Our London flights are booked - me, husband, son. We arrive around 11am on a Tuesday and basically leave the same time the following week, so we'll be there exactly 7 days. The only fixed part of our trip is that for those last 2 days we will need to be back in downtown London (near the Regent's Park tube station) for my husband's work. I doubt we will rent a car(?). So to break it down:
Day 1: arrive 11am and take it easy / jet lag recovery
Day 2: ??? day trip to Chawton (or later on)?
Day 3-5: ???
Days 6-7: definitely in London near Regent's Park
My #1 priority is that I want to see Jane Auston's Chawton House museum and am looking at the "Hidden Britain Tours" day trip from London tour - from what I'm reading on the site it shows the train arriving around 10:30am and then after the tour you depart around 4:30pm. I am thinking of going the 2nd day of our arrival so we're past the jet lag, but perhaps that is a mistake and I should coordinate the days differently? Here are my questions...
1) without a car, is it worth it/feasible to consider staying overnight in the Chawton/surrounding area instead of heading back for London again? and if so, what town/surrounding area would that be, and why?
2) I usually like a big city for about 3 days max. What are some of the more unique things to do in/around London as opposed to the "typical" tourist things? I'm sure we'll go see the changing of the guard/crown jewels, etc, but besides that... I'd much rather see some charming, beautiful areas or do/see something off the beaten path/unusual as opposed to cramming in tons of the usual museums, etc. for instance, in France I never made it to the Eiffel tower and that was totally fine, yet I'll never forget the walk along the water's edge in the undisturbed town of Landeda . I don't like to over-plan having to see ALL the "attractions", if that makes sense, and am wondering what better options there are.
3) we'll have our 6-year old son with us (by choice he's a great traveler and I wonder if there's anything in particular he would enjoy too
4) i figure we don't need it, but we could be renting a car without too much drama (i lived in Ireland for a while and am confident w/the driving). if we rented a car, any suggested itineraries based on that?
5) I think I know the answer, but we don't have time to do the Liverpool tour, correct? my son's a die-hard Beatles fan, so that would be cool for him.
any input is appreciated, I've been sitting here trying to book hotels but can't seem to make a commitment because I don't feel really confident in our travel particulars yet. Thanks very much!
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Please critique my London itinerary, & seeking non-mainstream activities