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Organizing my days in London

I'm not sure the best way to do this. Should it be by area or by tube line? And, are areas walkable?

We are a group of 7 so we will be together or may split off. I don't have these days set on any particular day of the week. We arrive on Wednesday and leave on Tuesday morning. I thought we'd do the British Museum on Friday so we can stay late, and we have Globe theatre tickets on Saturday night.

My plan:

Day one:

Arrive from Cotswolds dropping car at Heathrow and taxi to hotel in Southbank near Southwark

Afternoon visit to Imperial War Museum and maybe London Eye

Day two:

Full day Hampton Court - take train there and boat back

Day three:

Full day Tower of London

Day Four:

British Library

Walk to British Museum

St. Paul's by 5:00 for evensong

dinner and then back to British Museum for evening (Friday)

Day 5:

Buckingham Palace -maybe changing of the guards or just view exterior

Guards Museum close by- maybe the men want to see?

Victoria and Albert Museum

Natural History or Science or Sherlock Holmes Museum (for some of our group)

Day 6:

Westminster Abby/ Big Ben/ Parliment

Churchill War room nearby for whoever wants

walk by #10 Downing

Walk up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square

National Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Piccadilly Circus

I'm not sure if grouping these like this makes the best sense? Are there days we should avoid certain activities? For instance, should we avoid the Tower on the weekend or any ideas concerning crowds. We will be there the beginning of August.

I'd love to hear any suggestions.

Thank you !

Posted by
10344 posts

Hi Susan,
Unlike some cities, the London sights are spread over a large enough geographical area that it isn't feasible to walk everywhere.
On recent trips, what we've found works best is taking the Underground to areas that are located farther apart than you want to walk to, then getting out an walk.
Some destinations will be within reasonable walking distance from each other, so you can group those together and see them on the same day.
The Underground, or buses, will save large amounts of senseless walking.
Taxis are probably not an option for you since there are 7 of you.

Posted by
4546 posts

Be prepared to reorder your days to take advantage of good weather. I'd plan your Hampton Court Day around the weather.

You've got some days where you pretty much spend the entire day in museums. Maybe that works for you, but I find about 3 hours is my upper limit for museum time so consider mixing things up.

I really enjoy walking around some of the neighborhoods in London. London Walks has some nice walking tours for those in your group who want to spend time outdoors. They also have some walks that are tours of museums or sites and they can be a way to avoid waiting in a queue.

The Tower of London won't take the full day.

Day 6 looks terribly busy. Both Westminster Abbey and The Cabinet War Rooms can easily take a couple of hours and both are tops.

I generally plan one sight or activity in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. In the evening, theatre, pub walks, and late museum hours are good options. Of course, it is possible to squeeze in more, but I like to have time to take a break at lunch and explore at a leisurely pace.

Posted by
1786 posts

I agree that I would rather mix up the museums, I'm just not sure how to do that. I personally get burnt out fairly fast. I'm trying to get in the things we want to see and in a route that makes the most sense. But, maybe I'm planning too little on some days and too much on others?

I'm also thinking that maybe we can get to an area of London as a group and then split up. I know three of us have seen the war rooms but others have not.

Good to know to keep Hampton Court for a good weather day. Great tip, thank you.

Any suggestions for organizing this better? Or any sites that I have overlooked?

Posted by
4697 posts

The Tower will take half a day at most, try to get there when it opens and take the Yeoman Warder tour if you can. The big time consumer there is the crown jewels. If you want to see them, go straight there when the place opens for the shortest line. Otherwise you'll spend a lot of time waiting.

St. Paul's would combine nicely with the Tower since they're close together, but if you want evensong you'll have to make a separate trip there. You might consider a daytime St. Paul's visit and evensong in Westminster Abbey as an alternative. But, I understand, they won't let you explore the Abbey during evensong, and exploring is a big part of the experience there.

I agree that Day 6 is too busy, if you really want to see all those places. The Abbey and Churchill sights would both take hours, and the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are big museums.

Your groupings make sense geographically, and I'd say the areas are walkable, but some of your days will tire you out, especially the older members of the group, because you have so much to see.

Hampton Court is great but doesn't necessarily require a whole day, even with the boat ride back. You might be able to work in one or two of your other goals that afternoon, depending on where the boat drops you off.

Posted by
1586 posts

I suggest you schedule your Westminster Abbey visit earlier in the week - sometimes the abbey is closed to tourists because it is needed for some official event. If you leave it to Day 6, you could end up not getting to see it at all which would be a shame. It is fascinating and the audio tour is quite good.

