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Trip Report London/Greenwich/Oxford with kids AND grandparents

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Spent 8 nights in London for the October half-term break. Photos and commentary as usual. Enjoy.

http://ukfrey.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/london-and-more-with-grandparents.html

Who: family of 4 American ex-pats (kids 13 & 10) living in Derby joined by spry, septuagenarian grandparents from the States.

Where: 3BR/2BA 5th floor apartment in Fitzrovia (W1T 4BP). The apartment was very well located and worked well for us. We had a few issues (e.g. oven broke, etc.) but they were handled very quickly. Nothing fancy but a great deal at £1260 for 8 nights. Plus we saved on breakfast and a few grocery store dinners.

http://www.vrbo.com/323395

What:

Day 1: Arrival, British Library, British Museum
Day 2: Science Museum
Day 3: Greenwich
Day 4: Tower of London
Day 5: US Embassy, Churchill War Rooms, Covent Garden, Lion King (and the Queen!)
Day 6: London Zoo
Day 7: Oxford
Day 8: Imperial War Museum, Borough Market
Day 9: Home

How:

East Midlands train to St. Pancras + taxi for us. Flight to Heathrow + Just Airports for Grandparents. Met at café near flat until we could drop off bags.

Went sans public transport on the first day (walked) and then 7-day travelcards for the rest. Oysters for DW and me. Special 11-15 Oyster for DD. DS still free.

For the grandparents, we got 7-day travelcards from Virgin Trains at Euston. With passport photos in hand, in was a snap to get the cards. I find the cards slightly more hassle than the Oysters but certainly worth it for the 2for1 offers.

We utilized 2for1’s at the Tower of London, Zoo, War Rooms and the Greenwich walk. Big savings.

Best splurge: seeing the Lion King

Best Surprises: Greenwich was a real treat and the Zoo was a really nice break from the museums.

We had an unplanned sighting of the Queen (or her stunt double) that was pretty exciting too.

Disappointments: Neither the Greenwich nor the Oxford walks run from the respective Visitor’s Centres met expectations. The Oxford one was downright poor unfortunately. Depends a lot on the individual guide I guess. The Bath walk (from a previous trip) set the bar pretty high here. We didn’t fit in any London Walks this time but they are generally better as well.

Also disappointed that we didn’t make it to Dover, however it looked like pretty foul weather there and it is extra time/money/effort to boot. Maybe another time.

We had a great time. The kids got some quality time with the grandparents and London was a good choice for activities and a base for their visit.

It didn’t hurt that the trip was so well planned either. ;)

Fully expecting additions/corrections to the blog so fire away.

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