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London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

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New York City, New...
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London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

Hello,

This will be our first visit to London. I would like to visit the famous site, but at the same time don't want to rush from one place to another. At the same time, is my itinerary too short? I've looked at Fodor's guide book, and followed the suggested places. Thank you.

Day 1 England

AM - Arrive in London 7-8 am (unknown airport at this time)

(Approximate check in would be 10 am)

Bloomsbury (Fodors p. 331)

AM-British Museum (free entrance), St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge

The City ( Fodors p 332)

PM-Tower of London (buy tickets in advance) (Fodors p. 338)

Dinner- any suggestions?

Day 2 England

Westminster and Royal London (Fodors p 326)

AM - (10:30 AM Changing of guards ) Buckingham Palace, House of Parliament, Big Ben, and, Trafalgar Square

PM - Westminster Abbey

Sunset - London Eye ( Fodors p. 340)

National Gallery (free entrance) - optional

Dinner - any suggestions?

Day 3 England

AM - Windsor Castle

PM - Shopping

Dinner - any suggestions?

(The rest you can ignore since it probably belongs in another forum)

Day 4 -England

AM -Leave for Bath

PM - Tour Bath

Dinner -

Day 5 - England

AM- Mad Max Tours - Full Day- Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circles

Dinner -

Day 6 - England

AM- Mad Max Tours - Full Day - The Cotswolds Discovery

Dinner-

Day 7 -England to Paris

Redlands, California
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1. Re: London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

My main comments are that I think you are being wildly overoptimistic on Day 1, and that I also think you will really enjoy your trips to Stonehenge and Avebury (I LOVE Avebury) and the Cotswolds.

Make sure that your hotel will allow you to store your bags. Myself, I would head for Westminster first rather than Bloomsbury and the British Museum; Bloomsbury has interesting associations but not so much "wow" factor, and I don't think I could do anything at the British Museum justice on an arrival morning. On the other hand, if you take the Tube to Westminster you get "the" "wow" moment coming out with Big Ben in your face. Alternatively, a walk through St. James Park would get the kinks out (and you might well find that after taking in the iconic view of Buckingham Palace from the park bridge you've seen all you need to; views on the Changing of the Guard vary, but tend to be tepid) and then Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey. The one disadvantage is that lunch options in that area are limited. Oh, another downside: the crowds around the Westminster tube station and Parliament Square can be frazzling.

I also wouldn't get my hopes up for "The City." There is a lot to see but you won't have time to seek out its hidden gems.

As for meals--where are you staying?

Detroit, Michigan
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2. Re: London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

Even without jetlag, I don't think you'd be able to do all that on your arrival day. Realistically, you only have a little over a day and a half in London.

After you check into your hotel, I would do the Tower of London first. You'll end up spending a few hours there. And you'll see Tower Bridge while you're there. Then see what else you are up to. Unless its a late-opening day at British Museum, you'll probably only have time (and energy) for either a bit of the British Museum or St. Paul's Cathedral. (Check last admission time at St. Pauls.)

On your day 2, you may want to change things around a bit. I think the last admission time to Westminster Abbey is something like 3:30 PM (check their website for exact times). So try to plan things around that. Is Changing of the Guards a must? It's a big time commitment if you're not that in to it. And the National Gallery is at Trafalgar Square, so plan those together.

Rumson, New Jersey
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3. Re: London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

As for Westminster, you might want to check out Churchills war time headquarters if that interests you. Also I agree lunch is rather limited, however, I personally am very found of the downtrodden little pub Storey's. Hit it whenever in the area, nothing very special, just rather nice and quiet for a pint and plowmans for lunch.

Singapore
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4. Re: London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

We did similar thing as your itinerary on day 1. We arrived in London at around 5:30 am, checked in by about 8:30am, visited St Paul, then walked to Tower Bridge and Tower of London. We also took the City Cruise from Tower of London to Westminster and walked around the area all the way to Buckingham Palace. We visited Guards Museum along the way but we thought it was disappointing. We bought 1-day London Pass (without travel) for that and it was worth the price. As for the travelling, we got ourselves an Oyster Card.

You can consider getting London Pass, but you'll have to visit Bloomsbury and British Museum on another day in order to make the pass worthy. If you're interested in museums, you can make use of your London Pass to visit Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms too.

London Pass Prices:

http://www.londonpass.com/prices.asp

By the way, National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square, so you shouldn't split your visit until after London Eye.

Edited: 18 February 2010, 07:30
New York City, New...
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5. Re: London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

Thank you all for your response. I have readjusted my schedule so it won't be so overwhelming. Do you think I should add another day? I'm more of a castles and nature type of person. I can appreciate art, but the only museum I'm interested in is the British museum for the ancient artifacts. I like photography and have learned that I really like to take it slow when exploring a new place and just taking my time to enjoy the culture and my surroundings. So here's my updates itinerary. I'm thinking of adding one more day either to explore London, or do another day trip. As for food, my plan was eat breakfast and lunch on a budget, and splurge on dinner(reasonable price). So any restaurant recommendations in the near the areas being visited would be appreciated. Thank you again for your help.

May 5th -Wed- Flight

May 6 - Thurs -England

AM - Arrive in England

Westminster and Royal London (Fodors p 326)

AM - Trafalgar Square, House of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace,

PM - Westminster Abbey,

Sunset - London Eye ( Fodors p. 340)

National Gallery (free entrance) - optional

Dinner -

May 7- Fri- England -

The City ( Fodors p 332)

AM - Tower Bridge, Tower of London (buy tickets in advance) (Fodors p. 338)

Bloomsbury

PM- British museum (fodors p 331)

Optional - Temple church(Da vinci code)

Kings cross station Platform 9 3/4 (harry potter)

Dinner -

May 8- Sat- England

AM - Windsor Castle

PM - Shopping (oxford St and Camden market)

Dinner -

May 9- Sun- England

AM -Leave for Bath

Bath

PM - Tour Bath (Roman baths, Abbey, royal crescent)

Dinner -

May 10 -Mon- England

AM- Mad Max Tours - Full Day- Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circles

Dinner -

May 11 - Tues- England

AM- Mad Max Tours - Full Day - The Cotswolds Discovery

Dinner-

london
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6. Re: London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

Your itinerary for day 1 is a bit like saying " fly from London overnight, land unknown New York airport 7-8 am, sightseeing AM Brooklyn, PM midtown Manhattan". It's not realistic. If you land at 8 you are unlikely to be in Central London much before 11, and presumably you have a hotel to check into before setting off.

Bloomsbury is a district of London which contains at least a dozen museums, several garden squares, lots of interesting buildings and shops. However if you spend a couple of hours in the BM, and I recommend catching one of their free highlights tours, then your morning is gone.

The City has lots of interesting things, including the Museum of London, the Guildhall art gallery, the Bank of England museum, various Roman remains, the Barbican art gallery, Postmans Park, dozens of churches with free lunchtime concerts and talks, markets, pubs, shops....... maybe it would be worth doing a guided walk.

On reflection you might get a reasonable impression of one of these areas in the part of the day you have available. Both is definitely unrealistic.

7. Re: London Itinerary (Is it realistic?)

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