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-   -   Ambitious Itinerary Can I do it??? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/ambitious-itinerary-can-i-do-it-897211/)

rosiesantos7 Jul 1st, 2011 06:22 PM

Ambitious Itinerary Can I do it???
 
I am planning to be very ambitious with my trip. The first day I should be in Central London by 12:30 - 1:00 pm after checking in to the hotel. I was planning on going to Kensington Palace and Victoria Albert Museum, London Eye and walk around parks,Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. On my second day we were planning on Buckingham Palace, Changing of the guard (boyfriend's demand), Westminster Abbey, Big Ben (just from the outside, Tower of London and if there is time go to Greenwich to stand on the Meridian (again boyfriend's demand). On the third day wake up super early and take the train to Windsor (my demand). I am in the easy hotel near Victoria, so I have to figure out which station will be better for us to take to Windsor. See Windsor like you said and return around 2:30 to relax around for two hours and catch the train or bus to Heathrow Airport.

By the way, I am planning to be out extremely early and out til late.
Sounds Possible?????

adrienne Jul 1st, 2011 06:34 PM

Buckingham Palace doesn't open until July 23.

http://www.visitlondon.com/attractions/detail/427311

Irishwhistler90 Jul 1st, 2011 06:38 PM

Days one and two are probably not going to work out like you want them to.....

The Tower of London closes at 5:30pm daily, and Westminster Abbey closes at 1:30pm on Saturday and 3pm on Weekdays I believe. I don't think you can reasonably do Buckingham Palace, Westminster, the Tower, and Greenwich all in one day. My grandmother and I did Westminster Abbey, the houses of Parliament, and had a measly one hour in the Tower of London, all in one day, but even that was pushing it! You need to take into account the amount of time it will take to get to these places. For example: Buckingham Palace is at one end of central London, Westminster Abbey is more central, and the Tower is at the other end ( at least, for transportation purposes). Greenwich is a good hour out of central London, and you have to get there from London Bridge railway station, trains from Waterloo don't go directly to Greenwich. I'm pretty sure that the Royal Observatory closes at 5pm daily too, meaning that unless you go there earlier on in the day, you won't be able to stand on the "actual" Prime Meridian. You really need to make a huge list of the opening and closing times of everywhere you want to visit, and make a note of where they are in London, to help yourself group together the things that are close by each other in order to save time, not race back and forth across London. Your first day is pretty much un-doable as well. Personally, if it were me, I would prioritize a little, doing the MUST SEES first and then doing the other things if there is time

LSky Jul 1st, 2011 06:42 PM

By 2:30 you should be already checked out of your hotel. Just do as much as you can and know that you'll be able to return someday.

Advice from an old happily married woman.
Quit demanding upon each other just be happy that you've a chance to enjoy London together then perhaps someday you'll return together. :) or not.

janisj Jul 1st, 2011 07:10 PM

You have all these 'demands' and about 5 or 6 days worth of sites to squeeze into about 2.5 days. You'll need to drop some of the demands and about 1/2 of everything else.

"<i>By the way, I am planning to be out extremely early and out til late. </i>"

All well and good -- EXCEPT the sites don't open early nor (mostly) stay open late.

• <i><blue>after checking in to the hotel--I was planning on going to Kensington Palace and Victoria Albert Museum, London Eye and walk around parks,Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square.</i></blue>

Basically you have 1:30 - 5:30 to visit Kens Palace (90mins) and the V&A (2 or 3 hours) and travel in between

• <i><blue>second day we were planning on Buckingham Palace </i></blue> (touring - 1.5 hours, or just looking at the exterior - 5 mins?) <i><blue> Changing of the guard, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Tower of London, Greenwich</i></blue>

Simply not doable. Besides the Palace -- Changing of the Guard - 2 hours, the Abbey - 1.5 hours, Tower of London - 2 to 3 hours minimum, Greenwich - 2 hours. All of these are PLUS travel time and meals.

• <i><blue>On the third day Windsor and return around 2:30 to the hotel</i></blue>

Traveling out to Windsor, then all the way back to Victoria and then back to LHR - that is a LOT of to-ing and fro-ing.

janisj Jul 1st, 2011 07:42 PM

I see from your other thread that the State Rooms at Windsor are closed while you are in London. It just doesn't make sense to travel 3 hours (Victoria > Windsor > Victoria > Heathrow) when you can't see the state rooms.