You are wise to schedule both Tower of London and Westminster Abbey as "first thing in the morning" events because the lines can get very long.

The National Portrait Gallery has a lovely restaurant on its top floor and has good views. I believe it is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. You need reservations. Don't forget to visit nearby St. Martins in the Field - good cafe in the crypt. Both are close to the theatre district.

The British Museum is right on the edge of the Bloomsbury neighborhood, the Victoria and Albert is very close to Hyde Park. You could break up your museum time with walks and some bench sitting in Hyde Park.

Posted by
1786 posts

Thank you, thank you!! You are very helpful!

Some of the museums I listed are in the general areas of each other so some things like V & A is on my list, but then the Natural history and Science are just close by in case someone wants something different.

Our must sees are:

Tower of London

Hampton Court

National Gallery

V & A

Westminster Abby (Big Ben/Parliament from outside)

St. Pauls

Imperial War Museum

Buckingham Palace (from outside)

Walk the Thames

Globe theatre (have tickets Sat night)

Then our maybe sites:

National Portrait, British Library, London Eye, Changing of the Guards, Piccadilly Circus & Trafalgar Square (walk by,) Borough market,

And then maybe for the boys: Herdon Air Museum (outside of London), Churchill war rooms (dad, me and sis already have seen it) National Army Museum, Guards Museum.

Just trying to put it together in areas so we can go do some together and then split if we want. No one else will be doing research since the kids are too busy with school and everyone else just gave me their top sites. So, my idea is to make a general plan and then give them ideas to deviate if they want.

My main concern is to make it easy connecting sites and at a relaxed pace, but enough to do each day so our days are filled with great things.

Thanks for all the help!

Posted by
1582 posts

You'll be in London, so how can you go wrong with anything?! Seriously, we all have our favorite sites. I think you're on the right track for grouping, but maybe we can help,with tweeting. Would you mind reminding us where your hotel is? As others have said, Tower will only need 1/2 day at most and others have said 1/2 day for Hampton Ct. - where does the boat dock for that? Is there a museum in that neighborhood?

If you're doing the V&A, Nat. History Museum area, then the Harrods Food Halls are an easy walk.

I think you've also allowed more time than you need for British Museum. Also, check the museums to see if they have any exhibits that would really appeal to your interests. Some of those will have timed tickets. We got to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the British Museum when it was there because someone on a travel forum mentioned it and we got tix ahead.

Posted by
4546 posts

Hampton Court is easily a full day outing if you are taking the boat.

Posted by
10344 posts

I was thinking the same thing as Laura re Hampton Court, be sure to plan for the travel time, it is farther out than you might think. Rick's book discusses the travel time and transportation options to Hampton Court.

Posted by
1786 posts

I've had people say to take the boat one direction to Hampton, but not two. But, maybe we would enjoy going both directions? Especially if we plan it later in the week. I think we can pick up a boat to Hampton Court at either Westminster or Waterloo. Waterloo is near to us. So, maybe we do Hampton Court and then see the Imperial War Museum on the way home.

I'm surprised how early things close in London!

I hate to think we have too much time on our hands! We have 6 nights London. My dad, 90 years old, won't be much for parks or picnic. He is a city guy and likes seeing things as much as possible. He has done the British museum twice and wants to go again, and has done all the general sites. Then we have the grandkids (adults) that have never been to England so we will re-do sites for them.

We are staying at the Travelodge at Southwark in Southbank.

You are giving me a lot of suggestions, and I do appreciate it!

I'm sure we can't go wrong with whatever we do. I think I worry since I'm the planner and I want everyone to be happy, and want it all to go smooth.

Posted by
1878 posts

My wife were last in London in the spring of 2013 on the tail end of a two week U.K. trip. Your plan looks o.k. to me, except day six looks crazy busy. Churchill War Rooms are good for 2-3 hours, Westminster Abbey for a couple. I could easily spend three or four hours in the National Gallery. Be aware that many museums are free so you don't have to do it all in one session. The V&A is open late sometimes too, I think it used to be Friday nights. The National Portrait Gallery can actually be a fairly quick visit, maybe an hour and a half. The Tower of London - for me four or five hours fly by there. Not quite a full day, but it might be in August when the crowds must be very thick. One of the great sights in all of Europe, in my opinion. Even in May when we were they, London was pretty mobbed. Tower of London does a poorer job of managing crowds than other heavily crowded sites. Apparently they did not build the castle with thousands of tourist on a given day in mind! I did the London Eye on a 2010 business trip, and was not too impressed with the experience after dark, especially in relation to the cost. Might be better during the day, on a clear day.

