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Short stay in London

We’re arriving at LGW on 8/4. We haven’t booked a hotel or Airbnb yet. Where is the best location if we want to visit the major attractions? What’s the best mode of transportation from LGW and to LHR (where we’ll be flying out of London from)? What attractions should we not miss. We’re leaving London on 8/8. Thanks.

Posted by
638 posts

We’re arriving at LGW on 8/4. We haven’t booked a hotel or Airbnb yet.
Where is the best location if we want to visit the major attractions?

Anywhere within Zones 1 and 2 in the Transport for London (TfL) system.

What’s the best mode of transportation from LGW and to LHR (where
we’ll be flying out of London from)?

From LGW to London: the train. There's the Gatwick Express or less expensive regular train. Same route, just that the regular train makes some stops along the way.

From London to LHR: you can take the Underground (aka the Tube). It's the Piccadilly Line. Or you can take the Heathrow Express from Paddington Station, or a TfL train from Paddington station. Or a prebooked car service. "Best" is whatever suits you best. Obviously the Tube is the most economical.

What attractions should we not miss. We’re leaving London on 8/8.

With no clue as to what you're interested in, or the number/ages of people you're traveling with, I suggest that you look this guide to start building an itinerary. The members of this forum aren't travel agents or professional travel planners, but are happy to comment on proposed itineraries and answer specific questions.

Thanks.

You're welcome.

Posted by
511 posts

London's main attractions are pretty spread out - the subway zones 1 and 2 are the most central, or once you've decided what sights you want to see, pick a hotel or Airbnb near one of those. As the previous poster suggested, your "must sees" will be different from everyone else's based on your interests. With three full days you might want to see Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, maybe Maritime Greenwich (I'm nuts about boats) or the British Museum. I suggest you read the descriptions and see if it sounds like something your group would enjoy.

Posted by
2304 posts

For me the Tower of London is the definite must-see. I really liked Westminster Abbey as well and would recommend a tour through London Walks. One dark horse that rarely gets mentioned is the Museum of London, it's a chronological history of London. I enjoyed it much more than the British Museum, probably because I was much more interested in English history than artifacts from other countries.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful suggestions.

We're now arriving in STN on 8/17 and are booked in an Airbnb in the Soho area. We're going back to the US on the evening of the 20th.

How early should we purchase tickets on the Standsted Express?
We plan on going to Abbey Road at 7 am on Sunday so that there won't be too many cars. Is it safe to be in the area at this time of the day?
What's the best time and where's the best location to watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace?
As for the Tower of London, do we need to purchase any of the guides and/or pay for audio guides? What's the best time to visit?
How can we get tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys?
We'll be riding the tube and buses. Is there a 1 to 2-day pass we can purchase that'll save us money?
How do we go from Central London to LGW? Our flight is on a Tuesday at 5 pm. What time should we leave Central London?
I apologize for a ton of questions. I appreciate everyone's comments.

We plan on going to Abbey Road at 7 am on Sunday so that there won't
be too many cars. Is it safe to be in the area at this time of the
day?

The only danger you’ll ever face at Abbey Road is traffic. Or accidentally going to the wrong Abbey Road (there’s a station called Abbey Road on the Docklands Light Railway which is miles from the one you want.)

Tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys book up around a year in advance so you’re too late for that.

Posted by
6338 posts

Get the RS London guidebook. Read it. Many of your questions are answered in it.

It’s Too late to get tickets for Ceremony of the Keys.

Changing of the Guard info here. https://www.householddivision.org.uk/changing-the-guard-calendar

Tower of London. Go early when it opens and head straight to the Crown Jewels. Arranging a Beef Eater tour or getting audio guides is a personal preference.

Abbey Road is a through-fare. Even at 7am there will be cars. Be smart, pay attention and remember your brain will be used to looking the opposite way than you need to be looking for vehicles.

Use the Gatwick Express from Victoria Station to get to LGH. Best to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. https://www.gatwickexpress.com/

Just get Oyster cards for your public transport https://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/getting-around-london/oyster

As far as what to see, you’ll know after reading the RS London Guidebook