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family trip to London

We are arriving in London from the states on July 30th and leaving on August 6th. We would appreciate thoughts about trips out of London. We have Tower, Palace and other items in line and are staying in Kensington near Hyde Park. We heard about Harry Potter movie sets and I am wondering about a trip (not driving if possible) to coast.

Any thoughts and ideas would be welcome! Also big walking family so no problem with activity levels.


Posted by
3 posts

Check out Rick Steves England from the library. So many great things to do! Learn about train routes at and use GoogleMaps to look around at things that interest you. Have fun!

Posted by
3428 posts

London makes a wonderful base for day trips by train. We used to go twice a year (for more than 20 years). I put a link below to an article of mine on Trip Advisor that you might find helpful- it covers our favorite places and train day trips. We haven't been since they started the Harry Potter set tours, but I've read good things about it on this forum- I'd suggest you do a search.


Posted by
693 posts

There is enough in and around London to keep you busy. In addition to places mentioned by you:

Hampton Court Palace
Some of the many museums such as Imperial War Museum, Churchill's War Rooms, Natural History Museum, British Museum, V and A, Science and Technology Museum.
National Portrait Gallery
Tate Modern
Live theatre
London Eye
Westminster Abbey

Posted by
33329 posts

I agree with Emma about reserving Harry Potter Experience ASAP in order to avoid disappointment.

Posted by
1175 posts

Portsmouth, with all the waterfront shops and British naval history is marvelous, including Admiral Nelson's flagship, Victorious, and the Mary Rose. Check out Portsmouth forum on to see all that is fun to see in Portsmouth. If you decide to go, check out for a car service London to Portsmouth we've used that is cheaper than train tickets and they deliver you door to door on a round trip.

Posted by
6113 posts

I second Brighton, as the coastline is more interesting than that around Portsmouth. Alternatively, go to Rye which has a quaint old town to look round its cobbled streets and then walk to Rye Harbour which is a nature reserve set on the beach. Train from St Pancras and change at Ashford and take in the gorgeous Kent countryside en route.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks all for the tips, we are going to research them. Big thanks on the Harry Potter tour tix, our kids started reading and grew up on the book series so the whole family will be up for that day. One thing to admit personally is I am the big WWII buff so any excuse I can see local remnants of the time period is appealing. The museums and Churchill's places will not be missed for sure.
I think the most efficient use of time will be hardest with so much to see.

Posted by
7 posts

What are thoughts about a day trip to Dover versus other coastal areas?