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Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Naperville, IL
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Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Hi,

I would so very much appreciate any thoughts or advice you have on my first attempt at an itinerary for our trip to London in September. We’ll be staying at the Marriott London County Hall Hotel right near the London Eye. This is our first time in London so we are trying to pack an awful lot into a week. I tried to group things according to location as best as I could.

Haven’t decided on when and where to do afternoon tea. Thoughts? Didn’t make time for the British Museum (we’re not huge museum people and we’ve already got a couple on here I’d prefer to see). We’ll do the London Eye one night early in the week. Also haven't finalized any restaurants yet.

Did we miss anything obvious? What would you change? Is there anything on the list you’d take off? Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions!

Saturday:

Plane lands at 11:15. Want to have a low-key afternoon. Thought we’d walk around Trafalgar Square, Covent Gardens and Leicester Square.

Sunday:

Hop on-hop off bus in the morning to get a feel for the city. In the afternoon, Cabinet War Rooms, Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

Monday:

V&A Museum, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, Harrods and possibly Royal Albert Hall (is there anything to “see” here)?

Tuesday:

Tower of London, Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Seeing “War Horse” in the evening.

Wednesday:

Windsor all day.

Thursday:

Tate Modern, Borough Market and Globe Theater.

Will probably see another play this evening.

Friday:

Buckingham Palace and Royal Mews, Picadilly Circus and shopping along Oxford St./Regent St./Bond St.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Watford
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1. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Doesn't look too rushed but I would switch a couple of days around. Both Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral (I think) are closed on Sundays except for services so you could swap Sunday and Monday around.

I think the Royal Albert Hall and especially the Albert Memorial opposite are worth a look from the outside but the other things you have planned that day should take up most of your time.

Otherwise pretty much perfect - just allow time for serendipity...or at least some people watching from a park bench!

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

just a comment,Windsor won't take all day,a train ride takes about half an hour.seeing the castle/grounds and the city,may take two and half hours. you can also walk across the bridge to Eton,have a look around,come back to Windsor for lunch and go back to London. if you go early in the morning,your afternoon would be free for something else. I have been to Windsor every trip to London and never needed more than maybe four hours in total.

Hitchin, United...
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3. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

I think that's very well planned. You've grouped everything together and it all makes sense, I'd just echo Adam's suggestion of switching days to get into the Abbey.

You can do tours inside the Royal Albert Hall (I'd link to it, but the website appears to be having problems from my end, try googling "albert hall tours" and see if you have better luck). It's a beautiful venue but it really comes into it's own on a concert night and I'm not sure that atmoshphere and ambience would translate to a tour. I've been to concerts but never a tour so I'm not best placed to say whether it's worth a go. It's a nice building architecturally speaking though, and also historically, so it's worth a look as you're in the area. Have a look at the very opulent Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, virtually opposite, it just proves how much Victoria loved her Prince.

Hitchin, United...
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4. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Oh sorry, you asked about afternoon tea. Are you looking for a simple, cheaper one, or something special?

Naperville, IL
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5. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

CanucksTraveller72....

Regarding tea, I'm not quite sure I know what we're looking for there. At first, I was convinced that we had to do tea at the Ritz. I figured that was a once in a lifetime experience and we should just go for it. But perhaps we should consider a cheaper alternative (although the money is really not an issue) as long as we have the tea experience.

And thank you for all your posts on this forum. I've enjoyed reading your responses to so many topics!

Watford
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6. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

While you are at Kensington Palace you could take tea at The Orangery which is located in the grounds. It's not the grand hotel experience with bow-tied waiters and unlimited sandwiches but the building is delightful and it will be a lot cheaper than the Ritz.

hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace/cafesandrestaura…

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Like Adam said, Sunday is not a good day to tour the churches. And you wouldn't really have time to tour Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and Cabinet War Rooms in one afternoon. Maybe try to see one of them (Cabninet War Rooms?) on your arrival day? Maybe switch your Sunday with Monday or Tuesday. Also watch the last admission times for Westminster Abbey - it's 3:30 PM most days, 1:30 PM Saturdays - open late Wednesday, last admission 6 PM.

I've taken the RAH tour and it is interesting. But not sure you'd have time to do it with the other things you have planned for that day. If you wanted a more casual afternoon tea, you could maybe start this day at the V&A, then walk to Kensington Palace (seeing RAH and Royal Albert Memorial along the way), tour the palace, then have afternoon tea at the Orangery. Then you could walk through Hyde Park towards Harrods.

On your Thursday, check the Globe's website. Not sure how long the theatre season runs, but during the season, they only do theatre tours till about noon. You may want to re-arrange this day. Maybe start at the Globe, then Borough Market, then the Tate Modern and a walk along the south bank of the Thames.

On Friday, you may want to see the Royal Mews first, then the BP tour. When you exit the BP tour, it's through the back garden - closer to Hyde Park Corner (where you can catch a bus to Piccadilly or Oxford Street.) It's kind of a longish walk back to the mews from there, and after the 2.5 - 3 hour palace tour, you may be looking to save steps. : )

The Marriott County Hall also serves afternoon tea in the library. It's been several years, but we had a very nice cream tea there. Lovely room and you can't beat the convenience since you're staying there.

California
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8. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Looks good - but my advice would be to do Tate Modern/Borough Market/Globe on the Friday - Borough Market's stalls are open Friday-Sunday only. You can walk through the rest of the week, but you will find little open aside from the permanent eating spots. Borough Market on a weekend is my favorite spot on South Bank! As for the Globe, the season runs through mid October, and you definitely want to go here in the morning, since they do offer matinees most days at 2 pm. If you have time on your South Bank day, you can also see a play there. Only 5 pounds to stand in the yard, and it is an unforgettable experience. Enjoy your trip!

~Susan

Watford
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9. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Borough Market is now open on a Thursday from 11.00 until 5.00. I've not been on that day of the week so can't say if all the stalls are open but it might just be a little less frenetic compared to the rugby scrum of a Friday lunchtime!

California
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10. Re: Would Love Your Thoughts/Suggestions

Ah - Adam is right! I'd forgotten about the expanded hours - I usually go on Sunday morning when I am there. Thanks for the correction!