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Are we going to be wandering about like idiots?!?! London HELP!

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Jun 27th, 2013, 06:12 PM
  #1
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Are we going to be wandering about like idiots?!?! London HELP!

I am trying to create an itinerary for four days in London. I think I have the first day and a half okay but then I start to get confused. I know we will be tired from jet lag but my husband and I don't care. We want to jump right into things. Thoughts suggestions??

Day 1:
-Arrival at Heathrow at 6:50am (drop off bags at hotel)
-Breakfast
-Buckingham Palace(tour inside)
-Lunch
-Westminster Abbey
-Parliament and Big Ben
-Dinner
-Back to hotel to sleep sleep sleep

Day 2:
-Tower of London, tower bridge
-Lunch
-St. Paul’s Cathedral
-Southbank Walk
-London Eye
.......this is where I get lost. The following are the things I need to fit into day 2,3, and 4.

-St. Martin Church and lunch @ cafe in the crypt
-National Portrait Gallery & Trafalgar Square
-Covent Garden
-Piccadilly Circus
-Dinner Savoy Grill
-Paddington station (need a bear)
-Abbey Road
-Hyde Park
-Camden Lock Market
-Haunted London Walk

Am I missing anything important in London? Thanks!!
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Jun 27th, 2013, 06:25 PM
  #2
 
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What time are your tickets for the Palace tour? By the time you leave the airport, eat, go to the hotel then get to the palace it will probably be 10 or even 11am.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Day 1 looks doable. When will you be in London? Do you know about buying tickets for Buckingham Palace ahead of time?

Day 2 is done, nothing more to add there.

Days 3 & 4, you will have pick and choose. I don't think you can fit everything in. St. Martin Church and lunch @ cafe in the crypt -National Portrait Gallery & Trafalgar Square all go together, but then you have a list of things that are spread out.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 06:35 PM
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Are you missing anything important? Well for me the British Museum and the National Gallery. Also Westminster Abbey is one of the great sights of the city. I wouldn't want to see it in a jet-lagged daze.

Things that I would skip: Abbey Road. I used to live there. There's nothing to see except the crosswalk. Piccadilly Circus, Parliament and Big Ben are walk-bys. London Eye -- it's just a ferris wheel, but some seem to like it. Have no idea what the Haunted London Walk is.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 06:59 PM
  #5
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Thanks for your help!!

I don't have tickets for the Palace tour yet because I wasn't sure if the itinerary was okay.

Abbey Road is a must for my DH. He is a Beatles fanatic.

Day Three or Four
-National Portrait Gallery
-Trafalgar Square
-St. Martin Church
-Lunch at Cafe in the Crypt
-Covent Garden
-Dinner Savoy Grill

Day Three or Four
-Camden Lock Market
-Paddington Station
-Abbey Road
-Piccadilly Circus
-Walk through Hyde Park to Hotel
-Haunted London Walk
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Jun 27th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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For me day one is waaay too busy. You will probably get to your hotel around 9 or 10, then to tour both Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. I guarantee by the second tour, you won't remember much. For me, I'd do one or the other tour and then hop on the #11 bus and look around London.

I'm not quite sure why you picked Paddington Station unless it's because of the bear-it's just a regular train station. But as for buying the toy- I'm sure any toy shop will have one.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 09:41 PM
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>>Paddington station (need a bear)<<

Absolutely NO reason you need to go to Paddington Station to get a Paddington Bear. Hamley's (THE toy store to end all toy stores) or any department store/toy shop should have them.

Your day one will kill you off - then you'd be dead and couldn't manage the other three days

First of all, it won't be easy getting into town, checking in, getting to the Palace, touring it . . . all before lunch. W/ a 7:30 arrival, count on being at the hotel around 10AM-ish. So maybe checked in, freshened up and at the Palace by 11:00 - all at a dead run . . . on jet lag.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 09:58 PM
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I would change day one so that you are outdoors more as that might help with recovery from jetlag.

It's been a while since I was there, but I think you can get paddington bears at the Harrods duty free shop at heathrow. But that's only if you don't follow janisj's shopping suggestions.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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I think Harrods mainly has Harrods bears at LHR - I don't remember Paddingtons (though the stock may rotate). The Harrods main store toy department has them but possibly not the LHR shops.

My large Paddingtons came from Hamleys. I've bought smaller ones several different places.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 02:10 AM
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You are probably right Janisj, I wasn't paying proper attention.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 02:20 AM
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Piccadilly Circus is just up from Trafalgar Square so you could add it into that day - but to be honest it is just a round about with bill boards around and hords of tourists!
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Jun 28th, 2013, 02:31 AM
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Day one is going to be rough. Allow yourself a few stops for tea of coffee to keep you awake enough to make it to bedtime.

Unless you absolutely, positively must see the whole of London from up high, the London Eye is very skipabble.

As others have said, Piccadilly Circus is just a big roundabout.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 04:09 AM
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Seconding other observations, with a few of my own.

You can walk from Piccadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square (Galleries and St Martin's in the Fields) down Regent Street and Pall Mall. Packed pavements, but Hanleys is on right on your way, if you don't mind carrying a bear around the National Gallery. Or you can do it in reverse. Both galleries have good cafes/restaurants if for some reason you cannot get into the café at St M's.

