Since it seems from the many posts I've read that advice can be very specific to one's travel plans, I am putting out my itinerary for travel with 1 adult and one 14-yr old boy to get feedback. We will each have a real suitcase when we arrive ( on wheels, but not carry-on size)
Arrive Tues July 1 LHR ( not sure which terminal) at 8 AM. Was planning to take tube into the city as it seems car traffic is so bad that going by car offers no advantage. Need to go to either Sloane Square or South Ken station ( has to do where we are depositing luggage for the day). We may do some wandering around this day but no plans for big sightseeing. We are eventually staying at an apartment at Embankment Gardens.
Wed/ Thurs in no specific order-one day will be Tower of London, perhaps Churchhill War rooms. May do a London Walks tour of the Tower.
One day we want to go to Hampton Court Palace via Richmond where we can rent bikes( tried to do a bike tour-all booked so will rent on our own). May want to do some of the journey by boat ( but only a limited portion) but not sure how that fits in.
On Friday we go to the O2 arena in the evening for Monty a Python at 19:30. Not sure what we'll do during the day. Thinking of doing that climb on the outside of the arena ( anyone done this and have thoughts?)
So I want to balance ease with sensible spending ie don't mind paying for some convenience but don't want to be thoughtless.
Here are my questions:
1) seems like 2-4-1 deals make sense. Do I buy daily Travelcards or a 7-day, given that I am in London for 4 days. I am not sure if traveling with a 14 yr old that I will be on the tube before 9:30 but I know getting to attractions early is better, so not sure if I should make a point of getting places early and thus need the more flexible card ( ie the 7 day)
2) London pass- do you really not have to queue with this? If so , such priority access may make sense in July and then makes getting to places early a moot point. I know otherwise people have panned these passes but would like people's feedback. If it does make sense, do I get it with Travel?
3) from LHR-if I am going to get a 7- day Travelcard, should I make a point of getting it ahead of time so I can use it for travel this day? It seems one can not purchase these at Heathrow, but maybe I am wrong.
4) I presuming I can't get the Travelcard at Heathrow, which station is closest to me at Embankment Gardens?
I know this is a lot of info and questions, but I have tried to make sense of this from the many forum posts and just can't figure it all out. Any advice is greatly appreciated.