We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What can we do on jet lag day?

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
50 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
What can we do on jet lag day?

We will be arriving in London on the red eye at 8:30 am. We'll have 2-1/2 days on our own before joining a tour. The tour will include a "panoramic tour of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Cabinet War Rooms, and a visit to the Imperial War Museum." The next day we go to Portsmouth. Then on to Normandy, etc. My question is, the day we arrive, what can we do so that we can make the day worthwhile even though we are going to be totally jet lagged? We're guessing that we won't be able to check into our hotel until late afternoon, although we should be able to check our luggage. We're staying at the Jolly Hotel St. Ermin's. Tour choice, not ours! Any ideas would be appreciated.

Level Contributor
1,325 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

I've done the Big Bus tour that first day, and it has worked very well. You get a nice overview of the city while sitting down. You'll get an idea of what you'd like to see more "in depth" during your next couple of days.

You should be able to catch the Big Bus pretty close to your hotel. I think it's a nice way to begin your London adventure.

Level Contributor
143 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

Similiar arrival scenario for us. We are being picked up by Evan Evans at 11:30 for a half day tour to Windsor castle and Hampton court. Hope we can stay awake on the bus!

London, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
55,121 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

I'm going to guess that you're flying in to LGW, and will have changed planes on the east coast - yes?

The benefit of arriving at LGW is that passport control might not be as frantic as at LHR, so you shouldn't have to queue for ages to get through, then collect your bags. Will you be met at the airport, or do you have to find your own way to the Gatwick Express to Victoria? It's not that tricky, signage isn't too bad.

The GEX takes 30 minutes from LGW to Victoria, so after immigration and luggage collection, you'll probably arrive at the station at about 1000. Your hotel isn't far from Victoria, so a taxi will take just a few minutes to get there, and cost about £5.

It sounds as if the tour includes some of the sights included in a hop on hop off bus tour, so taking another tour might not be a plus. Perhaps a walk through St James's Park, then breakfast somewhere near Piccadilly Circus - the New Piccadilly cafe or Cafe in the Crypt, perhaps. If you're not too weary, you could have a look in the National Gallery or go back towards the river and have a flight on the London Eye.

north-east NJ
Level Contributor
2,594 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

I agree with TravellerPlus -- a leisurely walk around the neighbourhood with a lunch stop would be nice w/o being overly stimulating. As for the Jolly St. Ermin's, it's actually a very nice hotel. You should be comfortable there.

London, UK
Level Contributor
5,466 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

If you are in St James Park or Green Park - they do interconnect through a street passageway, make you way on to Piccadilly.

Walk past the Ritz & then onto the Wolsley or Patisserie Valerie for a brunch/light lunch. Treat yourself well.

You could take in the 'hot show' (usually an International BlockBuster Art Exhibition) at the Royal Academy on opposite side of Piccadilly. Back onto the other side of Piccadilly, you'll find 2 excellent bookstores, Hatchard's & Waterstones - perfect if you like to book browse. If you are more task focused, then Waterstone's has a good London section on the ground floor & Hatchard's is good for history.

The church on Piccadilly (St James's) is interesting & worth a visit. The queues seen snaking down Piccadilly are not for the casino or BAFTA award ceremonies - they're for the free musical recitals at StJ.

But then you could still mosey to the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square. Cut through St James (rather than Leicester Square - squalid tourist trap save the TKTS booth), & take some of the charming small shops in Jermyn Street (e.g. Floris) to be found around the Jermyn Street entrance to St James's.

By 3.30 pm, you'll have walked several miles - so good for the circulation - & will prolly have worked off your light luncheon. This leaves you on a perfect state of preparation for a slap up afternoon tea.

Search this forum for some of the best in London. You can either go for the just-2-scone-clotted-cream-jam combo at Fortnum & Mason/any other good pitstop OR the full slap-up-sandwiches-pastries-scone-clotted cream-jam-on-a-repeat-as-requested-basis.

The second option will not leave you much room for supper.

Level Contributor
6,981 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

I treat jet lag day as any other day, with an emphasis on getting outside. After an active day I sleep well and am over any jet lag the next morning.

May I suggest an afternoon London Walk (http://www.walks.com)? "The Blitz - London at War" might be just the walk, on Thursday, for a couple who appear to be on a WWII tour. Try the same company for an evening pub walk.

The Tower of London, National Gallery, British Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, and the London Eye are worthy of a visit.

Carefully check the wording of your tour brochure. Frequently sites are "viewed" instead of "visited". You will want tour inside Westminster Abbey and the Cabinet War Rooms. Have a great trip.

Level Contributor
56 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

I agree with the other posters about staying outdoors. If the weather is nice (especially sunshine) take the hop on hop off bus tour, sit up on top and enjoy the sunshine and the views. Once we did the hop on hop off bus, and upon hopping back on at one stop there were no seats available except in the bottom. I kept dozing off, because it was so warm, and the view was limited. One of the walking tours is also a great idea. There are so many to choose from, pick one that really interests you and the air and walking with help with the jet lag. Have an early supper and turn in and get a good nights rest. Have a great trip

Columbia, SC
Level Contributor
340 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

My flight arrives at LGW around that same time. I'm heading into London to see a matinee at the Globe. Outdoors, I can stand up if I want to and it's Shakespeare. What better introduction to England could there be!

Level Contributor
47 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?

I've gone to Great Britain the last 2 years, and we live in California. Usually we have arrived in Great Britain around 9 in the morning. We just plan a full day, but make sure we go to bed around 9-10 at night. We get up the next day and seem to have no problem. The problem is when we go back home, that is when I feel the jet lag. It is a lot easier going west to east than the reverse.

Georgetown, Penang
Level Contributor
2,564 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: What can we do on jet lag day?


I think thats true - east to west is more of a problem than west to east. I always feel exhausted after a flight back to europe.

Normally I'd just spend the day sleeping.