4 day itinerary needed for London!

Aug 7th, 2006, 07:11 AM
  #1  
EMM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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4 day itinerary needed for London!

My husband booked a trip to London in mid September for my birthday. We are staying at the Royal Horseguards Thistle Hotel mainly because the location is good. We will be there 4 full days, and are looking for itinerary ideas. We are in our early 30s, interested in seeing a mix of everything, museums, sites, shopping, dining, going out at night etc. It will be the first time there for my husband, I have been there twice before but only for a very short time in college. Any suggestions, restaurants, etc. are appreciated!!
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Aug 7th, 2006, 07:19 AM
  #3  
 
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I hope you include a Saturday morning at the Portebello Rd Market in Notting Hill. It was one of my favorite things in London.
bennnie is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 08:21 AM
  #4  
EMM
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Yes I should have been more specific we will be there from Fri-Tues (leaving first thing Tues am).
Thanks!
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Aug 7th, 2006, 08:26 AM
  #5  
 
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There are soooooo many great things to see/do and you will have pretty limited time.

I would suggest you first click on DESTINATIONS above and follow the links to London. There is a ton of information including a basic 5-day itinerary. It isn't exactly how I'd do things and you only have 4 days - but it is a great jumping off place for starting to plan. Then we can help w/ the details.

Royal Horseguards is a great place to stay BTW.
janisj is online now  
Aug 7th, 2006, 08:45 AM
  #6  
 
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Royal Horseguards is a good location for a lot of things, and if I were you, I'd arrange my days so that I spent half my time within a walking radius of the hotel, and then half my time venturing to more distant sightseeing via tube or bus or taxi (the latter being very expensive).

Personally, I'd rather walk out the door in the morning and do some local sightseeing, have lunch, and then head someplace else in London for the afternoon, but you might prefer it the opposite way.

One of the most charming spots to browse in London near your hotel is Cecil Court, not far from the National Portrait Gallery.

http://www.cecilcourt.co.uk/
nessundorma is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Things I remember from our seven day stay in London.
We have no broadway so we saw three shows which were all good. Les Mis was the best.
Ate at the original Hardrock cafe for a hamburger and shake fix but the best food was in the crypt at St Martin in the Fields by the British Museum where the Rosetta Stone is
The Jack the Ripper -London Walk was a fun experience. It is a nighttime event around the pubs (google london walks)
The dome of St Paul's Catherdral was a great place to view the city.
We enjoyed the history of the British War Rooms where Churchhill ran the war.
Herod's Dept store bakery is memorable just because of its size.
We were there in March so no parks but we saw a lot.
We really enjoyed seeing the rebuilt Globe Theater of Shakespere and taking their tour. It wasn't done when we were there. You could see a play now, too, I would guess.
Don't know what your interests are but we put a lot into each day because there is so much to choose from.


cherylbr is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 08:36 PM
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Here is a copy of my itinerary I've spent too much time hashing over...but it's pretty much worked out as far as timing and distance to the different sites with as little travel in between as possible to save on time. Have a great trip! My birthday is 9/13 and it'll be our first day there! Hope to see you there! Definitely get tickets to the theatre!

