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.

Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

San Francisco
Level Contributor
15 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Hi there -

We (2 adults and 11 year old boy) are going to be in London from July 28-Aug 3 and would like to finalize hotel, travel pass vs. oyster card and schedule.

We have 3 hotel rez at Hilton Tower Bridge, St. Pancras Marriott and Clarendon Hotel (Holburn tube). These hotels have similar pricing more or less but which one is best in terms of location/transportation?

We are also taking the train to Paris on Aug 3 (late ) and will be back in London on Aug 8 before flight to Canada next day.

Which is a better deal for us? travel card or oyster card?

Below is a draft of our day to day schedule: Not sure if too much :)

7/28 -

hotel check in and purchase transportation tickets

Walk around Piccadilly, get tickets to show (War horse, stomp)

Wolseley tea

Thames Rib at 6pm

7/29

Tower of London

HP Muggle Tour

Markets - Portobello/Ottolengi

Show

7/30

Westminster

Parliament/Big Ben

St. Paul's Dome

London Eye

Borough Market

Tate

7/31

Bus- Hop on/off or Walk the Mall

Changing of the Guards

Royal Mews

British Museum

National Gallery

Show

8/1

Stonehenge/Bath/Windsor combo all day trip

8/2

Kensington Gardens

Victoria and Albert

Science Museum

8/3

Shopping

St. Pancras to Paris

Greatly appreciate your input re sched, hotel and travel card/oyster card. Cheers :)

UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Not sure what an HP Muggle tour is but if it's not the one in Leavesden at the studios which gets rave reviewers I think you are probably missing out.

I also think you'll be flagging seriously at 6pm on day of arrival, maybe the idea with the RIB trip is to keep you awake but most report a serious inability to stay awake by then and you might be better off doing it later in the week.

Edited: 09 July 2014, 23:58
San Francisco
Level Contributor
15 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Sadly the HP studio tickets have been sold out. The muggle tour is London walking tour (has great tripadvisor review as well), not equal to the studio but something.

You are right about first day so we have not bought tickets to Rib Thames and could easily do that another day.

San Francisco Bay
Level Contributor
3,103 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Coming from SF, you'll be flagging in the afternoon of your second day too. I would delay evening shows as late in your tour as you can. You have some full days here, and it wouldn't surprise me if you or your son may rebel at too many museums in one day. I would give some thought to leaving out some items and substitute just dawdling around, park viewing, people watching, south bank of Thames strolling. It seems a little light on things for an 11 year old, but you know him best. Hopefully he's full of zip and enthusiam. Sometimes one needs a little down time.

Just my two cents, take it for what it's worth!

London
Level Contributor
2,911 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Wednesday 30 July. Your schedule could be arranged more sensibly: first, note that Big Ben (more correctly the Elizabeth Tower) is part of the Houses of Parliament (more correctly the Palace of Westminster), which in turn is part of Westminster. It's not clear from your schedule whether you think that Westminster is a separate place. It would be a perfectly understandable mistake to make. More importantly, your order of activities doesn't make sense. From Westminster cross over Westminster Bridge and you are just a couple of minutes' walk from the London Eye. Then carry on along the south bank of the river and you will reach Tate Modern, assuming that that is the Tate that you mean: there are two Tates in London, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, of which the latter is by far the more popular. St Paul's Cathedral is right across the river from Tate Modern via the Millennium Bridge. Look out for the College of Arms nearby, which may be of some interest. Note that you cannot visit the dome separately from the rest of the cathedral. Borough Market is then back on the south bank and further eastbound. Note many other sights in the area, including Shakespeare's Globe, Winchester Palace, Golden Hinde, Southwark Cathedral, HMS Belfast, and City Hall.

Thursday 31 July. Again, there is a more natural order for this, especially if you want to walk from place to place, which is perfectly possible: Buckingham Palace, then up through St James's Park, through Admiralty Arch, into Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, then up Charing Cross Road to British Museum: a perfectly walkable route.