Posted by
10344 posts

We had the same experience in London in May 2014: the London free sites (most museums) were mobbed, especially on the weekends. I noticed that the largest crowds are on weekends, I assume because these museums are free which makes it possible for the locals to go and take the whole family. It's still a wonderful city to visit, and all the free museums are nice.

Posted by
626 posts

A Taxi, or two taxis considering your numbers, from Heathrow to Southwark is going to be very expensive! £100+ I'm guessing, maybe more. Consider the tube.

Posted by
1786 posts

I was thinking about getting the Heathrow Shuttle. It gives me a quote of 63 pounds for 7 people. I don't know how accurate that will be or how reliable they are.

Maybe we could do the tube. I was just considering my dad, who is 90 years old and my daughter with cerebral palsy. Both of them do well, but just trying to make it easier. We will be returning our car at Heathrow then traveling into London from there at around 13:00 on a Wednesday. So, maybe the tube would be fine for us. At least we won't be dealing with jet lag, too.

So, should I plan to avoid the free museums on the weekend and do Hampton Court or Tower of London on Sat. and Sun?

Posted by
10344 posts

The impression I have (and I'm only a visitor there) is that in London, the big museums and other things that are free will, on non-working days, be crowded with locals with family; whereas the sights that are 25 pounds per person will not be crowded with locals.

Posted by
4546 posts

The boat to Hampton Court takes about 3 hours; that is why people say to only take it in one direction. I'd also plan to allow an hour on the train; by the time you factor in waiting for the train and walking across the bridge to or from Hampton Court, you are looking at that much time. Hampton Court is easily 3 hours for visit, so now you are up to seven hours. They do have a cafeteria with a nice outdoor seating area so you can always plan your lunch there. There are several sections of the palace plus the gardens so it can be a bit of walking. If you are interested in cooking or food, I recommend seeing the kitchens there; I found those most interesting.

I'd plan to go to sights where you will queue (e.g., Tower, Westminster Abbey) on weekdays.

I've never had to queue to get into the British Museum, except to queue for a special exhibit where you need to purchase a timed entry ticket. The British Museum is often crowded.

Posted by
54 posts

I second (third? fourth?) the comment that you won't need a full day for the Tower. It's fun, but if you get there early so you can get through the Crown Jewels before the crowds form, you can be out of there before lunch, having done it justice. We loved, loved, loved the V&A, but I would recommend thinking through ahead of time what you wanted to see. It is absolutely gigantic, and so fascinating that there's no way to do even a fraction of it in one go. We ended up there for 6 hours and got through less than 20% of it. The same is true, I suppose for the British, but you can see the absolute highlights there in a couple of hours, and then spend a few hours more tracking down something off the beaten path and feeling like you've done a good job. The V&A just goes on for miles and every corner you turn leads to 6 more things that feel like you shouldn't miss. One of the highlights of our trip was the Cast Courts...they've just reopened a huge section, and it's just the most Victorian, eye-popping hodgepodge you can imagine. Have fun!

http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/c/cast-courts/

Posted by
1786 posts

We have 5 full days in London, and I want to make sure we site see at a leisurely pace. I hate to say it, and I'm sure it isn't true, but I almost feel like I might run out of things to fill our days if the big sites don't take that long. Maybe I just need to research more to add more.

Posted by
54 posts

Definitely not too few things. It takes awhile to get around in London, and I guarantee you'll find a couple of things that you'll just stumble into that aren't on here yet. A couple more ideas, in case you're still anxious: London Walks is amazing, and you can just show up at the start of any of their walks (walks.com). Also, the London theater scene is amazing, and they have matinee shows for many of their most popular offerings. You can buy ahead of time, or TKTS on the day of.

Posted by
626 posts

I am slightly biased of course, being a local, but I'm not sure it's possible to run out of things to do in London even if you had 5 weeks! For the last 7 years, every Sunday morning, I've driven into town, parked for free, and just wandered about for a few hours. I'm constantly finding new things to see, do and eat, new places I didn't know were there and it never gets boring.

If anything, knowing how much there is, and how tired people can get with all the excitement (I've watched loads of tourist vlog's of London trips), I'd even be planning a day of nothing, where you just go with the flow and relax, walk in Hyde Park, get a drink at a pub, have lunch at a café, catch some sun (maybe) and refresh yourself. This might not work with only 5 days though.

