve food and are less populated by the tourists. In the other direction you can take the lift down to foot tunnel under the thames (assuming they've finished the perpetual renovations) a tiny little tunnel that at the time was 'impossible'!

There's Sir John Soane's Museum too near Holborn, wide collection of period stuff as well as antiquities that influenced georgian / victorian architecture and interiors. Look for the rehung and immaculately patched / spliced doors ... you do have to book and there's always a queue oh and travel light well that goes for most museums unless you want to cause a security alert / spend the day chatting with a policeman!

http://www.soane.org/

I'd avoid Natural History and Science museums unless you go on one of the late evenings they do otherwise you can't move for off-leash children!

V&A is not quite so bad I guess a georgian room with no video / audio interface just doesn't appeal to them ... phew!

Not sure they'll let you stay several days at the National Gallery but the Hogarths are good, and don't miss the lesser impressionists in the room with Seurat. Execution of Maximillian too which leads you to the Courtauld institute on the strand. Again not so often visited but some really fine / famous works.
http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/collections/index.shtml

Finally
http://www.timeout.com/london/attractions/museum-lates-late-night-museum-events-in-london

Is usually worth a snoop :)

My 2p!

Offline pyleg

  • Posts: 38
Re: American Woodworker in London
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 11:09 AM »
Thank you for all the suggestions.  I had a great time.  I got to the Greenwich observatory and did see John Harrison's clocks and the rest--it was awesome.  I also got to the Maritime Museum (highly recommended) and Cutty-Sark while in Greenwich. 

My favorite place was the Victoria & Albert Museum.  They call it a museum of decoration and design, but I looked at it as a museum of craftsmanship.  I spent two days. 

I checked off the British Museum, Tate Britain, and Tate Modern, only the last of which was a bit disappointing. 

Other than that, I spent a lot of time walking around Central London--I looked at the big tourist stuff from the outside, not wanting to deal with the lines and fees. 

Getting around was mostly okay, even though I did get on the wrong bus once and the wrong train a time or four.  But the people were helpful and quite kind.  I even met a few people who heard an American accent and wanted to know where I was from and relate their opinions/experiences (mostly nice).