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@surf-n-scoot avatar
UTC

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Vespa GTS300
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@surf-n-scoot avatar
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Location: Huntington beach, CA
UTC quote
This for anyone in and around London, or anyone who's been there. I will be going there in August and while I've found a place to rent (Hire?) a Vespa, I need to know if it's advisable to ride one over there.
I'd be using it to go to Stonehenge, Canterbury, and York (not all on the same day!) and am curious about the laws and safety - specifically riding on the freeway (Motorway?). Not looking to 'cruise around' central London, that's what taxis are for! I would like to get out and see more of England than just London.
I live in So. Cal and have taken my Vespa to San Diego and Santa Barbara on the freeway so experience is not an issue.
Let me know if you can help.
@lx125man avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Vespa LX 125
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Molto Verboso
@lx125man avatar
Vespa LX 125
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UTC quote
Getbike in London (Northfields) were pretty good when I hired a vespa 😉
@froggieposition avatar
UTC

Thunder Thief
2010 GTS 300 Super & 2015 Kawasaki Concours 1400 ABS
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Location: in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia... on the trail of the lonesome pine..."
 
Thunder Thief
@froggieposition avatar
2010 GTS 300 Super & 2015 Kawasaki Concours 1400 ABS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2360
Location: in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia... on the trail of the lonesome pine..."
UTC quote
Re: Traveling to London, Aug 11 - 18th
Surf-N-Scoot wrote:
This for anyone in and around London, or anyone who's been there. I will be going there in August and while I've found a place to rent (Hire?) a Vespa, I need to know if it's advisable to ride one over there.
I'd be using it to go to Stonehenge, Canterbury, and York (not all on the same day!) and am curious about the laws and safety - specifically riding on the freeway (Motorway?). Not looking to 'cruise around' central London, that's what taxis are for! I would like to get out and see more of England than just London.
I live in So. Cal and have taken my Vespa to San Diego and Santa Barbara on the freeway so experience is not an issue.
Let me know if you can help.
For around London, get an Oyster card and use the tube. Taxis can get super expensive. Use the paddington express out of Heathrow too if you are staying in London. The train system is great around England. I have not hired a scoot there... Not yet...
@jrstone avatar
UTC

Hooked
2010 Vespa GTS 300 Super
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UTC quote
Yeah, don't waste your money on cabs in London. Public transportation is top notch and you can just walk a lot of the time. Oyster Card is a must.

As far as hiring a Vespa to get out of London, that sounds like a lot of fun and when I go back, I will probably do the same. I did over 800 miles by car and would love to revisit a lot of the same places on a bike. For whatever reason 200 miles is a lot longer journey in the UK than it is in the US (at least my part of the US since almost every road is as straight as it can be).

Top tip... READ UP on traffic laws. Although it's not a lot different from the U.S., you will see some unfamiliar road signs. Watch videos on how to properly use a roundabout (you will see many of them, even on motorways). It will save you a lot of headaches and the locals will thank you for it. I did my homework before I went and it was well worth it.

Edit: Here is some reading material you may find helpful. https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code
@terryvanman avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
where are you staying in London?
@matt6974 avatar
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UTC quote
Whilst riding a scoot around the south east is loads of fun, I find it can also be a bit tiring on long journeys. Canterbury, York etc are fairly far away from London but incredibly easy (and relatively cheap) by train. Cambridge & Oxford are very nice too btw.

Oyster card & underground definitely the way to go for getting around the big smoke
UTC

Member
Vespa GTS 250 w/ Texas Via, Stella w/Cozy Sidecar (sold)
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Location: Lawrence, Kansas
 
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Vespa GTS 250 w/ Texas Via, Stella w/Cozy Sidecar (sold)
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UTC quote
Be Weary
Ditto on the Oyster Card and Public Transportation!!

I have driven in Enland, Ireland and Scotland. Driving on the wrongside (I say this in a good way) was okay for me on the road. Traffic Circles took a little more attention!! But for me it was entering and exiting parking lots, shopping areas, etc. All of the places where a gazillion years of driving experience had trained me to enter and exit from a certain side. Reflex/muscle memory on the steering wheel usually had me going the wrong way!!! All of this is just to say BE EXTRA CAREFUL ON A SCOOTER!!!! It is the pulling in and out of places that are not marked clearly that usually got the better of me.

God, I sound like such a Wuss!!!!
@bill_dog avatar
UTC

eeeee bip
BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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eeeee bip
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clatter
We drive on the right side it's you who drive on the wrong side.

