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3 Days in Central London…hmmm…choosing Daily Itinerary

My wife and I (seniors) spending 2 weeks in England last week of October and first week November 2024, mostly in the Midlands with friends, but have 3 1/2 days in London on our own at the end of the trip. Staying at the Strand Palace, central London. We have Rick’s London guidebook (Kindle and hard copy, but that’s another story) which is chock full of things to see and do. And there are several walking tours that interest us. Our challenge is what might the priorities be in 3 days? Have not been to London before. Open to any/all suggestions.

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7659 posts

Walks with London Walks are great - we’ve done several (also seniors). If walks are a major interest, make sure what walks are done on what day(s) of the week, and plan accordingly. As they’re outside, weather can have an effect on enjoying them, especially with wind or rain in cooler months. Rick’s book, of course, has his own walks.

Rick also lists attractions, in order of his must-see priorities. Are you interested in major sights, like the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey, for example? Those can have high admission prices, and can also take up a good part of your 3 1/2 day time. Maybe pick three of those sights, total, and intersperse with the walks.

Then there are so many great, free (but donations of £5 or so are gladly accepted) museums. If you’re interested in art, for starters, there’s the National Gallery, the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern (free, themed guided walks are done in each throughout the day), and then the British Museum, the British Library Treasures room, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Again, with 3 1/2 days, maybe one museum a day, besides allowing time for walks or other attractions. Some are open later (8 or 9 PM certain nights), which might fit into your agenda.

Is fabulous dining of any interest? London has a wealth of celebrated restaurants with many different cuisines, but for several, a reservation could be needed. Plan ahead if a particular place is on your food radar.

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Thank you Cyn. If you were to pick 2 or 3 of Rick’s walks, what would you suggest?

Posted by
8886 posts

Been visiting and staying in London since 1972. Always changing. Always the same. Due to work restrictions my visits were in either November or December.

Favorite city on the planet. Never boring. Always something new to enjoy.

What at are your interests? History? Art? Food? Theatre? Museums?

For fun you might enjoy watching the Lord Mayor’s parade which is being held on November 9th.

In reality I don’t actually watch the parade but enjoy meandering around looking at the participants engaging in preparation. Band members tuning instruments, horses being brushed, saddles being adjusted, costumes being checked, boots being polished.

You should definitely visit Parliament Square. Research and see if you can tour Parliament during your stay.

Should also check the Tower Bridge lift times.

Tower of London is worth your time.

Loads of interesting museums and galleries: Canal Museum, Wimbledon Museum, Horniman Museum, The Mithraeum, Dennis Sever’s House or the Postal Museum. Dulwich Picture Galley. Courtland Gallery,
Royal Academy of Art.

Before my trips I review the following websites:
TimeOut London, WhatsOnStage, Conde Naste Traveller and A Lady in London.

EDIT: review London Walks ( nothing to do with RS ) I’ve taken many and enjoyed each. Last one in 2022, Inns of The Court. Guides are knowledgeable and group size manageable.

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7659 posts

Claudia’s got fantastic suggestions, and even those just scratch the surface of possibilities. Another (free) suggestion is The Wallace Collection, a mansion with surprisingly good art, fancy furnishings, and medieval armor - slightly off the beaten path, and very worthwhile.

There’s also the Courtauld Gallery, not free but outstanding, and just two blocks from the Strand Palace. It’s reopened after being closed for remodeling, and I very much enjoyed it back in April.

As for Rick’s walks, I recall one that starts at Leicester Square and goes to Covent Garden, Soho, and past some of the Swinging Sixties music highlights. His walk up Whitehall from Parliament and the tower of Big Ben is historic and interesting. I don’t have access to my London guidebook, as I’m in France right now.