New to London?

Welcome to Thamesreach!

Thamesreach (London) is often a holiday destination/thoroughfare for Society members, and we would love to meet you.

We gained full status in January 1999, and currently have about 40 active members. Our resources are modest, but we hope we can make you feel welcome in this part of the Known World.

The main interests in the Shire are Making Stuff ™ – cooking & brewing, embroidery & clothing, illumination & calligraphy – and Doing Stuff Together – armoured combat, fencing, occasional archery, dancing and singing.

We have weekly fight practice, weekly singing practice, regular craft afternoons, and mostly-monthly local revels. We host 1 or 2 events a year, and regularly attend revels and events in the neighbouring shires in southern and eastern England and in Wales.

These pages give you some pointers about places to see, things to avoid, etc.

If you have any other enquiries, please contact our Seneschal or Castellan and we will be happy to help you.

 

Accommodation

Crash space

We are a small group, so crash space is limited. Most of us who live in London are in small flats (apartments); great locations, but short on spare bedrooms!

You’re welcome to get in touch in advance, and ask if anyone can put you up – we’ll make quite an effort, but we make no promises. At the very least, drop us a line, and we’ll try and help. It never hurts to ask!

Join the Thamesreach Mailing list or contact our Castellan.

B&Bs

Sorry, but we don’t have any personal recommendations at the moment, but you can try these sites:

“This is London” Hotel Finder

London Bed & Breakfasts Directory

UK Youth Hostel Association

If you have been a visitor to Thamesreach, we’d love to hear your recommendations.

Crime

We know this makes us sound like your parents, but… keep your possessions safely with you at all times; not just to keep them from being stolen, but to keep them for being mistaken for a bomb.

Never, ever leave your handbag open or put your wallet in an unsecured coat or back pocket. Pickpockets are a problem in busy Tube stations and the popular city areas such as Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Oxford Circus, etc.

Museums are also good grazing grounds for thieves, especially in the cafés. Please be aware of this! We would hate you to have your holiday ruined by a missing wallet or camera.

You will see many warnings in airports, train and Tube stations, and in public centres about leaving your bag untended.

Please take them seriously. The police and security staff will treat your unclaimed bag as a potential bomb threat.

999 is the British emergency number for the Police, Fire and Ambulance services.

Weather

England is temperate and changeable, with warm spells in summer. July and August occasionally see humid temperatures of 26 – 30oC (79 – 86oF). It is often overcast and grey in the southeast, but the sunny days are truly glorious.

Winters are mild – it doesn’t often drop below 0oC (32oF) in London – but the ‘English damp’ cold is quite penetrating.

The best way to cope with English weather is to bring layers. Cardigans are a lot more useful than jumpers or sweaters as they are easier to remove and can be opened. Bringing (or buying here) a small collapsible umbrella is also a good idea.

Sherlock Holmes-era ‘London fog’ is thankfully a thing of the past; it was actually smog, created by soot from coal-burning fires in humid conditions, and has disappeared.

We honestly can’t tell you what the weather will be like during your stay, because we don’t know ourselves!

Here’s the offical Met office site, so you can check for yourself.
Temperature Conversion (approx.)

Farenheit 32 41 59 68 86 104
Centigrade 0 5 15 20 30 40

Useful Stuff

Emergency – 999

Directory Inquiries – 192

London Transport Enquires – 020 7222 1234

National Rail Enquiries – 08 45 48 49 50

Distances to other towns from London (miles)

Aberdeen Birmingham Bristol Cardiff Derby Dover Edinburgh Glasgow Inverness
492 111 114 150 123 74 372 389 529
Leeds Liverpool Manchester Norwich Nottingham Oxford Portsmouth Southampton York
191 198 184 112 123 56 71 77 194

Useful Visitors’ Links

These are all offsite links.

Time Out – London’s comprehensive listings magazine. Theatre, cinema, music, eating out and events in the London area.

This Is London – guide to London produced by the Evening Standard newspaper.

The British Monarchy Official Website – just what it says. Info on the royal family, palaces and exhibitions.

London Tourist Board – the official tourist guide to London.