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Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

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Houston, Texas
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Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

Since I have a general idea of hotel and sites we want to see, I have put together a very rough draft of our itinerary. Please feel free to provide feedback or comments. It will be myself and my 7 yr old daughter.

Day 1 Sunday - Arrive at LHR early morning from US - tube to hotel (most likely Bloomsbury Park)

- Drop bags at hotel and do HOHO bus tour (I figure we will probably need to recover a little)

- lunch (can anyone recommend a good pizza place at maybe one of the HOHO stops?)

- check into hotel and freshen up, since HOHO is good for 24 hours, we may jump back on that

- I figure we'll probably jump off the HOHO bus a few times to see a couple areas in more detail

- depending on weather, London Eye

- dinner and back to hotel for the night

Day 2 Monday - two options train to Windsor Castle or Tower of London but leaning toward Windsor, so figure that's a half day at least

-- when back in London, would like to go to Hamley's and Harrod's and maybe a museum (I've heard that the Transport Museum is good for kids, as I am not really into museums at all)

-- would Tower of London be feasible in the afternoon instead of morning? I don't recall their starting and ending times, but would definitely like to see the Crown Jewels

Day 3 Tuesday - train to Sheffield to see family - will be there until Thursday night

Day 4 Wednesday - Sheffield

Day 5 Thursday - travel from Sheffield to Colchester

Day 6 Friday - Colchester graduation and then back to London for rest of trip

--- we may get back into London in the evening on Friday and will be with family, so i'll feel more comfortable walking around at night -- so plan to walk around and see the city lit up. What other kind of evening activities are there to do?

Day 6 Saturday - still with family but not exactly sure what the gameplan is - our hotel is near Buckingham Palace (Sheraton), maybe walk by St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey and around that area. Something not too pricey because family will be on a budget.

Day 7 Sunday - tube back to LHR for noon flight back to US

I don't want to feel like i'm just wandering around the city with no clear plan, but I don't want to fill my days with nonstop busy either. Our definites are Windsor Castle, Tower of London, London Eye, Hamley's, HOHO bus. Any other suggestions for a 7 year old?

I've read that the oyster card is the best travel method, would I be able to get that at LHR after we arrive? Also, does anyone know if I'll need anything special to make my Sprint phone work in London?

Thanks in advance for the feedback and comments. I appreciate your time.

england
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1. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

the Science Museum is good for children as it has lots of interactive exhibits e.g. sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_v…

It's near the Natural History Museum which has an animatronic dinosaur http://www.nhm.ac.uk/kids-only/dinosaurs/

If you haven't eaten in one at home take her to the Rain Forest Cafe http://www.therainforestcafe.co.uk/

Personally I'd skip Harrods and while Hamleys is full of toys it's over-priced.

Take a break in St James Park (near Westminster Abbey and the Elizabeth Tower (better known to tourists as Big Ben which is the bell inside it). Westminster Abbey cloisters, the college garden and St Margaret's church are free. You could go to the Changing of the Guard at Buck Palace www.changing-the-guard.com/dates-times.html

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

We've done a HOHO bus tour on our first day (albeit in Paris, not London). Coupled with jet lag, the bus kind of lulls one to sleep and as a result, one would miss the hopping off part of the tour. On the first day, I think it's nice to have activities that requires walking around and getting some fresh air just to stay awake.

Other than that, I think your itinerary looks great!

Southampton
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3. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

I would not advise doing Windsor and the Tower of London on the same day. I am sure some people would , but for me it is not worth the very expensive entry fees for less than 3-4 hours each, and you would have to run round them.

St Paul's is near the Tower. Nowhere near Westminster Abbey, which is opposite Big Ben (30 seconds away).

People on this forum have recommended going to the Tower of London first thing in the morning if you want to see the crown jewels. Otherwise a long queue may build up.

Evening activities include theatre, pubs, late opening museums, concerts etc. It depends how late you want to stay out. Not all of these are suitable for seven year olds. London Eye can be nice at night.

In June/July it is light until past 9pm. You won't be wandering around in the dark anyway (and we have street lights!)

Baton Rouge
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4. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

Is the Tower something the whole family would want to do? If so, you could do that Saturday morning. I know you said something not too pricey, but if the family is traveling into London by train on return tickets, they could get some 2-for-1 offers out of that, which would make the Tower less pricey. Just a thought, but if you want to stick to free things to do, there's plenty of that to go around.

Talcahuano, Chile
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5. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

I like @AlChemE65 idea about the tower of London with your family but:

From the Days Out Guide website:

**Please Note: National Rail 2FOR1 offer NOT valid from 15 July 2014 - 3 September 2014 **

http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/tower-of-london

So if your Saturday is July 19th or 26th you won't be able to use the 2-4-1 offer.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

My family lives in the UK, so i'm pretty sure they have already seen the Tower of London, but that's a great idea. Or actually, they may go back to Sheffield Saturday morning and i'll be in London with just my daughter again, so we'd do it ourselves then! :)

Great ideas from everyone. Keep them coming! I have been to London twice myself, but each time it only consisted of one day and the family did the HOHO bus each time, so I really haven't seen the inside of anything. I haven't been to Rainforest before, is it pricey? Does anyone have pizza recommendations?

California
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7. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

Do you mean the Rainforest Café? It's a cookie-cutter chain restaurant and tourist trap. There are so many other options with more of a London feel. Yeah it's good for kids, but the food isn't that great and you'll pay tourist prices. I'd say it's a Plan B.

There is pizza all over London. Pizza Express is ok in a pinch. This question has come up many times recently on the forum, if you do a quick search and sort by date you'll get lots of good recommendations.

england
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8. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

Rainforest cafe menus therainforestcafe.co.uk/menus/mainmenu.asp

Not a place I'd recommend to an adult group but you have a 7 year old with you and it's something she would remember (for the animals and animal noises). http://www.therainforestcafe.co.uk/aabout.asp They are also good with any food allergies.

Edited: 11 April 2014, 16:06
Vail, Colorado
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9. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

As with all attractions in London always check the website for specific days for closures and hours of operation. Sometimes things are closed for special events. There would be no way to do windsor castle and Tower of London both in one day. Hamleys, harrods and the London eye are open later so I would save those for evening activities since most museums and historical sites close early.

I second pizza express. They are a chain but they are everywhere and I think pretty tasty. Get the pizza dough balls if you do.

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Very Rough Draft of July Trip to London

Thanks @emptynester44....I LOVE pizza dough balls! We will defniitely hit a Pizza Express.

I think we'll skip the Rainforest Cafe in London as we have several in Texas that we can hit. Does anyone know if there is someplace in Central London that has treacle sponge (sp?)? We had that at my sister's wedding reception and it was awesome! I'd love to get some while I'm there.