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Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

california
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Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

Help please. Last time I was in London was about 27 years ago. Can't wait to come back and show the (big) kids. Here goes:

1. Arrive Thursday, Heathrow, rent a car, drive to Godalming (or at least that vicinity).

2. Friday, car racing experience at Dunsfold Racetrack in Cranleigh in AM. Rest of day (if not too late) driving out to see Hever Castle. Stay in Godalming again.

3. Saturday, drive to Windsor Castle and "do" Windsor for the day. Drive back to Heathrow and give back rental car. Tube to hotel in London.

4. Sunday, Museum of London, St. Paul's, Temple Church, dinner at Blackfriars.

5. Monday, Tower of London, London Eye, Florence Nightengale Museum, and (blush!) London Dungeon just for fun.

6. Tuesday, Hampton Court

7. Wednesday, British Museum, Westminster Abbey, regular city bus for seeing Big Ben, Parliament, etc.

8 Fly home from Heathrow.

Trying to fit the V&A Museum in there somewhere too. I am trying to imagine wait times for venues, time spent traveling in between places, stops for quick lunch.

Also, I read that the London Eye and the Tower of London might have very long lines. The general advice is to get advance tickets. But then you cannot use the 241 Travelcard, right? Should we expect really long lines... we will be there mid July.

As always, a thousand thanks for any help.

Bucks, UK
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1. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

Firstly, don't drive if you're not feeling sufficiently alert after your long flight - take a nap until you feel in shape.

secondly, whilst there is nothing wrong with staying in Godalming, I would be tempted to stay a little futher south somewhere like Petworth, which is a very pretty market town bordering the South Downs. It's just under an hour from LHR, has its own very impressive stately home (Petworth House) and is very close to other beautiful historic towns, such as Chichester with its Roman walls, or Arundel - these might be easier to visit for the remainder of the day rather than driving 1-1.5 hours to Hever for a castle that will shut at 5pm. Petworth is only 10 minutes further to your track day venue (28 mins drive total) and you could stay somewhere like this:

http://www.angelinnpetworth.co.uk/

For the Tower of London, the trick is to get there early. If you can be there when it opens, you should avoid the queues.

London, United...
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2. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

St Paul's isn't open to tourists on Sunday. You can go to attend a service but you won't be allowed to wander very far. Also, if you are visiting Westminster Abbey you won't need a bus tour to see Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster- they are just there.

London, United...
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3. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

Monday might prove to be one attraction too many but that all depends on how long you spend at the Tower. Most people spend the whole morning there and some even longer . Good idea to go there first because its the best attraction and early is best anyhow to try and avoid crowds and then take it from there afterwards and see how the time goes.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

Be sure to check the date on the 2 for 1 offer at the Tower of London as the offer is not valid from mid-july till September.

London, United...
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5. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

You want to drive off a long-haul flight from CA?

I wouldn't, personally.

I'd do this all backwards, London first, and then your trip out to the racing and the country. It's not safe to drive (on the wrong side, in a strange country) when jetlagged. This will also apply to your track day the next day when presumably you will be throwing some over-powered cars around a race track. You will enjoy it more if you are not tired as you will have to concentrate quite hard to keep the car under control if you are not used to driving like a loon around a track.

As above, churches on a Sunday is generally A Bad Idea. People are using them for their intended purpose then (which isn't sight-seeing, sorry).

Monday could be too busy assuming that you are going to look at / cross Tower Bridge and have a look at the South Bank also... I would be prepared to scrap the dungeons. Get to the Tower early.

Wednesday - you don't need the bus tour. Look at the Houses of Parliament from the outside and then walk from their up to Buckingham Palace via the Mall if you want to. Trafalgar Sq is nearby also.

Bucks, UK
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6. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

Swap Tuesday and Sunday around and you be able to tour St.Pauls. On your Hampton Court Day you will still have time to do something in the evening if you choose, so any "walk-by's" of sights that you have otherwise missed could be scheduled then, or you could possibly sneak in an hour at the V&A at the end of this day. Alternatively, you could finish this day with a cruise downriver to Richmond, which has some lovely riverside pubs and restaurants, passing Ham House on the way. This is the view Henry VIII would have had, as he travelled to and from Hampton Court by barge.

www.turks.co.uk/turks-pier-hampton-court/

Richmond station is on the district line Tube as well as having faster overground trains to central London.

The Florence Nightingale Museum is fine if you have a special interest in her, but, having been dragged round there to help my kids with a school project, I was a little underwhelmed.

U.S. expats
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7. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

I agree with doing London first. You can also do Windsor from London, as it is a pretty easy journey.

It's not my itinerary, but I wouldn't go to the London Dungeons, and even my kids didn't like it. You can expect long lines there, though.

With Tower of London, as with the previous advice, buy your tickets when it opens, and go straight to the Crown Jewels. Then go back and take a Yeoman Warder tour. Then explore the grounds. This should take from 3-5 hours. It's a pretty big castle, with an awful lot of history.

Winchelsea, United...
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8. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

Godalming to Hever wouldn't be my choice of a drive. Better to stick with PoolLoungers idea and head to Arundel Castle instead.

Whilst Godalming is actually very nice, Petworth or Midhurst would be my choice of a place to stay. There's some really great pubs nearby for one thing, and you may just find these even more impressive than "The Blackfriar" in their own, admittedly very different, way.

Mike

california
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9. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

Thanks very much for the responses! Will take the advice about driving around after Dunsfold to heart. Sound like very good ideas! Trying to arrange trip so that the driving experience is after London, but fares are quite a bit more, even with moving them around just a few days. Admittedly, I did have some trepidation about jumping into an unfamiliar driving scenario right after a long flight.

I guess the idea of Hever Castle is appealing to me because it was at one time the Boleyn family residence, right? But Arundel Castle sounds wonderful as well.

Thanks!

U.S. expats
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10. Re: Itinerary ok? Inside and Outside London

but fares are quite a bit more, even with moving them around just a few days.

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Can you tell us which fares, and which dates you are planning on traveling?