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4 days in London - Recommendations Please!

4 days in London - Recommendations Please!

Oct 10th, 2014, 12:47 PM
  #1  
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4 days in London - Recommendations Please!

My husband and I (and 6 year old daughter) will have 4 full days in London in early November. I am not too interested in hitting the museums both because of the 6 year old and also because I'd prefer to spend our time more generally experiencing the neighborhoods, flavor and scenery of London and its environs. (I also don't want to have to move at a breakneck pace.) We will go to the London Eye, see Buckingham Palace and check out a couple of the other tourist hotspots, but what would you recommend for experiencing London in a more general (and, perhaps, true) way? Which streets/neighborhoods/parks/restaurants etc would you say we shouldn't miss? I'm open to taking a daytrip outside of the city one day also.

Thanks very much for reading!
Katherine4 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2014, 02:08 PM
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Seeing a play is not on your list, but our granddaughter LOVED "MATILDA" in June. We bought the tickets on the "See" ticket site ahead of time.
She also had fun climbing to the top of St.Paul's cathedral(538 steps.) riding The Eye, and all the street performers at Covent Garden.
TPAYT is offline  
Oct 10th, 2014, 02:18 PM
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>>I'd prefer to spend our time more generally experiencing the neighborhoods, flavor and scenery of London and its environs. <<

>> . . . a more general (and, perhaps, true) . . . <<

Just wandering through various neighborhoods wouldn't be all that much fun IMO. I can't imagine taking a 6 yo to London and not visiting the Tower of London or the V&A or the British Museum or the London Transport Museum. The Parks are great too -- but possibly not in November. You'd have to be VERY lucky weather-wise.

Buckingham Palace id just a (semi-boring) walk-by.

As for restaurants -- there are literally thousands. It mostly depends on your budget,
location, type of cuisine, etc . . .
janisj is online now  
Oct 10th, 2014, 04:37 PM
  #4  
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I see your point. And I won't deprive my daughter or us of the most important (from my point of view) sites. But I don't want an overwhelming itinerary either, and I'd also like to experience the interesting neighborhoods, as well. I like the Matilda idea.

Thanks for the input!
Katherine4 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2014, 05:27 PM
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I'd make time for a Thames Clipper boat ride from say Embankment Pier to Greenwich. You can buy round trip tickets on the pier of onboard, and get a discount with Oyster. The boats clip along quickly, without any sort of tourist narrative, past the wonderful riverfront. Going out, get seats up front and to the left if possible for views of St. Paul's. You sit inside and warm. Move to the right when you're past Canary Wharf, so you can get the best view as you approach Greenwich.

The Royal Maritime Museum is fun, has interactive displays for children and a nice café. Wandering around the town itself is pleasant, and you could also see the recently restored tea clipper Cutty Sark.

http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to...t-in-greenwich

The Clippers run every 30 minutes, I think.

I love the Hampstead neighborhoods for wandering around, and you can catch a bus up there, sit on top and front if you can. Maybe venture out into the Heath, or find a lunch spot on the High Street.

Hanging out in Trafalgar Square can be fun, checking out the buskers and the range of humanity. I've done that in January and February.

Walk along the South Bank, too, and check out the views and the scene. It's nice at night. Cross the Millenium Bridge.
stokebailey is offline  
Oct 10th, 2014, 07:28 PM
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I am 99% sure your daughter will really enjoy a visit to the Natural History Museum.. its filled with kids and school groups every time I go.. seeing the dinosaurs.. rooms of bugs etc etc.. lol some hands on stuff to.. interative.. lots of fun.

I would also pop inot the [email protected] museum,, its right across the street and free too.. even just to walk through the bottom floor section that they always have the old clothing displays.. most little girls love seeing old gowns etc.. my 11 yr old loved it anyways.. seeing the "olden days clothes and princess dresses" ( to her) .
justineparis is offline  
Oct 10th, 2014, 07:30 PM
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ps practically speaking.. it could be cold and rainy at that time .. not ideal wandering the street weather,, do make up a list of indoor sites..
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Oct 10th, 2014, 08:00 PM
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Don't miss the parks. Fun things for kids in Hyde Park especially.
sanderskn is offline  
Oct 10th, 2014, 08:02 PM
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I was going to say natural history museum too. Kid oriented.
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Oct 10th, 2014, 08:53 PM
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The Natural History Museum is great . . . However it is usually absolutely slammed. I stayed just down Cromwell Road from the museum for a week a couple of weeks ago and every single time I walked by (at least twice each day) there was a massive queue outside.
janisj is online now  
Oct 10th, 2014, 09:52 PM
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janisj I have been inside three times( three separate visits.. last one this past july).. and the lines are not lines.. there is no admission cost or security that I recall.. its just a bit of a bottle neck at one of the entrances.. I waited less then a few minutes even if there looked like there was a line.

There are school groups and such that go and in one case they were waiting by the door for their guide I think because I was waved right in past them.

