Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

4 days in London - Recommendations Please!

4 days in London - Recommendations Please!

Oct 11th, 2014, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
If the weather is nice Little Venice (Maida Vale) is an interesting neighborhood with colorful houseboats. You can ride on Regent's Canal from near the London Zoo to Camden. Really needs a bright, sunny day, which may or may not happen in November.

Children and adults like the Museum of the City of London.

Afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason's or similar might be fun.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,469
I would definitely take a child to the British Museum. You don't have to spend all day there, and they have some itineraries geared to kids which sound interesting. http://www.britishmuseum.org/visitin...dia_guide.aspx

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,577
Be sure to have lots of inside plan B's. Wandering through parks and neighborhoods ain't so much fun in gale force winds or pouring rain (both of which are as likely or more so than pleasant weather)
janisj is online now  
Oct 11th, 2014, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
If you are used to the Nat'l Hist Museum in NYC I wouldn;t bother with the one in London - it doesn;t measure up to the major museums in the US - we have way more dinos.

Costume section of the V&A is good if that interests her. Also the British Museum does have some good things (look at the web site in advance and pick out with her the things you will ant to see).

I would definitely include the Tower of London with the crown jewels - for any child. Also take on of the beefeater tours - esp the story about the little princes in the tower - if sh'es into princesses and stuff.

She might like the changing of the Horseguards if she likes horses.

Also consider going out to Hampton Court if you get a decent day - most kids love seeing the reenactors showing how things were done at a royal palace hundreds of years ago and the maze is fascinating.

Do take a boat trip if you get good weather and take her on the tube is she isn't used to the subway in NYC.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,571
Your daughter might like Coram's Fields. Adults are only allowed in if accompanied by a child. It would give her a chance to meet Londoners of her own age
MissPrism is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,237
We went to Natural History in August and the lines or queues are massive. The first time we waited for 40 minutes in a monsoon (it was remnants of Hurricane Bertha passing through that morning) and after the wait we were told we couldn't use that entrance because the inside of the museum had flooded so to go around the corner to the other entrance and wait on that line in the rain. We opted to go to the science museum across the street instead and spent the day there.

A couple of days later we went back to Natural History and waited for 30 minutes before the museum opened. The queue was very long. We got inside and by 12PM you couldn't move inside the museum due to the crowds everywhere. We left around 12 and the queue outside to get in was unreal. Plus inside there was another hour long wait for the dinosaur exhibit which while nice I don't think it is worth that long of a wait. In November though the overall crowds may be a lot less and therefore the museum more enjoyable.

For kids don't miss the Tower of London or Hampton Court Palace. St Martin the Fields you can do a brass rubbing which is fun for kids and adults alike.
europeannovice is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,263
Covent Garden and the Transport Museum could be a nice afternoon before the theater. BB Bakery offers afternoon tea. http://www.visitlondon.com/discover-.../covent-garden

They also offer tea on a London bus which could be a great introduction to the city: http://www.bbbakery.co.uk/our-bakeri...-tea-bus-tour/

Another day visit Portobello Road after breakfast at Daylesford Farm in Notting Hill.

Someone has posted a list on Amazon that will have some books to help you plan: http://www.amazon.com/London-Kids-Ch...R1K5VEM4742HIK
Scootoir is offline  
Oct 11th, 2014, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,577
Thanks europeannovice. I thought I was imagining things

I'd definitely skip the natural history museum. Spend the time at the Tower and Hampton court palace, and the museum of London, British Museum and/or London Transport museum if you have the time.
janisj is online now  
Oct 12th, 2014, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 13
Hi Katherine4!

I know this might not be the most authentic London experience, but the happiest kids I've seen in London were the ones in the Science Museum. There are all sorts of interactive devices and children are encouraged to test them for themselves. I visited in November too and there was literally no queue, possibly since there is no entrance fee either.

As for exploring the city, renting a bike might be fun. Of course, that is if the weather allows it. Barclays Cycle Hire has docking stations all about the place.

Hope this helps, have a safe trip!
donotmisslist is offline  
Oct 12th, 2014, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,571
It occurs to me, that if you are there in early November, you might be there for Guy Fawkes Night. It's actually November 5th, but celebrations tend to be held on the nearest Saturday.
There's a list here http://www.timeout.com/london/things...lays-in-london Try to choose a family friendly one like Richmond where they start fairly early and cater for children. You can't get more British than Guy Fawkes
MissPrism is offline  
Oct 12th, 2014, 07:10 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
I also suggest checking out the online magazine for London www.timeout.com/london. There is a special section for kid activities under "things to do". It includes highlights of tourist attractions as well as special events such as children's theater.
laurie_ann is offline  
Oct 12th, 2014, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,347
"As for exploring the city, renting a bike might be fun." I would never think of putting a child on a bike to ride through London's streets even with a guide. I'm an experienced cyclist, and I wouldn't ride a bike in London,unless they closed the streets for me.
historytraveler is online now  
Oct 12th, 2014, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,577
>>As for exploring the city, renting a bike might be fun. Of course, that is if the weather allows it.<<

I sure hope that isn't the sort of advice you give on your website . . . We are talking a 6 year old here!
janisj is online now  
Oct 12th, 2014, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,237
Janisj--You were not imagining the length of the queue at all. And we were there twice in one week.

The science museum is definitely more interactive. When we were there they were doing a little skit about flight for the little ones. We passed the group by while exploring the museum and the little kids seemed to be having fun.

At the V&A kids can make their own coat of arms at the computer kiosks. The V&A is next to the science and natural history museums so you can check on the queue at natural history and if it is too long then skip it, go to science and the V&A instead.

The London Transport Museum is pretty cool too.

And another high vote for Matilda! I saw it in NY with the two lead actors who originated the role in London--they peformed for the first few months of opening and the show is fantastic.
europeannovice is offline  
Oct 12th, 2014, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,923
Well we must be lucky.. as I said.. I have been there several times.. last time was this july ,.. and we just walked in!! There were a few people in front of us.. but it was really just a walk in.. The museum however was crowded,, but frankly all the museums and sites we visited were crowded.
justineparis is offline  
Oct 12th, 2014, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,116
Guy Fawkes Night in Richmond is a great idea, MissP. Bonus of getting to see Richmond. I'd like to do that myself.
stokebailey is offline  
Oct 12th, 2014, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,237
Justinparis--timing is everything. You probably went before peak season so no problem on entry. I suspect November will be the same thing. However, in August when it appears everyone from everywhere is visiting the queues were massive for both entrances Cromwell Rd and Exhibition Road and once inside it was wall to wall people. Not a great way to see a museum.

The science museum was really crowded too but somehow it absorbed the crowds a lot better.

I still vote for Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace--they can easily absorb crowds which you probably won't have in November anyway and are wonderful places to visit. Plus natural history and science museums are everywhere. There is only one Tower of London and/or Hampton Court Palace.
europeannovice is offline  
Oct 12th, 2014, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,577
>>You probably went before peak season so no problem on entry. I suspect November will be the same thing.<<

Actually November will likely be worse because of all the school groups, which don't visit in the summer.
janisj is online now  
Oct 12th, 2014, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 201
Brass rubbings in the basement crypt of St Martin in the Field church near Trafalgar square
Debbielynn is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,616
Take a look around the Globe Theatre if you go to the river and maybe a wander through Borough market if it's open. At least it's under cover.
Rubicund is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:15 PM.