4 Days in London and questions

Apr 8th, 2011, 01:57 PM
  #21  
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So after all the suggestions here is what I have come up with. Let me know what you think

Day 1
Hampton Court for the first half of the day and then visit Westminster Abby, then do a walk by of Big Ben and Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

Day 2
British Museum and the Library, along with going to Covent Garden and maybe Camden Market.

Day 3

The Tower of London and St. Paul's.

Day 4

I don't know, maybe a garden or something. Just kind of relax.

I hope what I have is realistic, let me know if it's not or a missing an important part of London!
Lindad17 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 02:01 PM
  #22  
 
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Day 1 might be doable, but I wouldn't combine two such important things. Maybe Hampton Court and maybe a garden or shopping or something IF you get back in time.
Then Day 4 only plan Westminster Abbey first thing (before it gets way crowded) and have the afternoon for whatever.

Of course you are "missing an important part of London"--no way not to even if you had 4 WEEKS so no fret. You're hitting some major spots.

Remember that churches cannot be toured on Sundays.
texasbookworm is online now  
Apr 8th, 2011, 04:58 PM
  #23  
 
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>>Day 1
Hampton Court for the first half of the day and then visit Westminster Abby, then do a walk by of Big Ben and Parliament and Buckingham Palace.
""

Not a good fit really. (unless day 1 happens to be a wed.) Last admission to the Abbey Mon/Tue/Thur/Fri is 3:30 and on Sat @ 2:30 and no touring on Sun. Now if day 1 IS Wed., then this would be doable since the Abbey stays open later.

HCP doesn't open until 10AM and most folks spend about 1/2 a day there so you'd have to cut it short to get back to the Abbey -- and THEN you'd be cutting the Abbey very short.

I agree w/ texasbookworm -- HCP + Shopping, or HCP + maybe one of the major museums/galleries late opening, or HCP + The London Eye, or something else not super time-intensive.
janisj is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 05:11 PM
  #24  
 
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Ahhh, shopping. London is a shopper's paradise. Men hunt, we don't shop, so it's an urban hunter's paradise.

Go to Jermyn Street for men's (and some ladies') stuff and to Fortnum & Mason for foodstuffs, and nearby is Oxford Street with all manner of chains (I'm thinking the teen is a bit old for Hamley's, the famous toystore, but maybe not).
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 05:42 PM
  #25  
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The first day was something I was worried about, but that is why I ask you guys about it. I didn't relizes that Westminster Abbey closes so early. That will just have to be moved to day 4 along with see Big Ben and ect.

After Hampton Court, I don't know what to do. I have mapped going to Harrods after, but it seems far. We might do Cabinet War Rooms because its open till 6, but I don't know how long it would take for use to get through there. But I think it might be best just to shop after wards.
Lindad17 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 05:42 PM
  #26  
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The first day was something I was worried about, but that is why I ask you guys about it. I didn't relizes that Westminster Abbey closes so early. That will just have to be moved to day 4 along with see Big Ben and ect.

After Hampton Court, I don't know what to do. I have mapped going to Harrods after, but it seems far. We might do Cabinet War Rooms because its open till 6, but I don't know how long it would take for use to get through there. But I think it might be best just to shop after wards.
Lindad17 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 05:50 PM
  #27  
 
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Just to clarify -- the Abbey is open later --but those are the times of the last admission. If one gets inside the Abbey before the doors close at 3:30, they can stay until 4:30. But an hour is not long enough to see the Abbey.
janisj is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 07:34 PM
  #28  
 
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It's been a couple of years, but I think the War Rooms took me an hour and a half or so. Not a ton of time, but it's not something I would want to rush through either. Hampton Court, as everyone is saying, is a pretty major thing to do. Since it's your first day, you'll still be getting familiar with the city, the transit, all of that. I'd do yourself a favor and schedule something low-key for that afternoon - the Eye would be a good fit, or if the weather's nice, London has SO many great parks. Or a late museum opening. Just nothing that you need to rush back for or try to cram in.
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Apr 8th, 2011, 07:56 PM
  #29  
 
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I would suggest adding some park walks to your plans. If you find yourself near any of London's great parks, it is easy to visit. If you have a map, you'll find it very simple.

