7 days in England

May 10th, 2015, 08:12 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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7 days in England

Hi,

I am arriving in London on the 30th of May at 11am. I fly out at 730am on the 6th of June. Here is my proposed itinerary:

30th - Land at 11am. Train to Kings Cross and store luggage (will be meeting up with a buddy later in the day and he lives close to the station). Half day in London

31st - Day in London

1st - Day in London

2nd - Day tip to Brighton (possibly also visit the Seven Sisters Cliffs in Eastbourne...is this worth a couple of hours???)

3rd - Train to Bath, day in bath. Overnight in Bath.

4th - Train from Bath to Salisbury. Visit Cathedral. Take a late morning tower tour. Grab early afternoon bus to Stonehenge for a couple hour visit. Back to Salisbury to train back to London. (Originally tried to tie Winchester in to this day but it seems like a stretch. Is Winchester really worth it???)

5th - Day in London (is it possible to visit Leed's Castle on a HALF day trip and spend other half in London?)

Could anyone comment on this itinerary and let me know any recommendations and advice on my posted questions.

Also, could anyone suggest any day itineraries for the days in London? i.e. what attractions to group together to best utilize my time? (I wanna see the tower of london, london bridge, london eye, big ben, buckingham palace, westminster abbey, hyde park, piccadilly circus, etc.) anything else I should try and see that I missed mentioning?

Thanks in advance!
warrenh4653 is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 10:03 PM
  #2  
 
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Just some quick comments right now:

>>5th - Day in London (is it possible to visit Leed's Castle on a HALF day trip and spend other half in London?)<<

Why do you want to see Leeds Castle specifically? It has lovely grounds but the castle itself is sort of meh. There are better gardens if that is what you're interested in. Most tours to Leeds Castle include Canterbury and (weirdly) Greenwich or Canterbury/Dover. So they take all day. There won't be any half day tours. But you can do it on your own -- about an hour by train from Victoria station and then about 5 miles by local shuttle bus.

>>I wanna see . . . london bridge<<

No, you don't. It is Tower Bridge

>>anything else I should try and see that I missed mentioning?<<

Well -- Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben are just walk-by's so you don't have to 'schedule' them. But otherwise you have left off lots of things (St Paul's any museums or galleries, theatre, etc)
janisj is online now  
May 10th, 2015, 10:04 PM
  #3  
 
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Meant to add -- IMO spending half a day at Hampton Court Palace would be more worthwhile than trekking out to Leeds Castle.
janisj is online now  
May 10th, 2015, 11:33 PM
  #4  
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What about Windsor castle? Worth a visit?

If so, could it be done in the same day as Hampton Court Palace?
warrenh4653 is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 01:16 AM
  #5  
 
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seven sisters, from the land? I've seen it from the sea and they are cliffs.... from the land I guess they look like grass. Nothing to see

Salisbury is sublime, I'd try and fit in old Sarum (castle) as well rather than say Winchester, but if you have a long day (which you do this month) I'd go for it, see a late service in Winchester cathedral and train home. If you google their site you may even hit a concert
bilboburgler is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 04:05 AM
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I would bag Leeds Castle - pretty but modern.

Why not visit a real castle - Windsor - that is only about 30 minutes away? Of Hampton court Palace - which has many docents showing how life was lived them (tons of Tudor stuff) as well as gorgeous grounds and a maze.

And the Tower of London is WAY more castley than Leeds.

Yes - we've been there and it was pretty and pleasant but not a star attraction - but I would never do it rather than the above (but we've been to the UK at least 15 times).
nytraveler is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 05:42 AM
  #7  
 
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>>If so, could it be done in the same day as Hampton Court Palace?<<

Not really. HCP takes about 3/4 of a day (when factoring in the travel time) . . . same w/ Windsor.

If you only have one day, pick one or the other. For me it would be HCP but Windsor is very nice too.
janisj is online now  
May 11th, 2015, 05:54 AM
  #8  
 
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You could get as many different suggested itineraries as you get responders, but here's my suggestion (beta version)

Day 1--Head to Westminster area--for a walk around to ward off jet lag and see several iconic picture ops; MAYBE tour Westminster Abbey (allow 2-3 hours if it's crowded/long ticket lines); walk across river to the Eye. I guess your day somewhat depends on when and where you meet your friend; maybe he/she could meet you on Southbank.

Day 2--Be at the Tower at opening; allow all morning; see the Tower Bridge; in the afternoon go to St. Paul's and the whole area around it; you'll have late afternoon and evening to fill.

Day 3--British Library maybe if you care (near Kings Cross so...) and then British Museum. Fill rest of day with 1-2 things you haven't gotten to perhaps.

Then your out-of-London stuff.

(Why Brighton? It's ok. Dover is better! IMHO)

Winchester is totally cool but Salisbury and Stonehenge would be my priority that day so not sure if fitting in another whole site is good idea.

Back to London--I haven't been to Leeds but I'd highly recommend Hampton Court for a half day. Then you have the rest of that day for whatever galleries/museums/ walk-bys/stuff you didn't get to yet.
texasbookworm is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 06:36 AM
  #9  
 
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Don't confuse Leeds with Leeds castle (very different places)
bilboburgler is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 03:44 PM
  #10  
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Thank you for all the feedback. Here is a revision I have so far:

30th - Land at 11am. Train to Kings Cross and store luggage (will be meeting up with a buddy later in the day around 6pm and he lives close to the station). Half day in London -- I will likely be ready to explore by 230-3ish. Head to St. Paul's cathedral and area, then walk to see the Monument of Great Fire of London and stroll the 45 min river side walk to the Eye, snapping some pics and ride it, meet buddy for later dinner.

