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First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

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Orlando, Florida
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First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

Hello!

I am planning our first trip to London and am very much in the initial planning process. We will be in London in mid to late May and are two sisters in our 20's, both of us are fairly fit so lots of walking is fine!

Here is our very preliminary plan, so any advice is very much appreciated!

Day 1 - Leave the US for London

Day 2 - Arrive at Heathrow around noon. We will likely be staying around either Pimlico, Lambeth or Southwark. On this day, I am thinking we will just get settled in our Apt, do some grocery shopping, and if there is time, explore some of the local area.

Day 3 - Buckingham Palace (just outside), Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and looking at the Parliament buildings, and the London Eye.

Day 4 - Morning half-day tour of Stonehenge, but I have no idea what to do the rest of the day... maybe if day 3 was too full we could finish it today?

Day 5 - Free morning, afternoon Doctor Who tour ( 2 & 1/2 hours), and the Tower of London and river cruise.

Day 6 - Now, for this day we have a train to Paris, but it can be really any time so if a half day could or should be spent somewhere, what do you suggest?

Also, I do realize that some of these things and dates might need rearrangement for any closures etc,. But like I said, this is merely the first draft of what we hope to be able to do. It is even possible that we may add days or make a jaunt to elsewhere to the UK.

For now, I would love to hear from anyone that has done something similar to what we have here, or even anyone that has any tips for first timers like us!

Many Thanks,

Natalie

Illinois
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1. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

Overall, I think it doesn't look too bad. On day 3, are the only things you're going into WA and the Eye? If so, you could possibly fit this in before your Dr Who tour or after your Stonehenge tour depending on the actual timings as WA has limited opening hours.

Depending on what time your Dr Who tour is, you may or may not be able to fit in the Tower. I'd allow a min of 3 hours. (We were there 5 on our first visit.) This is a good time to see Tower Bridge as well.

If you keep Day 2 as it is, you might consider adding in the Churchill War Rooms, which are nearby and very interesting. (Seemingly even for people who aren't interested in history.)

If you have time, the tour of Parliament is very interesting. You coud fit it in with what you have on day 3 at the moment, but tix are only available on certain days (usually Sat and summer) from the parliament website.

It would help if you posted the times of the tours so we knew what could fit in with them. If your Dr Who tour is with Brit Movie Tours, some of them are available with the 2for1 offers but have to be booked in advance by phone,

U.S. expats
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2. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

I don't know what to make of your afternoon free in Day 6. Are you leaving London for Paris, or doing a day trip to Paris? If you are leaving "anytime" have you figured out where to hold your bags while you enjoy your free time?

London, United...
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3. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

Day 3 will probably give you time for more visits too. What you have included will probably only take half a day or maybe a little more because they are all within a mile or so of each other.

Tower of London. Do it first thing , as early as possible on your chosen day , before it gets really busy.

UK
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4. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

Day 3 there are any number of additional places and places you could visit, as that could be done in say 3 hours, pick something out of a guidebook and ask here if it fits. Churchill War Rooms is right in the vicinity of all that, whether that floats your boat I dont know, there are numerous museums, or you could just walk around the area, perhaps walk up to Trafalgar Square, or just reading posts above, yes you could visit ToL first thing then do the rest you alreday have planned in the afternoon.

Also depending upon arrival time you could do a fair bit of day 3 in day 2, eg arrival day, if its just looking at things from the outside.

I'd have a list of things by geography and see how you feel after arrival for the latter.

London
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5. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

Lambeth and Southwark both potentially cover huge areas so I suggest once you've firmed up a few options for accomodation you run them past the masses on here.

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

btgm,

On day 3, are the only things you're going into WA and the Eye? If so, you could possibly fit this in before your Dr Who tour or after your Stonehenge tour depending on the actual timings as WA has limited opening hours

Yes, that is what our plan was, however, after looking through it some more, I think we may just try and fit this in after our Stonehenge tour as you suggested as it arrives back at (I believe) Victoria Station around 1 pm. Then we would head to view Buckingham Palace, etc. Perhaps then we could take the Verger-led tour of Westminster Abbey at 2:30?

I believe the tour will be on a Sunday at around 11:00 am and ends at Waterloo Station... should this leave time for the Tower of London and London Bridge?

Also, many thanks for the Churchill War Rooms! I had heard of them some time back, but had sadly forgotten all about them! This will be a 'must-do' for us as we both are very interested in all forms of history!

Thanks for the help!

Orlando, Florida
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7. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

LauraRW,

Oh, sorry about that! We are staying in Paris for a week after leaving London. And as we only have a backpack (and not the huge bulky kind that looks to weigh almost as much as person) , or the equivalent, each we supposed we could just lug them around for an afternoon.

For two girls we are very light packers!

Also, we have decided we will just spend the morning and afternoon of our sixth day just wondering about Trafalgar Square, as we want to have one fairly leisurely day before an early evening train to Paris :)

Edited: 28 November 2013, 01:07
London, United...
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8. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

London Bridge is a modern construction - the original/previous one is in the USA. You may be thinking of Tower Bridge which is next to the Tower of london.

Churchill War Rooms - if you are interested in this another alternative trip could be to Bletchely Park (about 45mins north of London. This is where they broke the German engima codes in the second world war. Very interesting displays on this and the development of computing. IMO a better day out than Stonehenge (unless it is combined with Avebury).

London, United...
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9. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

<<Also, we have decided we will just spend the morning and afternoon of our sixth day just wondering about Trafalgar Square>> A nicer area to wander is Covent Garden - close to Trafalgar Square,

Orlando, Florida
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10. Re: First Trip to London - Help with Itinerary?

hardygeranium & joeintheuk

First, many thanks for the advice!

I am now worried about being able to go to the Tower.... How about if I got a skip the line ticket, or a One-Day London Pass? Would it be fine to arrive a little after 1 pm if I did this?

Thanks,

Natalie