Looking for travel tips for the UK & Iceland

For those who haven’t been following my tweetstream, I’m gearing up for a trip to England for the Diacon Alley Harry Potter convention in Canterbury at University of Kent. On the way back to the US I’ll be spending two nights in Iceland. I’m gathering tips and advice from you all. Specifics below…
The Potter con ends on July 24th and then I have three nights in the UK. I’d really like to go to Wales, where my great-grandmother was from (she was a somewhat noted Welsh opera singer, contralto Tilly Bodycombe Hughes, who starred with Ethel Barrymore in the Broadway production of The Corn Is Green), however, having never been to London, it seems like I ought to concentrate on there. (I also really want to go to York, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that maybe I can attend the IASPR conference there next year…)
So, London. I’m a foodie, very interested in literature and history, art and architecture, and will be on a limited budget. Functionally I’ll have two full days in London, and one full day in Reykjavik. I suppose the Tower of London is de riguer, and I’ve had Lord Soane’s Museum recommended to me as well.
I’m prepared to book rooms at hostels if they’re reputable. Suggestions welcome!
Should I try to get pounds before I leave? I’ve got a friend loaning me a phone I can buy a SIM card for.
For those of you going to Diacon Alley, me, GatewayGirl, and Annescriblerian are going to take the train from London to Canterbury on the 20th, the day before the con starts, and stay in the Kipps hostel there together. We booked a room with four bunks and so the fourth is still available. Cost will come to under $35 US. We’re going to try to get on the 15:42 train from London’s St. Pancras station to Canterbury West.
And am I nut for wanting to change into my robes on the train? (Yes.) If I have time, you bet I will also be stopping by Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross, which is right by the St. Pancras station as well.

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