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Best way to "tour" London?

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Nashville, Tennessee
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Best way to "tour" London?

Hi there! So I'm looking for suggestions on how to see some of the best sights in London. The original plan was to buy a hop on/hop off ticket for 48 hours and just get from spot to spot that way, but I've been told this isn't a good way to do it. So I thought I'd try to lay out what we'd like to do, and hopefully there's a good way to go about doing this. We will be there for three days; the first 2 we want to spend in London, and the last day we want to head out to Windsor.

Sights we'd like to see: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Tower of London, Churchill War Rooms, Shakespears Globe Theatre, and then off to Windsor on the 3rd day to see Windsor Castle. In between this we'd also like to stop at some of the oldest pubs London has to offer. Not opposed to checking out other areas of London, we enjoy markets and things like that.

Should we stick with the hop on/hop off? If yes, any good company suggestions? We were going to get an Oyster Card, but also heard about a Travel Card? What's the difference? Just looking for any sort of guidance, We only have a few days and I don't want to waste time trying to figure out what the best plan is; I'd rather know ahead of time! :) Thank you all!

Jakarta, Indonesia
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1. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

I would group the attractions by location. you can do shakespeare and tower on 1 day and the others on another day.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

Depending on your starting point, you may travel through the city centre on London's red buses to visit the sights on your wish list.

Buckingham Palace is near Victoria station, so let's say you will start there, then walk through St James's Park to Parliament Square for Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Churchill War Rooms.

You then have two choices. You may walk along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, and from Charing Cross take the number 15 to the Tower or you may take the number 11 from Westminster to Charing Cross for the number 15. tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/char… tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/…westminster-a4.pdf

The 15 travels past the Royal Courts of Justice, the Temple Bar and St Paul's, lots to see en route to the Tower. After visiting the Tower, make your way towards Tower Gateway DLR station and board the RV1 towards Covent Garden. tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/towe… Alight at Lavington Street for Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

The theatre is a short walk from the Millennium Bridge. A stroll across that bridge will take you back to St Paul's Churchyard for your next destination: tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/…mansion-house.pdf

You may use PAYG on Oyster or buy one day Travelcards. Both may be used on the Underground, buses, DLR, Overground and National Rail services. One day Travelcards are sold in peak and off peak flavours, with peak time from 0430 - 0930 on weekdays; off peak travel is at any other time on weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays.

PAYG on Oyster has a daily cap equivalent to the cost of a one day Travelcard, depending on zones in which you travel and peak or off peak use. One day off peak Travelcards for zones 1 and 2 cost £7; that's the daily cap for off peak PAYG use in those zones as well.

Things get tricky if you want to use the offers from www.daysoutguide.co.uk You will need to use paper Travelcards bought at a rail station ticket office along with the necessary vouchers for the offers, so have a look at the website and let us know if you're interested in the offers.

If you do want to use the offers, please let us know where you've booked to stay so we can suggest the nearest rail station for the purchase of National Rail paper Travelcards.

London, United...
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3. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

agree with wtp

the bus 15 and the 9 operate the old lovely routemaster London buses

and you can hop on and off all day and those 2 bus routes go past or near most of the best places to see...

windsor castle for a day trip by train is easy from paddington or waterloo

a thames river cruise from westminster pier to greenwich is good too

Hampshire, England.
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4. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g186338-c133479/Lon…

Chicago
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5. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

Hop on hop off will allow you to see the sights but not easily visit them, as you will be stuck on the route they travel. Take the advice given above and use the more efficient public transit system to tour London. Use the trains (and tube) to go longer distances; walk or bus, if you are only travelling one or two tube stops.

The train to Windsor is quite nice. Buy a round trip ticket for the best pricing. You can open end the return trip, if you don't know what time you'll wish to return.

London, United...
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6. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

Agree with the above - use TfL services to get you to a location then walk.In addition the Underground or trains can take you to Richmond and Greenwich - both worth a visit in there own right and with good pubs in both.

A travel card/oyster you also get a discount on the river boats.

Nashville, Tennessee
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7. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

Thank you all so much! This is very very helpful! We will definitely make sure to take advantage of the 2-4-1!

London, United...
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8. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

er

just for your info the heritage red bus 15 and 9 IS a TFL service and stops by or close to all the main London landmarks and is infact one of the best ways to see London in a short space of time which the OP has....

you can literally hop on and off these buses all day with a travelcard...

the hop/on off is also literal as they have the famous open boarding platform lol

tubes are ok too but imho as a Londoner these 2 buses offer tourists a wonderful way from the top deck to see so much with a limited time.

perhaps you are confused with the big red bus tourist bus tours or similar which i was not talking about.

London
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9. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

<<Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Tower of London, Churchill War Rooms, Shakespears Globe Theatre>>

This would be a great walk.

