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Eloping in London, honeymooning in Paris!


Sep 24th, 2017, 10:55 AM
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Eloping in London, honeymooning in Paris!

Hello! My fiance and I are in our mid-late 30s. We are both educators and have decided to save the cost of the wedding and instead have a symbolic ceremony and honeymoon in Europe. This is a dream come true to travel to Europe, and now with the man of my dreams!

We will be arriving in London early in the morning on March 17th, and will have that Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to explore. Our ceremony will be on Tuesday, the 20th, morning before we take off by train to Paris until the 25th! I have put together the following list of place of interest for each (no particular order). I am sure we won't have time for everything. How long for each? What should be moved off or down the list. Any pearls of wisdom to make our first trip to Europe and special moment in our lives would be GREATLY appreciated!

London- 3 full days:
Tower of London + Yeoman Warder tour
Tower Bridge
Sky Garden
St. Paul's Cathedral
Westminster Abbey
Changing of Guards
The Shard
Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Crossing
HP Muggle Walking Tour (2.5 hours) *total HP nerd*
Kengsington/Hyde/St James Parks
London Eye
Camden Market

Paris- 4.5 days:
Notre Dame
St. Chapelle
Palais (Opera House)
Moulin Rouge

I have started planning with London, and have not fully researched either city- any additional suggestions?

Thank you,
DaytoRemember is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2017, 12:03 PM
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Rather than try to figure out how long it might take to travel to and visit every one on your list, I suggest putting them in order of your desire to see them, then using a map adding those in proximity with the thought that at the end of each day you'll have seen a couple most important to you plus those nearby. One list per day, knowing you won't get to every one because of time constraints or something that spontaneously diverts you. I find that sort of organizing, groupings rather than individual sights, most efficient and least tiring.
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Sep 24th, 2017, 12:08 PM
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By the way, as I count it, you won't have 3 full days of touring time in London if you're counting your arrival day as a full day. I count full days the ones where you wake up and go to sleep in the same city. If you consider your arrival day as more like half a day you'll be more on target.
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Sep 24th, 2017, 12:19 PM
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For HP fans I would think the following is essential - book early

dotheboyshall is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2017, 12:25 PM
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What do you mean by a "symbolic ceremony " ? and where would this take place ?
Bedar is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2017, 12:35 PM
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I'd add Borough Market, the Victoria and Albert museum, and afternoon tea. I'd scrap changing of the guard. I loved Tower of London, but be aware that it'll probably eat most of a day. Darn, you just miss the Harry Potter exhibit at British Library. The shard and eye are not my thing; those would not make my list but keep it if it's interesting to you. Google Dennis Sever's house; needs to be reserved in advance but it was one of my favorite things. Unique and so fascinating. Some amazing Indian food in London if you like than.

The D'Orsay is spectacular. Get in line before ND Tower opens, and I mean like a half hour or more early. Louvre is a time suck and I'd probably skip it unless there is specific are you really, really want to see.

Moulin Rouge is definitely dependent on you. I enjoyed it, some fun performances, but whether it was worth the money or not is an entirely different thing. It's more circus/variety than burlesque if that matters to you, and it's heavily touristy.

Leave some time to just wander around Paris. Thats half the magic of the city. These are cool:

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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:02 PM
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Skip The Louve, so much to see walking around you won't want to spend time inside. I would pick smaller galleries and then you can do more Cafes and people watching. I love Shakespeare and company and that area after you go to ND.
Where are you having your ceremony? So nice to do that. My friends would like to do that.
Ditton to Borough's market.
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:03 PM
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You have essentially 2 days in London. Your arrival day -- even arriving early AM is basically a 'place holder'. There are the formalities at the airport, then a long trip into the city, checking in (or if your room isn't ready - dropping the bags and coming back later) and jet lag to deal with. Arrival day is not good for heavy duty sightseeing -- mostly for outdoors/fresh air type things

Plus -- neither St Pauls nor Westminster Abbey are open to tourists on Sunday. And Sunday is the most crowded day at the Tower . . .

All above to explain that you may only get to a small % of your London wish list.

DSkip the Changing of the Guard -- it is a three hour commitment and you simply don't have the time. And IMO you definitely don't have enough time to head out to the Olympic Park for the OrbitSlide
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:09 PM
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How exciting for you! Congratulations!

