1st time to London, What else?

Oct 7th, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #1  
Buffy
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1st time to London, What else?

This will be our first trip to london, planning on (1) week, we would like to stay (3) days in London and (3) days somewhere else, any suggestions where to go, that is not more than a days travel?
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 07:07 AM
  #2  
Ira
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How about staying in London the whole time and taking day trips out and back?
You can see, Bath, Cardiff, Oxford, Edinburgh if you take the early train out and the late train back.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 07:08 AM
  #3  
roger
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Three days will only allow you to scratch the surface of London, but if you insist on going elsewhere, consider Windsor Castle, Oxford or Cambridge, and perhaps Bath. Other good day trip is to Leeds Castle. Does your week mean a full week, or is day one when you arrive and day seven when you leave? If so, then you really only have 5 full days, and part of the 1st. The 7th will be totally eaten up by getting our of hotel, to airport, and coming home.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 08:46 AM
  #4  
Tony Bennett
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I agree with roger, even if you spent the whole 6 days in London I doubt that, if you're at all adventurous, it would do little more than whet your appetite.

My suggestion would be a very short trip for a day at Hampton Court. Train tickets are relatively cheap and it’s a short ride with a great payoff, that is if you like history, architecture, gardening, and lovely palaces. It is almost worth the journey to finish up with a plate of “great cod almighty,” and a pint at the Prince of Wales pub, an easy walk from the palace.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 09:01 AM
  #5  
Henry
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I agree with above posts.we have been to London several times and feel like we have just scratched the surface.So many great side trips can be done from London.I'll add Portsmouth,Stonehenge and Salisbury.Enjoy.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 09:29 AM
  #6  
Andrew
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Well, there's always a quick trip to Paris if you've never been there. The Eurostar train is less than a four hour train trip under the channel to Paris. You haven't mentioned if you've been to Paris or not or have any interest, but it is a beautiful city.

Andrew
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 09:33 AM
  #7  
elaine
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Hi Buffy
As they said, many places are within a day trip of London, if you find that you can tear yourself away.
Here are just a few: Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, Kew Gardens, Cambridge, Bath, Oxford, Stratford upon Avon, even farther afield, the city of York.
Daytripping saves packing and unpacking and losing time checking in and checking out.

Most good guidebooks to London will have suggestions and logistics for day trips, or do a search on this message board for any of those destinations.

I have a file on London that may help; if you'd like to see it, email me.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 10:01 AM
  #8  
jack
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buffy its totally up to you.

You could easily be satisfied with 3 days in london if you are happy to eat on the go and go go go for the 3 days so long as you are happy to get a taste of london and as long as you are well prepared and organised eg have good maps to start with and a good plan. we wasted over an hour or maybe 2 just finding out about the various bus tours, travel passes, the london pass and the great heritage pass

Assuming you had a real early arrival to Heathrow you could be in and out of your hotel before lunch. maybe that first day you could go to london tower and do that area down to about st pauls. Stop into a london pub and then do a wlaking tour in the evening eg jack the ripper tour. OR you could sacrifice that day just to do the bus tours and then the river tour last thing in the afternoon. that way you will be familiar with the place (well enough anyway) so you can slam into it the next 2 days.

Then the 2nd day you can spend most of the time hitting all the major places that you feel are must sees and then the 3rd day would be a slower day, say a nice early morning stroll through hyde park (well its a long hike really) head over to speakers corner if you think that would be enntertaining, catch the bus to kensington palace so you are there near opening time then lets say a bit of shopping at harrods and stop for lunch there if you'd like and theres a few interesting things to see in between if you don't mind walking, depending on what you think is intereesting.

After lunch you can then see a few cathedrals or a couple of museums...i say a couple because i don't look at every item. Have late afternoon tea at trafalgar square to rest your legs a bit then see the last few things that you didn't see the other days.

I didn't put into that thinking the importance of cathcing the horse guards and the chaning of the gurads. The latter is on even days at 11am i think and the former is daily at 11.30 but someone might correct me. If you are willing to catch a cab, you might get lucky to see most of both in one day....but try to plan one for each day.

