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Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

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Texas
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Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

Hey everyone. I just found this place today, actually, and have been reading through various posts. The information is so helpful and has given me a lot to think about.

Anyway, I've just booked a trip for my family and thought I'd ask for some suggestions and ideas of how to make this a fun trip for everyone. The family consists of Gran (age 76), Mom, three siblings (27, 14, and 11), and myself. We've already booked flight and hotel (BA to Gatwick; a small hotel located Craven Terrace that seemed to have decent reviews on here), and will be arriving in London on 11/16 and leaving on 11/21 this year. I know the weather changes a lot during the day and that November is really rainy, but is there anything else weather-wise to know about November for travel?

I went to London for the first time last March and loved it, though I spent more time in other areas of England due to the person I stayed with and time allowed, so my knowledge of London is pretty basic. My friend took me on a "Quick Tour", which was roughly 1 1/2 days of tube rides and seeing glimpses of more known things. We have signed up to take a guided tour of the city on Saturday and plan to take a day trip to Bath/the Cotswolds on Tuesday. Beyond that, though, we're pretty open to considering ideas on what we should and not miss.

One brother wants to see the Imperial War Museum and the British Museum. There's been talk about touring BBC studios, and then just the basic "tourist" attractions. However, what are some great places to see and visit that might not be so widely known?

Also, we're taking GEX to Victoria station. From there, what's the best tube stop to choose to get closest to the hotel? With Gran, she can walk well but we're trying to keep plans with a mixture of riding/walking so as to not wear her out too much.

So, basically, we have a City of London tour for Saturday, Sunday & Monday pretty open to fit in what we'd like, and Tuesday occupied with a guided tour out of London. Any hints, ideas, suggestions, or advice would be greatly appreciated! This is a big family trip, first one flying & going out of the US in such a major way, and I'd like for it to be really enjoyable so it's worth the rather high cost.

Thanks so much!

London
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1. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

If your family like Royal stuff, perhaps you might enjoy going to Kensington Palace, and then having tea in the Orangery attached. That's a nice outing.

Somerset UK
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2. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

The nearest station to Craven Terrace is Lancaster Gate but if you are definitely going on the tube from Victoria you're probably better off going on the Circle Line to Paddington otherwise you'd have to change trains/lines at Notting HIll Gate or Oxford Circus.

It is about a 5 to 10 minute walk from Paddington.

I'd certainly recommend the Imperial War Museum. It's free, quite close to Lambeth North tube and has something for people of all ages.

Greenwich (London)
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3. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

The nearest tube station to Craven Terrace is Lancaster Gate, but that does require a change (Jubilee to Central Bond Street), which might be a PITA if you a lot of luggage or if Gran isn't too mobile.

Alternatively there's the Circle line to Paddington, but that might be a bit of trek from the Tube platform to the street. The Circle line trains a pretty sporadic, but that's probably not a problem for you.

There are also buses. The 148 from Victoria goes to the Batswater end of Craven Terrace, or the 36 and 436 go to Praed Street outside Paddington station - a bit less of a walk than struggling up from the with slow-moving lugagge and having to carry Gran. Note that on all those buses, you have to buy a ticket before you board.

Maybe a taxi, for at least some of you and the luggage, is a good idea? If you have a lot of luggage you'll have trouble fitting 5 adults and all the bag sinto a black cab, so maybe Gran, one of the adults and all or most of the luggage could

go by taxi direct to the hotel, while one other adult and the two young ones could have the adventure of the tube or bus?

Greenwich (London)
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4. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

I have no idea where my brain got the nonsense about the Jubilee line to Bond Street from - somethign of a challenge, given that the Jubilee doesn't go through Victoria! I meant Victoria line to Oxford Circus, then Central. The gist stays, though - PITA with luggage and/or less than mobile people.

Detroit, Michigan
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5. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

Is the London tour you booked one of the hop on/off bus tours? If so, you'll be able to get an overview of the city and hop off and tour some of the sites along the way. The other two days you're in London, you can visit the sites you weren't able to visit on the tour.

Check out the Sticky at the top of the forum on London Links. It contains all kinds of ideas on things to see. Some of the things I would put at the top of the list are Tower of London and Westminster Abbey - both worth a few hours. Also well worth seeing are Imperial War Museum, Cabinet War Rooms, St. Paul's Cathedral, Globe Theatre, British Museum, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Museum of London, London Eye. You won't be able to see it all, but you can pick and choose what appeals to everyone.

Original London Walks (www.walks.com) are also an excellent value. They hold them every day and they last about 2 hours. They are all interesting and entertaining and you get to see parts of London you wouldn't normally see.

You'll all do a LOT of walking in London, so comfortable shoes are a must. Another way to minimize the walking (for Gran) is to try taking the city buses moreso than relying on the tube for all your travel. The buses will generally get you closer to your destination and you'll be seeing London along the way. And very often on the tube, you are doing a lot of extra walking by transferring lines where there are often long walks between platforms - and many times there are stairs to get in/out of the stations.

Texas
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6. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

Thank you all so much so far!

Kayb- It's a guided bus tour for a day of touring London. I know it includes the Tower, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, and a Thames river cruise.

I should definitely look into taking the bus more than the tube, it sounds like. That's a great suggestion, and I might not have considered it since we took the tube so much during my last visit.

Does anyone know of some good places to eat around Craven Terrace? Or of anything to do in the later afternoon/evening to keep kids occupied until they're sleepy?

Also, one brother is trying to figure out about how cold it'll be for walking around and such. Most information I've found says November is the rainiest month, but nothing has had a definite average of temperature. Any info there?

Thanks again for all the help!

Lobo

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

Lobo, here's a simplified bus map with some of the main tourist sites on it:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/cen_bus.pdf

For a more detailed map:

www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/pdfdocs/centlond.pdf

The weather in the UK is generally more mild than we see in the US - it doesn't normally have the extreme highs and lows we have. In November, you'll probably have daytime temps in the upper 30's - mid 40's - but could be a bit warmer or cooler. Their weather is very changable - could be sunny one moment and raining the next. We've been in London in December and have been comfortable touring in a lined weather-proof jacket. Layering is the key. And, of course, at night it will be colder - you'll probably need hat and gloves.

Dublin
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8. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

Not a good idea to take a 76 year old woman on a tube to the hotel, especially after she will have just arrived from the States in a jet lagged condition. Take a taxi or 2 taxis with your luggage from Victoria to your hotel. After all, I'm sure you would like gran to enjoy the holiday, not to regard it as some kind of endurance test.

9. Re: Suggestions & Ideas Appreciated

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