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London in 3 weeks!

I can't believe we're leaving for London 3 weeks from today! I am so excited! We have an extremely tight itinerary - we have 3 full days in London. So far our highlights are Tower of London, British Museum and British Library, Bus tour and river cruise, National Gallery and Imperial War Museum, Kensington Gardens, Beatle Walk. Also, we would like a quick trip up to Hampstead for a walk and pub meal. I'm trying to piece all of these places together in a practical time frame. For example, our hotel is in Paddington Station area, so when we do the Beatle Walk, which St. John's area, we could go on up to Hampstead and spend the afternoon. Upon arrival in London (which is 5:55 a.m.), we thought about the Bus Tour to get an overview of the city. We also have the Ceremony of the Keys that evening. So I guess we'll just stay out and about until then. It would be a waste of time to go back to the room, wouldn't it? The largest city I've ever been to is L.A. Of course, we rented a car and drove which takes forever to go 20 miles with traffic and all. We'll be taking the tube all over London, so I'm depending on traveling faster that way. Oh well, I'm rambling. Also any great tips for dining in any of these areas would be helpful. Thanks.

Posted by
9363 posts

If your flight arrives at 5:55 AM, it's going to be a looong day, particularly if you intend to make the Ceremony of the Keys that first night. What are you planning to do with your luggage if you don't go to your hotel to check in? (And what time can you check in, anyway?)

Depending on your fatigue level, you might want to rethink the hop-on, hop-off bus that first morning. A few years ago, my parents and my sister's family planned the same thing. After the all-night flight, a few minutes sitting on the swaying bus was all it took to put them all to sleep! You might want to do the bus the second morning instead.

Posted by
2349 posts

I have a different suggestion that Steve's. You arrive early in the morning, and you have the Ceremony of the Keys late that night. I don't think you'll enjoy the Ceremony after running full speed that day. Go to your hotel and check in if you can, have a lunch nearby, go back to your room, set your alarm for an hour, and take a nap. Then a shower. Don't sleep more than an hour and you'll be able to sleep that night.

Don't hesitate to spend a little more on cabs. You have a short time there and your time is valuable.

Do NOT be late for the Ceremony, as you will not get in. I speak from experience. Sigh.

Posted by
251 posts

Our check in time isn't until 14:00. We might get lucky and be able to check in depending on how full the hotel is. We're staying at the Lancaster Hall Hotel just off of Bayswater Road. I kind of like the idea of taking a short nap IF we can check in early. We could eat a good breakfast and then get settled in maybe even take a walk through Hyde Park. I want to feel good for the Ceremony of the Keys. Then we could head out early the next morning for a full day. I guess we'll just have to see once we're there.

Posted by
3428 posts

You should be able to check in- but your rooms may not be ready. The desk will probably offer to hold your suitcases for you. Then go for a walk, maybe head over to one of the markets- Covent Garden or Camden Lock are not that far by tube. Grab some "bruch" and people watch. With your early, early arrival and late night, I agree that a SHORT nap might be in order about 2:00 or 3:00pm. Then walk some more- maybe get in the Beatle walk- before supper and stroll leasurely over to the Tower for the Keys.

Posted by
119 posts

Cindy- the Imperial War Museum was a highlight on my third trip to London last year- It was not too large- 2 or 3 hours would be great.