I'm sure you'll have a great time Susan.

Posted by
1786 posts

Yes, you are right, there is a lot to do. I will continue to work on our plans and have extra ideas to add in. Maybe I'm feeling like it is more difficult due to our large group of 7 people and ages from 20-90 years old, plus one 23 year old with cerebral palsy where walking is a bit more limiting. So, our ability to wander around, enjoy a park etc. might not appeal to everyone. I know dad wont be sitting on the grass, too hard to get up and down, etc. issues like that. Then, thinking about the logistics of getting around London makes me want to chose an area and then stay within walking distance of that area for the day. But, maybe that isn't realistic.

Thank for all your feedback!

Posted by
626 posts

You do have a fairly unique set of challenges considering the mix of your group. Splitting into areas with fairly minimal walking is a good idea, which you have done to a large extent. You could add Tower Bridge, St. Catherine's Dock (for lunch or a rest), HMS Belfast and Borough Market in with the Tower of London on Day 3.

Also, consider when visiting places like the V&A, Science Museum, British Museum, etc. that getting there with minimal walking is one thing, but they are huge! and you would be very surprised at the amount of walking you will do once inside them. I had a step meter running on one visit to the British Museum, and during a fairly short visit, I covered a few miles, inside the building.

Posted by
2627 posts

With two in your party with limited mobility, consider the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour. Your ticket is good for 24 hours. The first thing you want to do is to board the bus, and do a complete loop around their London route; takes two hours. That way, you will get a look at all the tourist sights. A ride over Tower Bridge gives you a great view of the river. If you are on the top deck of the bus, you have a great view into a lot of gardens and private fenced areas of townhouses in posh areas. It is also relaxing, because you are seeing a lot, and not having to deal with walking or the tube.

A long ride on the HOHO bus is a great place to bring along a sandwich, chips and drink. Eat your lunch while enjoying the sights.

Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square you had on your list as a walk by for both. I would suggest a drive-by, on the HOHO bus. There's not much to see there, except for the lion statues. By the way, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery are both located at Trafalgar Square anyway, so you would have to arrive at Trafalgar Square see them. So don't make a special trip just to see Trafalgar Square and then come another day to see the two museums. See all three same day.

You can also get off the HOHO bus anytime you wish, see a sight, then hop back on the next HOHO bus that comes by. Very convenient. It is most convenient for those with limited mobility to then stay on the bus for a period of time to rest and do some more sightseeing from the bus. We rode on a HOHO bus that had wheelchair access; a platform at the back door that lowered to load the person and wheelchair. So that person would sit on the main level of the bus.

Your HOHO ticket also includes a boat ride on the river; a pleasant break from being inside museums all day. Interesting to see the great sights from the water.

Posted by
2627 posts

"I hate to think we have too much time on our hands! We have 6 nights London."
Not a chance!

Something I think your father may like that's not on your list. A boat trip to Greenwich to see the National Maritime Museum.

Something that may be fun for your daughter, dad, and everyone else. There is a canal that runs along the northern edge of Regents Park, near the zoo. You can board a cute canal boat, and take a ride along the canal. The ride will take you to a section of the canal known as Little Venice, where people live on beautiful canal/narrow boats, moored at the side of the canal. They have porches on the back, with flower pots, and flags of their country of origin. Beautiful. See the London Waterbus company website for details:
http://www.londonwaterbus.com/

For your trip in from Heathrow, try looking at www.justairports.com. They have limousines, and cost less than a taxi in some cases.

Posted by
10344 posts

I hate to say it, and I'm sure it isn't true, but I almost feel like I
might run out of things to fill our days if the big sites don't take
that long.

Good news: Running out of things to do in London will not be one of your problems.

Posted by
503 posts

Hi there. I have traveled with a group of 7 and found that everything takes just a bit longer to do. Things like finding a café or restaurant to everyone's liking, 7 people deciding what to order, etc., etc... you get my drift. So you need to allow for that. You already have one day trip planned with visiting Hampton Court, but if you do find that you have run out of things to do (doubtful) or get tired of the crowds and noise of a huge city, you might consider doing another day trip to Windsor. It is very doable and makes for a nice change of pace. Two years ago was the last time I visited London and before that it had been many years. I could not believe the crowds and the lines for everything. I found that after about 4 days I was ready to leave and find somewhere a little less crowded....luckily that is easy to do in England. Have a great trip.

