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Free time in London

Buffalo, New York
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Free time in London

Traveling to London (2 adults, 57 & 60) In Mid-July. Will be on a tour for a few days and that covers many of the major attractions such as Windsor Castle, Tower of London, British Museum, London Eye, tea at Fortnum and Mason, and Thames River Cruise - plus a West End Theatre performance of "Mathilda." We are looking or suggestions for our somewhat limited free time in London. I am limited in how much walking I can do so I also need to conserve my energy as much as possible!

Here's what we're thinking:

We arrive at Heathrow Airport approx. 8:30 am and transport to hotel near Hyde Park and Oxford Street is included with our tour. It will be too early to get into hotel room, but we can park luggage there upon arrival. We thought we'd take the metro to the other side of Hyde Park and see Kensington Palace ( pre-purchase tickets) and then just wander around the park for awhile - maybe see Royal Albert Hall....pick up a meal somewhere on the way back to the hotel, freshen up and take a cab to the West End for a performance of "Let It Be." We'll be tired and jet lagged so that might be plenty for day one! Next day we are free until about 4 or 5 pm (when we join our tour group) - my husband REALLY wants to visit Churchill War Rooms so we will pre-purchase tickets for that. How should we get there from Marble Arch area and what else might we see/do in that area? Is it okay to leave the rest of that day unstructured or will we be sorry not to have tickets for some attractions at that time of year? We'd like to see Buckingham Palace but it won't be open to visitors the week we are there. The only other free time we will have in London (mid-tour) is a half day from about 2 p.m until we can't go anymore! Any suggestions on what to do that day? Maybe just shopping on Oxford street, Piccadilly Circus and/or Trafalgar Square? We've ever been to London before and don't know much about these attractions, so we really appreciate some guidance from experienced travelers. We want to enjoy the city at a relaxed pace with a nice mix of activities. Then we will be off to Paris! Thanks in advance!

Essex
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1. Re: Free time in London

Lots of the Museums and Art Galleries in London are FREE!!

You don't need advance tickets, queues are usually short or non existant, and you can visit for as long or short a time as suits you...

Really you need to peruse a couple of guidebooks and pick out things that YOU like the sound of, though.

Buses are a good way of getting around, if walking becomes a pain, you can ride around and still see things, and still be in the "buzz"!

Tubes are great foe whisking you around, but do involves stairs, and you don't see much in a tunnel (although the people watching can be fun, you have to be discrete about it though....

Illinois
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2. Re: Free time in London

TBH, I wouldn't bother with Kensington Palace unless you're really into Queen Victoria or want to see about 5 of Diana's dresses. That's what they had when I was there last and from a recent trip report I think it's still about the same.

I've been to the Churchill War Rooms 3 times now and there's never been a line. No real need to prepurchase, I don't think. Westminster Abbey is nearby, as is Buckingham Palace and Whitehall. I don't know what your tour goes to, so it's hard to say what to add. Maybe if you list the days and what you will be seeing - what do they go into and what do they drive by - people can provide more suggestions.

I agree with EW though. You'll never see everything in London, and what I like might not be what you would like. You definitely need to get a guidebook.

ETA: Here's a link to my trip report with Kensington Palace in it. KP is post #79.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k55857…

Edited: 24 May 2013, 06:04
Castlederg
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3. Re: Free time in London

If you take a look at royal parks web site, there is info on concerts and events in hyde park over the summer months. I.e 12thjuly, elton john, 13th, rolling stones.

Southampton
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4. Re: Free time in London

Going to the theatre on your first night is probably not advisable, especially as you state you 'need to conserve energy'. You will be exhausted!

Buffalo, New York
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5. Re: Free time in London

Thank you so much for the advice! I will check out the recommended sites and trip reports and come back with any more specific questions!

6. Re: Free time in London

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