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London mid-day and evening on a Sunday in late September

We have a one-night layover in Southhampton before our ship continues on the US. We hope to get off the ship early and take the train to London, arriving 11 AM or so. We want to take the last train back from London around 10PM rather than try to stay in the city.

On a previous RS trip, we did the Tower of London, St. Paul's, Trafalgar Sq., walked the Mall to Buckingham Palace, took a bus tour of the city, Thames boat ride, saw a show in the West End. We didn't get into any museums other than the Tower. Also, when we were there, Big Ben was covered for renovation. We like museums, history, and maybe throw in a good Sunday Roast dinner.
Keeping in mind using a train station in central London and can't afford to miss the last train back, suggestions?? We did think about Westminster Abbey (I LOVE the Cathedral "Sound" of choirs and organ) or maybe Greenwich (?).

Posted by
414 posts

Westminster Abbey is a good idea, as long as you're happy to attend a service (Sundays is worship only - no tourist visits). You would be ok for the 3pm Evensong service.

In terms of museums, perhaps the Brotish Museum? Personally I love the V&A, but it's not particularly convenient if you're going to Westminster Abbey.

Sunday roast is more of a lunch meal, but you may find some pubs still serving it for dinner.

Posted by
118 posts

Since you've already seen the must-sees here's an itinerary.

If I had a day in London I'd first go to the Wallace Collection, an art museum in a lovely townhouse in Marylebone, then walk to the Baker Street neighbourhood and the Sherlock Holmes museum. Continue West to Bayswater and have an early dinner at one of the restaurants at Queensway. Then have a walk across Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace or nearby and get the tube back to Waterloo.

Posted by
6686 posts

The very last train back from Waterloo on a weekday is as late as 2335, arriving at 0112, and on a Sunday at 2305, arriving 0037.

If you miss the last train National Express run an even later bus back from London Victoria Coach Station daily at 2359 arriving at 0230. That bus used to run on to Bournemouth from Southampton- I have used it before to Bournemouth (on a rail strike day) to join a cruise departing from Poole which was embarking passengers next day at before 9am (departing before 12 noon)- and all the local hotels were charging silly money.

Posted by
21 posts

Thank you all for your support and info on the last train/bus to SH. Now a more detailed question about Westminster Abbey that I see no answer for on their website. Sunday protocols: No tourist visits, services only. But some related questions arise: 1) During services, are you able to discretely move about the edges of the Abbey and see areas not actively being used during service, like you can at National Cathedral in Washington, DC?; 2) Between services or after the last service of the day, can you wander and see areas like a non-tour-guided tourist?; 3) after the last service, are you ushered out or can you wander about and see the high points of the Abbey and for how long?

Posted by
1001 posts

I’m pretty sure that the answers to your questions are:-
1) No
2) No
3) Yes
The Abbey is open for worship on Sundays and not tourism.

Posted by
8866 posts

Discretely move around during a religious service because you want to?

Respect the rules or earn the moniker “ ugly American.”