My wife and I have been reading all of the great trip reports and other tips here in TALF. Now with our own trip to London coming up at the end of the month, I thought I'd post our outlined plans and ask the community for comment and suggestions. Thanks for your help.
We're traveling with our son & daughter, ages 13 and 10. We parents went to Germany back in 2003, and it's a first international trip for the kids. That's part of why we decided to spend almost the entire time--a quick week--just in London (plus a daytrip somewhere). We're flying from California a week from Friday (3/30), arriving around 7:30am in Heathrow on Saturday. We're staying at the Lime Tree Hotel upon the recommendation of some family friends, and I see it's well-regarded by the TALFers, too. Our flight home is on Saturday, April 7.
Besides TALF, we've researched our trip through Rick Steves' book, and Frommer's Day Trips from London. Our goal is to make this fun for everyone, which means not letting dad (me) drag everyone through every museum the entire time. We all want to see museums, but I have to remember not to overdo it.
We don't yet have our days mapped out, but will probably do that just to know how everything fits. Not that it has to be done exactly as scheduled, though. We've got tickets to a matinee show of Mary Poppins, and I think that will be our only fixed event on the schedule.
Other sites we want to take in are many of the usual tourist destinations. Our son is taking an interest through his junior high school history class, so this is good timing for us.
Tower of London - Missed ceremony of keys tickets
St. Paul's Cathedral
Westminster Abbey - Son is interested in medieval history
Imperial War Museum - Might be just the boys for this one
Kew Gardens - Maybe just the girls? Depending on time
London Eye - Is this a must-do?
British Museum - Probably two shorter trips rather than one marathon
British Library - Maybe? At least pop in to see Magna Carta
Tate Modern - For a short while, depending on interest
Millenium Bridge - Just for the nice walk, view(?)
Tower Bridge - Just see it from afar, lit at night? Or do we tour it?
Westminster/Parliament - Just look from outside, or would the kids enjoy seeing inside?
V&A - Hadn't thought of this, originally, but have been reading more good reasons to check it out.
Harrod's - Mostly just the see it.
open top bus tour
others, but that's what comes to mind now.
Some of the bigger questions remaining in our mind are what to do about the daytrip, and what to do about palaces. With our time limited, we're pretty sure we want to stick to just one daytrip. But where? Our son is interested in Stonehenge, but that's honestly a site we're less interested in. Sounds a little underwhelming or tourist-y, if that makes sense. Maybe if we combine it with some other site on that same daytrip. Other daytrips my wife & I have considered are Dover, Canterbury, York, Leeds Castle . . . really they all sound interesting. (Hmm, now I see my book lists Kew Gardens as a daytrip, but I don't think it counts the same way, does it?)
As for the palaces, I wonder how much the kids would enjoy going through them, especially if there are lines that make you wait. Kind of a funny concern when I'm ready to take them through multiple museums, so perhaps this also indicated my preferences!
Throughout the week I assume we'll have plenty of opportunities to walk the various parks. Heck, even taking the Underground is adventure for us, one I think we'll have lots of chances to experience.
Thanks again for your help.