This is a great London Markets map. It shows days, times and generally what's there. Spitalfields is my favourite. And if you're going there and planning to eat lunch, look for the long line-up of food trucks and tents outside the market. Fabulous! Camden Market was lots of fun too -- punk, funk and junk!

I was disappointed in the London Eye but felt I should give it a try. You can get as good a view of London from rooftop bars (I think I was in one at the OXO building but not sure) and have a glass of wine while you're looking at it.

I don't know what Platform 9/34 is but try the champagne bar at Kings Cross. Maybe that's it.

I agree about the Musee D'Orsay. It's very beautiful and much more easily do-able than the Louvre. Sainte Chapelle candle-lit concert at dusk is lovely and romantic. So much so that my neighbour proposed to his now-wife there.

Take a walk in Luxembourg Gardens. I was there in the fall when the chestnuts were on the ground and it was just gorgeous. I imagine it has a different kind of gorgeousness in the winter. You
can cuddle up in the cold and then go for hot chocolate.

I'd love to hear about your plans for your wedding ceremony. And what are you wearing?
goddesstogo is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:16 PM
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Not a Harry Potter fan, eh? Basically a fake landmark. It's hilarious, goddesstogo:


But I'm a nerd.
marvelousmouse is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:17 PM
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Sorry, I forgot to attach the map:
goddesstogo is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:17 PM
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Oh, also, did you mean to link a market map? No link and I was interested to see that.
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:18 PM
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Ah, got it, mm! Thanks!
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:18 PM
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Never mind, posted at the same time. Thanks for the link!!
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:20 PM
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It is a good thing you getting married in the UK, not in Paris. The UK is not a signatory of the Schengen Agreement, otherwise you would have to exit the marriage after 90 days.
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Sep 24th, 2017, 01:46 PM
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Just a couple of comments. It seems you have a lot of outside visits on your itinerary. I' m never one to shirk a visit because of weather, but you may want to have a few more inside visits if weather is sketchy, and it can be in March. Skip the Changing of the Guards. You would need to be there 1 1/2 to 2 hours before it starts in order to secure a place where you could actually see what's going on.

Note that the champagne bar goddesstogo referred to is actually in St. Pancras across the street.

The Shard and the London Eye are essentially redundant. Choose one or the other.If you want to visit a London park and with your limited time, I suggest you eliminate at least one. You can walk through St. James Park to/ from Buckingham Palace area to/ from Cabinet War Rooms//Trafalgar Square. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens will be a bit redundant too. Maybe just walk to the Serpentine and then over to Kensington Palace or the Orangery.
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Sep 24th, 2017, 10:10 PM
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The area around King Cross/St Pancras (basically one massive transport area is interesting. I like the idea of platform 9 3/4 photo op (the queue is a pain if say a chinese party come in) and then pop across for champers.

The London bit is a bit short. Basicaly you are visiting the largest city in Europe for a short time then going to a much smaller Paris for the majority of the time. Both are filled with scenes of empire and modern zones. I might drift more into London
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Sep 26th, 2017, 03:01 PM
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Love St. Pancras but did not know there was a champagne bar there--another excuse to return.

I agree with historytraveler about the Shard and the Eye and definitely lean toward the Eye however you might not want to do either if the weather is not clear enough for a view. Or go at night for the city lights.

Htraveler is also correct about the parks. You don't have the Cabinet War Rooms on your list but might consider it if you have an interest in history.

What time is your ceremony on Tuesday and what time is your train? I'm guessing your are taking the Eurostar which requires an earlier check-in time than most European trains. Make sure you have allowed enough time for traffic and check-in.

Hope you have a wonderful trip and a happy marriage!
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Sep 26th, 2017, 08:58 PM
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Scootoir- The Gilbert Scott is the dining room of the Renaissance hotel - beautifully renovated - worth going to just to see the building . Also has weekend brunch .
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Sep 28th, 2017, 11:31 AM
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Wow thank you everyone!! I didn't realize I had replies- this is was a wonderful surprise! I am going to read everyone's posts now. Thank you in advance for taking the time to guide us on our greatest adventure!
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