3 packed days in London

I have Rick's Top 10 and bigger GB 2013 book. I've scanned these posts and Trip advisor. Here's my loose itinerary(even though it includes times) Please comment/advise. Thursday. arrive at LHR at 8a/staying near Marble Arch 11 ish-Buckingham palace for change of guard 1 ish-lunch at Scalini 2:30 ish-Harrods for candy 4 ish-Kensington Palace could do afternoon Tea there at Orangery or ... -dinner at Scanlini if we don't have lunch there or some great pub for beers! Friday 9a Westminster Abbey 10:30 Churchill War rooms 12 Parlament 1p Trafalager Square for lunch and milling around 5p ish London Eye 8p play in West end Saturday 9a Tower London 10:30 London Bridge then walk to 11:30 Tate Modern nap or later 4p St Paul's then Evensong at 5p nap go out on town until 10:30p when turn into pumpkin
Sunday we head out at 2p for Brussels but then return to London a week later. Thinking of doing a day trip to Bath/Stonehedge then. Would love to fit British Library in somewhere!

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

Your knees will buckle. You won't wake up from your nap.

Posted by Stacey
Kansas City
124 posts

Aside from being tightly scheduled, Westminster Abey does not open for tours until 9:30 most Fridays. There are several Fridays in March and April where there are no morning tours, so depending on when you are going, that might be problematic. I can't imagine an hour and a half would be enough time for the Tower of London, but if you don't want to see it all and know right where you are going, you might be alright. It looks like you have plenty of time for milling around near Trafalgar Square, that's good.

Posted by Jayne
Madison, WI, USA
7 posts

Ed- You made us laugh aloud! We also are planning on getting some shorter runs in the morning prior to our walking endeavors. But with our start time at Westminster now at 9:30a on Saturday, that gives us plenty of time! Thanks. Seriously would the British Museum fit in anywhere in the three days? We return to London on the 29th and the website says it will be closed that day through April something. AND I will be buying our tickets to all attractions prior to our departure.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

Are you sure you mean "London Bridge' that's a flatish modern concrete monstrosity.... or do you mean "Tower Bridge" with the two tall towers and a drawbidge that goes up and down? Tower Bridge is a three minute walk from the tower of London. Nobody wants to see "londson Bridge"- look them up on google or whatever .
If you start at the Tower or Tower Brudge, it is more convenient to see St Pauls before you see Tate Modern. However, St Pauls is in the City, which is pretty dead on weekends, unless you find a pub, there will probably be moew places for lunch in/near the Tate

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2187 posts

WOW. I just turned into pumpkin mush!
Really that is packed I know you are excited and I would be too but it is very ambitious itin. leave Bath/Stonehenge to another time and focus on your London highlights.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

You ask about the British Museum. I would put it, the Tower of London, Saint Paul's, and Westminster Abbey very much above everything else on your list.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11663 posts

I agree with Ed. Both of the comments. One bitty thing - you seem to use British Library and British Museum interchangeably. They are two very different, and both wonderful in what they offer, places. The British Museum is H>U>G>E and it is well worth it looking at the website and planning a route. The current Pompeii exhibition has had absolutely rave reviews... The British Library is right next to St Pancras station and has so many special pieces. We love the place.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
894 posts

When you include Parliament on Friday, is that a tour inside (possible I believe at some times of the year on Fridays), or just a 'walk-by'? That would change, perhaps, your itinerary I'm also not sure how much milling around you could do in Trafalgar Sq. - once you've had a look up at Nelson and fed some pigeons (not encouraged these days), that is about it unless you have an interest in Commonwealth high commissions. Four hours seems excessive unless you are going to the National Gallery or walking down for a Buckingham Palace tour (when are you here?), but it would be a good time to go to the British Museum or Library. As indicated above, both those are worth visiting, I would put them equal as London's third best sites.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, i was there last March for 4.5 days. here is my do list arrival day: Tower Of London, Tower Bridge Millinium Bridge St Pauls Cathedral Templer Church (didnt make it) Day 1 Museum Of London British Museum (donation) Piccadilly Circus National Gallery Trafalgar Square Day 2 Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Room (donation) Westminster Abbey (closed) Royal Mews Day 3 Imperial War Museum (free) London Eye Horseback riding - Hyde Park - Ross Nye Stables Day 4
National Army Musuem (free) Shopping As mentioned, the British Museum is huge. If you want to do it justice, plan on several hours. Of course theres next time.... i skipped the changing of the guards and chose to the royal mounted guards instead. if youre not into horses, then you maynot like that. if youre into musuems and history, i would NOT miss the British Museum! if youre going to do the London Eye, i strongly recommend you get your tickets in advance online. When i went, there was a loooooong line to get tickets. For those that had reserved tickets, just walkup and in. it was that fast. also, just an fyi, there is another place next to the London Eye, iirc, its the "county hall" and had a "movies/TV" exhibit. its not there now since iirc, the last day was in Oct, but you may want to take note of the banners on the riverwalk to see whats there. happy trails.

Posted by Susan
St Paul
44 posts

Hi, Our kids (now 23 and 26) love the Tower of London. We have been there 3 times, the last being in June, and we spent 6 hours (including lunch) there. We had to leave as it was closing time. As it costs approximately $30 for a ticket, you may want to spend a few hours there. We went to Parliament last month while the kids went to Westminster. That was a 2 - 2 1/2 hour time frame.
Do plan on the British Museum, also a favorite of our 23 yo son who was first there when he was ten, a 2012 grad of UW Madison. Have fun!

Posted by Myrna
New Orleans, LA
17 posts

We visited London in 2010. We found the Tower has a lot of stuff to do/see. We arrived at opening and stayed until mid afternoon, and did not see everything. We did the Tower the RS way,and did the Jewels first, and no line at that time. We enjoyed walking the wall and going in each tower. Also, the Churchill War Rooms took much more than the scant hour you have allotted. You could certainly walk through in an hour. We had a subway delay and did not make it on time to the Evensong; so that was a small disappointment, and problem with cutting things to closely. We did enjoy a whole day of walking the RS walking tours and stopping along the way a bit. We loved London so much, going back in April 2013.

Posted by Jayne
Madison, WI, USA
7 posts

Thank you All for your help and suggestions. I have altered my loose plan. I will add the British Museum on our return day at the end of our trip instead of a day trip. And I will post a reply in 2 weeks when we return!
Wish my family luck :-)

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3692 posts

Agree with others re: Tower of London, we could easily spend 4 + hrs there. I also don't think 1.5 hrs for the Churchill War Rooms, which includes getting from there to Parliament, is enough time.

Posted by Nicole P
Truro, NS, Canada
1241 posts

We hit the Tower of London on our 1st trip in 2008...I think we got there maybe 60-90 min before closing, debated going in, took the plunge...managed to see the Crown Jewels and maybe about 1/3 of what we thought looked interesting...I would say at last 2.5-3hrs minimum for ToL...