Unless you want to visit the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden isn't very interesting. You've seen one destination mall, you've seen them all. If your husband always wanted to drive an Underground train, he can do that at the transportation museum. A more interesting site is Sir John Soane's Museum which is an easy walk if you are in the area.

Savoy Grill: my wife had evenings with business clients that began with dinner at the Savoy Grill, continued with a play, and ended back at the Savoy Grill with dessert and coffee. You might look into this.

If it rains or there is low cloud, you will gain a day because you won't be tempted to do the Eye or even the South Bank walk. I liked the Eye, though I didn't expect to, but it would be Not Worth It on a dark day.

Camden Lock Market used to be very, very early opening and closing. If it still is, you will have to make it your first foray of the day.

I live in a tourist center and hear the "haunted walk" man all the time. Maybe a London haunted walk would be better, but I doubt it.

I would spend the time you have for Covent Garden in St James's. Jermyn Street, Burlington House, the arcades, what you can see of Albany. This area, speaking loosely, is for men's clothing and furnishings what the Grands Magasins and Place Vendome in Paris are for women: the world's best traditional tailors, hatters like Locke, bootmakers like Lobb, gunmakers like Holland and Holland, wine merchants, art galleries, etc.

While your husband drools, you could go to Fortnum and Mason for some refreshment and then look through the silver and jewelry at Asprey. I have bought my shaving soap and brushes at Floris for thirty years, and while they have changed, they are still pretty traditional. The stuff costs but lasts forever. Would he like a haircut at Trumper's? There are hats at Locke that are not outrageous. Does he need a solar topee? Berry Brothers and Rudd would rather help you build your cellar but are happy to sell you a bottle of wine or a good corkscrew or foil cutter for a souvenir.

I don't much enjoy going to London any more except for museums and galleries, but every few years I have to head for this part of town.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 04:15 AM
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I just realized that The British Museum is not on your list. It really should be. Right now they have an excellent special exhibit called "Life and death Pompeii and Herculaneum". Lots of great artifacts from both places.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 04:26 AM
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Mrs.Otter, I wouldn't book anything for the first day. your flight might be delayed, you might be struck down by jetlag, you're very likely be too tired to take it all in. just plan to go for a walk past all the things that don't cost anything, or use the HOHO bus.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 06:28 AM
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"solar topee"

Knowledge, new, from Fodor's.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 06:52 AM
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I can't imagine seeing London without at least a 1/2 day at the British Museum.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 07:49 AM
  #18
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Thanks so much!! This is why I love these forums! I need everyone to smack me upside the head into a proper vacation. Haha! After a stern talk with myself I have gotten over my obsession with having my picture taken at Paddington Station and will go to Hamleys for my bear. What is the best way to ship things home? (usa) It doesn't look like Hamleys offers shipping except to the UK.

**Updated Itinerary**

Day One:
-Hamleys for my bear
-National Portrait Gallery/National Gallery maybe.
-Trafalgar Square
-St. Martin Church
-Lunch at Cafe in the Crypt
-Covent Garden
-Dinner Savoy Grill

Day Two:
-Buckingham Palace(tour inside)
-Lunch
-Westminster Abbey
-Parliament and Big Ben
-Dinner
-Southbank walk (weather permitting and might cut out all together)
-London Eye (weather permitting)

Day Three:
-Tower of London, tower bridge
-Lunch
-St. Paul’s Cathedral
-British Museum (open late on Friday's)
-Late Dinner

Day Four:
-Camden Lock Market
-Abbey Road
-Hyde Park
-Victoria and Albert Museum(possibly unless anyone has something better to go here)
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Jun 28th, 2013, 07:56 AM
  #19
 
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<>

British Museum
British Library
Churchill War Rooms
Imperial War Museum
the various Tate museums
the South Kensington museums

That's a start.

Go to the daysoutguide.co.uk site, get vouchers (War Rooms, Tower, possibly Eye and St Paul's, will be covered), buy single day travelcards at the rail station closest to your hotel and save serious money - only fools pay retail for tourist sites in London.

I'll second the Jermyn Street suggestion. Easy enough to buy a ton(ne) of shaving cream at Taylor's without breaking the bank. It's about as good as Trumper's and costs less than 1/2 the price.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 08:20 AM
  #20
 
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You are still IMO on the wrong track day one.

The National Gallery/National Portrait Gallery are time intensive and indoors - not best done on jet lag. And I would never EVER book a posh dinner on my arrival day (or a play) -- you simply can't enjoy the ambiance, service and food when face down in your dinner plate collapsed from the jet lag.

Stay outside in the fresh air as much as possible - Covent Garden is good, St Martins in the Field is OK since it only takes a short visit, walking down Whitehall to Big Ben - maybe the Eye, the Mall and St James's/Green Parks, Hyde park those sorts of things

>>What is the best way to ship things home? (usa) It doesn't look like Hamleys offers shipping except to the UK.<<

I'd be surprised if they don't ship to the US (though I carried the big Paddingtons home as carry-on's). They may not ship overseas from their website but if they have an export/VAT desk they probably would. But if not, Harrods and all the big department stores will so maybe check one of them first.

If you spend enough in most shops they have a VAT refund service (value added tax - refunded for good you take out of the country). I usually skip that red tape and have the merchant take the VAT off the top and they ship it for me. That way it is being exported so no VAT is due. The savings on VAT often pays the shipping costs.
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