We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

I've been looking around on these boards for advice, and I found some suggested time frames for a few of these places. But I would really appreciate any of your insights.

I am planning a trip for myself, husband, and father and am trying to figure out the average time it takes to see the sights at the top of our list. These are:

- All Hallows by the Tower

- HMS Belfast

- National Portrait Gallery

- Churchill War Rooms (sad IWM is closed until July, as I wanted to see the new WWI exhibit!)

- Museum of London

- Tower of London (website says ~3 hours)

- RAF Museum

- British Museum

- Bethlem Hospital Museum (Bedlam)

- Hampton Court

- Westminster Abbey

- Freud Museum

- Banqueting House

- British Library

- St. Paul's Cathedral

- Guildhall (the roman amphitheatre)

- House of Parliament (audio tour)

- Buckingham Palace (only Mews and Gallery open)

- Cutty Sark

- Shakespeare's Globe (exhibition and tour available).

Sorry for the long list, but I do really appreciate any help!

Kent, UK
Level Contributor
6,823 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

The Tower of London I would be bank on spending the best part of a day in there. You may have time for a short visit to somewhere else if you're really lucky

Hampton Court needs a day as well, because is is huge, then you have the gardens and maze. Also it's about a 40 minute train ride from central London, and the trains run only every half an hour.

The Banqueting House only needs an hour or two, because it's basically two rooms: the undercroft, and the banqueting room itself with its magnificent ceiling.

About a few hours for the Globe. The exhibition isn't that big, and tours last about 40 minutes.

Winchester, United...
Level Contributor
498 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

A lot of the museums have the same answer: they'll take as long as you give them. The British Museum in particular could takes weeks/months to see all the collections it holds

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
2,301 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

HMS Belfast +/- three hours.

Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

2+ hours (each, obviously :-) HMS Belfast, National Portrait Gallery, Churchill War Rooms, Museum of London, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Houses of Parliament.

3+ hours Cutty Sark, Tower of London

A whole morning or afternoon - RAF Museum

Several weeks? Or a morning. British Museum

Best part of a day - Hampton Court

1 hour Buckingham Palace Mews and Gallery.

I missde out place si havent been to or dont know about.

Once you add travel to and between places, even "just" 2 hours becomes a whole morning or afternoon.

I reckon there is a solid two weeks in all your suggestions together and you'll probably be disoriented and sick of sightseeing before the end of it :-)

Edited: 26 March 2014, 14:21
Destination Expert
for Thirassia, Fira
Level Contributor
13,212 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

These are the ones I've visited. I tend to take my time and read many, if not all of the descriptions of exhibits, so I may take more time than you do.

- Churchill War Rooms (sad IWM is closed until July, as I wanted to see the new WWI exhibit!) (2 hours).

- Museum of London (I spent 2.5 hours a couple of months ago. I started with one of their free tours of one of the galleries (London Before London) and then looked around the Roman section).

- Tower of London (website says ~3 hours) (I've certainly spent 3 hours, others have reported up to 5 hours).

- British Museum (I usually only see a room at a time, but you could spend days there if you really wanted to/had the time. Look at their website and identify the sections/exhibits that take your fancy and go from there. There's a map online you can print off - you have to pay £1 for it once you arrive).

- Hampton Court (Half a day).

- Westminster Abbey (2 hours).

- British Library (2 hours +).

- St. Paul's Cathedral (2-3 hours).

- Guildhall (the roman amphitheatre) (I like the amphitheatre ruins, but they're not that extensive - so 30-60 minutes. I tend to give the Art Gallery portion a 'miss'. Don't forget to take a look at the black ring in Guildhall Yard above ground - it shows the circumference of the amphitheatre beneath).

- Cutty Sark (2 hours+ - but I did spend a portion of my time listening to some of the audio descriptions, which were quite lengthy).

Baton Rouge
Level Contributor
568 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

I would allow about 3 hours for the British Museum. That will allow you to see and appreciate some of the highlights. As others have said, you could spend days, if not weeks, in there trying to see it all, but you don't have to see it all in one trip.

Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

This is all great! Thank you for your suggestions so far. We have 10 days, but we will sometimes be splitting up. For example while my father and I see the Tower of London, my husband will see the Freud Museum, etc.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,941 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

Here's what I've seen

- HMS Belfast 2-3 hours

- National Portrait Gallery anything from 30mins to 2-3 hours depending what you want to see (nb it's open late some evenings, do check)

- Churchill War Rooms (sad IWM is closed until July, as I wanted to see the new WWI exhibit!) 2-3 houra

- Museum of London (personally I am not a massive fan on the main musuem (docklands one is better) but you could spend a couple of hours here)

- Tower of London (website says ~3 hours) - 3 hours at least. More if you want to see all of it

- RAF Museum half a day with transport to get to Hendon. 2-3 hours inside

- British Museum - as with the NPG, you could go in and out in 45 minutes if you only want to see Sutton Hoo for example, the whole lot could take hours. For the sake of your sanity, plan what you want to see and expect to be in there 2-4 hours.

- Hampton Court - half a day inside. Travel time will add to this.

- British Library - 45mins-2hrs - depending what you see / what exhibits are on. Not that much is actually open to the public.

- Guildhall (the roman amphitheatre) - about 10 minutes!! There's some artwork in the rooms above, might stretch it to 30 mins.

- House of Parliament (audio tour) takes a couple of hours I think and is well worth doing

- Cutty Sark. To look at - 10 mins. To go in, no idea. It's hideously expensive to go inside so we haven't been in yet. Also they have ruined her lines with that awful glass bubble.

Hope that helps!

Level Contributor
1,538 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

Hampton Court - I think half a day is not realistic. You do have to add the time to get there and back. We spent a day including our travel to/from London and were thoroughly exhausted, and had NOT seen all of it.

However, I think I would recommend to anyone considering Hampton Court, only go if you have a strong interest in something about it. It consumes a lot of time, and frankly, I would rather have spent that whole day in London. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed it, especially the grounds and gardens (don't miss the grape vine!). I also advise studying the layout ahead of time to figure out what you are most determined to see, so you can cut out some of it. It's just enormous, both the various buildings, and the ginormous grounds. I am sure you can see what others say, but feel free to look up my posts and my trip reports that I posted last fall.

And BTW, if you want to spend half a day there, then do NOT use the audio tour - it is very very slow.

We did schedule a Houses of Parliament tour (Palace of Westminster). If you're not a constituent or something like that you must make a reservation (e.g. if you are a regular American). This was really enjoyable. I really loved being in the actual House of Commons, and the whole thing was great. Fantastic gifts too, from the gift shop.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 19:30
U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London
Level Contributor
19,413 posts
199 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Time Needed to Visit These Sights?

This is very timely, as I am trying to put together a Travel Article so people can gauge how to plan their itineraries.