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First time to London, We have 4 days

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First time to London, We have 4 days

We are planning our first London trip for the end of March and this is the itinerary we are thinking of following. All suggestions and comments are appreciated.

Day 1

We arrived at Heathrow at 9:30 a.m. We will be staying at the Marriott hotel in Regents Park. What is the best way to get from the airport to the hotel? We plan to have lunch, rent a driver for 1/2 day in the afternoon to show us around, and possibly squeeze in Harrods and/or the Borough Market and then go for a late dinner at a local restaurant near the hotel. Any restaurant suggestions not far from the Marriott in Regents Park?

Day 2

Get to Tralfalgar Square and walk to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. Walk by Parliament Square, tour Westminister Abbey, walk by Big Ben. At night go to a restaurant before seeing a show in the West End.

What would be the best way to get from the hotel to Tralfalgar Sqaure. Any pre-fixe restaurants that anyone can recommend in the West End?

Day 3

Tour the Tower of London, London Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, London Eye. At night have dinner by the Tower of London. I am trying to get tickets for the Key Ceremony for that night. Any restaurant recommendations by the Tower of London?

Day 4

The British Museum. Our flight leaves at 6:00 PM

Thanks for the help.

London, United...
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1. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

From Heathrow most people would take the tube . Take the Piccadilly line to Green Park and then change to the Jubilee line for Swiss Cottage station which is the nearest to your hotel.

To return to Central London for Buckingham Palace get off at Green Park and walk across the park to the palace.

You need to look at the Transport for London website for directions and maps.

Just along Piccadilly from Green Park tube station is a very nice restaurant called the Wolseley.

London, United...
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2. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

Just a question - what are you planning to see with the cab drive? I ask as it's an extortionately expensive way to see things and also you appear to have ticked off a lot of the central tourist sites on your itinerary anyway...

London
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3. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

<<, rent a driver for 1/2 day in the afternoon to show us around, >>>

An exercise in futility - he won't be able to drop you/pick you up or wait at all easily, you get far better views from the top of a bus. If you just want to see various sights you might as well go on to Google Street View (and a lot cheaper)

naperville, illinois
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4. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

You can plan your trips - via tube or bus - by using www.tfl.gov. This is the Transport for London website mentionned previously. Input your starting point and end point and go from there. An app I used for our planning as well was 'city mapper.' This will also operate in real time if you are accessing wifi.

No need to hire a car and driver as others have mentioned. If you want to do a quick over view, you might consider the Hop On Hop Off bus. I have never done it, others have .... it gives you an ability to see the highlights.

5. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

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6. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

Day 3 seems a little optimistic. Good planning but defiantly optimistic. Good luck and enjoy your trip

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

My 2 cents on your itinerary:

If you are like us, you need to move/walk so you can deal with the jet lag, especially when you arrive in London.

Day 1: Get the tube to Piccadilly Circus and walk towards Trafalgar Square. If you decide to walk there from your hotel, it will take you about 45 min to reach Trafalgar Square. Plenty of things to do/see here. Cafe in the Crypt at St Martin in the Fields Church is a nice and unique place to have lunch (home made meals cooked daily). Walk towards Buckingham Palace, take few pictures along the way and take Birdcage Walk towards Westminster Bridge (passing by the Parliament, Big Ben, etc). London Eye is almost at your feet as soon as you cross the bridge. Try to get tickets for a ride in the evening, if you can. Get a Thames Cruise to Tower of London so you can see all the London main sights from the water (breathtaking especially if the weather is nice and in my opinion a much better option than hiring a driver). Get the tube from Tower Hill to either back to your hotel or to Westminster for a ride on London Eye. It is a packed day that keeps you moving, but you will be rewarded with a good night sleep :)

Day 2: Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard (very crowded and overrated in my opinion, but go for it if this is a must on your list), Westminster Abbey tour, West End dinner and a show. If you decide to skip the changing of the guard, tour Westminster Abbey in the morning and also go to Churchill War Rooms in the afternoon.

Day 3: itinerary looks good. I like The Dickens Inn restaurant, close to Tower Bridge on St Katherine's Docks (http://www.dickensinn.co.uk/) or you can go across Tower Bridge to Butler's Wharf (plenty of restaurants on the water here).

Day 4: looks good.

Another museum you may want to consider is Victoria & Albert Museum. You can go on Day 1 and save exploring the area around the Parliament for Day 2 when you will be there anyway, especially if you will get intimidated by the big crowd gathered to see the changing of the guard.

Have fun in London and post a trip report when you get back.

Monica

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

What day of the week is Day 1? Borough Market isn't in full swing every day. You can check their website to see the schedule for various vendors, but generally it seems that later in the week is better. (i.e. more vendors there). If you really are into food, this is a great place to visit and spend time. Just chose your day carefully.

Edited: 27 January 2014, 21:37
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9. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

Thanks so much for your reply. It seems like the consensus is to nix the driver and take the Hop on/off bus. Do you know if there is a stop to get on the bus close to where we will be staying at the Marriot Regents Park? If not, where would the closest stop be by the hotel? Do you recommend a tour of Kensington Palace (1st day) or just a walk by and view? Do you know if Borough Market is any where near Kensington Palace or Harrods as we would also like to go to Harrods?Maybe we should consider going to Borough Market for lunch on Day 1 before we do anything else? Is Borough Market a must see for our first time in London? Do you know the best way to get tickets to the Key Ceremony at the Tower of London? We are extremely flexible with our itinerary so please feel free to alter any of our ideas. Do you think we can see all the tourist attractions we mention in 4 days? So I will once again I will share my itinerary now that I have made some changes.

Day 1

We arrive at Heathrow at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, 3/27. We will take the tube to our hotel/Marriot Regents Park. We can begin our day with a Hop on/off bus tour or first head to Borough Market and have lunch there. We are open for suggestions. We also thought we would see Kensington Palace (tour or just a walk by?) on day 1 along with Harrods. Is day 1 just too much for the first day? Local dinner by the hotel.

Day 2

Tube to Tralfalgar Square

Buckingham Palace - changing of the guards

Walk by Parliament Square and Big Ben

Tour Westminister Abbey

Ride on the London Eye

Must get back to the hotel to change as we are thinking of doing dinner and then theatre in the West End.

Can we see all of the above during the day and still have time to have dinner before theatre or theatre then dinner?

Day 3

Thames Cruise to Tower of London

Tour Tower of London

Tower Bridge

St. Paul's Cathedral

We would like to see the key ceremony in the evening at the Tower of London, but not really sure how to get tickets. Suggestions?

Day 4

British Museum

I'm not sure if we have time for much else as our flight leaves Heathrow at 6:00 p.m.

Thanks for you all your input.

Dallas, Texas
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10. Re: First time to London, We have 4 days

IF you really like food markets and like wandering and exploring and tasting and talking to vendors about their items, Borough Market is great. But if you simply want lunch and don't want to wander and explore and sample lots of things, then it might not be the right place to go.

I was there on a Thursday, but it was a Thursday a few weeks before Christmas. Not sure if that means more vendors were there because of that or not but it was well populated with them. But not really crowded with actual shoppers. Many options for take away food from stalls. A few full service sit down places. If you like cheese, visit Neal's Yard Dairy. Monmouth Coffee is a really good "third wave" coffee place.