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Please comment on my 4 day itinerary in London. Thank you so much

Tuesday April 30th arrive at Heathrow at 10:40 am.  Hotel St. James Court, A Taj Hotel. Drop luggage-walk around Buckingham Palace-St. James Park-Trafalgar square, getting a feel for our surroundings.

Wednesday May 1st:   Churchill War Room + Westminster Abbey (Thames River walk)

Thursday May 2nd:   St. Pauls +Tower of London (East End Shoreditch)

Friday May 3rd: Windsor Castle- (SoHo/ covent Gardens)

Saturday May 4th: Explore Kensington/ Belgravia// Hyde Park.

Sunday May 5th-Train to Glasgow

 We are very fluid travelers and can pivot according to how we feel, weather etc.   We love to spend time walking around/cafes etc to get the feel of different neighborhoods. The areas I have in parentheses are some of the areas that look to be interesting to explore even if it's just for an hour or two before having dinner at a restaurant there.  Obviously we can't see all of those areas so looking for suggestions and how they might fit into the schedule of attractions.
Thanks in advance Sharon

Posted by
6704 posts

Sunday 5 May is the Sunday of a long Holiday weekend. That is a favourite time for railway engineering work. Thus there is a good chance that your train journey, by whichever route you choose (East or West coast) will be disrupted.
You will get there, but may have a bus journey in the middle or be diverted so have an extended journey.
I wouldn't expect timetables for a good month yet, usually on an 8 week release currently for such a weekend.
If there is engineering it may also affect Saturday and Monday.

Posted by
7012 posts

As far as I can see, your itinerary is very well thought out and amazingly unrushed. You've given yourself plenty of time for exploring neighborhoods and still seeing some sights.

You mentioned that you would like to explore some areas, but it's unclear what you want to see. Are you looking for places to visit in those neighborhoods (sightseeing, etc.?) or just some cafes or restaurants to visit?

Posted by
3821 posts

On Thursday, May 2nd, go to the Tower of London when it opens first thing in the morning.
Otherwise, you'll be fighting huge crowds later in the day there.

Move your visit to St. Paul's to later in the day. It won't be as crowded as the Tower.

Posted by
961 posts

Looks great. Agree that you should go to the Tower 1st thing. Plan on a few hours, we actually spent longer there than I would have anticipated (in a good way.)

Posted by
83 posts

Thank you for the input everyone. I thought I replied to each of you individually however I don't see my reply's noted here? Anyway, I will definitely move Tower of London to first thing in the am and St Pauls later in the day. Regarding the neighborhood areas I am interested in, I have seen some very detailed walks that include gardens, architecture, quaint streets and we hope to see as much as we can before having a meal or pint. Also, thanks so much for the information on the trains for Sunday the 5th, we will be patient and go with the flow, maybe even have a plan B just in case.

Sharon

Posted by
612 posts

A further suggestion for your Tower of London in the morning plan: upon entry go directly to the crown jewels. Do not pass go, do not stop for a Yeoman Warder tour, don’t stop to look at anything else along the way. This gives you the best chance of arriving at the crown jewels with either no line or a short line. Once you’re finished there, you can circle back to the entrance and join a Yeoman Warder tour, or simply meander at will.

Enjoy London!!

Posted by
1177 posts

An alternative plan would be to fly to Glasgow rather than train it.

EasyJet has flights from Gatwick, Stansted and Luton at good prices. I would go with this option on a Sunday due to potential delays with the trains. It’s probably cheaper as well.

Posted by
1003 posts

There is engineering work on 5/5 and Euston station will be closed.

There is no need to panic though. You can simple take a train from King's Cross to Edinburgh and then change for a train to Glasgow. This will add an hour or so to the journey time to about 5.5 hours. A plane might be a bit quicker but it's a lot more hassle having to get out to and back in from airports and having to be there 2 hours before the flight and deal with security.

Posted by
634 posts

Just a comment regarding the Crown Jewels: I found that part of the Tower of London to be by far the least interesting part of the entire visit. The history of the various parts of the Tower complex is incredibly interesting, and I got a much better understanding of English history generally as a result. But I am aware that the jewels seem to compel most visitors the most. I agree that heading straight for that exhibit early in the morning is a good idea, as later in the day the entry queue gets very long indeed.

Posted by
6704 posts

As noted on another thread there is East Coast Engineering work as well between Doncaster and Darlington until 1100 with bus replacements between those stations (which includes York). If the work is not completed on time this could impact across the day.
All East Coast trains on 5 May are currently showing as timetable not confirmed.

Avanti are due to release their timetable for 5 May on or around Wednesday this week (13 March). Only then will we know exactly what is happening on the west coast.

Until the Avanti timetable is released their timetable is pure conjecture as LNWR are saying that they are running trains to Watford Junction with buses to Milton Keynes. So Euston is not closed entirely.

Posted by
4473 posts

Have you looked at London Walks guided tours? You might find something that really appeals to you.

Posted by
6704 posts

LNER and Avanti have now confirmed their timetables for 5 May.

The first LNER train from King's Cross is at 1000 and then hourly, change at Edinburgh for Glasgow. The 1000 is already showing as busy, so the 1100 and later are cheaper and quieter (currently) but can all be expected to become very busy and progressively more expensive. Lumo have still not confirmed their timetable.

If the morning Engineering work between Doncaster and Northallerton is not completed on time and they have to continue to run buses that will add at least 1 hour 15 minutes onto the journey time.

On the West Coast Avanti have now confirmed the London Overground Shuttle train service to Watford Junction, the 50 minute bus transfer Bedford to Milton Keynes and the 2 hour bus transfer Watford Junction to Milton Keynes.

Trains start at Milton Keynes, and divert via Manchester to Preston, with a shuttle train beyond Preston to Oxenholme Lake District. Then buses Oxenholme to Carlisle, and Carlisle to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Neither coast is offering an attractive journey that day.

The best route for not being busy, being able to run and for scenic value would be 0905 LNER Kings Cross to Leeds, 1232 Leeds to Carlisle via Settle, then rail replacement bus Carlisle to Glasgow- or stay in Carlisle overnight then the 1 hour train journey to Glasgow next morning. An opportunity to visit Historic Carlisle, to get an added extra- Carlisle Castle, Cathedral and Tullie House Museum for starters.

Posted by
83 posts

isn31c: Thanks so much for the travel update on trains for 5-5-2024. As you mention no options seem great. We only have 3 nights in Glasgow so a flight might be our best option. A night in Carlisle does sound nice though.

Have a great day
Sharon

Posted by
1177 posts

I would definitely fly. Dealing with engineering works on the trains is not fun. There is no way I would take a train on a day with scheduled engineering works.