Please sign in to post.

Help With London Itinerary

I would love suggestions on how to fill some time in London. Two couples in our late 60s, but pretty hearty! Here is what we have planned so far:

--Arrive around 1 pm by train from Bath Fri, May 12. Hotel in The City area, 4:00 reservation for the Sky Garden. After, dinner somewhere and a 7:30 show at the Magic Circle in Euston. (Bus or train or Uber there.) That day is done.

--Day 2--Tower of London reserved. Thames Clipper to Westminster Pier, lunch, Churchill War Rooms reserved 3:00. (Walk by Big Ben and Parliament). Then ?? Maybe also walk by Buckingham Palace, and on to Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus and to SOHO? (Unless we save Soho for Monday?)
Dinner in SOHO or? Covent Garden instead?

--Day 3--Sun, May 14. Nothing planned until Afternoon Tea at Harrod's at 3:00. We were thinking maybe Greenwich or little Venice, or Covent Garden, or?? The British Museum?

--Day 4--Mon, May 15. Windsor Castle reserved 11 am. Nothing else planned until Moulin Rouge at the Picadilly Theatre at 7:30m pm. Should we spend time in Soho this day instead of Saturday?

Would like to see Westminster Abbey, but couldn't seem to fit it in with their opening and closing times, unless we go to a service Sunday morning. We really don't want to spend much time in Museums, except for maybe the British Museum, and we don't need to see the Changing of the Guards or go on the London Eye on this trip. Any advice from those who are in the know would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Posted by
1316 posts

The first thing I’d be looking at for your idle time on day 2 and 3 is looking at the London Walks schedule and seeing if there’s anything of interest. My best London travel days consist of a museum, a London Walk, and the theatre.

Posted by
439 posts

You mention Soho several times. It’s not really a place to see sights - just a good area to go if you’re specifically looking to eat or drink. No need to make a special trip to “see” it - just to go to if you want to wander of an evening looking for a nice restaurant or bar.

The obvious time to see Westminster Abbey would be instead of the Tower of London on Saturday morning - then do the Tower (and perhaps the boat) on Sunday. I know you’ve reserved tix for Saturday but I wonder if you could change or refund them? You actually don’t need to reserve Tower tickets in advance. You can just turn up and buy at opening time (which I think is 10am on Sundays).

Posted by
40 posts

Thank you. Great idea about changing our dates around and for letting me know about Soho!

Posted by
705 posts

On day 4 you won’t really have time to do anything else by the time you get back from Windsor and have dinner before the show. I’d highly recommend booking well ahead for dinner in Soho or Covent Garden. It is unbelievably busy and you won’t find a walk in easily.

Posted by
15127 posts

Since you are thinking of using the London buses, I will ask if you have seen this schematic map of central London bus routes?

From your hotel in the City, you may need to walk or take the #15 bus west to Aldwych or Trafalgar Square to pick up a bus to your destination. Here are the “spider maps” showing the locations of the numerous bus stops at each location:

Note that the Westminster Abbey area and hurchillmWar Rooms are a nice walk from Trafalgar Square, past historic buildings.

If you need to changes buses someplace, say change at Aldwych to the 188 to reach the British Museum, you would then consult the route map for the 188 toward Russell Square to find the letter for the correct stop at Aldwych:

If you identified it as stop F you’ve got it down.

Or maybe the transport app suggested above will figure it all out for you. I have never used it.

Posted by
31572 posts

Regarding Soho, the comments above are good. Good for food and drink.

and ... if you have interest in British film or recording studios, Soho has the offices of such. A couple of blue plaques, and some typical buildings. And a tiny park.

You have way more stamina than me if you do the Tower of London and Churchill War Rooms in the same day...

Posted by
8264 posts

On day 1 if u share hotel name can advise best transport to Euston.

Day 2: After the War Rooms follow Birdcage Walk adjacent to St James Park up to the Palace. From there walk by the Queen Victoria statue and then through Green Park to Piccadilly. Turn right and walk by The Ritz, The Wolsey enroute to Leicester Square.
From there into Covent Garden.

Day 3: Explore the neighborhood where you are staying. If close to the Thames Path take a leisurely stroll along it. Listen to all the church bells OR head to Kensington Gardens, walk by Kensington Palace and then stroll past the Round Pond into Hyde Park heading to the Serpentine. Its Sunday the populous will out.

