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Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

Seagrove
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Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

My 7 year old son and I are accompanying my husband on a business trip. He will be working the entire time so I am planning for my son and I to take in as much as possible on this once in a lifetime trip for us. I don’t care for a lot of shopping; prefer to keep things simple and efficient. There are so many amazing things to do here that I am afraid we will miss something spectacular or waste time at something we should skip. We have a few small tours planned already and an appointment time at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour.

Day 1 –

We arrive at Heathrow around 10 AM and we are staying near the Tower of London.

I am hoping that we can get to the hotel and then head out about 1 or 2 and visit:

Grant Museum of Zoology

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Millennium Bridge

Day 2 –

Natural History Museum

Tower of London

Tower Bridge

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

Day 3 –

Royal Walking Tour – Buckingham Palace, St James' Palace, Changing of Guard

Albert Memorial - Walk by

Kensington Palace - May just walk by

Diana Memorial Playground – Let my son play a few minutes

Windsor Castle

Day 4 –

British Museum

Muggle Tours - Harry Potter London Tour

Day 5 – ??? Have nothing set in stone for this day. Would like to get out of town a little, maybe see additional castles and or the beautiful countryside.

Stonehenge ?

Leeds Castle ?

Other Interests

London Eye - just plan to view

West Minster Abby

Big Ben

Freemasons’ Hall

Hamleys Toy Store

Am I planning to much or not enough? Am I missing something that I shouldn’t skip? As I said earlier I doubt that I will ever get the opportunity to come back here so want to make the most of it. Don't mind navigating myself, prefer not to spend a lot more money than I have to, but at the same time don't want to miss something spectacular. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

East Sussex, United...
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31. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

Sorry but the advice in post #27 is just plain wrong on a number of levels including suggested routes and prices but most glaringly distance. Heathrow is 17 miles from Central London, not 40.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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32. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

'Heathrow to London Paddington -> bakerloo line -> Euston -> Northern line London Bridge/ (then a 2 minute walk)' No. Just no.

The HEX is expensive and goes well out of the way for GrahamsandMore's needs. The Bakerloo line does not run to Euston station. The Circle line to Euston Square would mean an unpleasant hike up 45 steps from train platform to street level then a five minute walk to Euston Underground station. The Northern line schlep from Euston to London Bridge station is a long'un. Last of all, the Hilton Doubletree is on the far side of Tower Hill station, a solid 15 - 20 minute walk from London Bridge station for those not carrying luggage.

Illinois
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33. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

If you can all (including your son) manage your luggage easily then I would take the tube. If you can't, then I would book a car service. My daughter has been carrying her own luggage since our first trip at 10 y/o, but 7 is a lot younger than 10. You usually have to lift the luggage to get on and off the tube as even if the train is level with the platform (which it isn't always) there's usually a gap the wheels can get stuck in.

Fredericksburg, VA
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34. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

I agree that you should go by tube if possible. And riding the train/tube into London is a great way to start your experience (especially as it will be after rush hour when you arrive in the morning).

We have taken the Heathrow Connect (when we stayed near Paddington), which is cheaper than the Express. The last couple of trips, we've just taken the tube and it has been fine. Son was 9 on the first trip, and he was responsible for his backpack only - dad and I handled the larger luggage. But if you have lots of luggage, or would be struggling, then I agree with btgm and others - hire a car service.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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35. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

With a stay at the Doubletree Tower Hill, you may find (after having settled in at the hotel) buses a better option for some journeys than the Underground.

The number 15 is very handy to and from the city centre tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/towe… with stops TA and TB nearest your hotel. Your son will, I think, enjoy a ride on a Routemaster, the old style bus with an open platform at the back and conductor on board. Travelcards and PAYG on Oyster are accepted on Routemasters as well as other buses, the Underground, DLR etc. The RV1 from stop TD will take you to County Hall for the Eye tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/…county-hall-a4.pdf and from there to Aldwych and Covent Garden - with the 15 travelling along the Strand back to Tower Hill.

There are 11 buses to and from Aldgate, one or more of which you may find useful. tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/aldg… Stop K in the Minories is very near the Doubletree.

Seagrove
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36. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

All of this is very helpful information. We may hire a car service as we will have multiple pieces of luggage and his company will pay for the expense. Thank you again for your time and help, it is very much appreciated.

Fredericksburg, VA
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37. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

As TravellerPlus said, your son will probably enjoy a Routemaster bus, and the Route 15 bus passes by many of the iconic London sights, so you'll enjoy it too!

Canada
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38. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

Here's the thread about car service companies that many of us have contributed to if you're looking for recommendations:

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k488693…

For your future paleontologist, you might also consider visiting the Horniman http://www.horniman.ac.uk/

Thanks Shuffaluff for your comment :) I am glad you enjoyed the specimens. Have you been inside the Hunterian Museum? It's also not for the faint of heart, but absolutely brilliant. Everytime I'm in town, I am making my way through so many of the unique places the city has on offer.

york
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39. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

We took our kids when they were a similar age to yours. Ours loved the London eye and a river cruise afterwards ( we got a good deal on last minute.com). They liked hamleys but it was incredibly busy. They also enjoyed Harrods and we ate in the ice cream parlour bit. They loved riding on the tube. We went in November so most places were gearing up for Christmas. We did the science museum and they loved that, not quite as keen in the v and a. they slept well with all the walking!

40. Re: Once in a lifetime trip for my son and I. Advice Please

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