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Kew etc

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  • Kew etc

    I'm planning on a day in London when I'm in the UK next week with a view to going to Kew and the Guildhall library. I think I need to prepare a proper plan of action or I'll end up following tangents and running out of time but I was wondering how long these places take to deliver records etc. Is it realistic to plan for Kew and Guildhall in one day? And which way round would you do it, Kew first or Guildhall first?

  • #2
    I think you'd be pushing it.... it takes a good hour to get between the two as one is in the city and one right over in SW London. Depends on what you want the NA has two late openings on Tues ans Thurs, but you still have to order your docs by 4.45 on the late night. Although Docs can be orderd in advance of your trip so they are ready for you when you get there.


    • #3
      It does depend on what you are looking for but I personally would allow one day at least in each place. Even one day in each is nowhere near enough if you are doing research in a particular area.

      Have you ever been to London and realise that London is a very big metropolis to get around. Kew is South West of London near Richmond and to get there by tube is going to take a chunk out of the day. If you are staying in a hotel in the Kew area then travelling will be better for Kew, but then you will have to travel into Central London to get to the Guildhall. I understand the nearest tube for Kew is about a mile from TNA though you may be able to bus that. If you are going by car do allow for the congestion charges and the time it can take to get to these places.

      I live in North West London, about 25 miles from Kew and have to allow well over an hour to get to TNA Kew as the roads get so congested. It can take a long time for documents to appear once you have ordered but that usually depends on how many people are in the building though these days whenever I go it is always packed. If you know what you want before you go you can do some ordering online. Don't forget to take ID with you, passport, driving licence, recent bill with your address as you will have to spend a bit of time getting a ticket made up, which will include a photo having to be done and time taken for that will also depend on how many people are waiting for tickets to be made out.

      It will then take you some time to get around the place and get the idea of how to use their computers, find facilities etc. Take only a see through plastic bag with as few papers as possible, pencils only, no sharpeners and leave handbags etc in the locker. If you want to use a digital camera remember to seek permission first and that takes another few minutes to sort that out so you can see that half a day in Kew will not get you very far.

      Last edited by Janet; 24-11-08, 10:43.


      • #4
        I grew up in Kent and studied in London so I know my way around - although I've been out of the country for 8 years. I'll by stying with the in-laws in West Kent and would never drive from Kent to Kew!!

        I have 2 specific things I want to look up in the Guildhall so maybe an afternoon there, then a full day in Kew the next day would be a bit less ambitious?


        • #5

          At least you know your way around so that is one good thing! In 8 years the M25 has just got even more congested!! Need I say more! I used to live in Kent many years ago, so you may find a few extra roads around there these days with all the Chunnel traffic. It looked more concreted over to me when I was there a couple of years ago.

          A full day in Kew is very wise and try to get one of the days which has a late night for extra usage of the day. Good luck with your research.

          Last edited by Janet; 24-11-08, 10:54.


          • #6
            Order as much as you can in advance. At Kew, you can order 3 items at a time, but once they are waiting for you, you can order another three...
            Phoenix - with charred feathers
            Researching Skillings from Norfolk, Sworn from Salisbury and Adams in Malborough, Devon.


            • #7
              Kew deserves a day to itself.

              The Guildhall is also wonderful - and the advantage is that because the City of London is so small you can walk to anywhere mentioned in parish records quite easily.

              But I do think they deserve a day each.
              ~ with love from Little Nell~
              Chowns, Dunt, Emms, Mealing, Purvey & Smoothy