What's New in London?
Compiled by Rick Steves and his Researchers
Summer, 2003 — The biggest change for the Rick Steves' London guidebook is the addition of a Victoria and Albert Museum Tour, thanks to Rick's co-author Gene Openshaw.
|Trafalgar Square was heating up this summer in London.|
In the Sights chapter, you'll find new listings for the Saatchi Gallery (which has rotating exhibits of modern art, currently featuring Damien Hirst's appetite-suppressing installation of flies eating a rotting cow's head, then dying on a bug zapper; located at base of London Eye) and the Science Museum (free, kid-perfect place with hands-on fun from moon walks to undersea exploration; next door to Natural History Museum). In the Eating chapter, the Sherlock Holmes Pub sounds fun, with a replica of 221-B Baker Street, the fictional detective's home (a block from Trafalgar Square).
Rick reports fewer lines than usual in London, especially at the London Eye, where you can generally just buy your ticket and walk on (never more than a 30-min wait, worst on weekends and school holidays). You can still book in advance if you'd like (details in Sights chapter).
The new £5 "congestion charge" that drivers need to pay to drive in London has cut down on traffic and made public transportation more fun. In the Orientation chapter, you'll find a sidebar on great bus routes, plus a summary of cruises running from each Thames pier.
Ferries now run between the Tate Modern and Tate Britain art galleries, with a stop at the London Eye en route (£4.50, £10 for family, departs every 40 min from 10:00-17:00, takes 18 min total).
The British Heritage pass, which covers 600+ sights, comes in a new 4-day version (as well as the original 7, 15, and 30 day versions, prices listed in Introduction). The pass is worth considering for an all-Britain trip, but overkill for a London holiday. The famous half-price tickets booth at Leicester Square has changed its name to tkts (and lists what it sells at www.tkts.co.uk. The easyEverything chain is now called easyInternetcafé.
Rick Steves' 2004 guidebook edition to London will be in bookstores mid-December.
For all the details, check out our Best of London Tour in 7 Days!