3 Days in London- need help with an itinerary

We, my boyfriend and I, will be arriving in London at noon on day 1 and will be leaving at 1100 on day 4. We are planning to see the major sites- buckingham palace, westminster abbey, big ben/parliment, tower of london, tower bridge, churchill war rooms, kensington palace, hyde park and the globe theater neighborhood. We are staying in the Victoria Station neighborhood. Now to my questions:
Does anyone have any good pubs/gastropubs they would recommend? Also, should we try to go to cotswolds or a surrounding village for an afternoon? Or would it be too much? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by Mark
Waycross, GA, USA
16 posts

I would stay in London and not try to go out on a day trip. Think about it...you are going to the greatest city in the world! You will not be able to see all that you want to see in 3 days. Don't worry, you will see everything on your list but there is always more to see and do in London. We have been twice and will be going there for 1.5 days this summer before we catch the night train up to Scotland. See what is important and you will be back. I agree with the pubs! I absolutely love the pubs. Google pubs in whatever neighborhood that you will be in and it will give you a pile of info. Trip advisor is great too. We have been to London twice in 10 years for a week each. 1st time did the day trip to Bath, Salisbury, Stonehenge and the second week trip we took the train out to Hampton Court for the day. They were week trips, so we managed to do a day trip on each but if I were you I would stay right there in London and soak it up. Highly recommend taking in a show in the west end one night... It's just one of those things you have to do while you are there. We saw Wicked 4 yrs ago and it is excellent. That green girl sure can sing! Take the tube wherever you go. Kind of confusing at first but try it and you will get the hang of it quickly. Don't forget to "mind the gap"
I love London

Posted by Darren
Galt, Calif., UK
135 posts

I would squeeze in a trip out to Windsor, if you arrive by train by 9am you should be on your way back to London by 1pm ish as you can see it in 3 hours. Well worth seeing.

Posted by david
washington
837 posts

Your time is very short. Don't even think about leaving before you have to. You could spend months in London and not see everything. Yes, the other suggestions are well worth seeing and you should attempt to return to visit them all. Great pub for food: Hereford Arms on Gloucester Road South Kensington, just south of the Gloucester Road tube station. Have eaten there numerous times. All others except the Grenedier near the Wellington Arch disappointing.

Posted by Susan
St Paul
35 posts

Laura, We had a good lunch at The Anchor in January. It is a nice old pub on the South Bank so would be a good spot to stop when you are at The Globe. It has a wonderful patio which overlooks the Thames and would be fun to hang out there in warmer weather. We were at Hampton Court in June and spent 6 hours there. Windsor is also a fun town to wander before or after going to the castle. We ate at a nice pub when we were there, on main street walking from train to the castle. As mentioned in a previous post, London has plenty to keep you busy without venturing out of the city. You can make your decision once you are there. You may also enjoy the Imperial War Museum as you are interested in the Churchill War Rooms. I'm not sure when you are going, but be prepared for the weather. Last June, temp was in the 50's with rain every day. Just returned from London 3 weeks ago and temps were 40's -50's with less rain, so not much different from "summer"!
Have a great trip!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Although I think you have alot crammed in, on second thought most is doable since some of your sites are what I call "walk bys' ,, you will walk by them or see them from outside. Tower Bridge, you can see it from Tower of London grounds, Big Ben and Parliment,Kensington Palace, all those are easy walk bys to me. So I guess co ordinating a sensible route to pass by all those sites will be a good time saver, we tend to waste time backtracking if we don't do our homework on tube/metro/bus routings.
I thoroughly endorse others comments that you don't really have time for a trip out of London though, Tower of London is a wonderful site and worth 3 hours at least, and I understand the Imperial War Rooms are amazing also.It would be nice if you were able to peek in the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Royal British, because they are free its seems ok to literally pop in for an hour ( even though both are worth much more time)

Posted by Laura
St Paul, Minnesota, USA
9 posts

Thank you all so much! I agree that we should stay in London the entire time and save the rest for another trip. This will give us some time to just walk around and really take in London.

Posted by Glenn
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
307 posts

Yep, I agree with the others...with the amount of time you have, stay in London and see the rest on another trip. You could spend weeks in London and not be bored, a truly great city. If you're there on a Saturday, I would recommend going to see Portobello Market. As previously mentioned, some of the best things are free, like the British Museum...Natural History Museum... the Rare Books room at the British Library...
You can easily start a day at Buckingham Palace, and then its an easy walk to go to Trafalgar Square, Big Ben/Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey. Or you could start a day at Tower of London ( you should plan on 3-4 hours touring the site..then cross the Thames ( London Bridge or one of the other bridges close by) and then take a leisurely stroll along the south bank of the Thames, passing the Globe Theatre, and ending up at the London Eye ( about 45 mins to an hour to walk from Tower of London to the London Eye )

Posted by Katy
London, UK
130 posts

For pubs in the area you are staying in try www.fancyapint.com. There are some good pubs that used to be old bank buildings - eg The Old Bank of England (near the Strand) or the Counting House (which is in the City, the business district).

Posted by Nancy
Warren, MI, USA
5 posts

I love the neighborhood around Victoria Station. We have always stayed in places recommended by Rick Steves' guidebooks. We went to St. George's Tavern twice the last time I was in London (2011) and the food and desserts were great. I am pretty sure that pub was in one of Rick's books. Like others have said, there are many good pubs in London. I agree with everyone else, there is so much to see in London, save going outside the city on another visit.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
215 posts

If you're near Victoria Station you might want to check out Cask in Pimlico. It's not a fancy or old fashioned pub but it is one of the few places that carries a bunch of local and micro-brews and they really know their stuff. Cask 6 Charlwood Street, London SW1V 2EE I come from the current local brew capital of the US and this was the only place I found in that corner of London that really cared about brewing. =Tod

Posted by Dan
Northville, MI, USA
15 posts

FYI - The Imperial War Museum is closed until July 2013. Not sure when you are going but I was disappointed to see this when I checked their website as we are going to visit London in June:-(. Reason they're closed is they are preparing a WW I centennial exhibit. @Tod - thanks for the heads up on Cask. We're staying close by (Lower Sloane St).