Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > 1 week Dec itinerary for London & hotel choice

1 week Dec itinerary for London & hotel choice


Jul 17th, 2014, 10:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 23
1 week Dec itinerary for London & hotel choice

Dear all, my family will be visiting London in Dec, and here is our rough itinerary.

Nov 28 (Fri) 7 pm - arrival at LHR

Nov 29 (Sat) London - Southbank (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Piccadily Circus, Trafalgar Square)

Nov 30 (Sun) London - Tower of London, Covent Garden (Transport Museum)?

Dec 1 (Mon) London - Greenwich , shopping + Broadway show?

Dec 2 (Tues) Manchester Day Trip (2.5hr one way)

Dec 3 (Wed) London- Natural History Museum/ Harrods

Dec 4 (Thur) Cambridge Day Trip (45min one way) OR Stonehenge Trip (to be decided)

Dec 5 (Fri) London- -Paris (2.5 hr one way)(Eurostar)

Currently I have booked Fraser Suites Queensgate but having second thoughts as to whether the location is too far out (in a way?) . Should I be looking for accomodation in another more central area? We are 2 adults and 3 children, looking for a 2 bedroom apartment, not more than 400 pounds a night. I prefer to rent serviced apartments rather than vacation rentals.

Appreciate your inputs on this, I have been agonising way too long over my hotel choice!

Thank you!
Toralina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2014, 12:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,833
>>Nov 29 (Sat) London - Southbank (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Piccadily Circus, Trafalgar Square)<<

None of those are on the Southbank (except for the Eye) -- all the others are north of the river. Big Ben, Piccadily Circus, and Trafalgar Square are really 'walk-by's'. So this is a pretty light day unless by Trafalgar Sq, you mean the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.

>>Dec 1 (Mon) London - Greenwich , shopping + Broadway show?<<

Greenwich is pretty much an all day trip -- most of a day anyway. So where did you plan on shopping? Greenwich is a long way from places like Oxford Street, or Regent Street or South Kens/Nightsbridge/Sloane Square shopping areas.

(Note: You won't be going to a "Broadway" show since you'll be in London)

IMO - you are only in London for 6 days (not counting your arrival day). Taking 2 out of town trips in at least one too many and I personally wouldn't take either one. Is there a particular reason you ant to visit Manchester? There are sooooo many London sites missing from your plan -- British Museum, St Paul's, V&A, Hampton Court Palace, etc etc.

>>having second thoughts as to whether the location is too far out (in a way?) . Should I be looking for accomodation in another more central area?<<

This property is not at all 'far out. it is between the Gloucester Rd and South Kensington tube stations on Cromwell Rd so very central and VERY convenient.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2014, 02:40 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,270
Ditto what janisj wrote, especially on location.
Have stayed in that area quite often, and it is centrally located. The only minor issue I'd have with that property would be its specific location being on the corner of Cromwell Rd. That is one major throughfare, and if street noise is a major issue for you, you might take it into consideration. Unless the windows are sound-proof, obviously.

If shopping means just generic shopping at Topshop, Zara, FC or such (and not exploring certain areas like Oxford St etc.) you will also not be far from Westfield (mall) near Shepard's Bush. Maybe an option for (half) a rainy day...
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2014, 03:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 23
Thanks all.

I am not sure if the windows are sound proof but the reviews of the newly renovated place are good

janisj , I'm visiting Manchester as my husband is a lifelong Manchester United fan and really wants to see Old Trafford. So, that's why we are going - no other reason, really! haha!

We are not really Museum people so I have left out some other museums. Of course if the weather turns iffy (which is likely to on some days at least!) they will definitely come into play. I can't decide about Hampton Court though. It sounds interesting - so might do that instead of Cambridge or Stonehenge . Sorry about the broadway thing - i guess it is West End show? Any particularly good ones for kids to recommend? Mine are aged 6-13.

Cowboy- you've piqued my interest. Shopping in a mall could also be a wet-weather alternative. haha . I do want to visit Oxford Street, even if it's just to take a look, really! Which day of my itinerary would it fit in with best?

thank you.
Toralina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2014, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,643
Agree that you need a better map so you know where things are.

Also agree to stay in London at least one more day since you are missing a lot of must see sights - British Museum, V&A etc.

But I disagree about your hotel location - to me too far from the center. We prefer Covent Garden, Mayfair or Knightsbridge - no further from the center (but these areas are typically more expensive).
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2014, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,833
Mayfair and Knightsbridge are just a couple of tube stops from this hotel. It is not at all 'too far from the center' for most visitors. It is a short walk to the V&A/Natural history/Science museums and just a bit longer walk to the Parks and Harrods.

