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London in 36 hours

Hello. We just signed up for a Disney cruise leaving from Dover in early sept. We are flying from Chicago to Heathrow and will land late at night. We will have 1 full day and morning of the next to see London before the cruise. I’d like advise on what we can see in that amount of time and where is best location to stay. We are early fifties and fit and not interested in spending hours in a museum. Thanks!

Posted by
14153 posts

Any interest in churches? WWII history?

  • Westminster Abbey
  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • a walk with London Walks (no reservation needed, just show up at the appointed place and time).
  • at that time of year you can enter Buckingham Palace and see it with an audio guide.
  • combo ticket of above and the Royal Mews (stables for the Royal coaches and horses)
  • The Churchill War Rooms - not really a "museum" but the underground bunker from which Churchill directed WWII
  • Tower of London
Posted by
33119 posts

Mudlarking can be dangerous and requires a special license.

Posted by
4010 posts

Do a search in the New York Times travel section as there is a column called "36 Hours in..." I'm sure they must have covered London so I hope it's helpful.

Posted by
8802 posts

Arrange for a car service to take from Heathrow into London that late at night and stay at the Premiere Inn by the London Eye.

Next morning after breakfast head out the door, walk along the Thames Path, crossover Westminster Bridge into Parliament Square. Be aware that Elizabeth’s Tower and the Bell ( Big Ben ) and parts of the iconic Parliament building are in scaffolding.

Walk over to Westminster Abbey and take the Verger’s tour (check the Abbey’s website for opening times and to be certain there is no special event taking place.)

After the tour enjoy a pub lunch at the Two Chairman Pub.

After lunch walk out the front door of the pub and turn right and head toward the red mail box and the entrance to the Cockpit Steps. Take the steps to Birdcage Walk and turn left.

Stroll along the path through St James park up to Buckingham Palace.

Take your photos of the Palace and The Victoria Statue.

Then walk through Green Park to Piccadilly. Turn right at the Green Park station and walk along to Fortum and Mason. Meander inside. If looking for gifts check out the teas. In fact have some tea and cake there.

Back out on Piccadilly keep strolling towards Piccadilly Circus. Appreciate the daily hustle and bustle. If anyone in the family is into soccer or rugby stop in Lillywhites for a Jersey.

From here walk into Leicester Square to buy same day theatre tickets at the 1/2 price ticket booth. With theatre tickets in hand head over to Charing Cross Road and turn Right passing the National Gallery on your right and St Martins of the Fields on your left.

Walk about Trafalgar Square. Keeping the King Charles Statue on your right Cross at the light and follow the tree lined street before you to the Jubilee Pedestrian Bridge. Climb the steps and walk over the river to Jubilee Gardens, and back to your room at the Premiere Inn.

Nap and then off to theatre that evening.

Next morning off to the Tower of London first thing.
Then walk from the Tower to visit the glass covered Leadenhall Market near the Gherkin.

Might then walk back to Tower Bridge Walk across it towards The Shard and into Borough Market.

You can lounge on your cruise. Walking in London is the best way to experience it.

Posted by
4230 posts

I guess technically the Tower of London is a museum so it might not be for you. But that and Westminster Abbey were the must-see places for me. I'd recommend a London Walks tour of Westminster Abbey. A good guide can bring the interior to life for you. Of course, with just 36 hours in London you could easily just spend it walking around and be impressed.

Posted by
8802 posts

@ ramblin' on, thanks for the spell check.

Don’t care and presently dealing with earthquake aftershocks.

Posted by
1194 posts

Hi from Wisconsin.

The Premier Inn near Kings Cross/St. Pancras was really handy. The Inn was clean, quiet and safe. GOOD price too.

It is the Premier Inn across the street from the new British Library. There is a second Premier Inn nearby. So some confusion.

36 hours? The British Library is across the street and has free entrance. Some pretty amazing documents and books on display. Now you are getting an idea of the nerd I am.

The British Museum is not so far.

And within two blocks of the Premier Inn are two really nice English pubs that serve meals. Do not go to the pubs on the same street as the Premier, they are packed with tourists, loud, and the food is only so-so. The real ones are behind the Premier's block and across the street. Mabel's is one, Skinners Arm is another.

Catch up on sleep before your tour begins.

Wayne iNWI

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you all for the wonderful advice! We see another trip in the future when we can spend more time exploring and have time to enjoy all the museums and maybe country side trips.