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Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

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Sacramento...
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Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

Trip Dates: December 25th 2015-January 15th 2016

I'm pre-planning now to set our budget and because I will book flights and accommodations early for the best price and selection. We are set on the dates due to my work schedule and the boys school schedule. (This timing allows us 3 weeks instead of 2). Summer is not an option. We have lived in cold climates and will dress appropriately :)

2 adults and 2 boys ages 11 & 14 then, MIL-60's

MIL and husband have been to England before-it will be the boys and my first trip. We are experienced travelers.

Planning on renting an apartment in London and possibly a few nights in Bath. Since we are traveling over the holiday I know we will have several days off due to closures.

These days are not in any particular order but hopefully grouped to ensure efficient travel.

Day Itinerary

The Tower of London-3hrs

Lunch

Southwark Cathedral-1hr

Bank of England Museum-1hr

Museum of London-1hr

Day Itinerary

Churchill War Rooms-3hrs

Westminster Abbey-2hrs

Household Calvary Museum-1hr

Day Itinerary

Windsor Castle-3hrs

Eton College-?

Day Itinerary

Hampton Court Palace-2hrs

1/2 Day Left ?

Day Itinerary

Shakespeare Globe Theater-2hrs

St Paul's Cathedral-1hr

1/2 Day Left ?

Day Itinerary

Buckingham Palace Changing of the guards-1hr

The British Museum-3hrs

The British Library-1hr

Day Itinerary

Beatles Fab 4-2hr Tour

St George's Hall-1hr

1/2 day left?

Day Itinerary

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Day Itinerary-Greenwich

Nation Maritime Museum

Royal Observatory & Planetarium

Old Royal Naval College

Day Itinerary-tour from Bath

Stonehenge-2hrs

Avebury Stone Circle-1hr

Silbury Hill

Cherhill White Horse

Wagon & Horses

Lacock Natl Trust Village

Castle Comb Village

Day Itinerary-Bath

Roman Baths Museum-2hrs

Fashion Museum-1hr

Bath Abbey-1hr

Royal Crescent-1hr

Day Itinerary-York

Jorvik Viking Center-1hr

Holy Trinity Church-1hr

York Minster-1hr-$41

Cold War Bunker-1hr

Day Itinerary

Imperial War Museum-3hrs

Geffrye Museum

London Eye

Any glaring mistakes? And any suggestions for the few days that are not fully booked? Any must see's that I missed?

Thank you!

Watford
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1. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

What day are you actually arriving in the UK? I ask as the 25th is the one day I would avoid. Travel options are very very limited, most restaurants are shut and those that are open tend to be expensive (apart from ethnic places) and you would not be able to stock up on food items for your apartment as most local shops will also be shut. Arriving one day later would make all the difference.

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2. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

Just to bear in mind:

There will be absolutely no public transport on the day you arrive, Christmas Day, and virtually nothing open. 26th December and 1st January are also public holidays so check opening times at attractions you want to go to.

Crewe, United...
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3. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

I'm not an expert on London, but that seems a lot of museums and churches for the children. As you want to go to the West Country I would trade the Bath/Stonehenge stuff for a stay at Center Parcs Longleat, a mid week stay in January will be good value (our kids back at school), lots of activities to allow the boys to let off steam, and spa facilities for you and mil. IMO 3 weeks of museums = stroppy teens! Just a thought.

Illinois
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4. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

My 16 year old daughter and I spent 5 hours at HCP in Jan and she wanted to go back another time to see what we missed. I'd count that as a whole day.

Sacramento...
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5. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

Thank you all, I have read about the lack of transport available. We will be traveling on airline "passes" so basically free plane tickets but you travel standby. The 25th is an excellent day to do this and not get bumped. I am planning on pre-booking private transport from the airport and I have read that for a fee plus cost some apartment rentals will purchase groceries for you. The a arrival day and the 26th we will recover and see the Christmas decorations. Do you guys think this would be feasible?

Thank you

Sacramento...
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6. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

HCP=Hampton Court Palace I think :) good to know its a full day, thank you!

Off to check out Center Parcs Longleat, thank you :)

Edited: 27 April 2014, 22:38
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7. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

Some of your time estimates are A little low I think. St Paul's Cathedral and the Museum of London would both take more than an hour, especially given that your children are of an age to be interested. St Paul's in particular is too expensive to hurry! And don't forget to leave time to walk/bus/tube between each attraction. I know that sounds obvious but I thought it worth mentioning.

Are you taking into account the very short days in Dec? It'll be getting dark by 3pm, so bear that in mind on your excursions to the countryside. It's not an issue in London itself, but it could affect your planning elsewhere.

Hopefully the weather will be okay for you. It rarely snows at Christmas but if there IS snow, the country grinds to a halt. Again, London will be fine but roads & trains in the countryside will be affected.

York, United Kingdom
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8. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

I'm afraid your itinerary for York is not very realistic:

Day Itinerary-York

Jorvik Viking Center-1hr

Holy Trinity Church-1hr

York Minster-1hr-$41

You really can't see either the Jorvik Centre or the Minster in an hour. I think you need about 2 hours for each. And if you come to York, you really must allow a couple of hours to wander around the old streets, particularly the Shambles, Petergate and Stonegate, they are some of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, and look at Clifford's Tower and the medieval walls (which you can walk along). The other main attraction is the National Railway Museum, which I would think the boys would love. If you want to go to the Cold War Bunker, you need to allow time to get there and get back into town, as it's not in the centre of town. It's going to be a bus or taxi to get there and back.

When you consider the short days in December/January, I think you need two days in York - an overnight stay. It is a great place to visit in winter, very atmospheric, particularly if you stay in the old town (e.g. at the Best Western opposite the minster). There are lots of ghost walks in the evenings that the boys might also really like.

Enjoy!

Sacramento...
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9. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

Geegash thank you for the reply, I am not sure of exact times between attractions, I tried to schedule the days with this in mind. Do you think I have put too much into days? Especially if we will need more time at some places. Any specific days you see issues with?

Thank you,

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10. Re: Early Planning-Itinerary Check please :)

I would say to plan two major sights for each day, and have a back-up list of two or three others in the same part of London. That leaves room for surprises, a delicious lunch, spotting a really interesting street entertainer en route to somewhere else...