Tara


Day one..(reading from my index now...pitiful)
arriving at 7am
Take Gatwick Express to Victoria Station..buy travelcards
Check-in at hotel
Hyde Park/Kengsington Gardens bus around town....stop at Hamley's toy store for fun
Nap
Tube it to Leicester (Blue line)
National Gallery
Eat somewhere
Mary Poppins at 7:30
Day two...
Walk to National History Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum...must see those clothes!
eat lunch
take tube to Holborn to see
John Soane Museum then
British Museum (it's open late tonight so we can take our time)
Day three
Buckingham Palace 10:15 appt. time
Mews
Play at St. James Park (son loves birds)
National Gallery if there's time
Cabinet War Rooms
Day 4
Tower of London (Tower Hill tube exit) get there at opening
Take a boat cruise (hop on/off 2 for 1 off 2 for 1 entry site) to the
Globe Theater....then cruise over to London Eye...then hit Cabinet War rooms if we missed them yesterday
Day 5
Attend services at St. Paul's Cathedral
Go to the Museum of London and maybe walk around the historical business district...just a lazy day or a pick up day picking up things we may have missed..it's Sunday so not much open later..
ma23peas is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 08:09 AM
  #9  
EMM
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Thanks for the info, do you recommend that we buy show tickets in advance? Have you heard if Mary Poppins is good this year? I also see that you made an appt. time for Buckingham Palace, I hadn't looked this up yet, but assumed they may have a system like this. Hopefully I can still book a time. Do you know if you can book an appt. time to any museums, anything else? We are also flying out from Gatwick so we have to figure out if it is better to take public transportation or a car service. I have seen some postings on it, just have to do some research. I think from what I have heard a car service would be very very expensive? Thanks!!
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Aug 8th, 2006, 08:20 AM
  #10  
 
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I think you can get a rate of around 35-45pounds on the car service...try www.justairports.com With our family of five we would be looking at a higher rate...so for us two factors played into choosing Gatwick Express...
1. I had a discount coupon (30-40% can't remember) but it came to 25pounds for our family of five..I prebought them at their website and entered in the discount code...you may still find some out there...google discount code for GE. My kids love traveling by train..so that also figured. It's faster, car will take you over an hour and longer, GE will be there in 30 minutes and our hotel is 2 stops on tube from Victoria...so we'll save some time. You could just take GE then taxi to your hotel, many do that. It's the faster route than car service but if you get a good rate on car service you can just relax for the drive.

I did pre-book my time at Buckingham Palace, you can do that online...I received the tickets within 8-10 days...not bad. You really don't need appt times for anything else..just walk up. But, because BP is only open Aug/Sep they have to stick to appt times.

I have heard great things about Mary Poppins...it was either that or Billy Elliot..but given my kids ages and they LOVED Lion King on Broadway, I figured we'd stick to a Disney style production. Plus, we've just read Travers book and they loved it...it's supposed to be a good take on both Disney movie and book.

You're going to be there on the weekend, so you might want to buy tickets ahead...several sites offer specials with 2 for 1...go to this site
http://www.2for1entry.co.uk/
And see what they're offering for plays...if you can see a matinee or go on a night that's not so busy I'd just buy tickets the day of..even for the busy nights you should be able to get 2 seats to a very good play. Again, having 5 traveling we couldn't risk not sitting together to share in the experience. I think the tckts place has a website or you can find articles showing what kind of deals can be had the day of.

Have a great trip and Happy Birthday!
Tara
ma23peas is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 09:11 AM
  #11  
EMM
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This is helpful information thanks! Happy Birthday to you too and have a great trip!

If you know of any other great new restaurants I would be interested to hear as well.
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Aug 8th, 2006, 11:02 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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on sunday head to the Brick Lane market/ Spitalfields arts market which are interconnected. You won't be disappointed for street theatre and beats bumming round a deserted, closed up and highrise financial district (even the 87 churches here are closed, probably the only ones in the world that close on Sundays and do a roaring trade weekdays).
By local tradition Sundays are for parks and yes, shopping (early closing but still every shop's open), picnics, markets, riverside pubs and street food.
zupermaus is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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ps you really should try out the Tate Modern and the British Museum too.
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Aug 8th, 2006, 11:52 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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http://www.thamesfestival.org/progra...ght%20Carnival

Not sure of your dates...but the Mayor's festival is going on the weekend of 9/16-17...it might change some of your plans for traveling as it may be heavy down by the river...on the other hand it would be quite neat to see the fireworks on Sunday evening! We'll be there then and plan on staying near the Thames on Saturday and Sunday just to see all the events...

This is my last year to be 30..I'll be 39 so I'm starting it out by introducing my kids to travel...hope they like it!

Tara
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