There is more then one entrance so if one is intimidated by the line on Cromwell just enter via entrance on Exhibition Road.
justineparis is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 02:14 AM
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a fun thing to do is to catch a bus [not the HOHO version but a real London bus] and explore London that way. The no 11 can be caught at Victoria, and goes all the way round Parliament square, up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, along the Strand and Fleet Street and up Blackfriars past St Pauls, ending up near the Tower.

with a bus pass, you can use it as your very own HOHO bus and see many of the major sights in comfort. Or just sit upstairs and enjoy the view!

and in case no-one else has mentioned it, try to group the sights you are seeing into groups so that you don't waste time zig-zagging across London.
annhig is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 02:38 AM
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You could take a bus to Bethnal Green and visit the Museum of Childhood. My grandchildren love it. There's quite a lot of hands on stuff. That particular bus is interesting because as you go East, you can see a gradual change in neighbourhoods.
MissPrism is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 02:50 AM
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I think your daughter might enjoy parts of the British Museum. My granddaughter is fascinated by the Egyptian mummies, especially the cats. She's nearly six.
The great thing about the BM is that it is free although you can make a donation. When a child gets bored, you can come away without feeling that you have wasted money.
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Oct 11th, 2014, 02:58 AM
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All great suggestions. thank you! We live in a suburb of NYC so have access to great museums at home, but I will definitely try to choose at least one to check out while in London. Thanks for the boat and bus riding suggestions, too! I appreciate your taking the time to reply!
Katherine4 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 03:31 AM
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My granddaughter (8 at the time) loved the antique costumes at the V&A. There were also costumes that kids (of all ages) could try on, and we got a great photo of her dressed in one of those.

Most museums in London, and indeed in the UK as a whole, have displays for children.

The boat ride on the Thames would be fun if the weather is nice. At Greenwich, you can visit the Cutty Sark, an 18th century sailing vessel. In the other direction, you can take a boat to Hampton Court, and visit the palace. I took my kids there (when they were older than your daughter) and they loved it so much that every time they go to London they want to see it again. (Once was enough for me, so if I'm with them, I suggest alternatives.) There is a great maze there, but you'd need a nice day preceded by a period of no rain. Maybe it's not open in November, though.

I found an online self-guided Harry Potter walk for London:

http://www.the-magician.co.uk/

I took my granddaughter on parts of this when we were last in London. Unfortunately, I chose Boxing Day, mostly because there was little else to do that day. However, that was a poor choice, because King's Cross station (where you can see a relica of Platform 9 3/4) was closed, and several streets along the way were strewn with broken bottles and effluents from every type of human orifice. I think the whole tour would be too much for any kid, but you can choose those that are close to each other, and interesting to your daughter. This would also take you through some charming neighborhoods.

If your daughter is a Harry Potter fan, there's a tour of the Warner Bros. set in Watford. It was all sold out for the days we were in London, which got me off the hook, because it's a bit pricey. My daughter took her grandchildren there this summer.
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Oct 11th, 2014, 06:40 AM
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>>and the lines are not lines.. there is no admission cost or security that I recall..<<

I know there is no admission charge (though there is a very brief security check / bag inspection). And maybe it was because of school groups since I was there in late September, but the 'non lines' snaked from the entrance all the way out to Cromwell Road and down the pavement nearly a block.
janisj is online now  
Oct 11th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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The Natural History Museum is a good attraction for kids, but not that dissimilar from many science museums in most US cities. The British Museum is, arguably, more unique.The V.A. Is also great for kids for the reasons already mentioned. The London Museum is kid friendly too.
historytraveler is online now  
Oct 11th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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The weather doesn't actually have to be nice to enjoy the Thames Clipper. It's used year round as a commuter riverbus. You sit indoors, heated. I guess you'd want it to be nice enough to see the banks from midRiver.
stokebailey is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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And my suggestion - a visit to Kensington Gardens and Peter Pan statue.
4 days is not a long time to visit but you can see quite a bit w/ your 6 year old.

http://golondon.about.com/od/londonf.../Peter_Pan.htm

http://www.loyalbooks.com/book/peter-pan-by-j-m-barrie
http://golondon.about.com/od/londonf...eter_Pan_2.htm

We visited the Gardens and viewed Prince Albert Memorial and that area, it's a lovely park and much to see there. We were there end of November and it was cool but nice walking about. We took a bus tour w/ Evan Evans and stopped there. You could visit the Diana Memorial Playground in the park and your daughter can have some fun there.

Perhaps before you go to London you could read Peter Pan books and/or The Little White Bird by J. M. Barrie where he first introduced Peter Pan. I found some books on Amazon that you might purchase and/or see if your libary has to read.

http://golondon.about.com/od/londonf.../Peter_Pan.htm
(it is available in kindle version)

http://golondon.about.com/od/londonw...hKidsTop10.htm

(top 10 things to do with kids in London on above website)

Hope this helps. Have a great visit and give us a post when you return.

I have 5 and 7 year old granddaughters and can just picture them getting so excited about the story and viewing the statue. Just something to consider.
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