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May 24 England 14-day tour

Hello everyone,

This is our first Rick Steves tour and if anyone has suggestions on things to do in London during our free time, we would love to hear them. The tour ends on Saturday morning but we do not fly back to California until Monday so the entire weekend is open.

Looking forward to meeting the other group members next Sunday.

Gary and Sheila Lowe

Posted by
796 posts

We've lived in London and visit frequently and it is a great city to have free time in. Some of our free time activities include museum hopping, trying out new restaurants, trying afternoon tea in different locations, going to the theater to see a play, taking in a symphony performance, people watching in the parks, and visiting public gardens. We are in London right now- came for the Chelsea Flower Show's member's day and to spend some time in the city.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you Terri. All great ideas. We are leaning toward going to a theater show and visiting museums not on the tour. The Chelsea Flower show sounds like fun!

Posted by
46 posts

The Victoria and Albert Museum is great. Also, check out what's at the Queen's Gallery adjacent to Buckingham Palace. I also enjoyed taking a cruise to Greenwich. The Turner paintings at the National Gallery are pretty remarkable as being very Impressionist-like well before the Impressionists emerged.

Posted by
31290 posts

Gary and Sheila,

You'll be able to get lots of ideas from the guidebook that's provided with your tour. You might also ask your guide prior to the end of the tour, as I'm sure he/she will have lots of great suggestions.

You're going to have a great time on that tour!

Posted by
8245 posts

You might take a look at http://www.walks.com/ to see if there are any walking tours that might interest you. I've done a couple including a terrific one on WWII sights last year. I'm also doing the Best of England this Fall and will also spend the weekend in London so am looking at the walks for Sat. and Sunday. I am having trouble narrowing it down! I am also considering a day trip out to Bletchley Park but I've been to London and have seen the big sites so if this will be your first time, I would stay in London.

You have a free afternoon in London after you do the Tower in the AM so you might want to do St. Paul's that afternoon as it's not too far away.

What is not on the tour is the British Museum which is amazing (Rosetta Stone, Elgin Marbles, the Lewis Chessmen) or the British Library which will have a special Magna Carta exhibition starting May 17. You probably need to get tickets ahead for this. http://www.bl.uk/events/magna-carta--law-liberty-legacy It closes Sept 1 and I did not realize that or I might have scheduled my tour for a week earlier so I could go see this. Too late now!

I would also consider doing the Churchill War Rooms which is near Westminster Abbey. This is the actual bunker where Churchill worked and lived during WWII and to me it is just a fabulous part of history. If you do the London Walks on Sunday Afternoon at 2PM called Westminster at War, they usually end near the War Rooms and you get a discount on admission. However, you may want to do it earlier as my walk ran long so there was only about 30 minutes before closing to see the War Rooms and that is not a place I like to zoom thru.

Enjoy your tour!

Posted by
41 posts

Gary and Sheila,

See you Sunday afternoon. We're looking at the London Walks options and prioritizing for the extra six days we have in London before returning home. We want to see St. Peters, walk the Thames south bank, and travel out to Hampton Court. And we're watching the weather forecast.

Bill & Carmen in SoCal

Posted by
46 posts

Also consider the Globe Theater. They offer tours and sometimes same-day "Groundlings" tickets for Shakespeare play performances. You get to stand for about 5 pounds, or can buy more expensive seats. I would check on line ASAP to see what's playing, if you're interested. There is a pretty remarkable church nearby, where Shakespeare worshipped. I think his family had a prominent role at that church.

Posted by
2627 posts

Michael,
I think the church you were trying to think of is Southwark Cathedral.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. The British Museum is definitely on the list and the opportunity to see the Magna Carta exhibition is too good to pass up. We both love history so seeing Churchill's War Room would also be terrific. I have been reading through the tour guide book the last few weeks but thought getting some additional advice would help us make some decisions.

We have been considering potential shows to attend but too many good options! We are leaning toward The Audience at the moment.

Looking forward to meeting you next Sunday afternoon Bill and Carmen.

Posted by
180 posts

I took this tour in 2010 and really enjoyed it. I did the London eye and it was so poorly organized and run I wouldn't recommend it. Great way to see England and as they say they know when to see sights when it's not crowded - liked all the hotels and small towns. I really enjoyed Wales and we went to a sheep demo at a farm

As others mentioned I really enjoyed the cabinet war rooms. Also had gotten tickets to two musicals ahead of time too