There is so much great shopping, and the markets are fascinating. You might want to do some reading and shopping and markets, as well as opening and closing times at other attractions, in a guide book, or on Fodors destinations, where the information is good.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 06:26 AM
  #30  
 
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Oh boy, been there done that, know your dilema. Many good suggestions but one. Since this is your 1st time to London and you want to maximize your time with only 4 days get yourself a good guide book. The best for a 1st time visitor is (hands down IMHO) is Rick Steves London guide book. He has his critics(food and hotel suggestions)but for a 1st time visitor his books are invaluable(imo). He will cover all your questions you have asked (transportation and time mgt.)plus he give you sample itineries, self guided tours thru the major sights(British Museum, Library)some suggested walks and some great tips. He even has a self guided tour of Hampton Court and how to get there. Go to a bookstore peruse his book before you buy and I think you'll agree that this is a valuable tool especially for a 1st timer
cbo86 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 06:40 AM
  #31  
 
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When you come back from Hampton Court, you will be coming back to Waterloo and I think the Imperial War Museum is very close by if you have time. Or you could take a ride on the London Eye.

We took a bus after Hampton Court to Kew Gardens because Kew Gardens was open until 7:30PM that day. I was trying to cram in too much as usual and don't recommend it because we didn't fully explore Kew. The glasshouses closed at 5:30 so we only had time for one glasshouse and the outdoor areas. We spent from 10-3 or so at Hampton Court--pretty much a full day by itself especially if you want to cover all the buildings and grounds including the maze.

Use day 4 for Westminster Abbey, a walk by of Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben and go see the Cabinet War Rooms across from the Abbey. If you go to Hampton Court, there will be plenty of gardens there and they are wonderful.

If Day 4 is a Friday, I highly recommend the London Walks Royal London tour at 10:45AM. You get to see the changing of the guard--they pass right by you and you don't have to wait a long time and then they take you into the Abbey for a 45 minute tour. They spend less time than the verger tour the Abbey gives but they cover the important highlights inside the Abbey.
europeannovice is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 10:24 AM
  #32  
 
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"The best for a 1st time visitor is (hands down IMHO) is Rick Steves London guide book."

Sorry -- but IMO there are MANY better guide books then RS'. He is absolutely fine for many countries and the best for some. But he just is not the be-all-and-end-all for the UK. He just isn't as expert about England. In fact some of his suggestions for England/London are daft.

The Michelin green guide or the Eyewitness series are head and shoulders above Rick Steves. And the Fodors guides are pretty good too (plus you'd get all those quotes from other Fodorites )
janisj is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 10:48 AM
  #33  
 
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We loved the fodor's books and the Eyewitness series as Janisj mentions. The Eyewitness books show you pictures or maps by area so it helps you to group things in geographic order. Also you can use the TFL Transport for London website and use their journey planner. It helped me to organize how to get from point A to point B very easily.

Also on day 4 you probably have time to walk to Trafalgar Square. Don't miss the National Gallery. It was not on your original list but it is fabulous. The National Portrait Gallery and St Martin in the Field (brass rubbing) are in the same area. Literally right across from each other and around the corner.
europeannovice is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 01:21 PM
  #34  
 
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Thanks for the book suggestion, we have a few and are using them as well to help us with our itinery. Our itinery is still a work in progress, but I have a question about tickets for the Tower of London and Hampton Court.

Should we buy our tickets online or there? I have been reading on their websites about family packs or even a membership (which is pretty cheap, even if we are only going once). But they consider a child as 16 and under, correct? Our oldest is 17, so we would have to pay adult price for h, so I don't if a member ship we be better or individual?
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Apr 9th, 2011, 01:29 PM
  #35  
 
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If you are buying train tickets to get there you can get 2for1 tickets when you get here (dont forget to print the coupon). www.daysoutguide.co.uk
jamikins is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 01:36 PM
  #36  
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Sorry about the ticket post, I was logined in as my husband.
I just notice what a good deal the 2for1 deals are, that's nice to know now.
So if I do the 2 for 1 tickets I buy when I get there? Are the lines long to buy tickets?
Lindad17 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 02:02 PM
  #37  
 
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yes - but you have to have a train ticket from national rail (oyster will not give you this discount). Lines shouldnt be too bad - especially if you are getting there first thing in the morning.
jamikins is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 01:14 PM
  #38  
 
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I spent a good 2-3 hours at the Cabinet War Rooms when I went. Besides all the bunker rooms and such to see, at the time there was a large and very informative exhibit on the life of Churchill. You could easily combine this with a visit to Westminster Abbey on the same day, probably Day 4 on your itinerary, as they're close by each other.
bachslunch is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 01:19 PM
  #39  
 
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See who is playing at St Martin in the Field - we went to an amazing candlelight concert there one Spring, and it was one of the highlights of our week in London. You may want to order tickets ahead of time if you decide to do this.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 01:24 PM
  #40  
 
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http://www.stmartin-in-the-fields.or...ommand=concert

The groups that play usually pick music that is familiar to people who may not frequent events like this.
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