Friday 1 August. This tour is general discouraged on this forum, and for good reason: it means seeing a very little of everything and spending most of your time travelling from one place to another. Possibly better to choose one location and do a DIY tour at more leisurely pace. Bath would be my personal choice.

Saturday 2 August. Don't miss the Natural History Museum, especially with an 11-year-old.

In case it helps you, National Gallery is open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, British Museum is open until 8.30 p.m. on Fridays, Tate Modern is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and V&A is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays.

Edited: 10 July 2014, 02:36
UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

sadly the HP studio tickets have been sold out.

======

Have you checked if any of the tour operators have some? Those that include the trip to the studios?

Or if they are sold out, did you look at buying direct from the studios?

Solihull
Level Contributor
4,246 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

I am always amazed that people arrange their holiday so they are in another country the day before they need to be in the UK to fly home.

Why leave it so late to visit Paris, why risk missing your flight home from the UK.

For example French workers often go on strike at the drop of a hat, if you were in Paris and a group of French workers went on strike you could find yourself stranded in Paris while your plane in the UK takes off without you.

Why not spend a few days in the UK, THEN go to Paris, then come back to the UK and spend a few days in the UK, then fly home. That way far less chance of being stranded in Paris.

For example read this from last month

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2664182/Off-Fra…

Edited: 10 July 2014, 09:01
Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
33,001 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Or this from 2 days ago

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-28204641

But for future reference - the next time you do a two centre holiday then look at multi-city tickets so you fly into city A from home then return home from city B so you don't have to travel back to city A, lose a day of holiday and be stressing at every little problem

Solihull
Level Contributor
4,246 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Jonathan has already alluded to this, but your three days 29,30,31 seem rather badly organized and you will find yourself zig zagging over central London to visit all of those places. In fact you will find yourself visiting the same area on different days to see different things.

The Westminster / Whitehall area has the following from your list all close together so try to do on the same day: Parliament/Big Ben, Westminster Abbey (I assume you meant Westminster Abbey when you wrote Westminster), Royal Mews, Changing of the guard, National Gallery, London Eye. Also in this area is Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.

Just East of Central London are the following so again try to do in the same day: Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St Pauls, Borough Market (note it is not open every day), Tate (Modern).

The British Museum is rather out on its own so can be done any day.

On 31st July you have hop on hop off bus, but if you plan the days as I suggested you wont need to do that as you will see most of the main tourist sites.

The 2nd of August is fine as Kensington Gardens is very near those two museums which are right next to each other. As pointed out, don't forget the Natural History museum which is also nearby and well worth a visit.

One final thing, but your days seem very full and you may have trouble fitting it all in.

Try to take your 11 year old to M&M world near Leicester Square as I think he will love it (you may like it to).

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
41,429 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

A quick comment about the hotels: The Clarendon is the most central but it's by far the lowest in terms of quality and facilities. I like the Tower Bridge Hilton and the area is interesting but the St Pancras Marriott is an amazing building (even if some of the standard rooms are said to be bland) and the tube station located next door has several tube lines running through it. A number of bus routes also pass close by.

San Francisco
Level Contributor
15 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Please comment: hotel, schedule and travel pass

Thank you so much for the helpful tips. We extended our trip for a couple of days and with your expert suggestions and big input from our youngest member, we came up with the plan below. Enjoying our last day in the east coast before our flight tmrw. Cheers.

Day 1

Travelcard at LHR

Heathrow Express to Paddington

Hilton

The Wolseley

Walk around Piccadilly to Leicester

Purchase tickets to show

Thames RIB

Day 2

Westminster Abbey

Parliament/Big Ben

St Paul Cathedral

London Eye

London Rib Voyages (if not done day 1)

Day 3

Tower of London

Borough Market

Tower Bridge

London Bridge

HP Muggle Tour if not then Tate Modern

Show

Day 4

Changing of the Guard

St James Park

Trafalgar Square

Show

Day 5

Portobello Market

Science Museum

Natural History Museum

V and A Museum

Day 6

Greenwich

Emirates/DLR

Shopping

Day 7

St Pancras @ 6p

Paris

Back to London 8/9 @7p

LHR 8/11