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Following Rick Steves Itinerary

My husband and I have decided to follow Rick Steves 7 day itinerary listed in his London guidebook as it, for the most part, covers the sites/activities that we would like to see.

Has anyone followed his itinerary for London? Any pros or cons or adjustments you would recommend?

Thanks again!

Posted by
1395 posts

The only comment I can make about Rick Steves' itineraries is that they go too fast for us. We prefer to take more time at places so have to take this into account. They are fine for many people.

Posted by
2151 posts

I found Rick's itinerary to be especially helpful in planning my days because he lists sites and activities that are near each other, but I wasn't interested in doing exactly everything he listed. I saved a couple of museums for another trip, and focused on the places he gave a "must see" rating to.

Posted by
9110 posts

The problem with anybody's itinerary:

. it begs the question of is your knowledge of what you want to see based solely on that person's perspective or does more exist that you don't know about

. will that schedule fit your start/duration/endurance times

. will that schedule match your expectation of time needed to devote to each item

It generally works better to do your own research from a variety if sources, plot places' locations and opening times, and make your own guesstimate concerning how long each will take. You'll also need to consider time to move between places and intervening stops for food, shopping, and rest.

Posted by
44 posts

Thank you for the replies. I appreciate the tips.

We were planning on "tweaking" his plan to some degree. I know one day we will be swapping his Westminster afternoon for his Churchill and National Gallery afternoon because Westminster closes early on Saturdays. We were also planning on scrapping the Southbanks tour in favor of other areas of London that hold more interest for us.

I was primarily interested in the timing. He has lots of "street walks" built into his day along with some major sites. It seems to be a bit much for one day, was just curious how real experiences add up.

In addition, I thought having Churchill War Rooms and National Gallery in one afternoon wouldn't really be possible. First of all, it seems like a lot of "museum" back-to-back time. Secondly, I would suspect you could spend an entire afternoon in National Gallery, so I wasn't sure if including Churchill would be wise or very "doable". I suppose it comes back to your interests as I see us spending more time in Churchill than National Gallery.

Posted by
8069 posts

I found the Churchill War Rooms less museum-y than the National Gallery, if that is a word/concept, lol. In the War Rooms you are actually walking thru the underground bunkers viewing displays in each room and learning about life in this top secret area. There is a Churchill museum, but again , not like pieces of art hanging on the walls. I love the areas where you can listen to 1st hand accounts from the people who worked here and particularly those with impressions of Churchill himself.

Posted by
44 posts

Thank you Pam...my husband and I are both history buffs and are really looking forward to exploring this venue...based on what I have read, I think it will appeal to our 13 y/o as well.

"museum-y" works for me!

Posted by
8069 posts

Oh yes, I think the 13 yr old will like it. It is amazing to see where those famous folks lived and worked in a difficult time. I am not sure how to put this so it conveys what I mean, but I felt the whole area was charged with energy even tho the exhibits are static.

Posted by
2151 posts

I must chime in that I absolutely loved the Churchill War Rooms and museum, as a WWII and British history buff it was just very satisfying to see and be in the place where so much happened during the war. Very well done--they literally closed the whole thing up after the war and it feels very real. If you enjoy antiques/collectibles and outdoor markets I also recommend Portobello Road on a Saturday.