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1st time to London, just under 2 days, 2 kids, 1 mother in tow, 1 hotel room, 2 advil

1st time to London, just under 2 days, 2 kids, 1 mother in tow, 1 hotel room, 2 advil

Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:11 AM
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1st time to London, just under 2 days, 2 kids, 1 mother in tow, 1 hotel room, 2 advil

I will be traveling with my mother and two kids (aged 8 and 6) to a family wedding in Ireland in mid June. We thought it would be fun to round out the trip with a visit to London. Despite growing up in Ireland, my mother has never been to England, nor have I.

Here's my plan:

6/25 (Monday), arrive at Heathrow (10:15 am) from Dublin via Aer Lingus, staying at Hilton London Metropole near Paddington. drop bags at hotel (or get early check in) and immediately head out to sight see for a few hours (Trafalgar, Westmister, Downing St.), then over to Harrods before letting the kids swim the evening away at the pool.

6/26 (Tuesday), pick up the double decker tour bus at Marble Arch and tour the city. I would like to hop off the bus to see: Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Westminster, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul's. Evening: back to the pool for the kids to unwind.

6/27 (Wednesday): early flight out of Heathrow back to Boston.

I'm an art and history buff, so I would love the museums, but don't think my kids would tolerate more than an hour. Of course, if my mother wants to cut the day short and take the kids back to the hotel, that would be fine with me.

Is my itinerary crazy? Too much? Also, if you could recommend a bus tour company, that would be great!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:25 AM
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You could do Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Westminster as part of your first day as they are in easy walking distance of Trafalgar Sq, that would give you half a day more to investigate somewhere like Tate Britain / Globe Theatre or to spend some time in the British Museum.

Can't see the point of the hop on hop off bus trip as you are only doing 2 areas of London - City & Westminster. You may as well use the Tube or ordinary London buses to get to them
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Not much point in going to the Tower unless you go inside (you can't really see much from outside). But visiting the Tower really requires getting there at opening time to avoid the huge lines. If you ride the hop-on-hop-off bus you won't get to the Tower until later.

Walking around Westminster on day one will let you see Downing St (you really can't see anything except an iron gate across the street and the police guard) Trafalgar Sq, Buckingham Palace, and the Eye. They are all pretty much neighbors of each other - plus Big Ben, St James Park etc. The kids might enjoy seeing the horses and carriages at the Royal Mews (just behind B'ham Palace) and/or the wonderful Princess Diana playground in Kensington Gardens which isn't far from Paddington.

Instead of swimming (which they can probably do at home) I'd take them to Kens Gardens for the playground, or rent row a row boat on the Serpentine in next door Hyde Park, or maybe take a boat ride on the Thames.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:43 PM
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I took my then 6 and 8 year to London last June. Mine really enjoyed the Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum (if you are pressed for time, just go to the fun section in the basement for an hour). The playground area with the pirate boat in Kensington park is just a short walk away from both.

They also really enjoyed the Tower of London. We arrived just before opening, and were out by lunchtime. It was one of their favorite activites in the nine days we were in London.

I would definitely also take them on the London Eye the last evening. It is fun being able to identify the buildings you have visited. In June you will have daylight longer, so you could (if you wanted to) pack a lot in a day. Big Ben and the Parliament buildings are right across the river.

Mine did tolerate the non-art museums in London, but I had told them what we were going to see, so they knew what to expect. I had shown them some of the highlights online before going, for example in the British Museum. But with just two days, I think you already have enough planned.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:57 PM
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"The playground area with the pirate boat in Kensington park" (This is Kensington Gardens and the Princess Diana Playground mentioned above)
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