COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Help with London Itinerary

Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 04:19 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 17
Help with London Itinerary

Hi all, I am traveling to London in June with my husband and 9 year old (we are from the US)

Can someone please help tweak my Itinerary as needed? I want to make sure we are making the most of our time and not running around from place to place. I also need a restaurant suggestion in the area by the Cambridge Theater (kid friendly, not Indian food, maybe Italian, French, Spanish, American)

Monday Arrive at Heathrow, hire a car or take the metro (?) to Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel. Check out Hyde Park/Lady Di Playground Kensington Gardens
Tuesday London Eye, Shrek's Adventure, Aquarium, Thames River Boat Tour, Dinner at Gordon Ramsey Maze Grill
Wednesday Walk around Borough Market- Need a 5pm dinner suggestion? 7pm Play at Cambridge Theatre
Thursday Museum of Natural History, Hamley's at London Bridge, Tower of London
Friday Open Top Bus tour, Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace
Saturday Visit Buckingham Palace (Green Park, Clarence House? I am not sure if this is boring for a 9year old?)
Sunday Check out of hotel-Eurostar to Paris
ekhayes is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 04:48 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,883
I can't post fully right now but just two quick comments- you can't visit' buckingham palace and there are like lots of other suggestions I can make later

and doing the HoHo bus on the same day as hampton court makes no sense


more later tonight
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 05:07 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,879
It's good you aren't trying to cram too much in any day.

I'd suggest JustAirports for a pre-booked car service.

The day you choose for Tower of London, go to it first thing at opening, head straight for the Jewel Tower, see the Crown Jewels before the line gets long, then circle back to entrance to catch a tour by a Yeoman Guard. Then you can decide how much longer to stay.

And the Tower and the Museum of Natural History aren't really in same area at all.

I'd go to Hampton Court as early as you can and not plan much else that day; your child will enjoy!

I think he/she might enjoy the British Museum, too; it's huge, but there are so many different things to see; you can spend a little time or a lot; it's free! Make that stop # 1 some day so you don't feel rushed but can leave to do other things if you want.

Not sure about all day at Borough Market with a 9 year old.

And you don't mention all the "icons" like Big Ben (despite the scaffolding not to be missed), Westminster area, and Trafalgar Square---you do plan to do at least "walk-bys," right?
texasbookworm is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 05:36 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 17
Thanks for responding, I was assuming when we did the Double Decker Bus tour we would see all those attractions?
ekhayes is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 01:43 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,193
You don't want a hire car in London (if that's what you meant). The Underground (commonly called the Tube) goes from Heathrow to anywhere in London and is cheap and easy to use. If you have a lot of luggage you might want to book a car transfer to collect you at the airport instead but I'd suggest travelling light and get the tube. The buses are also great in London, if you can grab the front seats on the upper deck you get good views - just be very careful coming down the steps when getting off and hold on tight to the grab rail.

Borough Market is good for an hour or two, but you'll have the rest of that day free to do something else. It's nice to walk along the river from the market (towards the Tate).

You can walk past Buckingham Palace and Clarence House and through Green Park. There are tours inside Buckingham Palace but only at certain times of the year and security is tight. We did an evening tour and loved it but don't think it would hold much interest for a child.

If you can be flexible on the day you do the London Eye, you should try and go when the weather is fine. You won't have a good view if it's raining.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 02:25 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,768
Do the Eye, Aquarium, Borough Market on the same day; start at Borough Market and walk to the Eye from there. It's a nice walk.
Hamley's is on Regent Street; just a big toystore.
You mean Tower Bridge rather than London Bridge; you can see it from the Tower.

I don't think you can visit Buckingham Palace in June, and definitely not Clarence House. Go to the British Museum, as others suggested; it's great.
Rather than a river bus tour, I'd go to Greenwich and take the regular river bus back to central London. Perhaps do that on the Saturday.
Tulips is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 03:27 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 177
Hiring a car in the UK is the same as a car rental, ie, you're looking to drive yourself, this is something you don't want to do and I'm assuming not what you had in mind. What you want is a minicab service, a pre-ordered taxi rather than a black cab that you'll flag down as this will be very expensive.

What you've referred to as the Metro is called The Tube or The Underground. Whilst we all know what you mean, it's not pedantry to insist that you refer to it by its correct term. There will be no reference to the Metro in London (other than the free newspaper by the same name) so to ensure clarity and avoid confusion you should refer to it by its common name.

"... I also need a restaurant suggestion in the area by the Cambridge Theater (kid friendly, not Indian food, maybe Italian, French, Spanish, American) ..."
What's wrong with British food? Some of the best restaurants in the immediate area offer British food and you are in the UK of course. With a 9 year old in tow I would recommend Brown's Covent Garden. It's a chain but a good one and will offer plenty for a child to choose from:

https://www.browns-restaurants.co.uk...arden/mainmenu
jc_uk is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 05:35 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7,606
We took our son to London when he was nine. One activity that stood out was the boat trip down to Greenwich and a visit to the museums there. That led to a fascination with Lord Nelson, which in turn led to his reading the entire Hornblower series and, later, the Aubrey-Maturin novels.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 05:49 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,883
>>Thanks for responding, I was assuming when we did the Double Decker Bus tour we would see all those attractions?<<

Pros and cons -- but most people advise against the H-o-H-o tours because of SERIOUS traffic delays, must be a day with decent weather, and the expense. But my main point was taking a H-o-H-o on the same day you go out to Hampton Court Palace just wouldn't work.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 06:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 23,544
We spent a bunch of time at the Museum of Natural History and Tower of London. I'd suggest you visit the one you really, really, really want to see the most as the first item on your day's agenda. See how much time and stamina you have left for the other.