I'll make a suggestion to REALLY consider. Let your husband take a trip up to Manchester -- traveling 5 hours on a train just to see Old Trafford will eat up an entire day. You and the kids can spend that day doing London things. If any of the kids share his obsession w/ ManU he/she can go w/ Dad. But for 5 people who have never been to London to spend an entire day on this trek would be a real waste IMO.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2014, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,334
Geez, pilgrimage to Manchester just to see the stadium? Seems daft. Especially considering he wouldn't be able to see a match without evacuating his retirement account.

How old are the hobbits and what kind? Not being "museum people" means little - some London museums are great for non-museum people.

Get the 2for1 deals from www.daysoutguide.co.uk. Search this site and my name for how.

Go to HCP as Janis suggested - definitely that over Cambridge or the rock formation.

Your proposed location doesn't suck but Citadines in Trafalgar Square is more central and sub-400 quid.

There are no Broadway shows in London. There are no West End shows in New York.

If the hubby wants to shop (or hunt because man not shop) then send him to Jermyn Street. You all go to Piccadilly Circus. You could walk up Oxford Street while he goes for man stuff. Or you could go to Fortnum & Mason on Jermyn Street and have the kids nag at you for all the goodies.
BigRuss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2014, 09:49 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,270
Guess you find enough to keep you busy on Oxford St.
Though it is mostly big brands chain stores plus Selfridges, House of Fraser and Debenhams and probably some I forgot (dep stores).
It's probably a "must" for shoppers, but I must admit I rarely go there because it's often so crowded.
Anyhow, London is full to burst with shopping streets...
Long Acre (between Leicester Sq and Covent Garden) and the sidestrees left and right,
New Bond St (you'd be in/on Oxford St anyway to get there), in case you wish to have your credit cards explode,
around Piccadilly you find places like famous Waterstone bookstore, (it's HUGE and also carries tons of London paraphernalia), Burlington Arcade and Carnaby St (with Liberty dep store);
the obvious Portobello Rd Market in Notting Hill (aside from the stalls also the domicile of many brand stores, commercial quirky, some may like it for the atmosphere but more in summer, I'd say),
and so on..

Visiting Old Trafford from London is one of those "do-able" trips that you may wonder afterwards if it was worth it (for you, not for your husband). In addition to the 2- 2 1/4 hr train ride, you must factor in going from your hotel to Euston station by tube, and from (Manchester) Picadilly station out to the stadium by Metrolink. This will add more time - probably 45-60mins in London and 30-45 mins in Manchester.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2014, 04:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 23
Thanks … will have to reconsider the Manchester bit. We are flying into LHR and land at 7 pm so I probably will not go straight to Manchester. The alternative is of course to fly from Manchester to Paris. It is almost non-negotiable (Old Trafford that is. )
Toralina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2014, 04:56 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,120
I think that accomodation is a great location. My brother and his family stayed at another Fraser property very near there last summer for 2 months and had a great experience. We visted them for a week during that time and loved it too. Glouster Road tube station right there has a great Waitrose grocery and other shopping amenities to make it especially cconvenient if you have an apartment. And it is on the Picadilly line to Heathrow. Or its midway between also the South Kensington tube stop which is on the Picadilly line and the Central/District line.

I just wrote the following for a friend who is taking her family to London later this summer and asks for tips in case it is helpful to you too.

Tower of London (go early in the day, take one of the offered “Beefeater” tours when you get there).

London Eye (skip it, even my brothers kids said that when I saw them again last week and we were talking about our trip) but a walk on the South Bank nearby is great in the summer with lots of street performers etc.

Museums they are all almost free so you don’t feel bad if you just drop in for an hour and then the kids are tired and you leave (and the best ones British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History and Tate Modern have special kids activity packs or similar, just ask at information when you arrive). The British Museum also has great free tours each hour. Some are of general highlights but I think the best ones are the special topics like Egyptology and Roman Britain.

Changing of the guards (skip the one at B Palace and go instead to the version at Horse Guards as it includes horses so it is more interesting (and I don’t know why but less crowded) and then you can walk through the gates and through park up to B Palace which is a very nice walk).

I would also have Churchill Museum and War Rooms on my list except maybe not with smaller kids (and it is kind of expensive if they don’t like it).

Family day trip if you do one at all would be to Hampton Court Palace. Easy to do on commuter train and they have lots of stuff for kids there and a big park.

Family eating, the take away breakfast, lunch or even dinner at the chains EAT and Pret a Manger are great. And the grocery stores have lots of ready to eat or ready to cook things that are great if they have a place with a kitchen (even if they don’t refrigerate eggs in that country). There are also a quite a few family casual chains like Pizza Express, Wagamama (Asian), Masala Zone (Indian), Slug & Lettuce, Café Rouge (French) that we have enjoyed even as grown ups.

To find a pub use www.fancyapint.com which lets you search near tube station or tourist site and gives you pubs and reviews. Most pubs allow kids if they also serve food, but sometimes only in the dining area.

And to find out special things going on use the online magazine www.timeout.com for London (they have a section of the website just for family activities like children’s theater or special happenings in parks).
laurie_ann is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:31 AM.