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Old 01-09-2018, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,871 posts, read 1,401,499 times
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Thanks to all the previous posters who helped me out planning an upcoming trip to London.

We decided on the Doubletree Tower of London for a hotel. I did consider renting an apartment but many are already booked, our trip is set for May 5/27-6/3. May 27th is a fly day so we'd actually be arriving on Monday the 28th.

lol, now so far here are some of the things I think we'd like to do. I'm only 1/2 way through the guidebooks, God have mercy on my soul.

Are any of them really not worth the time or would you suggest maybe a substitute. I have not thought about an schedule yet. Is it too much? not enough. we'll have 6 full days.

Tower of london
Westminster Abbey
Buckingham Palace (changing of the guard)
London Eye
National gallery
War museum/Churchill war rooms
National Gallery
Camden Market
British museum
Covenant Gardens
West end theater show.
Thames river cruise

lol and I'm only 1/2 way through the darn books. I think I may need to be tranquilized.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:22 PM
 
Location: NYC
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First of all, I haven't visited London in 45 years... time flies ETA: Wait, I remember now passing through a weekend "only" 35 years ago!

But even with that perspective my MO is usually to see just a couple of tourist sights - your list - & spend the bulk of the time in non touristy neighborhoods where the hoi polloi live & play & go to those pubs, cafes, restos, & do lots of random walks. Even in 1972 the changing of the guard was ridiculously mobbed, but I was young enough to climb halfway up the base of a statue to see above the heads of the crowd, & I was 6' then. I would probably go to the British Museum, a show, see if any good music is playing at any concert halls or pubs, I heard good things about the War Museum years ago; Westminister Abbey & its neighborhood.

I would want to find the best old school fish & chips shop; maybe do a historical walking tour; find a good local pub with a nice crowd to drink a bit too much warm beer; perhaps get a reservation at some famous chef restaurant like St John; Borough market; find a few good curry houses... Find the London equivalent of an off-Broadway show...
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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One common suggestion is that the Changing of the Horse Guards is a little more interesting and a little less crowded than the Buckingham Palace guard change:

https://changing-guard.com/queens-life-guard.html

Easy to combine Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Rooms- they're very close to each other

We're probably outliers but we were both underwhelmed by the Tower of London. I'd far rather spend that time at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum, which are quite close together. They're in the Kensington area along with Harrod's Department store (yes, the Egyptian escalator is cheesy but sometimes you just have to embrace the Cheddar) and Hyde Park/Kensington Palace, and that area makes for a full day more or less in one place.

A lot of the big name attractions are not terribly in the same area, so get out the map while planning and figure out ones you can cluster together.

Do check the special exhibits and see if any of them are a must for your party. We loved the Pink Floyd one at the V&A last year and felt like the extra charge was more than worth it.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:06 PM
 
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I haven't been to London, but I have been pre-planning a trip I hope to take in the next couple years. I've been researching a bunch of stuff online and pinning information to a Pinterest board. A few others I have that you may or may not be interested in:

Highclere Castle (technically about 1.5 hrs from London, but if you're a Downton Abbey fan ... )
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
The Sky Garden or The Shard (for the views)
Kensington Palace
Victoria & Albert Museum
Hampton Court Palace
Royal Opera House
Houses of Parliament
London Bridge

Everything I've read says that it's absolutely worth it to get The London Pass, especially if you can get it on sale.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:09 PM
 
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Oh and a tip that I've learned when planning trips to cities with a lot of attractions like this ... Start a customizable Google Map and place pins for each of the attractions/restaurants/points of interest you want to get to (and even the ones that you're just considering). It helps to see where everything is laid out in the city so you can plan your days. And you can organize them so that you can turn off certain layers and only see what you want to (I have a layer for hotels, one for restaurants, one for parks, one for museums, etc).
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Sydney Australia
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All the places you have listed are worth seeing and there are many more as well. You cannot see London in a week so you have to pick the most appealing attractions to you.

My daughters both lived in London for several years and when we went to visit we never ran out of places to explore. Suggest you spend some time working out how to use the underground as everything is quite spread out.

I had been thinking that we have spent enough time in London and do not need to return. But I really hope we will as it is my favourite city in the world.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:40 PM
 
Location: SW France
14,248 posts, read 14,134,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
I haven't been to London, but I have been pre-planning a trip I hope to take in the next couple years. I've been researching a bunch of stuff online and pinning information to a Pinterest board. A few others I have that you may or may not be interested in:

Highclere Castle (technically about 1.5 hrs from London, but if you're a Downton Abbey fan ... )
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
The Sky Garden or The Shard (for the views)
Kensington Palace
Victoria & Albert Museum
Hampton Court Palace
Royal Opera House
Houses of Parliament
London Bridge

Everything I've read says that it's absolutely worth it to get The London Pass, especially if you can get it on sale.

First off, Highclere Castle has got very busy since it became the setting for Downton Abbey. Check the website to see if there is any availability and book up well in advance if you do want to go. It is not easy to get to via public transport, and frankly there are far better Stately Homes worth seeing.

As to London Bridge, the current one is not an attraction. I think that you are referring to Tower Bridge near the Tower of London. My Great Grandfather, am engineer, emigrated to England from Germany to assist in its construction.

Hopefully you have chosen a good time of the year to visit, with crowds down on the summer, and hopefully decent weather- no guarantee.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:44 PM
 
9,786 posts, read 5,000,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezer View Post
First off, Highclere Castle has got very busy since it became the setting for Downton Abbey. Check the website to see if there is any availability and book up well in advance if you do want to go. It is not easy to get to via public transport, and frankly there are far better Stately Homes worth seeing.
There are tour companies that transport tourists from London. And there may be more stately homes, but those of us who are fans of the show feel more connection to this one. It's not for everyone. That's okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezer View Post
As to London Bridge, the current one is not an attraction. I think that you are referring to Tower Bridge near the Tower of London.
Apologies. I did mean Tower Bridge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezer View Post
Hopefully you have chosen a good time of the year to visit, with crowds down on the summer, and hopefully decent weather- no guarantee.
I haven't chosen a time to visit, but I'm hoping for a Springtime trip. I'm still in the pre-planning stages and hope to go in the next couple of years. (Not sure if you meant that for the OP)
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:04 PM
 
1,696 posts, read 609,966 times
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Haven't been to London in a very long time, but my favorites out there were Victoria & Albert Museum (amazing, amazing collection of decorative art/interior design through centuries) and Portobello Market of antiques (ranging from endearing junk to incredibly good stuff) in Notting Hill.

When you go to British Museum, somewhere there in the area of Russell Square in Bloomsbury, there is a store called Westway & Westway (I assume it is still there - I haven't visited it in 30 years, but things like that tend to last several generations in London) that sells kilts, cashmere cardigans etc. excellent quality woolen stuff for not tremendously high prices - check it out.
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:30 PM
 
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Since there are so MANY things to see- pick the ones that interest you, not the ones that somebody else says is a must-see.

For example- I wouldn't miss the British Museum, but never had any desire to go to the Tower.

Consider choosing a high-priority visit for each day, or part of a day, and look for other things nearby that are also interesting. Minimize your travel and map-reading.

And boat and bus rides are good when you are tired of walking and standing. I wouldn't do them first thing.
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