Bill x
@jimc avatar
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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@jimc avatar
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UTC quote
Don't bother with Stonehenge - ride by it by all means but don't pay to get any closer, as you can't enter the circle.

Go to Avebury instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury
You can stay at a B&B right inside the stone circle.
@cdwise avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300, Buddy 125
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
@cdwise avatar
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Don't bother with Stonehenge - ride by it by all means but don't pay to get any closer, as you can't enter the circle.

Go to Avebury instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury
You can stay at a B&B right inside the stone circle.
You can after hours if you take one of the tours, did that the first time I went. Went back only because we had the kids with us and it was one of those must see for reporting on when they returned to school.

Next time I go to the UK if I have the time/opportunity to get out of London I plan on renting a scoot. I suspect I'll do better on it than the last time I drove in the UK - parallel parking with the steering wheel, etc. opposite what I'm used to was insanely difficult.
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Don't bother with Stonehenge - ride by it by all means but don't pay to get any closer, as you can't enter the circle.

Go to Avebury instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury
You can stay at a B&B right inside the stone circle.
This is exactly what we did. Avebury was fantastic!
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
Honda NC700D Integra
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UTC quote
Anything over 50cc is legal on motorways; mopeds are not.

Motorways aren't fun, though! Canterbury is a nice trip on country roads; here's a map of a James Bond-themed ride I ran in that area last year:

http://goo.gl/maps/V1kj0

Other nice places you can reach easily by scoot without hitting the motorway are Brighton (Mods & Rockers!) and the rest of the Sussex coast; Oxford; Cambridge; the New Forest.
@rogscoot avatar
UTC

Hooked
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Don't bother with Stonehenge - ride by it by all means but don't pay to get any closer, as you can't enter the circle.

Go to Avebury instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury
You can stay at a B&B right inside the stone circle.
I live near Avebury, absolutely love it, there's Silbury hill and West Kennett Long barrow to look at too, and the Ridgeway (very old drove road) is very close by, the whole area is littered with Neolithic and Bronze age monuments.
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UTC quote
Our underground network is good... when they're not striking! Just stick to travelling outside rush hour is possible as it's jam packed and boiling hot at peak times and you'll find your face embedded in some strangers armpit Bleh emoticon

I wouldn't bother with Stonehenge... it's pricey and their little museum hasn't had the best reviews as of late.


York is wonderful! There National Railway Museum is well worth a visit!
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UTC quote
matt6974 wrote:
Cambridge & Oxford are very nice too btw.
And whilst in Cambridge the IWM Duxford is a must see!
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UTC

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@pepy27 avatar
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UTC quote
And the WWII US Cemetary at Madingley
OP
@surf-n-scoot avatar
UTC

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Vespa GTS300
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UTC quote
More Info - So you know
1. The choir from my church has been invited to sing at St. Paul's Cathedral from 8/11 to 8/17 so I'm going to see them a couple of times and also take in the sights.
2. I am staying at the Crowne Plaza hotel that is kinda near St. Paul's.
3. I'll also need to get a tattoo while (whilst) I am there - any suggestions for a good shop?
4. York is TOO FAR to scoot but I routinely do 100 - 150 miles in a day no problem and can push it further for something good.
5. A night ride for food??? COUNT ME IN!
6. If any of you like a REALLY GOOD Choir - come down and hear them sing!!!
@paralla avatar
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Hooked
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UTC quote
I'd advise renting a 250 or 300cc scoot if you intend to take it out of London. I know loads of people ride 125's on motorways (they will chime in below) but you really will be better off on a larger scooter.
@roadster avatar
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Molto Verboso
Kymco AK550
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Molto Verboso
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Kymco AK550
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UTC quote
Riding on the left hand side will seem tricky in certain situations such as right turns and roundabouts. One thing I messed up when I had to drive in Detroit for the first time was the rule about being able to turn right at traffic lights against the lights. NB we have no such rule in the UK for left hand turns but look out for filter lights which have a clear green arrow pointing left when other lanes are still on red.

If you are into computer games then try a driving simulation set for the UK. "Euro truck" is a lot of fun and really does get you used to road layouts. However most of its motorway junctions are simplified.
@froggieposition avatar
UTC

Thunder Thief
2010 GTS 300 Super & 2015 Kawasaki Concours 1400 ABS
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Location: in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia... on the trail of the lonesome pine..."
 
