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Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

Midwest USA
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Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

We will be in London this weekend and below is the rough itinerary that I have in mind. Feedback is appreciated. It looks like we could be in for a wet weekend; if so, we won't let the rain stop us - we are equipped with raincoats and waterproof walking shoes! :) Please advise if you have any suggestions to improve our itinerary. We are currently in Ireland, so jet lag will not be an issue. Neither of us have been to London before and we will not be back in the foreseeable future. Thank you for your time in looking this over!

FRIDAY

•Arrive Gatwick Airport 13:55

•Try to catch National Rail GTW-KBN (Kilburn High Road), leaves airport 14:55, arrives 16:19 – buy one-day Travelcards at rail station

•Walk to/check in @ Marriott Maida Vale

•Dinner at The Salt House, near hotel

•Tube to Victoria Station, walk to Buckingham Palace (10-15 min.) - photo op

•Walk back to Victoria Station & board 19:30 “London by Night” bus tour (http://www.london-by-night.net), ending 21-21:30

SATURDAY

•Westminster Abbey, allow 2 hours; open 9:30-14:30 – see Crown Jewels first, then Beefeater tour, then White Tower

•Walk-by/photo op – Parliament, Big Ben, etc.

•Leicester Square – tks booth; buy tickets for a show this evening

•Lunch at Stockpot or West End Kitchen, near Trafalgar Square

•St. Paul’s Cathedral, arrive by 14:00 to allow 2 hours; open 8:30-16:00, last dome entry 15:30

•Possibly stay at St. Paul’s for 17:00 evensong?? – 40 minutes

•Dinner at Strada, by St. Paul’s

•Back to hotel, change for theater

•Theatre/musical TBD – probably approx. 19:30

SUNDAY

•Tower of London – allow two hours, opens at 10:00

•Lunch at EAT, near the Tower

•British Museum – allow at least two hours, closes at 17:30

•Trafalgar Square, late afternoon tea @ Café in the Crypt - St. Martin-in-the-Fields (available 14:00-18:00) – choral evensong @ 17:00 (if we're there)?

•Walk to see Piccadilly Circus if haven’t already been there

•Ride the London Eye, closes at 21:00

•catch a light late dinner somewhere, or what else (if anything)??

MONDAY

•Wander Kensington Gardens/Palace, Hyde Park

•Large late breakfast (full English fry) at Diana’s Diner, Endell Street/Covent Garden

•Return to hotel to check out; head for airport (flight leaves from Gatwick 14:50)

SYD-LON-MUC
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1. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

1/ Judging by the evening schedule dinner will be very quick as I am thinking the following:

17.30 Dinner start

18.30 Dinner end

19.15 Arrive Victoria

19.30 Arrive Buckingham Palace - photo op

19.50 Back at Victoria

So unless you are actually in the restaurant eating dinner at 17.00 I am not sure you'll have enough time to get to Buckingham and back to Victoria.

2/ Crown Jewels, Beefeater Tour, White Tower are at Tower of London not Westminster.

•Walk-by/photo op – Parliament, Big Ben, etc.

Fine

•Leicester Square – tks booth; buy tickets for a show this evening

Fine

•Lunch at Stockpot or West End Kitchen, near Trafalgar Square

Not sure you'll be done in time for lunch unless having a late lunch.

The rest will be delayed.

•Dinner at Strada, by St. Paul’s

Fine

•Back to hotel, change for theater

•Theatre/musical TBD – probably approx. 19:30

SUNDAY

•Tower of London – allow two hours, opens at 10:00

Fine

•Lunch at EAT, near the Tower

Fine

•British Museum – allow at least two hours, closes at 17:30

Fine

•Trafalgar Square, late afternoon tea @ Café in the Crypt - St. Martin-in-the-Fields (available 14:00-18:00) – choral evensong @ 17:00 (if we're there)?

Fine - might be cutting it fine though.

•Walk to see Piccadilly Circus if haven’t already been there

Fine for the evening.

•Ride the London Eye, closes at 21:00

Should get there in time.

•catch a light late dinner somewhere, or what else (if anything)??

Late dinner.

MONDAY

•Wander Kensington Gardens/Palace, Hyde Park

Fine

•Large late breakfast (full English fry) at Diana’s Diner, Endell Street/Covent Garden

Fine

•Return to hotel to check out; head for airport (flight leaves from Gatwick 14:50)

Fine

U.S. expats
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2. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

If Monday is a wet day, I would consider doing the British Museum over Kensington Palace/Gardens. British Museum is far more interesting in any case.

I'm so glad to see someone actually planning a do-able itinerary.

You seem to have your eats down; if there was flexibility, I would recommend Blackfriars pub for a good lunch or dinner.

Midwest USA
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3. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

Ahhh! Obviously I meant to put Crown Jewels, Beefeater, etc. as the note by the Tower of London, not Westminster Abbey. I kept copying/pasting/moving everything around and that ended up in the wrong place! Oops!

Detroit, Michigan
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4. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

Looks pretty do-able. Brad already pointed out that crown jewels, beefeater tour and White Tower are at Tower of London. Other than that, I think the only other thing you may have trouble with is the night you're going to the theatre - you are probably not going to have time to go back to your hotel and change. So, you might want to plan on wearing something that day you'll feel comfortable attending the theatre in.