Start at Buckingham Palace, walk 10 minutes over to Churchills War Rooms, another 5 minutes to Big Ben/Westminster Abbey then over Westminster Bridge and walk along the river by the London Eye to the Globe, maybe doing a short diversion across the wibbly, wobbly bridge to St Paul's then onto Tower Bridge and walk across it to the Tower of London

London UK
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10. Re: Best way to "tour" London?

Here is a suggestion for a reasonably comprehensive look at London over a good half day. Take the Piccadilly Tube to Hyde Park Corner and disembark. Look at the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, designed as the triumphal arch for London. You can go into the Wellington Arch and see the view from the top. Then walk down Constitution Hill. On your left will be Green Park and on your right the garden wall of Buckingham Palace. At the foot of the hill you come to the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, and if the Royal Standard is flying The Queen is in residence. Buckingham Palace is only open to the public from August to early October. Then start to walk down the Mall but cut across to the right through St James' Park to Birdcage Walk and that will take you to Parliament Square from where you can see the Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament) complete with Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. At the end of St James’ Park and Birdcage Walk are the Churchill War Rooms. The London Eye on the other side of the river can be clearly seen. Cross over Westminster Bridge, enjoy the view and if you want to fly in the London Eye, be prepared to queue.

Walk up Whitehall where all the main Government Ministries have their head offices. On the left hand side you will see the heavily fortified entrance to Downing Street, and if the crowds are not too dense you will see 10 Downing Street, the home and office of the Prime Minister.

You will also see the Cenotaph, the memorial to the dead of two world wars, where at 11.00 am on Remembrance Sunday (the Sunday nearest 11 November) The Queen leads the nation in homage to those died defending freedom

Further along on the left hand side you will see the entrance to Horse Guards, where the guard is provided by the Household Cavalry. The mounted guards change over every hour, so try and time to be there at about five minutes to the hour and see a mini changing of the guard. The Mounted Guard does its first hourly change at 11.00 am. People can be in the courtyard and be within yards of the horses etc.

What are these troopers guarding? They were initially ordered to guard the Palace of Whitehall from attack across open country to the west. This Palace no longer exists apart from its wine cellar which is preserved in the bowels of the Ministry of Defence. The open country across attack might be expected is now blocked by Buckingham Palace. However no one has ever countermanded the order so the Mounted Guard is mounted everyday.

Go through the Arch and see Horse Guards Parade where the Household Division parade one of their colours, Trooping the Colour, on The Queen's official birthday in June.

If you have time, then cross the road from the Horse Guards and see Inigo Jones' Banqueting Hall with its fantastic painted ceiling. Outside it on 31 Jan 1648 King Charles I was executed. He wore two shirts so that he might not be seen shivering and so give the impression he was frightened.

Back onto Whitehall and continue northwards to Trafalgar Square. On the north side is the National Portrait Gallery (free entry) and on the north east corner is St Martin's in the Fields church which has just been renovated and, as one of London's iconic churches, is well worth visiting.

As you exit St Martin's church turn right into St Martin's Lane. There check out Goodwin's Court (on the right hand side), a passage way off St Martin's Lane and see an unspoilt late 17th street with bowed windows, gas lights, spun glass window panes and, apart from a couple of burglar alarm boxes, all virtually original.

Taken at a fairly relaxed stroll this route should take about two / three hours and you end up with plenty of coffee shops, etc in the Covent Garden area for a reviving drink or two. Try the Lamb and Flag in Rose Street for a cooling beer and upstairs it has a restaurant.

Continue northwards to Tottenham Court Road Tube station and take the eastbound Central Line tube to St Paul's station and visit St Paul's. Then walk eastwards and see the newly refurbished Monument, a tower 212 feet tall and exactly 212 feet from where the fire in a bakery in Pudding Lane started the Great Fire of London in 1666. You can climb to the top of the Monument and enjoy an excellent view of London. There is the Monument Tube station which is near to it.

Half a mile further east on the north bank of the Thames is Her Majesty's Tower of London. By this time you may not have time to visit it inside, but walking around it gives you an impression of its scale and importance in mediaeval times.

Having done that walk, then over the next few days plan to actually visit St Paul's Cathedral (the view from the top is great), the Tower of London (worth it just to see the Crown Jewels) and take a spin in the London Eye.

In London you can eat your way around the world.. In the centre of London you will be spoilt for choice. If you want to try traditional English food then try the George and Vulture, 3 Castle Court, London, EC3V 9DL, which has been a bar/restaurant since at least 1660 if not 50 years earlier and is highly popular for lunch with many people who work in the City. The decor is highly functional and unchanged over the last 150 years at least. Well, there is no sawdust on the floor these days.

Use www.multimap.com to produce your own map of London to cover the area I have outlined above.