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Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

Arlington, Virginia
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Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

help! I'm trying to take my husband to London and hopefully go over to Paris for a couple nights in May...he has never been to Europe and doesn't really like art, museums, parks, etc...I have been both places and obviously LOVE each city so much. I want him to love Europe as well but am concerned he won’t share the same affinity for it as I do and won’t like the trip. Any suggestions to do things that he would enjoy as well? (he’s obsessed with sports, pubs/drinking, but likes history too…aka very American-like). Thanks for your help!

Hitchin, United...
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1. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

Doesn't like museums, but likes history? Odd! What sort of history would he like in your opinion?

Plenty of sports things to do in London, just not necessarily the sports he's used to... there's football (not the kind he's thinking of, the proper kind), tennis, rugby, cricket, and tours of all of the above including some of the world's most famous and atmospheric stadiums.

Pubs could pretty much keep him busy all week and more. Put him on a pub tour with London walks and then he can go back to his favourites. Or direct him to the websites below and he can design his own pub crawl:



London, United...
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2. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

Is he good at trying something new? I'm not sure how anyone with an interest in history could fail to enjoy the Museum of London which is very well put together and a manageable size. How about the Tower of London? Does he like theatre, boat trips? Westminster Abbey or St Paul's cathedral?

I think sometimes people have been dragged along to museums and galleries as children and develop an aversion which can be overcome in later life if they go to the right places.

Good luck.

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

Why not get tickets for a BIG Rugby match at Twickenham in May, and enjoy a beer by the river Thames afterwards?

Bucks, UK
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4. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

I think you need to sit down with him and agree a compromise itinerary where you get to do some of the things you like and he gets to do some of the thing he likes. If he's a typical American, the "sports" he likes will not have much of a following in the rest of the world, but if you're here on the 5 May there will be one last home Premier League football (soccer) match for both Fulham and QPR, so you could try getting tickets for one of those. Alternatively he may enjoy the Imperial War Museum (all guys like weapons) and HMS Belfast. You could also try the Churchill War Rooms, and the Tower of London usually has enough to interest most people. Get tickets for a play or show - see Time Out (online) for what shows he might like. If he's a real PITA, drop him in Ye Olde Mitre pub in Hatton Garden whilst you go shopping there with his credit card.

p.s. forgot to mention you could do one of these


Edited: 13 January 2012, 15:35
Bath, United Kingdom
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5. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

"Doesn't like museums, but likes history? Odd!"

Not really.

I have a relative who loves military history but is not interested in museums at all as his particular bent leads him to explore and visit battlefields. He has been the world over looking at all sorts of places but you will struggle to get him into a museum.

Takes all sorts.

U.S. expats
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6. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

Try the Imperial War Museum, which is wonderful and free. You could also do a day trip to Dover Castle and do a tour of the War Tunnels. As above, he should enjoy the Tower of London, as the Yeoman Warders have a very engaging, funny, historical tour.

You might also look into London Walks, which has walks for all subjects. My husband recently did one called "Westminster at War" which ends at the Churchhill War Rooms, another offering he'd probably like.


You can search their website by subject (i.e. Jack the Ripper) or by day to see what's on offer.

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7. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

I love history but can take or leave museums (which I generally find a bit like reading a book while upright/walking). The Museum of London is an honourable exception.

As others have said I would get a guide book or bookmark some of the sites they've mentioned and get him to suggest things he'd like to do. In addition two of the best things I've done are :a guided walk by an accredited guide in the City of London (the Square Mile). This or any other really good guided walk can bring history to life in the way no museum or enactment can and is particularly rewarding in an area with the layers of history such as the City has. I've lived here for *&^ years - too long to admit to - and I learned things I never knew before. And a visit to Denis Severs' House (again in the City), although it was many years ago when Severs did the tours himself so I have no idea of whether they are still as good. In other words more immersive activities. You can also kill two birds with one stone and go on one of many pub walks or perhaps find a download (pretty sure there will be one somewhere!)

You might also see if there's a brewery or stadium tour he's interested in and there are now some US players in the football league so if he's up for a game it might be worth taking him to a match (if one is on while you're here) with one of them playing.

{And I hope I don't sound all Agony aunt but I would ask yourself why you are arranging something you think he might not enjoy. Might it not be better to go somewhere you both like - perhaps in Europe, perhaps not. If possible the more he can suggest some things he'd like to do the more I'd guess, he'll enjoy it.}

Edited: 13 January 2012, 16:08
Kent, UK
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8. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

"which I generally find a bit like reading a book while upright/walking"

What does that mean?

Arlington, Virginia
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9. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

Thanks all for the suggestions!

England, United...
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10. Re: Taking husband to London who has never been to Europe...

http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london has lots of ideas which you both may want to flick through. To qualify for 2-for-1 entry you will need Travelcards purchased from a train (not tube) station.

Included in this is the Transport Museum (which has a different feel to other museams) http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/

Laura's idea of a day trip to Dover castle and it's secret WWII tunnels is a good one. You can get the high speed train from St Pancras (or slower trains from Charing Cross and Victoria). For 2-for-1 entry:



If going by high speed train, you could get off at Stratford International (or a separate trip as it's only 6 mins from St Pancras) and look at the Olympic Park. Unfortunately there are no tours currently scheduled beyond April, however there are good views from John Lewis in Westfield Shopping Centre, or take the DLR one stop to Pudding Mill Lane and go to the View Tube and cafe there.


If you are taking the train to Paris, tickets go on sale 120 days before travel, when they are at their cheapest. www.eurostar.com