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Revised London Itinerary - 6 nights

I posted a London itinerary here & got some excellent feedback so we are now staying 6 nights in London (instead of 4). Please review our new itinerary and let me know your thoughts & suggestions. Thanks!

Day 1 - Arrive Heathrow 11:15am (overnight flight from Detroit). Take Tube to apartment which close to Holcomb Tube station, arrive about 2pm. Have a late lunch (Pret a Manger) then get a few basic groceries & unpack. Take the Tube to County Hall area, ending up at the London Eye. Have dinner at the apartment. Fall into bed exhausted.

Day 2 – Have a quick breakfast then to Tower of London & Tower Bridge by 9 (allow at least 3 hours) then lunch and to St Paul’s Cathedral. Walk the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern for an hour or so followed by Borough Market. Dinner at a local pub.

Day 3 – English breakfast first then Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, Buckingham Palace for changing of the guards. Trafalgar Square, have lunch at St Martin in the Fields then walk through St James Park and tour Westminster Abbey. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (tour) then have dinner in the apartment.

Day 4 – Enjoy a day trip to Windsor & Stonehenge.

Day 5 – Camden Market or Portobello Road Market in the morning then see Abbey Road. Afternoon tea somewhere? In the evening enjoy a Thames River cruise followed by the British Music Experience.

Day 6 – See changing of the horse guards at Whitehall (11am), shop at Harrods and see Victoria & Albert Museum. See a play the last night?

Day 7 – Breakfast, pack then take the Eurostar to Paris!!!

Posted by
9110 posts

Day 3 is zig-zagging all over the place. Plot it and rethink.

Two guard changings?

Maybe too many markets.

No British Museum or British Library?

By 'English breakfast' you probably mean 'full breakfast'.

Posted by
500 posts

Day 1 seems ambitious but if jet lag isn’t an issue you’ll do okay.

Day 3 is geographically unaligned as others mentioned.
After the Changing of the Guards you could go into St. James Park. It’s literally right there! Buy sandwiches to go or eat at one of the kiosks in the Park.
Then you could be refreshed enough to walk the Pall Mall up to Traflagar Square.
Consider visiting the National Gallery right off the Square or hop the metro to the British Museum.

Day 6: You could visit Westminster Abbey in the morning. They serve nice lunches in the Abbey Cafe.
Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and those sights are in this same area.
You can also cross the Westminster Bridge and do a Left Bank walk over to the Globe Theater. From here you can also do your river cruise this afternoon or evening.

Tip: Sights may seem closer together when they really are not. Use the bus & tube to save on tired legs/feet and to utilize your time well.

Posted by
980 posts

I commend you with coming up with a plan but! As others have mentioned, sites are not as close as they seem. On day 2, are you planning to go up the Tower Bridge? To me, that sight is a good one to miss on a first visit. The view from up there isn't all that and the exhibits itself were not memorable (I went up there in '10. The best part of the experience was watching a painter dangling from his harness while he worked on the exterior). If you get hungry after T of L I recommend eating at the Wagamama's right outside the entrance.

Dont't discount taking cabs also. London has a great tube and bus system but cabs can save you alot of time in getting from site to site. Walking across the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern was a highlight for me. I didnt go into St Paul's, maybe next trip for me. I was a bit disappointed that the Tate Modern's Great Turbine Hall was under renovation when I was there last month. However, I definitely enjoyed my lunch and my views of the Thames from the restaurant on the 6th (?) floor. Check what time Borough Market closes also. You may want to go there first after the Tower then work you way backwards to St Paul's.

Enjoy your trip! I also left a comment on your Heathrow to London question.

Posted by
206 posts

Sounds like you'll have an action packed holiday! As someone else mentioned, check the Borough Market opening times - they're only on Weds through Saturday. The earlier in the day you go, you'll have a much more pleasant experience as the crowds become much thicker later in the day and later in the week.

Fortnum & Masons do a lovely afternoon tea and you can make a reservation on their website.

Re your day trip to Windsor/Stonehenge, as of today, Nov 4, there is a groupon special running for a trip to Stonehenge and Bath for £32 on groupon.co.uk. Depends on your timing, but you can save some money if it works for you. I'd do Bath over Windsor but that's just me.

If you're in town on a Sunday, you might want to try a Sunday lunch. It's a very British tradition to have a lovely roast meal with yorkshire puddings, potatoes, and lashings of gravy. The Hawksmoor at Seven Dials (near Covent Garden) do a version that has been voted one of the best in the city and it's reasonably priced. Again, book ahead.

Enjoy!

Posted by
26053 posts

@christmas pudding,

Borough Market is now open 6 days a week. Lunch only on Monday and Tuesday, from 10-5.

