5-6 day London

Jan 16th, 2015, 09:19 AM
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5-6 day London


I posted couple weeks ago for my first solo trip. Now I'm starting to plan for my fist stop in London (landing city). I'm thinking to spend 5-6 days and have done some research about what to do. I think 2 days in the central London attractions would be enough ( I won't do a lot of getting inside... since time is limited). I also prefer landscape and walk in towns see things that are unique...etc. So I'm thinking to go to maybe Windsor after landing at Heathrow (before Noon) since Windsor is close to the airport. I also would like to take some day trips (within 1 hour around London), maybe Oxford, Cambridge... Briton (south of London) to see different types of scenarios ...

Can you tell me if my high level idea is practical? Trying to put together a plan . Any suggestions would be much appreciated! First time to London, so I'm clueless
AnnPA is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 09:32 AM
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1) Luggage on day 1 what are you going to do, could catch a bus. http://www.traveline.info/ is the tool
2) Weather, in the UK you have to have a plan B for the wet days.
"Briton"? Do you mean Brighton?

Loads of people offer walking tours of London
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 09:36 AM
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Yes "Brighton". I'm at work and posted in a rush. Sorry for all the typos...
AnnPA is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 10:04 AM
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I'm sorry, but even for someone not very interested in London, 2 days doesn't cut it.

You can't even see the outsides of most of the major sites in two days. Plus what good is seeing the outside of the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey. Not saying you need to spend weeks there, but just recovering from the jet lag and acclimating will take most of 2 days.

And going to Windsor from LHR is complicated (UNLESS you stay there instead of in London). You could leave your bags at LHR in Left Luggage, then return to the airport, retrieve the bags and take public transport into the city.

If you aren't really interested in London, save the £££ of a London hotel and go to the country instead.
janisj is online now  
Jan 16th, 2015, 10:10 AM
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Windsor from Heathrow takes about an hour by train/bus combo
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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>>Windsor from Heathrow takes about an hour by train/bus combo<<

Or about 35-40 minutes by bus alone, or 10-12 minutes by taxi.

But still doesn't work if one has luggage w/ them.
janisj is online now  
Jan 16th, 2015, 10:34 AM
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Ok... I AM interested in London What would you suggest for the 6 days in London before I move on to Paris?
AnnPA is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 11:31 AM
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HI Ann, lucky you, London is fabulous. What are your interests? And do you know where you are staying yet?

I love the V and A museum in South Kensington, they often have special exhibits on and their cafe is a great place to have lunch and you can sit outside. (weather permitting).

I have done the Hop on Hop off bus with my Mom (elderly, not great mobility) and it was really good for an overview of where many of the points of interest are located, plus we had a very good guide that day. It's not for everyone, but a suggestion.

First time to London you really should see the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey etc. Do you have a guide book so you can see what some of the high-lights are. I like the National Gallery and the British Museum.

Are you a shopper? If so, I might be able to help you there.

In July of 2013 I did an amazing walking tour of the City of London (not the entire city, but what is called the City, still some Roman ruins there and so much interesting history) with Emma Krais, who was just so lovely and interesting. She went to school and studied for a year to become a certified City of London guide and has a deep love of English history so was just full of information. I highly recommend her, she has 3 different walking tours and here is her site: emmakraistours.co.uk

That same trip we did a London Walks street art tour which was fascinating, all through the East end of London.

Also we went to the Chelsea Physics garden which was lovely if you like gardens.

There is so much more if you will tell us more about what interests you.
raincitygirl is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 11:37 AM
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^^"Plus what good is seeing the outside of the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey."^^

Personally, I think it can be a lot of good. My first two visits to Paris I was poor and did not go inside the Louvre, but loved circling it. Same with an early trip to Rome's Colosseum.