Posted by
5666 posts

Okay, so I haven't been in London for 20 years but ... wouldn't it be simpler to drop everyone off at the hotel (with bags) and then just the two of you ferry the car to Heathrow ?
So many wonderful things to see in London! Envious!!

Posted by
1786 posts

Thanks again for all the great ideas! I really had not considered a HOHO bus due to cost, but maybe it would be a good idea.

I really don't think we would want to drive into London to drop off at the hotel. I'm sure we'd save lots of money, but I can't imagine London would be a place we would want to drive, especially with a big van!

We used Just Airports on our last trip and they were great! But, they don't have a large van to take us all, so we would need at least 2 cars and then it gets very expensive. I was thinking of using Heathrow Shuttle. But I don't know if they are good/bad? I get a quote from them for a shared shuttle (including our 7) for 126 pounds round trip.

Posted by
10344 posts

I can't imagine London would be a place we would want to drive,
especially with a big van!

The above would be correct, don't even think about it.

Wow, $180 for the Heathrow shuttle.

After 30 posts, I forget where you have ended up: Earls Court area?

Posted by
1786 posts

Well....more like 75 posts Kent!!

We ended up at the Travelodge at Southwark.

I was happy with the price of the shuttle- just $25 pp round trip. As long as they are efficient and reliable.

Or we could take public transport into London. Something we will have to think about.

Posted by
10344 posts

$25/person sounds good. I forgot how many people you have.

Posted by
158 posts

in the area of the Holburn Tube Station, (served by the Central and Picadilly lines) is a nice cluster of things. First stop: Fleet River Bakery for their iconic flat white made with Monmouth coffee and either breakfast or a breakfast pastry. Around the corner is the quirky museum of Sir John Soames, under an hour to visit. The kids can run about for a while and the adults can sit and chat on the benches in the Fields of Lincoln's Inn. The oldest building from this early period is Lindsey House, 59–60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, which was built in 1640.

Just steps away are the Silver Vaults, google them but some in your group will be delighted.

There are the Inns of Court which might include a stop at the Templars Church (think davinci code) as well as Middle Temple Hall which has the “Cup-board” made from the hatch cover of Sir Francis Drake’s flagship, the Golden Hind and a double hammer beam roof carved from Windsor Forest oak and an elaborately carved screen dating to 1574. The lovely guard there will occasionally let you in if you ask politely. (London walks does a great walk of this area). It is a beautiful and not enormous area. And the Inns of Court will probably end for you on the Embankment with easy access to Temple Tube stop

Posted by
1786 posts

Wow! I had no idea there was so much near the River Fleet Bakery other than the British Museum and Lincoln Fields Inn. Actually, my dad, sister and I stayed at River Fleet Bakery for three nights after a cruise 3 years ago (our only experience with London) and loved the area. Also, we loved the Ships Tavern for dinner each night. We all want to go back there for dinner and show the rest of the family where we stayed before.

Thanks for all the ideas!

Posted by
2627 posts

"I really don't think we would want to drive into London to drop off at the hotel. I'm sure we'd save lots of money, but I can't imagine London would be a place we would want to drive, especially with a big van!"
--You are so right!

"We used Just Airports on our last trip and they were great! But, they don't have a large van to take us all, so we would need at least 2 cars and then it gets very expensive. I was thinking of using Heathrow Shuttle. But I don't know if they are good/bad? I get a quote from them for a shared shuttle (including our 7) for 126 pounds round trip."

If you are satisfied with what you are seeing from Heathrow Shuttle, great. If not, look again at Just Airports. They have a van, referred to as MPV on their site, that carries 5 passengers, 4 large pieces of luggage, and 2 carry-on bags. You could put 5 of your party in the Just Airports van, including the two in your group who have some mobility problems.

The two that are left can easily take the tube into London. Both parties are going directly to the hotel. Meet in the lobby. The Just Airports drivers will take good care of the five, and help them get all of their luggage into the lobby, in case it's you and your husband left to take the tube in. Or you could ride in the van with your daughter and father, and let two others take the tube in. I see no problems with the two parties meeting at the hotel.

For the two coming by tube, catch the Piccadilly line at Heathrow, into London, get off at Green Park Station. Change to the Jubilee Line, traveling east, three stops to the Southwark tube station (You will pass through Westminster tube station, then Waterloo, then get off at Southwark.). Your hotel should be walking distance from there--one block east, as we would say in the U.S--IF it's the Travelodge on Union Street. There are two Travelodges in Southwark; the other one is on Waterloo Road. You can walk to that one also from Southwark tube station. Approx. six blocks to the southwest of the tube station.

