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Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

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Detroit, Michigan
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Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

Hi Everyone - looking for some travel advice from the locals...

I have a long 3 day weekend in London this October - Saturday, Sunday & Monday. We're staying in London close to the Blackfriars tube/rail station. I need to plan a day trip to Watford (HP Studio) and Windsor Castle, most likely on different days (though I may be open to doing both on the same day, if it made sense, but looks like we'd have to back track through London anyway to go in-between).

I know the plan in terms of tube-to-trains ( interchange at Euston; and Waterloo/Paddington) ... but do you see any advantages of doing the 2 day trips on a Sat vs. Sunday vs. Monday? I'm thinking both in terms of queues/people... and train frequency/rush hour. I was thinking Watford on Monday to avoid any line maintenance issue, but would like to do a fairly early visit - 10:30a or so.

Gaithersburg...
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1. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

I'm not a London local, but I thought I'd chip in anyway. We're planning a trip to London this October as well! From what I can tell, October is much less busy than the summer months. So, I don't think you'll have trouble with what you described. And weekend vs weekday doesn't seem to make much of a difference from the research I've conducted.

I'd recommend getting up early and arriving at Windsor and Warner Bros. right when they open. That way when you get back to London in the afternoon, you can still fit in a couple other sights before calling it a day. I agree that trying to fit both Windsor and Harry Potter into one day would be a bit much. It all depends on how much time you spend at each place, of course. I've heard you need a minimum of 3 hours at each, but some people spend all day at Windsor. Good luck! I hope you have a fun trip!

Edited: 24 August 2013, 21:17
Watford
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2. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

The two in one day are truly not practical. Too much to see and no easy way to get from Leavesden to Windsor by public transport without going back into central London.

An early start to see Harry Potter makes sense but in that case I would go on the weekend when the peak time fares are not in operation. If you did travel on the Monday then you would need to wait until 9.30 before departing Euston which would mean booking a tour time for 10.30 or later. If you know the date then you should be able to check possible disruptions here - nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/curre…

Windsor might actually make more sense on a Monday when crowds might be a little less although I would time your arrival around the guard change at 11.00,

London, United...
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3. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

Windsor is very busy every day and especially at weekends though if visiting in October it should be a bit less busy than in high season. However my thinking is, even so, go on the Monday.

And HP and Windsor in one day is not advisable. Take time to enjoy each separately.

Your point about line maintenance at the weekend is a good one but there is more than one way of getting by rail to Watford for the HP studios so that should be OK

Illinois
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4. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

I'd do HP on whatever day you can get an AM time. I got off peak fares on Oyster on a Fri before 9:30 but I haven't figured out why and I don't know if I would have if buying a ticket separately. Otherwise, they limit tickets and it sells out most every day so crowds will be the same. I'd think they would have scheduled Oct maintenance by now, but I'm not sure.

I agree with everyone that it doesn't make sense to do both in one day. We had a 9:30 HP time and didn't get back to London until 4PM.

London
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5. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

@CHAroma22 - <<< October is much less busy than the summer months >>>>

That is very much a relative assessment.

London is always busy. For example there were 3.4 million visitors in the first 3 months of the year - that is in the midst of Winter - rain, cold (some snow).

Summer is obviously the peak, but October will be only marginally lower

Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

Thanks for the input. I think my plan then will be to hit the following the first thing in the morning:

Sat - Tower of London

Sun - WB HP Studio tour (Watford/Leavesden)

Mon - Windsor Castle (I'm not as worried about needing to be here first thing in the morning, just in time for the changing of the guards, if possible.)

I was hoping to maybe get the WB HP Tour and Windsor in the same day trip, since they're both out in the Western (or NW) suburbs... but looks like a taxi would be the only way between the two (short of a car hire) and I'm sure the taxi fare would also put a damper on that idea.

Edited: 25 August 2013, 19:00
London
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7. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

As mentioned WB and Windsor in one day isn't really viable or desirable - it's not just about getting between the two, it's that there's too much at each to manage within one day.

Your current plan is fine - getting to Windsor for 10.30 am- ish is actually better - less of a line to get in, maybe catch COTG and off peak train fares. Win win.

(And yes October may not be as peak as July/Aug but in one of the most visited cities in one of the most congested areas, pretty academic) so expect crowds and you'll be fine.

Edited: 25 August 2013, 19:04
Watford
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8. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

A taxi would cost around £40-£45 and of course you would be committed to only spending a certain amount of time at your first attraction so your revised plan of one thing per day makes better sense.

9. Re: Day Trip from London - Weekday vs. Weekend

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