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London Pass and other options

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Hello,

As our trip approaches, my friend and I are investigating the different options for visiting the various places we want to see in London and surrounding areas economically and conveniently. We will be in London for 8 nights, which is 7 full days (We arrive one evening and have 7 full days and leave on the day after that.)

On the first night, I'd like some kind of evening sightseeing tour, and would welcome suggestions. (We'll be in the Kensington/Earl's Court area.)

For the next three days, we are now considering the London Pass and would like feedback on how long various things will take so we can decide if it would be a good deal.

The things we want to do that are covered by the London Pass are

The Tower
Wesminster Abbey
St Paul
Shakespeare's Globe (tour)
Churchill War Rooms.

The price of all of these adds up to just a little under 82 pounds. The 2 day pass is 64 pounds. The 3 day pass is 77 pounds.

So it would seem that the London pass is a good deal IF we can reasonable see all of these things in two or three days. Is this realistic?

I was thinking Tower, Westminster one day, St Paul's and museums (free) another day and the Globe and the War rooms a third day, with time in between going from one place to another for lunch and so forth.

If it could be done in two days, how would you do it? If it needs more than 3 days, why is that?

One thing I like about the London Pass is that it does avoid the lines at the Tower and Westminster Abbey. But I am unclear why one needs a ticket to Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's. Can't one just go into the churches without a ticket? (Aren't they still used for worship?)

Anyway, if we assume that we'll do the above in 3 days, the rest of our seven days would go like this:

A fourth day of our trip would be devoted to Greenwich and the Cutty Sark (my friend's big object) in the morning and museums in the afternoon. A fifth day would be some sort of day trip that would include Bath. I am torn between just getting on the train and doing the trip on our own and getting on one of the day tours with a motor coach and guide. (If we did, I'd want at least 3 hours in Bath.) I have been to Stonehenge twice but my friend has never been and I think he would enjoy it. Any thoughts?

We are still discussing what to do on the other two days. I think at least one should be for enjoying London and the museums with the other maybe being a day trip. There is a "package" that includes Oxford and Cambridge that might be good, or there is another that includes Dover, Canterbury, etc. Or we could just take the trains and explore.

Any thoughts?

I'd particularly like advice on the London Pass and also tours versus trains.

Also regarding public transportation, I keep reading conflicting views about the value of a travel card, an oyster card, etc. I've followed most of the links, but I'd like first hand experience/suggestions.

Thanks!

F

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