TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WHEN YOU ARE OVER FOR LONCON3

23 July 2014

By Sam Eades

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From the 14th to 18th August the great and the good of the science fiction and fantasy community will be heading to London for LonCon3 - five days of panels, parties, auctions, arts shows and more at the ExCeL.  The winners of the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards will be announced at a ceremony on the evening of Thursday 14 August, presented by Mary Robinette Kowal and Rob Shearman. Plus on Sunday 17 August the winners of the  2014 Hugo Awards will be announced in the ICC Auditorium at ExCeL. We asked you to recommend your top tourist attractions for the thousands of SFF fans who are descending on our fair city of London.  Our favourites are below.

 Top Ten Things to Do in London When You Are Over For LonCon3

thames

  1. Speedy’s Café recommended by @DavidBedwell as part of a Sherlock tour. No visit to London is complete without a visit to Speedy’s Café, an independent café and Sherlock’s local, having featured in all three seasons of the Bafta Award winning series.  Speedy’s has seen a boom in business since it became the iconic frontage of 221B Baker Street. It’s actually at 187 North Gower Street, near Euston Station.
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  3. Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK at the British Library recommended by @Nymeth. The largest UK exhibition of comics, which explores the British comics tradition from the 1970s titles including 2000AD, Action and Misty to 19th-century illustrated reports of Jack the Ripper.  Includes works from Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta) and Grant Morrison.  Our @RobCox85 is a fan.
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  5. Orbital Comics recommended by @DanCarpenter85. Orbital Comics is both comic emporium AND gallery, featuring a mix of vintage collectibles, indie comics, memorabilia and exhibitions. They also have a regular podcast called The Orbital Pod which is well worth a listen.
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  7. Cecil Court. Cecil Court is widely believed to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley, and is a regular stop on Harry Potter Tours. A curious mix of bookshops and antique shops, it is also home to our favourite bookshop Goldsboro Books which specialises in signed first editions.  A host of SFF authors will be descending on this tiny street for Fantasy in the Court this August, and you can get tickets to the event here.  Our authors include Peter F Hamilton, Adam Nevill, Paul Cornell, Mark Charan Newton, John Gwynne, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Liz De Jager. Rumours that bookseller  Harry Illingworth is the inspiration behind Cedric Diggory are entirely unfounded.
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  9. Books About Town suggested by @Nymeth and @SusLikesTurtles. This summer London has become a playground for booklovers with 50 book-shaped benches to discover across the capital.  Created by the teams at The National Literary Trust and Wild in Art, there are 50 benches dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character. Our favourite is the Douglas Adams Bench. Can you find them all? 
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  11. Let the Right One In suggested by @penwing. Head to The Apollo Theatre to see the stage adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Swedish horror novel and film Let the Right One In.  It is your classic  heartfelt love story of boy meets girl, except one of them turns out to be a vampire…
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  13. Royal Museums Greenwich suggested by @lizbatty. The Greenwich Museums have an amazing programme of events and exhibitions but we are particularly drawn to Longtitude Punk’D in which steampunk artists have taken over the Royal Observatory, reinterpreting the science and drama of the 18th-century quest to find longitude at sea.
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  15. Orcs Nest suggested by @suearmitage and @CTD. Central London’s only specialist games shop. Board games, pen and paper games, tabletop games, role-play books and novels, miniature figurines, collectible card games and much more!  And when you are done pop to Magma Books. Our @RobCox85 is also a fan of Orcs Nest!
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  17. Forbidden Planet – recommended by EVERYONE (and @suearmitage). The world's largest science fiction, fantasy and cult entertainment store and home to event organiser extraordinaire @Danacea.  Check out their website for a list of forthcoming signings and merchandise.    
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  19. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – not only the title of a Neil Gaiman book but also the name of a real life street in Portsmouth!  Get a train from London Waterloo, visit the street, get your picture taken and have fish and chips on the seafront. Our @SamEades is a fan.

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