Help with London Itinerary

Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 08:41 AM
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Help with London Itinerary

I desparately need help with organizing our stay in London. Eight adults, arriving Friday, March 7. Will be there seven nights, staying in the Victoria Station area. Friday afternoon we'll probably do the hop-on, hop- off bus to orient those that haven't been there. Saturday a.m. Portobello market. Have confirmed reservations for Ceremony of the Keys Monday night, 10 March.

Here's a list of things we hope to do:

Tower of London
Windsor Castle
Covent Garden
Medieval banquet
London Eye
Changing of Horse Guard
Tea at Orangerie
More theater
London Walks
St. Martins (brass rubbings)
Ripper tour
Pub lunch in Greenwich (with mosaic artist)

Guess what I need most is how to best group these things together geographically.

Mr. Haines and Fodorites, please help!

Geri B
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 09:03 AM
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First of all don't try to keep all eight together. It is nearly impossible and it would make EVERYTHING take longer. Just let people do their own thing - otherwise you are in a lose-lose situation. You won't please anyone - some will be mad because you are moving too fast, some will kvetch because you are going to slow, and all will be unhappy about something.

Right at first you will lose some people because after the overnight flight some will be exhausted (and probably a little crabby) and some will be raring to go.

I have taken a group of 13 to London and the only things we did enmasse (except the flight) was a private tour of Parliament and the Keys ceremony (which we split up into two nights).

Most pubs don't have tables for eight - or if they do, 2 couples are sitting there.

Personal comment - why you are going to a medieval banquet is beyond me. Most people think Madame Tussauds is touristy - but it doesn't come close to any of the London "medieval" banquets. If you are going to the one at Hatfield House - that is better - but because of the venue, not because of the food or entertainment.

Why don't you just give everyone your list as a starting point and tell them where each is. Adults can find their way around very easily.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 09:38 AM
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Get yourself a simple map and guidebook that lists opening and closing times of the sights you've selected. Looking at the map, group things by area with two or three things for each day, and identify any days that each group cannot be visited because of closings. Give everyone a copy of what you come up with and have them pick who wants to go where when. Do not try to keep the group together. That many bladders cannot be coordinated.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 10:01 AM
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Grouping falls thus. You could consult the Underground and tube map at

First sequence Portobello Road and the Orangerie. Saturday morning and tea-time. You could fill the gap with one of the South Kensington museums, with the collection of royal costume in Kensington Palace, watching old men sail model boats on the Round Pond, or a selection.

Second sequence Victoria, 10 minutes by bus, Westminster, ten minutes on foot over the river to London Eye, five minutes walk to Waterloo, train from Waterloo an hour each way to and from Windsor, back over the river, 5 minutes by bus to Horse Guards, ten minutes walk to St Martin in the Fields, ten minutes by bus Covent Garden.

They change the horse guards every second day at eleven.

The Ceremony at the Tower follows well on a theatre evening. Bus in thirty minutes from the West End, underground in ten minutes from Embankment. Monday evening.

Third sequence Tower of London, boat in an hour to Greenwich, train back from Greenwich to Charing Cross, underground Embankment to Victoria or bus Charing Cross to Victoria.

Evensong is sung most weekdays. The search facility on this forum will bring you ideas on where. You plan anyway to be in Westminster and at St Martin in the Fields, so those might serve you. For fewer tourists at evensong you might think of Southwark Cathedral, at London Bridge station ten minutes walk from the Tower or 15 minutes by train from Greenwich, or the twelfth century St Bartholomew the Great, halfway between Covent Garden and the Tower.

it is a pleasure to be of service. Please write if I can help further.

[email protected]
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 03:44 PM
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To Janis: Why did we choose a medieval banquet? It would have not been a choice for me, but I have a son-in-law who has not been happy about going (first trip to Europe) until he heard of this, so we are choosing to attend one. Cheesy, touristy, I know, but we all agreed we'd do one.

Ben Haines--thank you so much for your suggestions, I knew I could count on you.

Other suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 04:35 PM
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I spent a week in London with seven other adults last fall. At one point I threatened to tie everyone together with a rope; that night one of the others presented me with a lenghth of clothesline.

My best advice to you is try not to be too regimented; recognize that you won't see everything you planned; build in free time for individual pursuits; expect rain; remember that those strange habits of your traveling companions are foibles, not faults.

Have a great trip.

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