The British Museum is pretty amazing as well. Have a great time.

Justairports is the most direct way to get to your hotel, imho. When one is tired from a long trip, carrying luggage and new to an area, having that stressor lifted is a real luxury.
TDudette is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 06:36 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,883
Where you are staying is a slog from LHR on the Tube with either a transfer (at Hammersmith) and a long walk across the river, or a transfer at Green Park with a long walk between lines then a short-ish walk from hectic Waterloo station. Don't do it.

Pre-book a car service at justairports.com
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 07:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
then a short-ish walk from hectic Waterloo station. Don't do it.

Check also the many other car services than justairports:

https://www.google.com/search?q=lond...hrome&ie=UTF-8
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 03:50 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 17
Thank you for all the replies! Since I have a 9 year old I am allowing time for resting feet and legs, but I want to make sure we see all the good stuff! Thoughts on this below?
Monday Arrive Heathrow, car service to Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel. Check out Hyde Park/Lady Di Playground
Tuesday London Eye, Shrek's Adventure, Aquarium, Borough Market
Wednesday Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace, Dinner at Brown's Covent Garden, 7pm Matilda Cambridge Theatre
Thursday Museum of Natural History or British Museum?
Friday Bus tour (yes/no? it will allow us to see sites Big Ben, Westminster area, and Trafalgar Square) Saturday Tower of London

Last edited by ekhayes; Apr 3rd, 2019 at 03:53 PM.
ekhayes is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 04:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,883
Just quick -- I'd do the Tower on Thursday or Friday, not Saturday -- it is busy/crowded every day but weekends are the busiest.

Re the H-o-H-o bus -- play it by ear. There are stops near the Tower, the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, Hyde Park, the Eye, etc etc. So IF you decide to do it -- jump on one as you leave one of those sites. No need to pan ahead or schedule it. Do it if it seems the right thing to do at the time -- though it would be a better use of time to actually visit another site or two instead of riding around on a bus in the traffic.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 06:31 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,733
Or you could take a regular London bus (#15) from Tower Hill to Trafalgar Square and then walk down Whitehall to Parliament. It will be much cheaper, and the top deck will be enclosed so the weather is less of an issue. The maps app on a smart phone is great for tackling buses, and you will have an Oyster card, right?

For some useful London bus routes see: key-bus-routes-in-central-london.pdf
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 07:30 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,883
The # 15 is a great compromise. After you finish at the Tower you can hop on a 15 right out front and it passes the Monument, St Pauls, and finish up at Charing Cross near Trafalgar Square.

This map shows the key bus routes for visitors that go by all the main sites in central London key-bus-routes-in-central-london.pdf

You can print it out to help you plan lots of excursions.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 5th, 2019, 09:32 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 17
This is great! Thank you so much!
ekhayes is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2019, 01:32 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,667
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>Thanks for responding, I was assuming when we did the Double Decker Bus tour we would see all those attractions?<<

Pros and cons -- but most people advise against the H-o-H-o tours because of SERIOUS traffic delays, must be a day with decent weather, and the expense. But my main point was taking a H-o-H-o on the same day you go out to Hampton Court Palace just wouldn't work.
London has a lot of traffic. No getting around that unless you take the tube or helicopter. With respect, I think you are overplaying the traffic being such a huge problem on HOHO buses. Not unique to HOHO. I sometimes choose to take the bus (London bus, not HOHO but the traffic is no different) over the tube in central london because i prefer it. Sometimes I don't mind a slow journey. If I'm in a hurry, i take the Tube. Many take taxis. Same traffic.

I'm not a big fan of HOHO for other reasons... but traffic? If you don't like traffic delays (or train delays, or tube closures, etc), you might want to consider avoiding London altogether. I may be wrong but a lot of the attraction of HOHO is that you LOOK AROUND. It's not just about getting from A to B.
walkinaround is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2019, 02:52 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Yes HOHO even when snarled in traffic provides neat views from its open-air upper deck. I did not mike moving slowly thru parts of town. Heck what is that congestion fee supposed to do?
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2019, 03:13 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,883
Pal -- you have no idea so stick to something you know.

walkinaround. The problem with the traffic also affects regular buses - yes. But at a teensy fraction of the cost. In my last two trips I have had to abandon regular buses 3 times and hoof it when they were stuck in Traffic - once on the Strand, once in Queen Victoria Street, and once near Kings Cross . . . because the buses simply were not moving and I had appointments to make.
janisj is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO