Help with London Itinerary

Jul 26th, 2001, 06:07 AM
Jo Ann
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Help with London Itinerary

In this europe trip, we are only stopping for 2 days in london before going to other places. do u think the following could work
Day 1-
House Guards Parade, Westminster, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Downing Street (just see from outside), trafalgar square, london eye

Day 2-
Change of guard at Buckingham, tower of london, london bridge, boat ride on thames, speakers corner, ceremony of the keys

Do u think this is too much in 2 days or I should move things from one day to another or maybe this is NOT too full and I should add some more things
Jul 26th, 2001, 06:51 AM
mary lewis
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Your first day sounds good - looks like you have wisely consulted a map - most of your activities are in one area. The second day - I would skip the changing of the guard at Buckingham - the one at the Horse Guards is much more personal and you see more. Also - the Tower of London is awesome and could easily take 4 hours or more. I would recommend skipping the Tower Bridge. We found it to be expensive and time consuming and not that interesting. It is a "guided" tour and once in you can not go at your own pace and can not leave...thus wasting much valuable London time. One thing you are not doing on the first day that is in close proximity to the other sites is the Cabinet War Rooms - very very interesting - I would try to incorporate in some way into your plan.
Jul 26th, 2001, 06:57 AM
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There is some redundancy in your schedule while missing some very worthwhile sights. Unless you have children or an incredible love of ferris wheels, I'd skip the London Eye. The waits are long, it is expensive and IMO not worth the time. Why don't you take one day to focus on historical London and another to see other sights.

You could easily see the Tower, Parliment, Westminster Abbey etc in a morning, I would just walk by the Houses and not go in. Have lunch, then take the river trip.
The next day focus on modern London, Buckinham, Hyde Park etc. The Ceremony of the Keys and the regular Tower tour I would choose between. The House Guards Parade and the Changing of the Guard are redundant and I would choose one. There are no museums on your itinerary and the National Gallery is right on Trafalgar. The Victoria and Albert very close while in Hyde Park. Harrods and the Knightsbridge area are right by Hyde Park and that would be a great neighborhood for lunch or dinner.
Jul 26th, 2001, 07:39 AM
Jo Ann
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thanks gals. do you think i could incorporate a play or picadilly circus or museum on the second day
Jul 26th, 2001, 07:42 AM
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Your itinerary sounds doable but rushed. I too would choose between Horse Guards, and Buckinghma Pal. prefering Horse Guards myself. A lot of your plans are really just walk bys, Big Ben, Parliment , trafalgar Sq.

We neither have children or especially like ferris wheels , but the view from the London eye is spectacular , you can then pick up a boat for your thames ride right near at the eye site. You can book your LE tickets online before you ever leave home , It was about $24.00 for the 2 of us booked thru The British Airways site.
Jul 26th, 2001, 08:07 AM
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Do you already have your tix for the Keys ceremony? If not, you need to get them well in advance because they are very limited.

As for your itinerary - The first day may be a little ambitious because you will presumably be quite jet-lagged and may want to take it easy.

Think about this - get on one of the Hop-on-hop-off double decker bus tours (either company will do bot are good). It will take you past all of the sites you listed plus many others and you can get off anywhere and then get on another one after you have looked around. Add to Day 1 Westminster Abbey since it is directly across the streed from Parliament you don't even have to "detour".

Day 2 - skip the changing of the Guard. It will take a minimum of 2 1/2 hours out of your limited time and even then you probably won't have a good vantage point. London Bridge is probably not the one you are thinking of - it is a modern Bridge. Tower Bridge is the drawbridge with the towers. If you don't want to go through the adio animatronics tour just tell the attendant you "have been there before" and just want to go up to the observation walkway. They will let you bypass the exhibits and let you go to the top. The views are fantastic - and completely different than what you get from the Eye.

Speakers corner is semi-interesting but not something one would probably want to do with such limited time in London. If you are in that area, walk through Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens instead.
Jul 26th, 2001, 09:19 AM
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Jo Ann: Unless Day 2 is a Sunday, skip Speaker's Corner because there's nothing happening there (they gather on Sunday's around 11:00 am).
Since you mentioned in a later post about time for Piccadilly, why not walk from Covent Garden to Piccadilly on the second day: See the Tower FIRST thing in the morning, skip London Bridge and Speaker's Corner and take the tube to Covent Garden. Follow signs to walk back to Piccadilly--it's a fun walk through Leicester Square (where you can pick up your theatre tickets for that night) and on into Piccadilly. LOTS of good pubs on this walk for lunch(consider Chando's Opera Bar--upstairs for great chicken/turkey/ham pie).
Have a great trip!
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