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Great visit to London!

Beverly...
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Great visit to London!

Thanks to all of the questions/responses here on TA, I had a great trip to London. I spent 7 nights at the DoubleTree Tower of London (excellent hotel - see review). I won't go into a lot of detail, but the highlights were:

-Southwark Cathedral -went late afternoon on my arrival day after walking along the South Bank and stayed for Evensong; it's right next to the Borough Market, so you can easily combine the two

-Beefeater tour at the Tower of London

-Verger tour at Westminster Abbey - probably my favorite of the whole trip!

-Day trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge - booked a rail ticket through Megabus before I left home (very easy to do); the Stonehenge bus picks up at the train station and will drop you off in the center of town

-Victoria and Albert museum - my favorite museum/gallery of the trip - the Casting Courts were amazing!

-All Hallows by the Tower - a lesser-known church, right near the Tower of London. Be sure to visit the crypt museum to see part of the old Roman floor!

-Climbing the dome at St. Paul's Cathedral and the 90 minute guided tour (included in admission)

-Day trip to Windsor Castle

-Portobello Road Market

Overall, it was a great trip! If I could give one piece of advice to anyone planning a visit to London, it would be to not over-plan, and leave room to change your schedule. I enjoyed Westminster Abbey so much, I completely changed my afternoon plans so as to not short-change my visit. Make a "must do" list and an "if time" list ahead of time, and determine which things you really want to see and which you'd like to do if you have time. Don't rush through anything. There's so much history in London, it would be a shame to miss out on learning as much as you can about the places you visit because you're in a hurry to get to the next site.

Thanks again to all the TA members who frequent this forum - it was great to have so many experts to help plan my trip!

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Virginia
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1. Re: Great visit to London!

Thanks so much for your trip summary; I enjoyed reading it. And I couldn't agree more with your very wise advice...don't overplan.

Roeselare, Belgium
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2. Re: Great visit to London!

Sounds like you had fun, thanks a lot for reporting back and for adding good advice!

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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3. Re: Great visit to London!

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone planning a visit to London, it would be to not over-plan, and leave room to change your schedule.

__________________________________

Words of wisdom there.

London, United...
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4. Re: Great visit to London!

I live in London and haven't been to Westminster Abbey since the days when it was free.....so that's a long time ago. You are not the first person to report back on how good it was. Time for me to return . Thanks for an interesting report.

U.S. expats
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5. Re: Great visit to London!

I live in London and haven't been to Westminster Abbey since the days when it was free.....so that's a long time ago.

_____________________________

Yes, that's a very long time ago--nearly 300 years! From Westminster's website, under FAQs...

It surprises most people to learn that the Abbey receives no funding from the Crown, the Church or the State. In fact, admission charges to Westminster Abbey have been in place for over 300 years and perhaps even longer. In 1697, visitors paid 3d to see all parts of the Abbey. By 1723 this charge had doubled and, by 1806, it had risen to 1s 11d, including a 2d tip to the ‘tomb-shewer’. In the latter part of the last century, entrance charges were 2s 6d in the sixties, £2 in 1989 and £5 in 1998. The admission charge is now £15.

London, United...
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6. Re: Great visit to London!

OK. It felt like it was free ; certainly very cheap.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Great visit to London!

Glad you enjoyed your trip.

I agree about the cast court - very impressive!

Ipswich, United...
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8. Re: Great visit to London!

That piece on the Abbey's website about charges is misleading. Until about thirty years ago, entrance to the main body of the Abbey was free. I know because I worked nearby and went there frequently, and I recall the debate when charges were extended to the main part. You only paid to see certain sections, eg Poets Corner and the museum in the cloister. The statement 'In 1697, visitors paid 3d to see all parts of the Abbey' seems to be craftily worded in that it can be interpreted in two ways, ie that some parts were free but you had to pay 3d to see everything, or that you paid 3d to go into any part of the Abbey. Until around thirty years ago it was a widely accepted principal that nobody should pay to go into the main body of a church.

Edited: 26 April 2013, 12:22
London, United...
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9. Re: Great visit to London!

Thank you Wansteader. So I do have a few memory cells still working. . I think it was early 1970s I last visited.

10. Re: Great visit to London!

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