Midwest USA
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5. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

Thank you; I really appreciate your expertise!

I'm sooo glad that my intinerary seems do-able to you. I cut my wish list down to the bare bones to try to make it reasonable, so it makes me happy to hear that it sounds pretty good!

We'll have to play it by ear as far as dinner, etc. on Friday after we arrive. We can always go straight from dinner to Victoria Station for the bus tour and squeeze in a walk-by of Buckingham Palace on Monday morning or some other time. I originally wanted to try to see the changing of the guards, but nixed that idea! :) After further research, it sounded like our time would be better spent elsewhere.

Mealtimes do seem crowded to me, but I can't figure out how to make it work better. Lunches will probably be late and a bit rushed. I suppose we could always try finding a supermarket somewhere and buying some of those little pre-made sandwiches to eat on the run if we are pressed for time. Any other suggestions? Trying to juggle the times that attractions open and close (and the amount of time we will spend standing in line!) with the need to stop and eat is difficult! Maybe we should plan for big breakfasts somewhere and kind of skip over lunch? I wanted to do a tea (since it is London, after all!), but if we miss that at St. Martin-in-the-Fields we'll just go straight to dinner somewhere instead.

The British Museum does put me in a quandary. I have considered doing it on Friday night when they're open late instead of the bus tour, or on Monday morning. Seeing as it doesn't open on Monday until 10:00, though, I'm not sure we could make it with checking out of the hotel and getting to the airport early enough. In any case, I know we won't be able to see more than a tiny little fraction of it with our time frame.

Monday morning as-is is pretty low key, really just walking around. We aren't planning to go into Kensington Palace or anything; I just thought it would be nice to have a relaxing morning after a couple of very busy days of frantic sightseeing. :) I thought about having breakfast at The Orangery, but after reading reviews of it, I'm thinking it might be worth the extra effort to go over to Covent Garden and eat at Diana's Diner - tastier and more filling, perhaps, since it's going to count as our lunch as well.

I will certainly look into Blackfriars! Places to eat are certainly negotiable; I was just trying to find places that looked a) inexpensive, b) fast-ish, c) close to where we're going to be anyway.

Midwest USA
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6. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

Thanks! How "dressy" do they normally expect you to be for the theater? We could probably wear khakis and a nice sweater for our sightseeing that day in case we can't make it back to the hotel. Hopefully walking shoes (NOT white athletic shoes) will be okay to wear.

Is it just the idea of evensong at St. Paul's that makes it seem too rushed? If we just threw out that idea, do you think we would have time to stop back at the hotel quickly. I hate to think what I must look like after a day of sightseeing, especially if it's rainy. :) But we can play it by ear!

SYD-LON-MUC
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7. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

<<Lunches will probably be late and a bit rushed. I suppose we could always try finding a supermarket somewhere and buying some of those little pre-made sandwiches to eat on the run if we are pressed for time. Any other suggestions?>>

Pret

http://www.pret.com/

or another sandwich takeaway place. But yeah you should be able to find a supermarket.

<< Maybe we should plan for big breakfasts somewhere and kind of skip over lunch?>>

This is what wife and I try to do.

<<I just thought it would be nice to have a relaxing morning after a couple of very busy days of frantic sightseeing.>>

Nice idea to get a feel of London at a slower pace. : D

Brad

SYD-LON-MUC
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8. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

<<How "dressy" do they normally expect you to be for the theater?>>

Not very. I generally wear tailor trousers (like for golf) and boat shoes and polo shirt (sometimes button short sleeve)

I have seen people that are clearly backpacking.

So pretty much anything goes.

What you planning on seeing?

<<Is it just the idea of evensong at St. Paul's that makes it seem too rushed?>>

Maybe just a touch. But as kayb95 says “you might want to plan on wearing something that day you'll feel comfortable attending the theatre in.”

Detroit, Michigan
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9. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

Ooh, don't pass up evensong. It's so lovely. Khakis, a sweater and walking shoes will be absolutely fine for the theatre.

And don't worry too much about meals. You will find places nearby pretty much everything where you can grab a quick bite. We never plan for meals at specific places unless we really want to try a specific or favorite restaurant. Also, if you have a big breakfast, you can usually get by with a quick snack somewhere, or bowl of soup at a pub, etc... to get you through to dinner. And if you do afternoon tea, you generally don't need dinner. Maybe a late-night snack. : )

Midwest USA
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10. Re: Itinerary for THIS WEEKEND - feedback welcome!

Ah! I've heard of Pret A Manger, but wasn't sure what it was. I'll have to take a look at the locations and see what's convenient to where we'll be around lunchtimes. I'm not sure what we'll be doing for breakfast each day, either, so I'll look into that more and think about planning to eat very hearty breakfasts and early dinners. :) We won't necessarily end up eating at the places I listed; I just like to have an idea of where we COULD go so we don't waste time wandering around trying to decide on a place.

What show we see will mostly depend on what they're selling at the tkts booth that day. I'm a big classic literature fan, so I'm crossing my fingers for Les Mis (love it!), Oliver, or Phantom of the Opera, but something else would be fine, too. Jersey Boys has been recommended to me.

Thanks also for the advice about evensong. It looks like there are a couple of Pret a Mangers very close to the cathedral, so maybe that would be a good time to grab a sandwich if we feel pressed for time!