Help with London Itinerary

Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 20
Help with London Itinerary

I could really use some input on my London itinerary. There are some things that I haven't put down only because they are only photo opportunities and won't take much time. I'm planning on going in early January and anticipating 8 days including 2 days travel. Any suggestions would be very helpful! Thanks!

Buckingham Palace for changing of the Guards
Queens Gallery
Cabinet War rooms
Royal Horse Guards
Westminster Abbey

London Eye
Globe Theatre
Tower of London
Tower Bridge & Museum
Tower Bridge Closing ceremony

St. Paul's Cathedral
National Gallery
British Museum
Royal Courts of Justice

Wellington Arch
Natural History Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Windsor Castle
Kensington Palace
Marble Arch

I will have other plans at night
bethnw is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:44 AM
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Looks ok but tiring. You do know Windsor Castle is not in London don't you?
nona1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 01:02 PM
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since you say 8 days including 2 travel days - and have grouped things into 6 sets - am I right to assume those are the plans for each day?

If so - some of those days are nearly impossible - especially in winter.

You plan on visiting St. Paul's Cathedral, the National Gallery, British Museum and Royal Courts of Justice all on the same day?? St Paul's takes more than an hour. The Nat'l Gallery takes 2 or 3 hours even for a very cursory overview. The British Museum takes hours. Plus you have to travel between all four and eat.

Windsor and Kensington Palace and Marble Arch on the same day don't fit too well.

BTW - it is the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower -- NOT at Tower Bridge.
janisj is online now  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Are you prepared for rain?

Weather aside, I suggest you get out a nice big map of London, complete with tube stops, and a Magic Marker and circle all the places you want to see.

For instance, The National Gallery isn't very far from the Royal Horseguards. The Globe Theater and St Paul's face each other across the Thames, while the London Eye is actually closer to Westminster Abbey. I could be mistaken, the Queens Gallery is closer to Marble Arch.

Also try to figure out how you will get from one place to another. Walking? Tube? Where is the nearest tube stop?

Are you so keen on painting that you want to go to the National Gallery? Or the Queen's Gallery? If not, how about the National Portrait Gallery instead (smaller and quite fun). You don't have to tour the entire British Museum, but you should stick your head in and look at a few of the galleries you most wanted to see (or just stick your head in if you are not a museum buff).

I'd skip the London Eye unless your knowledge of the history of London is such that seeing it from above will mean something. It's not much of skyline.

Just some thoughts in the general direction of don't underestimate how difficult transport is in London, that the days will be short, you are likely to need frequent breaks for warming cups of tea -- and you'll enjoy more if you do less.
nessundorma is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:04 PM
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Posts: 20
After your suggestions I've gone back and revised things. I think that everything else seems doable but the first day is the one that I question. The things that I had picked for that day, from what I've read, don't seem to be too time consuming.

Buckingham Palace
Cabinet War Rooms
Royal Horse Guards
Westminster Abbey
London Eye

Globe Theatre
Tower of London
Tower Bridge & Museum
Tower of London key ceremony

St. Paul's Cathedral
Royal Courts of Justice
National Gallery

Wellington ARch
Kensington Palace
Marble ARch


bethnw is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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It looks as though you have eliminated many of the museums from your planning. London has such amazing museums and galleries, that it makes sense to pick the ones that you are most interested in seeing.

Your first day is similar to one of the days we had in London. It might help with your planning to see how much we did that day.

We got a bit of a late start out of the hotel in the morning, went to Westminster Abbey/St. Margaret's first. That is do-able in under 2 hours. We just followed the prescribed route inside, looking as we went, and referring to some written info from guide books. Then we met a friend for lunch from 12 to 2.

After lunch, we did the Banqueting House (45 min?), took pictures with the horse guards, looked down Downing St. and went to the Cabinet War Rooms, where I think we spent 2 hours. There is a new (in 2005) Churchill Museum as part of the War Rooms, and we didn't get to see all of it. 2 1/2 hours might be more comfortable.

I have no idea how much of Buckingham Palace you want to see, or how long it would take. We didn't include that on our list.

The London Eye is good to do at sunset, which might be pretty early in January. We went at the beginning of March, and bought tickets for the 5:30 'flight.' I enjoyed it immensely. The view of the river and of Big Ben/Houses of Parliament is quite nice. Here is a link to pictures from our trip:
You can compare the views from the Eye with those from the dome of St. Paul's.

I'll include a line of the trip report of our 6 days in London in March:
noe847 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 09:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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You can walk to/from St. Paul's to the Globe Theatre by crossing the Millenium Bridge over the Thames. They are walking distance in my opinion.

London Eye is ok. Not really much of a skyline, but I think everyone should do it once. If you fly over London on your descent into Heathrow, I'd save your money - LOL, the view is better from the airplane.
erobinson is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,322
Maybe some reality checks are in order here -

Wellington Arch and Marble Arch are -- simply arches. Not anything special at all. Now Apseley House near the Wellington Arch IS very intereseting.

In winter one cannot tour Buckingham Palace. You can only walk by - and what you see isn't even really the "front" since the entrance is not visible from the street. It is just semi-attractive bldg that takes approx 5 min to take a few pictures.

Royal Horse Guards again takes merely minutes.

Royal Courts of Justice - do you plan on attending a trial? That would be very interesting - but time consuming. If not, probably not a "must" on most lists.

In January you might be better served to plan more British and V&A museums (indoors/warm/dry) and fewer Arches and bridges.
janisj is online now  
May 4th, 2006, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 42
Just in case you didn't know ... you have to write away for the Ceremony of the Key tickets before you go (but they are free). You probably won't have any problems getting the date you want in January, but you can't just show up and expect to see it. You can get more info at under "Tower of London" and then "Events and Exhibitions".

Good luck seeing everything.
katek013 is offline  
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