Some sites can take one's breath away just seeing the outside, altho I certainly acknowledge not many will agree.
29FEB is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 11:44 AM
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29FEB, I agree, everyone is different. And it can be breathtaking to see the outside of all those old places for the first time. That is why sometimes the HOp on bus is just fine. My mom loved sitting on that bus listening to the guide and looking out the window. (mind you she had been years before and actually gone into the buildings) We are all different in our ways of travelling and often each trip is different for us.
raincitygirl is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 12:08 PM
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A lot of great highlights in raincitygirl's informative post and would second the hop on/off bus for an overview and the V&A. Personally, we liked the National Gallery more than the British Museum, but that is a matter of our tastes; the British is certainly one of the world's greatest museums. Would add Borough or Camden market; Kew Gardens; Harrod's, the London Eye and a trip up the Thames to Greenwich.
dweislaw is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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We only had 2 1/2 days in London on our first trip. We did the hop-on, hop-off bus our first afternoon and drove by things we didn't have time to see, like St. Paul's and the Tower of London. The next day we took a boat to Greenwich to visit the Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, then went back into London to tour Westminster Abbey and the Cabinet War Rooms/Churchill Museum. On our last full day, we went to the British Library, British Museum, and saw a show that evening.

With five or six days, you can obviously do a lot more, but those were the sites that were most important to us.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 12:54 PM
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My point is one can't see anything of the Tower from outside -- except the top of the White Tower and the dry moat. It is otherwise just walls. It isn't an iconic feature like the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben or Statue of Liberty. Same w/ Westminster Abbey. From outside it is just a (not particularly beautiful) church -- all the 'history' is inside.

There ARE some sites that just seeing the outside is memorable or even breath taking . But the outside of the Tower of London is hardly 'breathtaking'. Now - it WAS when the moat was filled w/ the poppies. But normally -- no.
janisj is online now  
Jan 16th, 2015, 04:46 PM
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Thank you all, especially raincitygirl's informative post~ I think I would base in Central London and may take a couple of day trips to the outskirts. What is the most convenient area to stay based on your experience?
AnnPA is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 08:31 PM
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great decision to stay in central area. so many choices in area... but will throw out my strong preference to make it v. close to a main tube stop.

if using as a base to travel in and out of london, maybe near paddington. we like russell square...but stayed near paddington (because we took the heathrow express for a quick layover) and were surprised how we liked the area. what is your budget? kensington, near gloucester stop is great, too.

post a budget and many fodorites will have hotel recommendations.
kawh is offline  
Jan 17th, 2015, 03:45 AM
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Thank you kawh. I booked a hotel last night. It's very close to Hyde Park. Looks nice... so one step forward now
AnnPA is offline  
Jan 17th, 2015, 06:28 AM
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I like South Kensington personally.

Which hotel did you book?

Day trips outside London? Well you could go to Hampton Court Palace, lots of history there and big beautiful grounds. You can take the train one way and a boat on the river the other if you have time. (sometimes the trip back on the river takes several hours)

I think you will find plenty to keep you busy in London itself for your 5-6 days but there are tour companies doing day trips to all kinds of places including Stonehenge, Bath, etc.

Have fun!
raincitygirl is offline  
Jan 17th, 2015, 07:43 AM
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So many choices in London! Only you know what you want to zero in on but a helpful start for someone who's never been:


I'm going to London soon with my family and this gave me a starting point to work from for some ideas/timing. I lived in London so had personal things to add in, etc.. So just change based on your personal interests!
Fishnlines29 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2015, 04:21 PM
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I like making at least half a day of taking the 168 bus, getting a seat up front on top, to the bottom of Hampstead Heath, walking up through the Heath to Kenwood House. Then cut west and through Hampstead, where you can get lunch and catch the Northern Line if you'd rather. Good walking shoes a must, of course.

Also or alternately, if you want half or so day out of the center, the Thames Clipper from Embankment or London Eye Pier to Greenwich. Not narrated, just gliding past that great skyline.
stokebailey is offline  

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