Posted by
1976 posts

You could easily spend 3 hours just at the Tower of London, so keep that in mind when planning Day 2. Also, how much time are you planning to spend at St. Paul's? I was in the church for at least a couple hours. I took the audio tour and then climbed to the top of the dome. St. Paul's was one of my favorite London experiences.

Posted by
389 posts

You could streamline things a bit on Day 2 by having your lunch at Borough Market and then going to the Tate.

Posted by
697 posts

Thank you everyone for the replies & suggestions. I will definately consider rearranging some things. And yes it is Holborn not Holcomb. I have a niece with the last name Holcomb so I get it confused. LOL We are renting an apartment on Boswell Street which is near Holborn tube station. Also do you know how to get from there to where the Eurostar departs? TIA.

Diana

Posted by
26053 posts

Boswell Street is a north/south street which runs from north of Holborn Tube to south of Russell Square Tube, ending just below Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

Both stations are on the Piccadilly Line which can be used for transport to and from Heathrow, and conveniently only two stops from Holborn Tube to Kings Cross - St Pancras Tube which is a very short walk to the Eurostar check-in.

Eurostar goes from St Pancras International Station, nearly due north of Boswell Street.

It is only one stop from Russell Square to KX-St Pancras. I could walk it from the middle of Boswell Street in about 15 minutes would would probably be easier than getting luggage down into and up from the Tube, waiting the few minutes for the train and the 6 minutes ride.

Or, a short a cab ride.

It is critical that you are checked in at the Eurostar check in queue an absolute 30 minutes minimum before departure time or you won't go. Waiting in the queue to check in doesn't cut it.

What time is your train to Paris?

Posted by
5694 posts

Was in London last week. Notice that on the evening of Day 1 that you are heading to the Eye. Will be lit up by 5pm, 6pm at the latest. County Hall done in blue, the Eye in green. Quite lovely. From that side of Thames, you will enjoy seeing Parliament and Big Ben both gloriously lit up. If you aren't too tired nothing keeping you from walking across the bridge to Parliament Square. Short stroll. I think you'd be pleased to have done it. Can tube back to your accommodation from there. On day 2 have lunch at the Leadenhall Market Place which is walkable from the Tower. Very enjoyable walk. Streets lined with old and modern architecture in route. Even though I'm presently in Belfast and throughly enjoying visiting friends, I miss London. Always enjoy my stays there. Always find some thing new to see and do and this visit was no exception. Enjoy yourselves.

Posted by
2081 posts

Diana,

I agree w/Ed. Get a map or print one and plot out where youre going.

Its easier to see what part(s)of london you need to travel to minimze your running helter skelter around london.

also, i agree with whats up with missing the British Museum?

happy trails.

Posted by
389 posts

I want to expand on my reply about Day 2. Here is what I would do:

Tower---> cross bridge and go have lunch at Borough Market (I have grabbed food and sat in the nice garden behind Southwark Cathedral before)---> Walk over to the Tate---> Cross the Millennium Bridge to St. Paul's. Your way makes geographical sense too, as you are essentially doing the same thing on the opposite side of the river first after the Tower, but the advantage here is you can combine Borough Market with lunch and thus combine two steps. If St. Paul's closes before the Tate that day, you may want to stick to your original plan.

Posted by
980 posts

Take a cab a cab to St Pancras. I stayed in the Holborn area and the cab ride will be about £10. Its worth it not to lug your stuff up and down stairs and you get dropped off right at the door.

Posted by
3899 posts

Not sure if you have an ipad/phone or tablet...I downloaded an app called CityMaps2Go on my ipad mini (it was one of the free apps of the day one time, but think it's only a few bucks). You download the city map of where you are going, and it's all offline once you download, no internet connection required.

The great thing about it is you can search and pin places you want to see...sights, restaurants, museums...etc. You can choose different pin colours, so you could colour code each day, then get a feel for where each thing is. It also shows public transport lines.

I used it for our trip to California, and it made it easy to bring up, say, San Fran and I looked at all the things I pinned and could do all the things in a certain area without criss-crossing the city. And I didn't notice til almost the end, but it will show you where you are on the map as you move around (I didn't notice til almost the end of our trip when we were in San Diego driving around...and I'm like...the map is showing where we are real time! Satellites I guess). I'm already pinning things for next year's trip back to NYC.

Posted by
80 posts

Check out walks.com for their schedule of their walks. They are all lead by expert guides. I did the city walk this past June that met at tube station behind St Paul's and saw sites I wanted to see but would never have been able to find on my own. Do try to fit one or two in your schedule if you can as they are amazing. You have gotten good responses and suggestions r/t your schedule by previous responders. Enjoy your trip, I love London.