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Location: in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia... on the trail of the lonesome pine..."
UTC quote
Aviator47 wrote:
matt6974 wrote:
Cambridge & Oxford are very nice too btw.
And whilst in Cambridge the IWM Duxford is a must see!
+1 for Cambridge. See the Corpus Clock. Watch a video on it too that explains it. I love the thing. Fascinates the shit out of me.
@multiscootguy avatar
UTC

Hooked
'07 BV 500 '10 Keeway Outlook 150 '07 Keeway Matrix 50 '95 Suzuki Savage 650
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@multiscootguy avatar
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UTC quote
When I visited England, I left London and traveled to Bath by coach (bus). Bath was fabulous, one of the best cities I visited in a 4 month independent trip through western Europe. The preservation of the Roman Baths is truly amazing. Romans really knew how to exploit a hot water spring to its fullest. The city is beautiful. The river is beautiful. The architecture is Jane Austin romantic. The city centre is compact and easily walkable. I wish I had a scooter when I was there, but alas I was either pedestrian or relying on coach, airport shuttle, train, or taxi (once). You should take a black taxi at least once to know what you're missing when you ride any other kind in the world.

Bath was also one of the most affordable places I visited for one main reason: the Bath YMCA hostel. It has single private rooms (shared bath) at great prices, currently £32 Sun-Thu, and £36 on weekends, including breakfast. It's located right in the heart of the city.

My biggest regret is that I didn't have enough time to see all the attractions nearby. I did see the Museum of Costume, which was well worth visiting. I also took a tour to see the Georgian architecture and locations referenced by Jane Austin. The indoor marketplace was perfect for a student on a budget to eat and get food for survival, as expensive restaurants weren't in the cards. I sampled a pasty and porkpie for the first time. Mmmm. Tasty cheese too, in a city that looked like Wallace and Gromit could be neighbors. (I just found out that the forum software changes the word p-i-e to cupcake, turning porkpie into pork cupcake when typed as two words. I did not try a pork cupcake, although I've read that maple bacon cupcakes are tasty too.)

Leaving Bath (or should I say getting out of it), I took a coach to through the Cotswolds to Moreton-in-Marsh, staying at the Swan Inn (£60 single) to connect to the train station nearby. I took the train to Oxford. I know that I would have experience a lot more by scooter or motorbike, since walking all over the place wasn't so appealing. You usually have to walk back to where you started.

Since Avebury is in the same vicinity, I couldn't think of a better place to go than Bath and the Cotwolds, because that's where I would love to scoot.
@bjorn_toulouse avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
px 200, lxv 125
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Posts: 1164
Location: Glasgow
 
Molto Verboso
@bjorn_toulouse avatar
px 200, lxv 125
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Posts: 1164
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UTC quote
quick tips

traffic lights mean what they say.

red = stop
amber = stop
red + amber = stop (but get ready to go)
green = go

roundabouts - give way to the person on the roundabout

there are NO 3way/4way/5way stops.

If you aproach a junction with no markings its kinda like a 3/4/5 way stop except its a give way for every one. No real rule.

zebera crossings = give way to predestrian
other crossings marked with traffic lights -

red = stop
red amber = stop
flashing amber = go if no one on or about to step on to crossing
green = go

always remember your life savers (even over your left shoulder...bloody bikes)

I ride my wifes 125 - no fun on the motorway - get a bigger scoot

Have fun!!

ps
go to urban rider for scoot gear
visit camden market
also highgate cemetery is worth a visit.
@seldomdaisy avatar
UTC

Hooked
(Vesuvius) LX 125 3V in Volcano Black
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@seldomdaisy avatar
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UTC quote
Unspoken Rule
On escalators in London; stand to the right! so that other who wish to walk up can get past. Otherwise you'll get a loud "excuse me" in your ear.

Have a read of this to get yourself well versed in our London ways

http://thelondoncreature.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/observation-2-the-unspoken-rules-of-london-walking-a-guide-for-foreigners/
@terryvanman avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Honda SH 300
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Molto Verboso
@terryvanman avatar
Honda SH 300
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UTC quote
Hi

