You can pack all the travel books, maps, apps and planners you want, but if you're like me, the most satisfying part of a sightseeing vacation is the unexpected delight you stumble upon.
Nowhere is that more likely than the Old World cities, where ancient street patterns meander crookedly into the distant past, even as the modern era has somehow grown up around them. That's just what I discovered, thanks to my Yahoo! colleagues, who took me for a pint down the street from our London offices to the Harp, a classic British pub.
Located in the bustling Covent Garden area, the Harp's official address is 47 Chandos Place, but you want to approach it from St. Martin's Lane and duck down Brydges Place -- if you can find it. This dark passageway is billed by locals as the narrowest in London, and I can confirm you won't want to attempt to squeeze through after a dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
Assuming you can though, the stroll is worth it. After you've had a chance to imagine Oliver Twist ducking this way with the Artful Dodger fresh from picking a pocket or two, you open onto the Harp's back entrance. It was judged Britain's Pub of the Year in 2010 by the Campaign for Real Ale, and after consuming three real ales myself, I second that nomination. Or maybe I thirded it. I can't really recall.