Drop Windsor from your 'demand' list, and do one of the other major sites on day 3 before heading out to LHR.

Pegontheroad Jul 1st, 2011 08:29 PM

I read your post and then went to lie down. I was exhausted.

alanRow Jul 1st, 2011 11:29 PM

"Traveling out to Windsor, then all the way back to Victoria and then back to LHR - that is a LOT of to-ing and fro-ing."

Take Tube to LHR T5, drop luggage there, take 71 or 77 bus to Windsor, return, pick up luggage, go to correct terminal, check-in.

Do this as early as possible to get to Windsor Castle for opening time and be prepared to hop in a taxi to get back to Heathrow.

It's probably the most possible thing on the itinerary.

Day 2 is possible - if you drop the Tower of London and Greenwich but add London Eye or you drop everything else and just do Tower of London & Greenwich with the London Eye if you have time (fortunately it's open late)

Never seen the point of visiting Kensington Palace

"Greenwich is a good hour out of central London, and you have to get there from London Bridge railway station"

No you don't - you can get to it on the DLR from Tower Gateway beside the Tower of London. You'll need to change trains but it's a case of standing at the same platform. It's best to get off at Island Gardens and walk to the edge of the Thames for the views of Greenwich, then you take the foot tunnel to Greenwich surfacing at Cutty Sark.

KayF Jul 2nd, 2011 01:53 AM

I thought this must be a joke. There is simply no way you can do all of this in the time you have. Think about what is highest on your 'must see' list and pick one or two things each. You have to allow all the travel time between places, plus queues to get in.

By the way, Kensington Palace is not that interesting. If you can see inside Windsor, Buckingham Palace or Hampton Court you would be much better off.

Kay

Bowsprit Jul 2nd, 2011 02:34 AM

The grounds of KP are interesting. The hidden pool is quite lovely. The best reason to visit the KP area, imo, is The Orangery for a nice cream tea. Cheers!

isabel Jul 2nd, 2011 04:13 AM

It all depends on how you want to "do" the things you mention. You must have some other post I didn't see cause I don't see your dates - but Buckingham Palace is not open for touring most of the year. If you just want to "see" it from the outside - the vast majority of tourists never go inside. For changing of the guard - do you need a front row viewing spot (meaning you need to get there early) - or are you content to get a good glimpse of it from back a ways. If so it doesn't take long at all. London Eye - do you just want to see it or go for a ride in it. And if a ride are you willing to spring for the advance purchase fast line tickets.

A nice first day, from a hotel near Victoria would be to walk down to Westminster Bridge - seeing the outside of Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliment and Big Ben, cross the bridge to view from the other side and walk around Jubilee Embankment by the London Eye, then cross Hungerford Foot Bridge back to the other side and walk down to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square (you could even add in Covent Garden), then Picadilly Circus, then through St James Park where you will see Buckingham Palace (but no changing of the guard as it will be late afternoon/early evening at this time). Depending on your energy you could either cut back to Victoria from there or wander through Hyde Park/Kensington Garden. It's a fair amount of walking (but I do it all the time and I'm no athlete) but you'll see the highlights of central London and walking is the best thing to do on a first day after a long flight.

On your second day you could start at Westminster Abbey (fairly close to your hotel) when it opens, then tube to Tower for several hours, then from there train to Greenwich. Do you need to pay 10£ to stand on what they say is the line or would you be content to just be in Greenwich which is where it is (so in the grand scope of the world you are for all intents and purposes 'on' on the Prime Meridian). Greenwich is a lovely place to wander around.

For Windsor I'd do it on the way to the airport as suggested above. The V&A is open late one night, don't know what days of the week you are there.

You can 'see' all the things you mentioned, you just have to pick which ones you want to spend time going inside. I love just wandering around London, soaking up the atmosphere, seeing the buildings and bridges and parks and squares - you don't have to spend a lot of time waiting on lines and buying tickets and going on tours in order to have a good experience.

rosiesantos7 Jul 3rd, 2011 07:58 AM

Thank you for all the information. I will definitely take a look at the distance and how I am going to arrive at each location. I am traveling from 7/18 - 7/20.
I appreciate all your comments and suggestions


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