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Itinerary check please!!!

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Houston
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Itinerary check please!!!

Hi (y')all! I have been doing lots of research on our summer trip to London and I am hoping someone will please take the time to review our itinerary and comment. Hubby, myself, and 2 kids (6 & 10) will be staying in Southwark for a week. My kids are great travelers and can walk at least 5+ miles a day; however, hubby likes to take a nap in the afternoons, so we always try to schedule in some down time ; ) My itinerary so far is as follows:

7/30 Arrive around noon. Get settled in apartment and eat lunch. Catch the Big Ben Bus Tour at stop #14 and ride around until #25. Hop off and (possibly) tour Westminster Abbey. Stroll around St. James park awhile and pass by Big Ben. Catch the HOHO bus at stop #10 or #11 and go back to apartment.

7/31-- 9:00 Tower of London (I know my kids will be up at 4:00 am this morning, so good to get an early start!!). We'll go see the Crown Jewels first, then at some point catch up with a Warden's Tour. Walk over to St. Paul's and tour the church-- we'll make sure to take the kids to the Whispering Gallery and climb the stairs for the view. Back to apt. for lunch and rest. Possible trip to the zoo/ Regent's Park in the afternoon.

8/1-- If for some reason we don't do Tower of London or St. Paul's we can do it this morning; otherwise, we will stroll around the neighborhood. Or, if anyone has a suggestion on another can't miss stop, we've got some time today! After lunch- Hyde Park

8/2- Harry Potter Studio Tour

8/3 Take a ride on the London Eye in the morning. We'll be in line before 10! Matinee showing of Lion King in the afternoon.

8/4-Buckingham Palace tour at 9:30. Try to make it outside by 11:00 to catch the changing of the guards. Eat lunch somewhere in the area (maybe the restaurant in St. James Park?). Tour the Royal Mews after lunch. Head over to Hammerly's if the kids have been well-behaved up to this point.

8/5 - ?? We'll have a little time for last minute shopping or sight-seeing before catching our afternoon flight to Barcelona.

Thanks so much in advance if you're able to review and comment!

Dallas, Texas
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1. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

Nice to see someone who hasn't overloaded their schedule. Not interested in the British Museum nor the V&A? Perhaps the children would like the Natural History Museum? As you are staying in the area, I would consider the Imperial War Museum as it will have fully reopened after a major renovation. Also in the area, check here to see what is going on: http://www.realfoodfestival.co.uk/

Edited: 03 January 2014, 04:19
Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

I forgot about the Science Museum (V&A, Natural History and Science Museums are all in the same area). Perhaps look and see if there is a walk the family would be interested in: http://www.walks.com/

Loughton, United...
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3. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

A good museum for adults and children is the Museum of London - free. Museum of childhood (V&A) at Bethnal Green might interest juniors.

Suggest avoid bus tours. Too expensive. Your children will enjoy the service buses (red double deckers) more and they travel free on them. From Southwark walk over the Millennium Bridge (superb view) and get a no.11 to Westminster from outside St Pauls

A good thing you have avoided over-packing your stay. I'm with hubby--relax a bit!

london
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4. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

If it is good weather (can't be guaranteed here!) then a walk in Hyde Park would be nice, but wouldn't take up a lot of your time. It might be an idea to go in to Kensington Palace and the gardens around there, they really are lovely in the summer.

Kensington Palace is inside Hyde Park, which is why I'm suggesting it.

Would second the Natural History museum, it's a good option for kids, plus it's free.

London, UK
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5. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

Looks good. I don't think you'll manage the Tower and St Paul's in one morning but I can see you've included some flexibility. Don't generally plan to use the HoHo as transport (expensive, limited and infrequent), and bear in mind that even if your kids are good walkers they will be walking a lot within attractions so may appreciate transport between them. You mention getting up early; as London is ahead of Houston you may find you're quite tired in the mornings (unless you are coming from somewhere else of course).

Kent, UK
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6. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

>>Kensington Palace is inside Hyde Park, which is why I'm suggesting it.<<

Actually it's in Kensington Gardens.

Edited: 03 January 2014, 11:46
london
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7. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

Semantics aside, the palace are the gardens are inside / attached to Hyde Park, if I'm trying to describe it someone who hasn't been to London.

Edited: 03 January 2014, 11:49
Winchester, United...
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8. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

Just an aside get used to listing dates as dd/mm rather than mm/dd. Sounding like a broken record to TALK regulars but I also second the Science Museum recommendation for kids both big and small :) Hope you enjoy your trip

Houston
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9. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

Thanks for everyone for reviewing our itinerary!

TexScott-II- thanks for the link and for the museum suggestions. I personally would love to go to the British Museum, but didn't know if it would be worth it to go there (looks so far our on the map) if we only stayed for an hour or so. My 10 year old would like to see the Rosetta Stone as he read about it in a Rick Riordan novel, but my 6 year old might not be too interested, especially if it involves lots of travel.

Loughtonian- thanks for the bus suggestion. I am looking into transportation passes soon so it would make more sense to just catch the service bus as I'm guessing it will be included if I get some sort of pass. My kids have a fascination with all things related to subways, so we try to take them when possible! Hubby will go anywhere as long as he can get his nap in!

Maneenz- Do you think Kensington Palace would be too similar to Buckingham Palace? If we get nice weather I'm sure we'll make it over to Hyde Park.

Sarah061- Oops! I was waaaaay off on the time change! If the kids are not up early the second day, we can just do St. Paul's and save the Tower of London for the next morning or even our last morning.

Thanks to all for the museum suggestions. We have a great Natural History Museum, Health Museum, Children's Museum and NASA, so I'm looking for museums that are more London-centric or different from what we have here. I will definitely take a look at the Imperial War Museum (kids would like the spy stuff and my FIL actually served during WWII- I think they were dropped at LeHavre and then walked(!) into Germany at the end of the war when many of the camps were being liberated). Museum of London also sounds great. Does anyone have any info on the Benjamin Franklin House? Since it seems to be pretty close to where we are staying, I am going to try to fit that into our itinerary somewhere. Or I'll sub it in if we have rainy weather and can't do a park one day.

Again, thanks for all of the feedback! It was great to wake up and see so many replies. Any other thoughts or tips are appreciated!

Dallas, Texas
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10. Re: Itinerary check please!!!

>>> but didn't know if it would be worth it to go there (looks so far our on the map) if we only stayed for an hour or so<<<

Well it's not that far, really, just hop on the tube. The museum is free so no problem with a short visit.