Have drawn up an itinerary and am wondering if anyone who has either done/attended any of the things on the list or is familiar with them would care to comment and offer suggestions/advice. Some of the things are prospective, others confirmed (as in passes/tickets already purchased).
1st Day - Arrive LHR @ around 7:30PM. Transfer to hotel in Belgravia. Take it easy that night, settle in, sleep.
2nd Day - Harry Potter-themed Black Taxi Tour running from about 9AM-Noon. Get dropped off at the Natural History Museum and spend a couple to few hours there. Some free time, then the Lord of the Rings stage show at 7:30PM (can you tell we're nerds? haha). Natural History Museum I'd love to see as I have fond memories of it as a child, but I can be a little flexible on that, especially as our black taxi can drop us off most anywhere after the Harry Potter tour.
3rd Day - Magic of London Tour (Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Globe Theatre, Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, ending at Harrod's). Figured I'd get this guided day tour in early, so that we could revisit favorite sites or places we didn't quite see enough of later on and use it to give us a good overview, as well as lay of the land. Then, in the evening, either the Ceremony of the Keys or a Jack the Ripper tour (depending on which date our Ceremony... tickets are for... if we get them!)
4th Day - Shopping (any suggestions of great areas to shop in would be very welcome! From the trendy to the quaint, new to old. Must-visit shopping places you'd suggest), and a fairly open itinerary to check out whatever. Maybe check out Houses of Parliament and Big Ben for a quick photoop? The Wicked stage show in the evening.
5th Day - Day trip by chunnel train to Paris. Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, and such. Board train back to London around 9PM for arrival close to midnight.
6th Day - Visit the places we either missed on the 3rd day or really want to see again or more in depth. Again depending on what date our Ceremony of the Keys tickets come in for, we may do it this evening. If not, the Jack the Ripper tour.
7th Day - Free in the morning but our flight out leaves at 4PM... figuring we have to leave for the airport no later than 1PM I suspect we won't do much apart from sleep in, pack, and leisurely make our way to the airport this day.
I could, and am partly tempted to, tack on an extra day if need be.
But if anyone has suggestions on some must-visit/must-see places that could fit on the 4th and 6th days that'd be great! Also, if you have feedback on what places are a "Set aside a few hours, at least" kind of place and what places are a "Take some pictures, move along" kind of place, that'd be great. For instance if we did go check out Big Ben, would it primarily be a "There it is! ... ... ok now what?" sort of moment? I do hope we get to see Changing the Guard on the 3rd day, because the provisional dates for the Changing the Guard leave that as our only real option while there.
BTW, tickets to the Lord of the Rings, Wicked, and Magic of London (Day 3) tour are all bought so those events are pretty much set.