People on bikes, horses, walking dogs, jogging, pushing prams, etc. Maybe picnicking or flying kites. Might even be toy sailboats in the Round Pound. There will be swimmers at The Lido in the Serpentine. Be sure to look for the green parrots. You’ll hear them before you see them.

Little Venice or Greenwich are good ideas. Don’t miss the Painted Hall at the Royal Naval Academy. Believe it’s now a ticketed venue.

Reserve somewhere for a Sunday Roast. I’m always satisfied with a pub Sunday Roast so maybe somewhere in Greenwhich. Pelton Arms, Trafalgar Tavern, or The Plume of Feathers should be researched.

SoHo is a touristy neighborhood. Noisy and frantic.
High end shops and buskers. If thats your style go with it.

Consider visiting Spitalfields Market. Place to find trinkets to take home to family. There are food vendors. Can even enjoy a pint there.

Lastly, if any of you are walkers and desire time away from the hustle and bustle; Regents Park, Hampstead Heath or Richmond Park are worth the effort. Might even see the fallow red deer in Richmond Park.

Been going to London since Nixon was President. Great city to explore and enjoy.

Have fun.

Posted by
40 posts

Thanks, everyone! Claudia, we are staying at the Hotel Indigo, Tower Hill. I'm sure we could Uber, but hopefully we can figure out the bus and/or underground system for some of our travels. I really appreciate the help!

Posted by
8264 posts

Couple of options to Euston:

Hammersmith and City Line from Aldgate East to Euston or Aldgate to Euston Square on the Metropolitan line. You’ll need to walk a few minutes on each route to get from the hotel to the tube stations. Also a few minutes of walking at the other end. Nothing unreasonable. London tube maps are posted in each station. Look at your final destination on the maps.

Can’t post pics here but this link gives you an idea of underground signage. This NOT an Aldgate or Aldgate East map…merely an example of a map you’ll find in tube stations.

Download this website:
VERY helpful regarding London transport option.

Also if they still print them at your first London Underground Tube station look for a pocket sized tube map. Know they were still available in May of 2022.

I research online where I’m going the night before using the pocket sized tube map to plot my route. I’ll also use the tfl website to be certain trains are on time. Saves me consternation.

PM me if you have more questions. Happy to share intel after nearly 50 years if travel to my favorite city on the planet.

Posted by
3529 posts

The tube is very easy to use and very convenient. If you have Rick’s London or pocket London guide it has a great street/tube map.
An FYI about the British museum. It was unbelievably crowded when we went last week. So overcrowded we couldn’t enjoy it. We did Rick’s audio tour then left. Even though it is free there were two seperate lines for ticket holder and Non. The ticket holder’s went a little faster.
The V&A was practically empty, we walked right in this morning. It was more interesting and easier to navigate.

Posted by
25623 posts

Museum personnel told me last year that the busiest days at the British Museum are weekends and holidays, Fridays and rainy days. The ground floor is usually noticeably more crowded than the upper floor. The Egyptian gallery is the worst. I waited about 30 minutes in line without a ticket when I arrived (on multiple occasions last September) shortly after the museum opened. Being there before opening time might get you a bit of time in the busy areas before too many more people come in. I suspect the wait in line may be shorter if you arrive 2 hours or so before closing, but that wouldn't give you a great deal of time to see the museum.

LondonWalks does a tour of the British Museum. Tour groups usually don't get hung up at the entry door (which has been on the back side of the museum in the past). You could take the tour--which costs only 15 GBP for adults and less for younger folks--and stay on in the museum afterward to save a bit of standing-in-line time. The tour will move you around to some of the highlights, but it cannot do anything about the crowds.

The Museum is open until 8:30 PM on Fridays and is usually less busy then. As is the case with virtually every large European museum I've visited, they start ushering people out well ahead of closing time, so you should not assume you'll be able to continue enjoying the museum until 8:30 PM.

The Museum now offers early tours at 8:30 AM, before the public opening time. They are not free.

Posted by
8264 posts

I’ll suggest different museums to consider: Horniman Museum, Museum of Water and Steam, Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Postal Museum or Dennis Sever’s House.

As noted British Museum can be massively crowded.