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I'm taking a trip to the UK next week. I am looking forward to visiting London and seeing a lot of things like the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert that I've wanted to see for a long time. Also taking side trips to such places as Bath to see historical sites.

However, I have this vision of spending two weeks kind of bopping around from museum to museum by myself having occasional desultory conversations with other tourists and then retiring to my hotel room to brood in solitude. So you know, that's not too great.

I would like to plan to attend some social events in the evenings to get a chance to interact with local people because that's how you really learn what a place is all about.

I'm looking at Meetup.com and Facebook, and I'm having trouble finding things that relate to my interests.

At home what I like to do is go to social drawing events like Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School. I also go to a lot of comic conventions and stuff like that.

Here's an example on an event that's the type I like to attend...

http://originaldrinkanddraw.deviantart.com

OK, so I'm into comics and drawing. Anyone know of anything related to that?

But also I'd be down for anything where people are cool and hanging out in a relaxed, informal social situation.

This is a good example of the type of thing that would be great...

http://www.cultureseekers.org/events/62141432/?eventId=62141432&action=detail

More things like that would be excellent.

They have these things around here where people just get together in a cafe and play board games. But when I looked for that in London all I came up with was weird new-age stuff and pickup artist meetups, which isn't my scene.

So I'm kind of having trouble finding what I'm looking for here. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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CouchSurfing's "Groups" are a great way to do just this. Very popular for meeting both locals and fellow travellers. And you definitely don't need to send money to be "verifed" on the CS website, some google searching will enlighten you that many people believe it to be a bit of a scam. –  hippietrail May 12 '12 at 20:41
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@hippietrail Awesome, thank. I didn't know about that. –  Ethan May 14 '12 at 1:20

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

For a start, where are you staying? If you're keen to meet people, Couchsurfing could be the way to go - your host can often introduce you to friends and so on as well.

Alternatively, consider a hostel. Pick one with a good atmosphere rating on hostelbookers or hostelworld; and ideally one with a free breakfast and common room - that way you meet other traveller at breakfast or just chilling out in the common room, and it's often fairly easy to convince other travellers to go do something random or hang out together.

Drawing-wise, there are the groups like the London Life Drawing Society, if you're into that type of drawing, as well as the Centre for Drawing, in Wimbledon, and the Royal Drawing Society.

Pubs are also a great way to meet people, but it's easier (for me at least) to go with someone else to the pub, and then start chatting to others.

Pick up TNT Magazine - they are free and outside most tube stations, and look for events, comedy gigs and all sorts of activities in there - lots of expats (Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans, Canadians and more) doing various activities together - something in there may just catch your eye. The TimeOut magazine also has lots of events listed in it as well.

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Thanks a lot for the information. I think I will try the hostel option for at least part of the trip. –  Ethan May 14 '12 at 1:20
    
I can recommend Journeys Hostel near King's Cross, a good common room and people from all over the world. Clink nearby is an old jail converted into a hostel and that's meant to be good fun too. –  Mark Mayo May 14 '12 at 4:48

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