Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries tagged london in 2012

Filters: Type: entry × Year: 2012 × london ×

What are some great things happening in London in January 2013?

Keep an eye on the events calendar on Ian Visits: London Events Listings Guide—it doesn’t have much for January yet but closer to the time you can guarantee Ian will have tracked down some fascinating, obscure and worthwhile London events. He’s amazingly good at tracking down the weirder side of London—parades, one-off openings of private houses, guest lectures, guided walking tours and so on.

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What’s the best free online newspaper in the U.K?

The Guardian. (OK, I used to work there, but I would say the same even if I hadn’t. It’s a world class newspaper with a truly excellent website)

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What communities and interest groups in London should software developers get involved in?

The monthly Hacker News London Meetup Group (held near Old Street) is a great opportunity to meet up with entrepreneurial-minded hackers—the talks are usually a good combination of technical and startup/entrepreneur material, and it attracts a really interesting crowd.

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What recommendations are there for conference venues in London for between 50-100 people?

The Magic Circle offer a small, intimate venue with some great history. They are just behind Euston Station. They can seat 150 people.

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What are some fun things to do in Camden Town, London?

Check out Brew Dog—excellent craft beers and really good (and interesting) burgers.

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What are the few must-do things in London before one leaves this place for good?

In terms of museums, it really is worth checking out the big four: the British Museum, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the V&A. They’re all exceptional (and free to enter). Here are some highlights...

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What are the best tech networking events / meetups / conferences in London?

Our startup Lanyrd helps people discover professional events, and we have a very healthy userbase in London. If you sign in to with your Twitter account we’ll show you events the people you follow are tracking or plan to attend—knowing that someone you respect plans to spend the time to go to an event is a very strong form of recommendation. You can also browse our full list of events in London here:

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What are the coolest things to do in Dalston Junction (London, UK)?

That’s about 20 minutes from Broadway Market (at the south end of London Fields) which is very nice at the weekend.

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For a first-time visitor but longtime Anglophile, what’s essential to see and do in London?

Don’t spend too much time on the tube. It’s fast and convenient (and a marvellous piece of Victorian engineering) but its often better to walk if your journey is less than three stops. London is a delightful city to walk around, and you’re certain to see all sorts of interesting buildings on a 10 minute walk through any area. Get a data SIM for your phone and use your maps app to avoid getting lost and you’ll have the freedom to explore all kinds of interesting streets that most tourists who stick to the tube for everything completely miss.

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How do I get inside Battersea Power Station?

I think it’s available to hire as a venue—there was a conference there called the PowerOfOne last year.

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Where can I find great Java/Scala developers in London?

There are quite a few Scala events in London—here are the ones we know about at the moment:

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Where are the best places to go in London on a weekend for free?

Just walk. One of the joys of London is that any walk you take is guaranteed to turn up interesting architecture and surprises. I once spent an afternoon walking from Paddington to Tate Modern and saw loads of fascinating places that I had no idea were there. Use Google maps and look out for interesting looking squares, parks and back streets. These days I also tend to pop open Foursquare’s “Explore” tab every now and then to see if I’m walking near something particularly interesting.

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How could Sherlock be improved?

Watson needs to be more competent. Jude Law’s Watson is significantly more useful than Martin Freeman’s—Watson is a military man and a doctor, and is hence useful for far more than just bumbling around with a quizzical expression and updating his blog.

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Which tech startups in London have been funded in 2011?

We (Lanyrd) raised our seed round in 2011—we’re based near Old Street.

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