Friday, July 13, 2012

Top Places to Visit in London, with Silas Stafford of the U.S. Men's Pair

Oysters at Borough Market (Photo: B. Kitch)
Silas Stafford, who recently punched his ticket to London in the men's pair at Olympic Trials along with partner Tom Peszek, knows a bit more about 'Blighty' than your average American. From 2008-2009, Stafford attended The University of Cambridge, and stroked the CUBC Blue Boat in the 2009 Boat Race. While most of his time in the United Kingdom was taking up with rowing and studying in Cambridge, Stafford came to know London as well, and will be looking forward to visiting old haunts following the racing on Dorney Lake. Here are Stafford's top picks for places to visit in London, in no particular order:

1. Historical Pubs
The George Inn in Southwark [near to Borough Market–see below], and The Blackfriar [in, where else, Blackfriars] come to mind as my favorites.

2. Westminster Abbey
Lots of famous people buried here. Go for evensong service for free admission and beautiful English choral music.

3. Tate Modern
Very cool architecture, (sometimes) cool art. Very different from other museums. [RR aside: There is an outstanding view of London to be had from the museum restaurant, overlooking the Millenium Bridge and St. Paul's.] 

4. Tower of London
Can be a tourist trap, but it is undoubtedly the best castle to visit, and it covers all the medieval bases–moats, torture chambers, swords, jewels, portcullises, and loads of history. [RR aside: Also, it's just across from the iconic Tower Bridge, which boasts a set of Olympic Rings for the Games right now.] 

5. Borough Market
I'm a great appreciator of food, and this is the best farmers market I've ever seen.

6. Regents Park
I love parks (London is filled with them), and this is my favorite.

Thanks very much to Silas! Check out the links above for more information on each of the places mentioned. Coming up next week, we've also asked Pete Reed of the GB men's four about his picks for top places to visit in London. 

-RR

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