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London tour May 24

Anyone else booked this? If you've taken the tour what did you do during your free time?

I've been to London on my own several times and had a bit of guiding after my Best of England tour. But I'm curious to what you might recommend for my free time.

Also did you book tickets for a theatre production before you left?

I'll be doing this after my Bulgaria tour! I plan to get over my jet lag (from the west coast!) via a stop in London prior to flying on to Sofia. I hope to get some sunshine to help with waking up with some time in Kew Gardens - if it's not raining - and spend a couple of hours roaming around Hyde Park. Then I'll have a couple of days between tours which I'll spend in London. So I'm hoping to find things that are not part of the tour, worth repeating if I've already "done" them, and finding new things to do.

Of course I'd love to connect with anyone who will be on the May 24 tour. I've actually 'met' people prior to other tours via this forum.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Posted by
8443 posts

"Westminster Abbey • Whitehall walking tour • Afternoon tea • British Museum • Opening ceremony at the Tower of London • Tower of London "Beefeater" tour • "City" walking tour • St. Paul's Cathedral • East London food tour • Churchill War Rooms • Windsor day trip • Windsor Castle • Globe Theater • Borough Market • South Bank walk…and more"

OK, here's what the description says for those who haven't been on the tour.

Right off, I'd say you'll need more time in the British Museum. It really depends on how that day goes as it looks like you have tea and then go to the Museum which doesn't sound like enough time in my book. It WILL get you oriented but you may want to return to see some of the other galleries or any special exhibitions they have. I signed up for emails from the British Museum so I can be up to date on what exhibitions are upcoming.

Depending on your interests you might consider:

  • National Gallery
  • British Library
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Imperial War Museum
  • The Garden Museum
  • Kew Gardens (you've got that listed for jet lag which is good except it might be a distance via Tube from your hotel? If you don't make it on your jet lag days, consider it on one of your "free" days)
  • Apsley House (Duke of Wellington's home if you are interested in that time frame)
  • London Walks
  • Chelsea Physic Garden
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Revisit to Westminster Abbey to see the Queens Diamond Jubilee Galleries ( https://www.westminster-abbey.org/visit-us/plan-your-visit/the-queens-diamond-jubilee-galleries )
  • The Mithraeum (Roman ruins under the Bloomberg building)
  • Museum of London
  • Kensington Palace (not my favorite because there is not much to see there in my opinion)

Looks like I have been thinking about a trip back to London, lolol!!

What a fun time you'll have! You've got 2 very diverse tours and that will be excellent!

Posted by
14 posts

I took this tour last May. I booked my theatre tickets early. Sure, it cost top dollar, but I had a great seat. The ticket was worth the cost to me. You can purchase theatre tickets the day of if you want. You’ll have a undesirable seat, or a pillar blocking your view. Have a great time whatever you decide to do.

Posted by
4889 posts

Unless you have a particular show that you want to see, buy theatre tickets at the TKTS kiosk in Leicester Square. I always use this kiosk whenever I go to the theatre and have never had an undesirable seat or an obstructed view.

Other things to see in London - take a walk with London Walks, the National Gallery and the adjacent National Portrait Gallery, Hampton Court day trip, Windsor, London Transport Museum, the Postal Museum including a train ride in the mail tunnels under London, take a walk on Hampstead Heath or visit Kew Gardens.

Posted by
2490 posts

You’ll find you cover a lot on this tour. Be prepared for some walking (one day between the tour activities and on our own we walked 14 miles! Seems absurd now that I look back.) you’ve got a lot of good suggestions. We really enjoyed our day at Kew Gardens and you can cruise back (we did not). Several tour members visited Greenwhich and enjoyed their time (pun intended). We planned and purchased our theater tickets in advance as we had particularly popular shows we wanted to see and I am picky about where I sit. Be sure to buy from the official box office site. Many sites do. Good imitation but will hit you with additional fees if you buy from them.

Posted by
3554 posts

Another vote for Hampton day trip. Also, a day trip to Bletchley Park or Portsmouth Historic Shipyards.

Posted by
37 posts

Thank you very much for your suggestions! It's still five months away but I'm enjoying planning.

Posted by
10 posts

Hi Liz...
I just booked the London tour for May 24. A week in London and then I am off to Cape Town, South Africa. Since I was going to have a layover in London, I thought I would take advantage of this tour.
I am flying in early on May 22, just booked Chelsea Garden Show tickets for the evening of Friday, May 22 and then a full day on Saturday.

...Nancy

Posted by
37 posts

Nancy/njrose

I'm looking forward to this trip. It will be my first that doesn't move via a bus every couple of days.

See you on the afternoon of the 24th

Elizabeth