Be sure you have a good, detailed map of London; not just the usual tourist map showing only the main streets and attractions. Pick up a tube map for each person at one of stations.

Posted by
2627 posts

Your transportation problems will be made more difficult if each person over-packs. Resist the urge for each person to take an entire wardrobe of clothes.

If you decide to take my suggestion in the above post for two people to take the tube from Heathrow to London, it would be helpful if they each take only one carry-on bag, or a gym bag, and not also a large checked bag.

Mountains of luggage will make your entire trip far more more difficult.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
1786 posts

Thanks Rebecca! I had not considered splitting up and doing both tube and van. Just Airports was fabulous for us last time, but when I found that they only had a van for 5, I figured I wouldn't use them. Really, we could all take the tube, too. We will at Heathrow returning our car so we will have already been to the Cotswolds, so at least jet lag will not be a problem (we'll have that driving a big van into the Cotswolds!!!) And, yes, only carryon for everyone!

I'll look into the idea of the 5 person van and tube. Something to consider especially for the two special needs in our group. However, 90 year old dad would probably volunteer to be the one on the tube!

Posted by
5666 posts

Or at least have the van carry as much of the luggage as possible so the tube-takers have maximum mobility. It's not the riding that's tough -- it's the schlepping bags on and off.

Posted by
10344 posts

Susan,
This is the trip planning challenges that will not go away. :-)
I just hope, and trust, that the other 6 are aware of your heroic efforts to make their trip a success.
My hat is off to you. You have certainly earned our respect here for your valiant efforts.
Regards,
Kent

Posted by
1786 posts

Thanks for your kind words Kent! Luckily, I don't mind all the work, at least after we got our accommodations nailed down. That part was not fun!

Posted by
1586 posts

Should some of you want another easy day trip from London, you might enjoy Hastings. it's an easy train trip from Charing Cross station and I think it took us about an hour to get there. The area with all the old net-sheds is very picturesque and it's a flat area for walking. . Battle Abbey, the actual site of the 1066 events, is seven miles away - you could probably get a taxi to take you there if it interests you. Hastings is the locale for the Foyle's War BBC series.

Posted by
40 posts

Great that you are getting to see the Cotswolds. I just returned yesterday from a trip to London/Cotswolds/Paris with my family - 9 days. You might enjoy a half-day tour of Oxford on your way out of the Cotswolds.

Since you're going to Heathrow, I highly recommend touring nearby Windsor Castle. I was very impressed and can't imagine Hampton Court being a better option. Needs a half-day.

Tower of London needs 3-4 hours tops. Churchill War Rooms is great and now has newish Churchill Museum as part.

We did not do London Eye and I never even saw the thing moving. Must be just a slow rotation only for loading & unloading. Catch a performance in Royal Albert Hall for the show and history. Changing of the guard is a bit disappointing for the amount of time in the middle of the day.

Posted by
626 posts

Mark, you didn't say if you had a good time or not, hoping that you did.

Windsor Castle and Hampton Court are different really, doing them both is not doing the same trip twice. For me, if short of time, I'd do The Tower of London, or Windsor Castle, again not the same thing, but more similar to each other than Hampton Court. The boat trip from Hampton Court to Westminster, whist taking 3 hours, is nice... on a nice day, and isn't very expensive.

The London Eye does turn very slowly, and at a quick glance, appears not to be moving. It turns so slowly that it doesn't stop for loading and unloading, unless in a special circumstance.

I have heard on a few occasions that "Changing of the Guard" isn't all it's cracked up to be, mainly because of time involved and crowds. There is a small 'CotG' every Sunday in Horse Guards Parade which is far more accessible. The 'new horse guards' pass Buckingham Palace around 09:45 to arrive at HGP for 10:00 with a small 'ceremony', not the same, but fun and you can get up close without waiting for hours.

Posted by
626 posts

Susan, many of us here have lived (partially) the planning of this trip with you, you must find a way of letting us know how it all went, and if it was worth all the cost and effort.

Posted by
1786 posts

MIke,

I will let you know how it all went. However, I think I'll be around here with a lot more questions since our trip isn't until August!

This isn't the sort of trip we would generally plan, it is really more about dad and making it a family- three generation trip. So, it will be very short and very, very expensive! When we travel we go for 4 weeks and do it fairly cheap, which I suppose is why I haven't planned an England trip with my hubby and daughter. So, this will be it, and dad is footing the bill for most of it. I have to remind myself that it will be a different experience, hopefully great, but different with 7 people in tow!