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Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

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Johns Creek, Georgia
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Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

First, let me thank everyone for the great advice on this forum. I have done a lot of research for our trip. For background purposes, I was born in the UK (Southend) and lived there until I was 11. Most of my trips back over the years have been to see family. This is the first time we are bringing our girls (11 & 14) and I plan to be a tourist for the first time. Last time I was in the UK was 10 years ago.

I tried to plan things in the same area on the same day. I like museums and history (especially British and WWII), my wife likes antiques and markets, my oldest likes history and Harry Potter, my youngest likes football and shopping. I tried to please everyone as much as possible with this itinerary. I've left a few open evenings for possible meet-ups with friends and family in London.

My plan so far is as follows:

Friday 22/11: Arrive LHR T5 from Atlanta at 10:00am. Car service to flat in South Kensington (near Shepherds Bush).

Afternoon/Evening: Buy one day travelcards at Shepherds Bush station, tube to Westminster area, walk around (to stay awake) past Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, etc., stop at Charing Cross to buy 7 day travel cards to begin following day (for 2 for 1s). Early dinner and early night.

Alternate plan if it pours: HOHO bus

Saturday 23/11: We are splitting up - my youngest and I are headed to Liverpool to tour Anfield and see the Everton-Liverpool derby. My wife is going to Portobello Road and my oldest is meeting UK friends she met last summer at camp.

Evening: catch a show in the West End if time permits (we get back from Liverpool at 18:00).

Sunday 24/11: Morning: Camden Markets

Afternoon: Jewish Museum; quick visit to British Library

Evening: Hunger Games sequel (I know, I know, not my choice but the kids HAVE to see it).

Monday 25/11: Morning: Tower of London at opening; Tower Bridge; quick look in St. Pauls;

Afternoon: British Museum

Evening: Not sure yet (perhaps meeting friends/family for dinner or see a show)

Tuesday 26/11: Self-guided day trip to: Stonehenge & Salisbury (train tickets already purchased)

Wednesday 27/11: Morning: Churchill Museum & War Rooms (kids very interested in this one)

Afternoon: Westminster Abbey verger tour; possibly a quick look at the National Gallery highlights if the kids are up for it

Evening: Theatre or meet family/friends

Thursday 28/11: Morning: Borough Market, Walk down South Bank (London Eye if weather permits)

Afternoon: Open (kids are interested in London Dungeon, but too touristy for me - might be a rainy day option).

Evening: Theatre or meet family/friends

Friday 29/11: Splitting up for morning: Myself and oldest to HP Studios, wife and youngest go shopping.

Afternoon/Evening: Last chance to meet up with family/friends.

Saturday 30/11: Check out of flat at 11am; Car service to Heathrow for flight at 2:45pm

Questions: Should we take another day trip on Thursday to Windsor or Oxford or HC? Worried about weather during this time. Are we overscheduled? We would like to fit in a London Walk or two as well if time permits. Can anyone recommend the best ones for families?

Thanks!

Plymouth
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1. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

Hello! If it were my holiday I would rethink the Monday. Tower of London is one of my favourites, but it deserves plenty of time, you won't want to rush it, and St Paul's deserves more than a 'quick look'.

If you want another day trip, consider Dover. The castle is huge and fabulous, with a history from the Romans to the Cold War, and lots to see. It could take a day to itself, but if you have time there are other WW2 museums in the area. You can also see the boats in the harbour, and on a good day, France.

Solihull
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2. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

>>>headed to Liverpool to tour Anfield and see the Everton-Liverpool derby

I assume you have tickets for the match already?

Johns Creek, Georgia
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3. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

Guilbert - not going to discuss that on this forum :)

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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4. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

I agree that St. Paul's is worth more than a quick look. Your kids may enjoy scrambling up the Dome, and the World War II buffs might like to see the American Chapel, with the names of American men and women who lost their lives in WWII. It isn't a cheap ticket, so I am not sure why you would pay that much to go in for a "quick look."

Besides which, even if you show up at the Tower of London at opening time, I doubt you would spend less than 3 hours there. It will be afternoon by the time you leave. It is possible to add St. Paul's, but you would need to get there no later than 2:30.

Windsor, Oxford, and HCP all have their merits, but if you are going to Borough market, taking a walk and riding the Eye in the morning, and then meeting friends in the evening, I would say pick between HCP and Windsor Castle. Oxford is a full day.

Keep in mind that in November, Windsor Castle has a last entry of 15:00. If you get in at 15:00, you will have to leave at 16:15, when the Castle closes. You really need about 2-3 hours to see the Castle.

With Hampton Court you get a little more time--last entry at 15:30, and it closes at 16:30. But normally I would spend 1/2 a day here.

You may not have time to do either.

Edited: 24 September 2013, 18:31
Johns Creek, Georgia
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5. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

Thanks Laura - If we decided to do a day trip Thursday, we would skip Borough Market and the South Bank and focus on the destination, given the limited daylight. Will definitely consider your suggestions.

Sandy - thanks for the Dover suggestion. Will look at the logistics of a day trip.

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

When you are in Salisbury, I highly recommend the Cathedral Tower tour, it needs to be booked in advance.

Also note, regarding the London Dungeons, you get quite wet on it so I don't recommend it if it is cold outside.

Johns Creek, Georgia
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7. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

Thanks DJCat1, I am very interested in the Cathedral after reading both Pillars of the Earth and Sarum.

Edmonton, Canada
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8. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

I wrote a review for the tower tour if you care to read it.

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g186414-d191…

Also, my trip report for our DIY trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge

tripadvisor.com/…519142

Atlanta, Georgia
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9. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

While Churchill Museum & War Rooms is a great choice, London Dungeon is not. We spent a lot of time in the War Rooms. It is simply awesome. London Dungeon is probably the worst tourist attraction in London. Midway, you feel like killing yourself (and probably get added to the lineup). Worst thing is there is no escape once you get inside. No way out.

Please stay away from the dungeon. Anything is going to be better than that.

Johns Creek, Georgia
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10. Re: Itinerary Check - 22 November - 30 November 2013

Thanks Vanrags (fellow Atlantan). We will definitely skip the dungeon.