My husband and I are going to London in late October for a week. We are staying at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum. It is very close to the Gloucester Road Tube Station.
It will be my first time ever in the UK and I am very excited. I will of course do all the touristy greatest hits stuff as much as possible. I did go ahead and get us the Londonpass. I know some say it’s too pricey, but I liked the inclusion of transportation as well as the free admissions, etc. Plus there are some food discounts like 2 for 1 at Wagamama so I figured that could help. Other than London Eye most of our attractions and transport are paid for now so that is less we have to worry about spending once we are over there.
A few questions:
We are landing at Gatwick. Just our luck that transport is not included in the Londonpass. Should I take the train or the bus to my hotel/tube stop? Also how long will it take to get our luggage and get through Customs?
Transportation to and admission to Windsor is included with Londonpass. Originally I had not planned any other day trips out of the city but am starting to think otherwise. If I do just one other day trip, would you recommend: Stratford on Avon, a Bath and Stonehenge trip, or Oxford or Cambridge? Right now I am leaning toward Bath and Stonehenge.
West End: Everyone says you must go to a West End show. However, I live a few hours’ drive from NYC and manage to see 2-3 Broadway shows a year. Is the West End experience that different from/superior to Broadway? If I don’t do that I can save a bunch of money and spend it elsewhere, but I don’t want to miss out if it is truly worth doing.
We are looking for English pubs- I love beer and can’t wait to sample local ales, as well as pub grub. Any recommendations either within walking distance of our hotel or otherwise easily gotten to?
As a Beatles fan, should I go to Abbey Road Studios? Any other suggestions for Beatles sites/souvenirs?
Money matters: Should I wait until I get there to exchange my money or do it here? Also, I am starting to get the sense that Discover is not too commonly taken in the UK. Is this indeed the case? That is our main card but fortunately we do have a Master Card as a backup.
Any and all advice welcome! Thanks in advance.