Then as late as possible the 3rd day you either pick up a car and head towards startford upon avon then head round to bath, stonehenge (do an early morning nnner circle tour), salisbury area as well as avesbury and then on the 6th day finish off with windsor castle and hampton court then return the car assuming you leave late on the 6th day.

or as late as possible go to paris and do a similar 3 day plan there. I got sick of paris in 3 days but thats just me.

this type of travel is ok if you know you will be back again one day.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 10:26 AM
  #9  
janis
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Lets look at the practicalities - you only have 5+ days. The last day will be eaten up by packing, traveling to the airport, and checking in 2 hours early. And your first day isn't "lost" but will be a slow day because you will be jet lagged and VERY tired after flying all night.

But if you still want to split your time I advise 3 days in London and 3 days in Wiltshire or the Cotswolds. I do not recommend using London as a base for taking lots of day trips out of town because London accomodations are easily 3X more expensive than any B&B you will find in the countryside. When you add the cost of the train day trips and the expensive hotel in London you are paying a LOT for those day trips.

Both the Cotswolds and Wiltshire are convenient to get back to Heathrow. So save 100's of dollars and stay in a B&B to use as a base to visit Oxford, Bath, Stonehenge, the Cotswolds. (If you are flying from Gatwick instead, Kent is where you should go.)

But as the others said, in less than a week you will barely scratch the surface in London.

Either spend the entire time in London - or stay 3 days in the city and then get out of town.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 10:36 AM
  #10  
jack
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I fully respect janis and agree with everything except the jetlag and the time spent packing. Not every gets jetlag and there are ways to avoid getting it or at least minimising it so plan that out. Pack at night so everything is ready by daylight and have a plan set out so you'er not wasting time trying to find solutions.

besides that little difference of opinion if you do what janis said you'll have a great trip and it will leave you wanting to come back again but without being disappointed.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 10:36 AM
  #11  
j
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I fully respect janis and agree with everything except the jetlag and the time spent packing. Not every gets jetlag and there are ways to avoid getting it or at least minimising it so plan that out. Pack at night so everything is ready by daylight and have a plan set out so you'er not wasting time trying to find solutions.

besides that little difference of opinion if you do what janis said you'll have a great trip and it will leave you wanting to come back again but without being disappointed.
 
Oct 8th, 2002, 06:57 PM
  #12  
Buffy
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Thanks to all of your suggestions, I think we have decided to stay in London
and enjoy our first trip to Europe. We will probably take one of your suggestions and do a day trip just to get a feel for the countryside. I am anxiously waiting for Feb. 2003, If you have anymore suggestions, I would love to hear from you. Thanks again Buffy
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 12:32 PM
  #13  
sue
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Good plan,Buffy. See London first. I would suggest either Windsor Castle or Bath for your one day trip. Next time you go to London you can do other day trips or base yourself on the outskirts of the city to see the countryside. Have a great time!
 
Oct 11th, 2002, 08:01 AM
  #14  
Cyrano
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How many times do you plan to visit England? If this is your only trip, it would be a shame to miss the countryside, which is so different from London. If you plan more visits then it also makes sense to split each visit between London and a geographical area.

You can't see London (the greatest city in the world) in three days, or seven, or thirty. Take a bus tour on your first or second day to get oriented, an overview of the city, and plan your time. After three days take the train to Chipping Camden or Stow-on-the-Wold which are good central locations for the Cotswolds. You will leave with a hunger to return that can't be satiated. That was our first trip to England, and our second!

On our first trip, I also had to take a day trip to Ludlow to visit the grave-site of A. E. Houseman because of the lines:
Oh, I have been to Ludlow Fair
And lost my necktie God know where
And carried half-way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer,
And then the world seemed none so bad,
And I, myself, a sterling lad.

Perhaps you can avoid that side trip, but I couldn't, and besides, Ludlow was delightful. But if you have something you must see on your first trip, then by all means do it.
 

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