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Itinerary critique/suggestions requested

We are starting our 1 month European vacation in London a month from now. Please let me know your thoughts on my itinerary. I'm traveling with my husband, two teenage daughters, and my 70 year old active mother-in-law. We are staying in an apartment in the Shoreditch neighborhood.

Also, thoughts on visiting Nottinghill? I love rows of brightly colored houses. I'm not interested in the market there, but am wondering if the neighborhoods are quaint for wandering through.

I did not list all the biggie sites (Big Ben, etc.) because I am assuming we will see them all through all of our time exploring. (I have them all marked on my google map and my husband has travelled to London many times).

Sunday: Flight arrives at 8pm.
Monday: Fat Tire bike tour @ 11 am, British Museum (1-2 hours), Nottinghill for walking around and dinner
Tuesday: Day trip to Cambridge. Bike tour, pub, and punt in Cambridge. Return home around 5pm. Dinner and explore near apartment
Wednesday: Churchill War Rooms, wander Soho and Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey tour and Evensong service. Possibly London Eye for kids and grandma while my husband and I sneak off for quiet dinner.
Thursday: Tower of London, Borough Market, explore what we've missed or want to see again (possibly British Museum again), Billy Elliot @Victoria Palace Theater
Friday: checkout and train to Paris 11:30

Posted by
919 posts

It sounds like you all enjoy being on the go. Churchill Rooms (which are great, BTW) are very close to Westminster Abbey. If you can get in War Rooms later in the day you'd be near the Abbey for tour and evensong unless you have timed tickets already or Abbey is something you want to see in the a.m. If you'd like a non-cycling option at some point I highly recommend London Walks. And I think your whole family will enjoy the punt tour in Cambridge.

Posted by
15620 posts

Choose in advance what you want to see at the British Museum. It's big and if you've only got an hour or two, you'll want to be selective. Or take the London Walks tour (every Monday at 2.15, every Wednesday at 2.00). They also have a Covent Garden walking tour. I've taken several of their tours and all were excellent.

Posted by
6113 posts


I would not recommend a bike tour in London to anyone! There is far too much traffic on the roads and you will be jetlagged and cycling on the "wrong" side of the road for you. Cycling in Cambridge is very different from London.

Nottinghill is not particularly quaint - it is a busy residential area of central London. Another area that you could stroll around that is in a similar direction to where you are staying is Greenwich which has more history than Nottinghill. You could take the riverboat and look round the market and spend time at Greenwich Observatory.

Posted by
8754 posts

Agree with both Rachel and Jennifer. Do the war rooms later in the day then enjoy evensong in Westminster Abby. Save the bike tour for Cambridge. London traffic is horrific for bicyclists! Or rent Barclay bikes and ride around the interior Hyde Park on your own. You could stop and picnic. I'd forgo Nottinghill neighborhood and wander in Hampstead village instead and then explore the Heath. You might also add Camden Lock market and then wander walk along the adjacent canals.

Posted by
220 posts

I like it!

You should add The National Gallery on Wednesday. The War Rooms might be quieter in the morning so good move. It's not far from Westminster Abbey to Trafalger Square. The Gallery has many amazing paintings and is a good place to park the mother in law if she's tired or the teenagers. It's also full of Impressionist paintings to get you in the mood for Paris!

The Café in St. Martin's Crypt is nice for a snack and brass rubbings.

I love walking around Soho and Covent Garden. The teenagers will love it! Years ago, I worked in (an office in) Soho and used to spend many evenings in the Maple Leaf Pub (Maiden Lane) near Covent Garden. You and your husband should spring for dinner at Rules on the same street. It's over 200 years old. It was on Downton Abbey. What's not to like?! I had no money when I lived in London and now I'm not willing to take my 7 year old there yet. Or Jamie's Italian if you like him on Food Network!

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks for the recommendations! I think we will definitely go to Hampstead rather than Nottinghill. That sounds like someplace my mother in law would LOVE. And I've added Rules to the agenda for my husband and I!