HELP London itinerary

Dec 31st, 2004, 07:31 AM
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HELP London itinerary

PLEASE help me with this London itinerary!
Any suggestions are welcome! This will be the first week of March.
Thursday - Arrive at Gatwick, check in hotel, See Westminster Abbey and Cabinet War Room.
Friday - Big Bus Tour, Changing of Guard, Thames Cruise
Saturday - Tower of London & St. Paul's
Sunday - British Museum & Victoria & Albert Museum
Monday - Windsor & Eton
Tuesday - Stonehenge & Salisbury
Wednesday - Highgate Cemetery & Hampstead Heath
marlib1951 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Actually, your itinerary is pretty good - you've avoided the temptation to try to squeeze 25 different things into a single day.

The only day I would change (if it were me) would be the two museums on Sunday. Both museums, especially the British Museum, are huge and you'll be exhausted before you've had your fill. Maybe one day do Highgate/Hampstead Heath and the V&A, then on another do the British Museum and some shopping at Covent Garden.

Also, just across the Millenium Bridge from St. Paul's is Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. That's a nice tour if you can squeeze it in.
Kayb95 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 08:15 AM
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Generally very good - but Kay is right. Visiting the British Museum and V&A on the same day is daunting.

Also - how important is the chamging of the guard for you? It does require a fair time commitment. And I'd definitely have a plan B in place - if the weather is nasty you probably won't want to stand outside B'ham Palace for 90 minutes in the rain/wind. But even if it is a "must" you could certainly plan additional things on Friday.

One minor thing - just my preference - but I wouldn't schedule two out of town trip on back to back days unless there was no other option.

And also remember - Highgate/Hamstead, Windsor/Eton and Salisbury/Stonehenge all involve being outdoors quite a bit so I might leave the days flexible until I know what the weather is like. Not that you want to skip any of them - but if it is stormy it is better to visit the museums, Cabinet War Rooms, etc. and do the outdoorsy things on the good/better days.
janis is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 08:15 AM
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Depending on your arrival time, whether your hotel room is ready and how tired you are, I would be tempted to switch Thursday and Friday.
As Kay has said don't try to pack too much in. You can get Museumed Out (new medical term!) very quickly. I would be tempted not to commit to Salisbury & Stonehenge until the last minute in case you find London itself is keeping you occupied (It will!)

Please contact us agian if we can be of any more help and have a great trip!

Adam C
adamhornets is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 08:44 AM
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This looks reasonable. I personally consider the events you have set for Friday (Big Bus, Changing of Guard etc) to be not a priority. Splitting the big museums up into different days, as others have suggested is definitely a good idea.

You would probably also enjoy taking in a musical or play. The "half price" booth will have a broad selection available Tue-Thu, somewhat less on the weekend.
curmudgeon is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Another great thing to do in the evenings is to take an Original London Walk (

And as others have mentioned, unless you really have your heart set on the changing of the guard, you can spend the time better doing something else. If you want to see "ceremonial" London, you might want to send away for free tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London (

Kayb95 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 09:42 AM
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The hop on/off bus tours aren't everyone's cup of tea. True, they're good for 24 hours, but if you plan to mainly use it as transportation to sights, you might as well just buy a bus pass and be your own guide. Here's your pass:

And here's your map:

The commentary can be bought on a CD for a lot less than one tour ticket.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 09:53 AM
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if you do decide on the Big Bus Tour (I would) then you can go to their website in advance and buy the tickets for a reduced amount. Also, since the price includes a boat ride on the Thames between the Tower of London and Westminster Pier you can combine those two activities on a single day. One time we got off the bus tour at the Tower and took the boat back when we were done.
taggie is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 03:21 PM
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Each time I go to London I am newly impressed with how large it is, and I am from New York City. I'd prioritize my daytrips so as to leave the last one optional; you may very well decide that you want one more day within the center of London. I also wouldn't spend time on a Thames Cruise in early March.
elaine is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 05:05 PM
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I think the scope of your itinerary is very reasonable. Your evenings are free for leisurely dinners, concerts or theatre, pub or ghost walks, or simply some down-time. I also agree with not trying to digest the contents of two vast museums in one day.

Since you're going to Windsor, you might be able to catch the changing of the guard there if you're going in March on an odd numbered date, and not a Sunday. See
Much less crowded, so you'd see a lot more and have a way better photo opp than you would trying to see the change at B. Palace.

Enjoy your trip!
Dec 31st, 2004, 05:11 PM
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Is London walkable (weather wise) in late March. Is that still winter in London? How cold or rainy might it be?
Jeffrey is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 06:19 PM
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London is pretty much walkable at any time of the year - you just need the right clothes/footwear.

But March can certainly be cold/rainy/blustery - or sunny/mild - or all of the above.
janis is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 06:25 PM
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We did The Big Bus Tour on our trip to London. We did it at the first of our trip to get an idea of the different areas and sites. We then decided what we really wanted to go back to later on and planned the rest of our time around that. Next week I will be going back to London but I probably won't use the Big Bus Tour this time. I did enjoy it though, and thought it was worth the price.
summersquash is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 06:37 PM
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BTW - elaine is right about the Thames cruise. If it is a mild day the river trip is terrific -- but if it is cold or rainy you would be better off to do something else.

If you can comfortably sit up top on the open deck - fine, but if the weather drives you down inside, then you really can't see that much and once the windows fog up you can't see anything.
janis is offline  
Jan 1st, 2005, 09:28 AM
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"...if the weather drives you down inside..." you may not be dressed adequately for London in early March. I usually wear a warmth layer (and carry another) along with a waterproof layer in that season. Remember - the same weather affects riders on the open-top buses, too.

Enjoy your trip!
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 1st, 2005, 10:58 AM
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And speaking of walking... don't forget to take a couple of pairs of really comfortable walking shoes. You will need them.
Kayb95 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2005, 11:03 AM
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I would also switch Thursday & Friday. I think that doing the Big Bust tour on your first day is a great to relax after flying and it gives you a great introduction to the city.

Also, have you checked the website for the Changing of the Guards. It doesn't happen every day, during some months, it only happens every other day. I don't know about March, but I would check first because you may have to adjust your schedule accordingly.
lyb is offline  

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