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London: British Museum and Kew Gardens in one day

My husband and I will spend one day in London during March. The sites at the top of our list are the British Museum and Kew Gardens. Would it be unreasonable to try to see both of these sites in one day? We'd like to take our time and not rush through either one, although we understand that there are only so many hours in a day.

Posted by
4555 posts

Sure you can do it, without being rushed....except you run the risk of being sucked into the British Museum, never to emerge again! ;) I could spend a week in there, easy, and not be bored. It depends on your priorities. I would think that a self-disciplined sampling of the highlights at the museum will give you time for Kew Gardens, if those, too, are important to you. Just do some research on what's to see at the museum so you can make the most effective use of your time.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks Norm. The British Museum looks incredible, and I could see spending many many hours in there. I have wanted to visit Kew Gardens for years as well, so seeing the area of most interest for us at both sites would be the way to go.

Cheers.

Posted by
10344 posts

Exactly, Norm. Some of the denizens of the British Museum look like they've been in there awhile. They probably started out as tourists who couldn't find their way out.:)

Posted by
3419 posts

Adele- You will LOVE Kew!!! We try to return there every trip (and we've been to London more than 40 times- though we didn't start on Kew until about our 20th trip). March should be beautiful- though the gardens have beautiful parts even in deepest winter. The shop at the entrance is fun - so save a little time to "window shop". We have often found realtively inexpensive souvenier type gifts there. And we've even bought seeds to bring back home and plant here!

Posted by
591 posts

I think the deciding factor is that you will be there in March - not the greatest time to really enjoy Kew unless you prefer to spend most of your time indoors in the conservatories.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks Toni! Are there particular areas of Kew that you would recommend seeing? I wish that we had time to see the entire place, but most likely, we'll only be able to spend 2 or 3 hours there.

Thanks.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Tim - is March a little early, or are you thinking mainly of weather issues? We'll be there in mid-March.

Thanks...

Posted by
588 posts

The tube ride from central London to Kew will take some time and weather could be a problem. If it is raining, I would spend the day at the British Museum.

Posted by
3419 posts

The Palm house, Princess Di conservatory and any other green houses are nice. March may be cold and wet, or dry and warm. Or both in one day! Spring may have sprung or winter may still be holding a grip= but we have enjoyed Kew in all weathers. There is a tram you can ride that might save you some time, but 3 hours in the afternoon would be good. We've never found the tube ride to be unbearably long.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks everyone for your input. I made an error yesterday - we'll be there in mid-May, not mid-March, so hopefully it will be a nice season for visiting Kew Gardens.

Posted by
780 posts

The British Museum stays open until 8 pm on thursdays. Fridays as well but not all the exhibits are open then.

Posted by
643 posts

On our first morning in London, we went from our apartment in South Kensington and walked over to the bus stop in front of the entrance to the Natural History Museum and caught the bus that took us up through Picadilly Circus to Tottenham Court Road and got off and walked to the British Museum. We got there about 20 minutes before they officially opened and there were a lot of people milling around outside. We walked around the neighborhood for a bit and dropped into some gift shops but didn't buy anything. Then at 9:50am we walked in and bought a guide map and waited in front of the entrance to the Egyptian room. At 10am they opened the door and we walked in and looked at the Rosetta Stone and everything else. After about an hour, we were feeling a little tired, so we left the museum and walked down to Covent Garden and visited the Transportation Museum. That was great and after that we had lunch at the Round House pub near Covent Garden. Happily while we were eating it began to pour down rain and had stopped by the time we were done with our lunch. After that it was about 3pm and we decided to head back to the apartment, stopping on the way at the grocery store to buy some food for dinner. We had dinner at 6pm and relaxed for the rest of the evening until we went to be early around 9pm. Having traveled from Seattle we had jet lag and were waking up at 5am!! But that was our first day in London, and it was a big day. Seeing both the British Museum and Kew Gardens would be doable, but I'd plan on no more than 90 minutes at the museum and a couple hours at the gardens, with lunch in between.

Posted by
3419 posts

Mid May would be perfect for Kew! The roses would be in bloom!!!! Almost all the plantings would be at or near their peak. I think you would want to make this a priority. I still think that afternoon would be best- do the museum early, then head straight to Kew. You can eat lunch at a small resturant near the Tube station or wait until you get into the gardens. There is a snack place that sells burgers/etc. near the center of the gardens or a "tea" type place with the shop at the main entrance. A full day at Kew would not be wasted either! ENJOY!!!