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14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

Oregon
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14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

You gave me great advice about the things I need to sort out ahead of time for my July trip to London. Now I have the general plan in order and a couple of questions.

It's easier to help if you know something about me. I am traveling alone. I haven't been to London before, but I am widely traveled. I will be staying near the British Museum. I have an anxiety disorder so I try not to pack my schedule too full. I like to really see a few things rather than see a little of lots of things. I plan on taking some of London Walks tours. It's nice to join a group for a little while. I have a Heritage Palace Membership and will have an Oyster with travelcards and some extra pounds on it.

Day 1- arrive at hotel around 3 pm. Take a walk possibly duck into the British Museum for a sample.

Day 2- 11 am Famous Sq. Mile walk and St. Paul's

Day 3- Tower of London and possibly the London Museum

Day 4- Morning @ William Morris Gallery, Afternoon William Morris Walk

Day 5 - 2 pm Start Art Walk, rest of the day open

Day 6 - 10:45 Westminster Walk, Westminster Abbey and possibly Banqueting House (this is the last day it will be open during my trip.

Day 7 - Victoria & Albert Museum

Day 8 Kennsington Palace

Day 9 Churchill War Rooms and 2 pm Blitz Walk

Day 10 Hampton Court Palace (I'd like to go by boat. Is it feasible to go by boat both ways?)

Day 11 Portobello Road Market

Day 12 Open

Day 13 Kew Gardens and Palace

Day 14 Open

I will work in St. Martin in the Fields, The British Library and visits to the British Museum as well as shopping as my stamina permits.

Illinois
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1. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

I've never been able to figure out a way to go to Hampton Court Palace by boat and still have time to see it. Personally, I'd just take the train. It's easy and the palace is right across the bridge. You could easily spend all day there. When I went, I also spent some time in Bushy Park. They have some downloadable audioguides. I did the one called "The Yanks are Here" and enjoyed it. royalparks.org.uk/parks/bushy-park/bushy-par…

I'm not sure what the Heritage Palace Membership is. Do you mean Historic Royal Palaces?

I don't really recommend Kensington Palace, but it's up to you. I went on my trip last July and didn't think it was worth the money. Here's my trip report of it if that helps (Kensington Palace is in post 79) tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k55857…

It certainly won't take all day. You could maybe combine it with the V&A as they're fairly close. I did a Highlights tour of the V&A one trip (free and offered by the museum, check their website) and really enjoyed it. It gave me a starting point as I didn't really know where to start.

I'm not sure when you're going, but on the first Sun of the month they also do guided tours of the Albert Memorial. It's on my list for some future trip when I'm there the first Sun of a month that they do it. It's near the V&A and Kensington Palace.

http://tinyurl.com/bp53v4w

They include a discount to the War Rooms with the Blitz Walk, but I didn't think it ended early enough for me to have enough time there. You can do the audioguide of the War Rooms part in 1-1.5h, but that doesn't leave time for the Churchill Museum part, which is interesting (if you're interested in Churchill).

You could put Windsor Castle on your open day. Some days they do guided tours of Eton too. Another thing on my list of things to do. http://www.etoncollege.com/PublicOpening.aspx

I also recommend looking at the "What's On" section of the web sites for the places you are visiting, as there are often interesting things on offer. For example, I did a rooftop tour of Hampton Court Palace. I think it's somewhere in that trip report I linked to previously. You might also consider a day trip to somewhere out of London. HCP, Windsor, and Kew Gardens are technically out of London, but there are a lot of easy day trips you could do to places other than London. For example, Cambridge, Oxford, Dover, Battle, Rochester (we loved that), Canterbury, and Brighton are all places I've gone. I spent a few days in Oxford, Cambridge, and Brighton, but you could easily do them as a day trip. You could also do Blenheim Palace from Oxford, but that does involve a bus from Oxford to Blenheim. It's still easy to do, however. The gardens there are gorgeous.

They sometimes offer guided tours of Kew Palace. I did one of those in that July trip report I linked to previously. Details are on their website. A lot of those things book up so you have to book in advance, but usually you can book online.

