How much time would you allocate in London?

I'm working on sites we will see during our 2 1/2 days of London in July. We want to see: The Tower of London British Museum St. Pauls Cathedral Westminster Abby Churchil Museum and War Rooms
and maybe the British Library if we have time I know everyone is different, but how much time would you allocate for each site?

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, i was there last March so im going by what lines i had to wait at that time. > TOL. No line to get in or tickets. But slow 3 block line to see the Crown Jewels. Probably about 1~2 hours to get in. > British Museum. No line to get in, but its HUGE and alot to see if you care to. i spent 4+ hours in there.
> everything else was little or no lines and took a few hours to view/see. > just an fyi, if you go to St Pauls, dont forget to climb the dome and beyond, I forgot the first time, so i did it the second time. ALso, note the wear on the stair treads and around the dome rails. lots of wear from all of the people walking and climbing. imo, its not time allocation as much as waiting in lines. also, what i do is to breakup the attractions into areas/regions. IE, the TOL, St Pauls and British Museum is more a less a straight line back into town. You could hoof it if you choose. Then WMA and the Churchill War rooms are close. so you could divide the to do like that. i didnt go to the British Library, but its further out past the British Museum. its jmo and up to you how you want to do the trip, but imo you should be able to do it in your alloted time. just a note tho, im sure you already know the opening days/times right? happy trails.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
1062 posts

Personally, I would slightly change Ed's hours (I assume) to 4, 3, 1, 3, 2, 3 - but I think the general point is you can certainly see all those in 2.5 days if you wanted to. You also have time for walking to have a look at other sites not on your list but which you might want to see (e.g. Parliament near the Abbey, Tower Bridge near the Tower, Trafalgar Sq near the War Rooms, etc.). The main site not on your list is Lord's, but you may need to leave that for another trip.

Posted by Pam
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
72 posts

Follow Rick Steves advise to be at the TOL as it opens and go straight to the Jewells to avoid the lines. I did this in 2007, was sure everyone else knew the secret and whould do the same but I had the Jewells all to myself. Once finished viewing them go back towards the entrance to join a tour. I'll be back in London in June 2013 and can't wait. Happy travels.

Posted by Lee
1017 posts

If the weather is lousy go roughly with Ed's allocation. If you have good weather cut it all in half and spend time outside exploring London. E.g. the walk from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square is filled with gems like the Cenotaph, Banqueting House (the site of Charles I's execution), and Downing Street.

Posted by Susan and Monte
Granite Bay, CA
1211 posts

Thank you all for your feedback! It will help me in my planning. I really had not thought about waiting in line for tickets as part of our sightseeing time, but it is true.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi again, i forgot to add. look at the London Pass. Im going to let you do your own homework on that. btw, RS books covers these city passes and give you info as to what the benefits are. some places have security where everyone has to go tru whereas some are just ticket lines the pass allows you to bypass. happy trails.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1280 posts

The Tower of London (half a day) and Westminster Abbey(2-3 hours) are both places where you should arrive early in the morning to beat the long lines....... I am not a fan of St. Pauls (too austere for my taste) but we have given it an hour both times we visited......From there, you can walk across the nearby pedestrian bridge to the South Bank........The British Library is very close to St. Pancras and Kings Cross RR stations in case you are taking a train. You only need an hour but could spend more time.......If you stay in the Bloomsbury neighborhood, you could just pop into the British Museum a couple of times for an hour......We have never visited the War Rooms......Save some time for just walking around in the parks and along the south bank from the pedestrian bridge to the London Eye.............Ben Johnson said, "A man who is tired of London is tired of life.".......A tourist who is tired in London should sit down and put her feet up, then take a taxi to a nice dinner or the theatre. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
1062 posts

" The British Museum is free" No, it is free to visit, because others, including us taxpayers, subsidise it's running costs. So please consider making a donation if you go.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
916 posts

We recommend that you take a river cruise on the Thames. You go to the Westminister Pier and have numerous river choices. We took a long boat ride out to Hampton Court and came back by train. That particular tour is offered at the far left ticket counter, at Westminister Pier. It is also beautiful to walk around Regents Park. The grounds are gorgeous.

Posted by Kim
1605 posts

Good point Keith! We all need to remember and support these cultural institutions in these straightened budgetary times.