Your hotel is right next to Blackfriars bridge just east of the main attractions {big ben westminster etc} and just west of the city {financial district, bank of england etc} friends of mine stayed there many time and was perfect for what you want to do.
One thing you might want to do to get over the Jet lag. is walk over Blackfriars Bridge [just to the right of your hotel] and turn left when you get to the other side of the river. as you walk along [about 200 yards] you will come to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. when you've done that, turn around and head back along the river [on your right] you will come to the "South Bank" London Eye, [worth taking a ride on] I wouldn't bother with the Aquarium.
Go over Westminster Bridge and look at Big Ben, parliament Square, Westminster Abbey and the rest of the crap. then head down Whitehall [second on the right after going over westminster bridge] towards Trafalgar Square, on the way you can look along Downing street on the left. when you have finished laughing at the terrace house our leader lives in., keep going and you will pass Horse Guards Parade [where the tin soldiers sit on Horses ] see if you can make them laugh.
You will eventually arrive at Trafalgar square...look up and see our great sea captain covered in bird shit. You will see he is looking down The Mall [no not a shopping Mall] the road that leads to Buck House. he is looking down the Mall because every lamppost has a model of a sailing galleon on top. He is surveying his fleet.
You can of course give up your walkabout at this point and head back for some R and R or you can walk along the Stand and turn left into Covent Garden and vegetate with coffee and get some energy back.
Just head back down any street to get to the river [ask anyone] and turn left when you get there your hotel will be on your left. a near perfect circle and doable
I live 15 minutes away from the centre of town so if you have a problem give me a shout and I'll turn on the blue's and two's and come rescue you.

Or you could just find the nearest pub to your hotel and get to know the locals and get pissed as a fart.
@jrstone avatar
UTC

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UTC quote
Re: Unspoken Rule
SeldomDaisy wrote:
Otherwise you'll get a loud "excuse me" in your ear.

And from what I understand, "excuse me" is a nicer way of saying "get out of the way a***hole." Note quite the same as how we use it in America.
@seldomdaisy avatar
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@seldomdaisy avatar
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UTC quote
Re: Unspoken Rule
jrstone wrote:
SeldomDaisy wrote:
Otherwise you'll get a loud "excuse me" in your ear.

And from what I understand, "excuse me" is a nicer way of saying "get out of the way a***hole." Note quite the same as how we use it in America.
Not when a British person says it We use politeness to express our anger
@dooglas avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
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Location: Oregon City, OR
 
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@dooglas avatar
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
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UTC quote
Bill Dog wrote:
We drive on the right side it's you who drive on the wrong side.
Actually, you drive on the left side - just saying.
@paralla avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa GTS 250ie
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Location: London
 
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@paralla avatar
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Posts: 391
Location: London
UTC quote
Re: Unspoken Rule
SeldomDaisy wrote:
On escalators in London; stand to the right! so that other who wish to walk up can get past. Otherwise you'll get a loud "excuse me" in your ear.
Or a punch in the face. You REALLY need to stand on the right.
@fleece avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
1991 Vespa T5 Pole Position, 2008 Vespa S 125, 2023 Piaggio MP3 300HPE Sport
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Posts: 4171
Location: Staffordshire England
 
Ossessionato
@fleece avatar
1991 Vespa T5 Pole Position, 2008 Vespa S 125, 2023 Piaggio MP3 300HPE Sport
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UTC quote
Wow, a new slogan for the London Tourist Board
@wonder_machine avatar
UTC

Size of a Chaffinch
PX 125 "The Bruise" (SOLD)
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UTC quote
Have a lovely time.

Do avoid Leicester Square as its a terrible dive.

Don't eat in an Aberdeen Angus Steakhouse.

Ignore fools in pedicabs unless you have millions of dollars.

Do walk and get lost in London. The best bits are always hidden away. A bit like people.

Go punting in Cambridge down the Cam river and have a pint in the Anchor. Lovely on summers day and a good way to see some of the colleges.
UTC

Ossessionato
X10 350
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Location: London
 
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X10 350
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Posts: 2959
Location: London
UTC quote
If you're staying near Blackfriars, find half an hour to go and sit in the back room of The Blackfriar pub (you can't miss it). It's awesome.
@paralla avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa GTS 250ie
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Location: London
 
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@paralla avatar
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Location: London
UTC quote
Cafe at the top of the Tate Modern is great, free entry and amazing views across the river to St Pauls Cathedral's dome.
@seldomdaisy avatar
UTC

Hooked
(Vesuvius) LX 125 3V in Volcano Black
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Location: Essex, England
 
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@seldomdaisy avatar
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UTC quote
Chinatown! It's always worth a visit even if you're just passing through. A short walk from Leicester Square station, avoid TGI Friday's as well as the Steak House in Leicester Square...
@terryvanman avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Honda SH 300
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Posts: 1146
Location: MALTA
 
Molto Verboso
@terryvanman avatar
Honda SH 300
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Posts: 1146
Location: MALTA
UTC quote
ACE CAFE is worth a trip just to say you've been there.
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Posts: 43731
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
If you visit Hampton Court, take a walk through Bushy Park and visit my local, the Roebuck. Tell them I sent you.
http://www.roebuck-hamptonhill.co.uk/

They've got Sam Adams on tap if you miss American ale.
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