Do you have plans for your evenings? I usually go to a lot of theatre. Check out www.theatremonkey.com for theatre info. Some of the museums have late night openings too.

I love going to London by myself. I'm going to have to figure a time to go again, I think.

Overall, I like your itinerary. You haven't overbooked yourself. If it doesn't make you too anxious, I like just wandering around, especially in the City where there are a lot of little alleyways. With an Oyster card, you can always get back home as there's always a tube or bus stop around.

Illinois
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2. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

OK, so that was already a really long answer, but I'm going to add a link to my post from a couple of years ago when I figured out how to use the buses. I really like the buses as you can see where you're going, and when you're by yourself, there's no one to get upset if you go the wrong way. You can always get on a bus coming back where you started if you end up in the wrong place.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k48533…

By the way, I hope you'll do a trip report. I like doing ongoing ones where I post each day at night. That way I remember it better, it gives me something to do at night, and sometimes people offer good advice for the trip. Besides, they're really fun to read later on. It's almost like going on the trip again.

U.S. expats
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3. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

I heartily agree with the above advice about getting to Hampton Court Palace by boat; take the train.

The boat ride, depending on the tides, can take 3-4 hours each way. What seems like a pleasant mode of travel soon loses its novelty, and you will quickly grow bored.

You can reach Hampton Court by train in about 30 minutes.

If you are interested in a ride on the Thames, it is certainly possible to do a Thames cruise, or even take a boat ride if you decide to come out to Windsor.

I also agree that Kensington Palace will in all likelihood underwhelm you.

Best of luck on your journey.

Oregon
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4. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

Thanks for such a lovely reply. I did mean Historic Royal Palaces.

I thought I would do the War Rooms before the tour even though they offer a discount. I want to have enough time to see those without worrying about the closing time.

Kensington Palace is included in the pass and I am intrigued by the unusual approach to exhibits they have taken.

I do promise a trip report.

I hope someone comes along with a way to get to Hampton Court by river. If I take the train there, maybe I'll find some other river trip to take.

Finland
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5. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

You could take a boat from Hampton Court to Kingston, if I remember correctly it is only a half an hour trip. You can have a look around Kingston, and see e.g the "falling phone boxes", or have a drink in one of the riverside pubs or cafes. Then you can catch a train back to London.

Oregon
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6. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

OK I will go by train to Hampton Court. I can enjoy the river another way.

I don't expect Kensington to take all day. I usually plan one site as a goal for the day and then fill in around it as my stamina and anxiety allow.

@ finroach Hyvaa Paiva! I was an exchange student in Kouvola in 1985-86.

Plymouth
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7. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

Hello! If you want a trip on the river - and it's great fun as well as a good way to see the sights - you could take the Clipper boat (public transport no commentary ) to Greenwich, which is a lovely place to go. Brilliant market, nice big park, old buildings, museums, and Cutty Sark.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

Your itinerary looks very relaxed.

How about the Wallace Collection? It's one of my favourite places to visit in London.

If you are there at the beginning of the month, do try to get to the Albert Memorial guided tour. I've done it and it's fabulous.

I am a theatre buff but given you are there in summer, the nights will be a great time to just walk around. If you do want to see some shows, there should be some outdoor options for you such as The Globe (for Shakespeare) and the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park.

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

I took the boat to Hampton Court on one of my visits, if you have a full day and you can get on an early boat AND the weather is nice, it's actually a pleasant way to get there although it does get a bit dull in spots as pointed out. There are a couple of links here, I took the Thames Clipper service from Westminster. It does take quite a long time, several hours and I wouldn't recommend doing it both ways, I took the train back to London. I had plenty of time to visit the Palace and grounds.

hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/…gettingthere

Oregon
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10. Re: 14 Day Itinerary for London (Comments Welcome)

I will just miss the Albert Memorial tour alas.

I do enjoy the theatre, but I thought I would take my chances with last minute tickets rather than decide ahead of time. I will also probably go to a movie at sometime.

Sailing to Greenwich sounds good and of course if I visit the Tates, I see they have a river service between them.

July can't get here quickly enough!