31st--Be at the London Tower at opening; allow all morning; check out the Tower Bridge; in the afternoon go to a museum (what is my best bet if I am only going to see 1 in London?)

1st --Visit Westminster Abbey at opening (allow 2-3 hours for tour). Snap a pic of Big Ben, Visit Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Picadilly Circus.

2nd -- Day trip to either Brighton or Dover (which is my best bet???)

3rd -- Train from London to Bath early morning and spend whole day in Bath. Overnight in bath.

4th - Train from Bath to Salisbury. Visit Cathedral. Take a late morning tower tour. Grab early afternoon bus (1ish) to Stonehenge for a couple hour visit. Back to Salisbury for dinner and train to Winchester around 8pm for nights accommodation arriving around 9pm (long day, I know, but I am ok with that if it seems do-able).

5th - Wake up in Winchester and poke around for an hour or so before visiting cathedral at 930 when it opens (allow 90 minutes there). Have 1 hour to poke around/get to and on a train. Hop on train at 12 noon and head to either Hampton Court Palace OR Windsor Castle (google maps transit says 90 minute ride for each). Enter site by 2pm and spend 4 hours until 6pm visiting either place. Train back to London arriving around 8pm.

OR....

4th -- Train from Bath to Salisbury. Visit Cathedral. Take a late morning tower tour. Grab early afternoon bus to Stonehenge for a couple hour visit. Back to Salisbury to train back to London.

5th -- Train from London to either Hampton court palace or Windsor Castle for 3/4 of day and insert 1 other place to visit in London in afternoon after returning.

How does this all sound as a revision? I realize that two of the days will be long days but I am ok with that if I can see a few extra things.

In one option I see Winchester but nothing else in London, the other I don't see Winchester, but have 2-3 hours to fit in another activity in London (market or museum).

A 3rd option would be to do the plan where I stay in Winchester on the 4th and visit it on the morning of the 5th and train back to London for a half day there to explore (this would mean I would miss Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace all together, however).

I am also open to the option of not going to either Brighton or Dover and using that day to do Windsor castle or Hampton Court palace.

Please, any feedback on these options would be welcome. Obviously, I want to see as much as possible, but realize that I can't do it all. I am very okay with long days but I don't want to miss out on anything major in London so if I am missing something please advise.
warrenh4653 is offline  
May 12th, 2015, 02:47 AM
  #11  
 
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All your definite or possible destinations (except maybe Brighton--imo!) are worthy. You just have to decide what to make a priority. If you stick to something like this and don't try to pack too much in, you will have a great over-view/taste of lots of places. Just know you will "regret" missing something, no matter what--just decide and be okay with your decision--and hope/plan to return!

Now--again my opinions

Are you going IN St. Paul's? Hope so--sooooo worth it, and I like is especially if also going into Westminster Abbey for the contrast and comparison. Climb to the dome (esp. if weather nice) is also Sooooo worth it.

Not sure if visit to the Monument is so important; I mean, it is important, but for first visit? Maybe cross the Millennium Bridge at St. Pauls and walk the Southbank to Eye from there.

Best "first" museum?--The British Museum is a world treasure. And free. So go.
A second museum? soooo many good art ones and smaller
ones--kinda depends on your interests. The National Gallery is right on Trafalgar Square so is easy to visit; the Victoria and Albert is vast and beautiful; the Tate Modern is worth a visit to see the building and views alone--I have never enjoyed much of modern art so much so....

At Tower, go directly to Crown Jewels and see that upon arrival before lines start, then circle back to entrance to catch a Beefeater tour--after 3 visits to the Tower, I finally did that my last trip and enjoyed the tour sooooo much. Then you can explore on own as long as you wish. (Tour about an hour)

Dover or Brighton? While I really had fun in Brighton wandering the shops, eating fresh fish and chips, and stepping briefly from the pebbly beach into the cold Channel water, if I had to choose, I'd definitely choose Dover. The castle is spectacular and historic--in many eras--and takes hours. Both times I've been there I've managed to walk along the Cliff tops--one of my favorite memories from my 6 visits to the UK. But it is a bit of a slog to get to the park entrance to the trail along the top--but worth it. If you decide to "do" Dover and want to walk along the Cliffs, you need to educate yourself about that a bit. The first time we arrived by train and walked to the Cliffs and then to the castle and then to the train station--too much and too steep! Next time we had a car so we avoided some of the slog between castle and cliff. If I ever arrived via train again, I'd probably be looking at how to get a taxi for a few parts of the trip! But Dover is great--well, the city isn't so great but the Castle and Cliff walk are tremendous. People will say the best views of the Cliffs are from the Channel, not from on top, and there are other cliff walks that may be prettier, but for limited time, like a day trip, walking along their tops still affords lovely views (well, weather is a factor!).

I also adored Winchester, but I would probably advise you save that for another trip, not rush Bath, Salisbury and Stonehenge too much (I'd rate those 3 above Winchester for a first visit), and head back to London. Then go to Hampton Court for half a day and you have an afternoon to get to what you haven't gotten to.

Plans are great (you oughta see what I've packed into my week there in early June!) but I'd leave a little wiggle room and some time for exploring.

Markets? As busy and touristy as they are, both Borough Market and Camden Market are great, so plug one of those in probably.

Also what do you plan to do with your luggage while you are traveling? Maybe all in a backpack/daypack? you don't wanna be rolling around some luggage, of course.
texasbookworm is offline  

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