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Help with London Itinerary- Leaving in 3 days

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Nov 17th, 1999, 11:01 AM
  #1
katie
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Help with London Itinerary- Leaving in 3 days

Hi,

First, thanks for all the help I have received thus far on planning our first trip to London. My husband & I are leaving in 3 days for a 8 day trip, we are in our late 20's and have come up with the following itinerary which we could use any feedback on:
Saturday- arrive at 8:30pm, take train to our Kensington hotel and grab a late dinner.
Sunday- take a bus tour of the city, either on our own or on a tour bus. Visit the Imperial War Museum.
Monday- Windsor Castle via train
Tuesday- Tower of London. Tower Bridge (timer permitting). Starlight Express at night.
Wednesday- Hampton Court via train. Barenaked Ladies Concert at Wembley Arena at night.
Thursday- Harrods, Westminster Abbey
Friday- Hampton Court by train
Saturday-Bath via train
Sunday-St Pauls' or Madame Tussard's-flight leaves at 6:30 pm.

Does this seem reasonable? We plan to spend most nights just walking around, having dinners, & checking out different pubs. Is there anything major that we're missing? Also, for the theater, do we need to be very dressed up or are dress pants acceptable for a woman? Does my husband need to wear a tie? (we're just trying to pack light)
Thanks for any help!
 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 11:22 AM
  #2
Lori
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Katie,
You have a full 8 days -- but you are young!! You do not need to dress up too much for the theater. You will see all sorts of clothes there from quite dressy to slob. (I don't advocate slob however) Just wear your dress pants with a nice blouse/blazer and you will be fine. Your husband does not need a tie, clean/decent casual will be OK. I always wear black pants with a white blouse & black & white blazer, it works fine.
 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 11:23 AM
  #3
Lori
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Katie,
You have a full 8 days -- but you are young!! You do not need to dress up too much for the theater. You will see all sorts of clothes there from quite dressy to slob. (I don't advocate slob however) Just wear your dress pants with a nice blouse/blazer and you will be fine. Your husband does not need a tie, clean/decent casual will be OK. I always wear black pants with a white blouse & black & white blazer, it works fine.
 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 11:44 AM
  #4
katie
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Oops- for Friday I should have put British Museum & Covent Garden OR day trip to Canterbury- we are not planning on going to Hampton Court twice.
Thanks!
 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 12:23 PM
  #5
rand
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Sounds doable to me. I remember walking from Marble arch down Oxford street going through a market, to the tower, through the tower(4 hours),across the bridge, ate, back over, all the way along the embankment, back up to marble arch to the hotel. As we were walking through the park, my wife started tiring. So, your days do not sound too full to me. I would pick St Pauls over the wax. The view from the top is worth the climb and you will never see so many spiral staircases again. I think I would opt for the Museum over Canterbury only because you are spending so much time on trains already.
 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 01:29 PM
  #6
wes fowler
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Katie,
You may be interested in the following pub walk:
Here's a walk that covers four rather historic pubs in a relatively concentrated area. Take the tube to the Charing Cross station. Walk across Trafalgar Square to St. Martin's Lane. (It's between the National Gallery and St. Martin in the Fields church. At 90 St. Martin's Lane, you'll find The Salisbury Pub which dates from the mid 19th century and is notorious for the bare knuckle fights that were held there in that era. It's a stunning pub and you may find it filled with theatre people. Leave the pub, cross St. Martin's Lane and enter Goodwin's Court at 55-56 St. Martin's Lane. Goodwin's Court is a wonderfully authentic 18th century street. At its end turn left on Bedfordbury, then right on New Row, cross Garrick Street and continue straight onto Rose Street to 33 Rose, The Lamb and Flag pub. This one is really old, being one of the few wooden structures to survive the Great Fire of 1666. It was once known as the "Bucket of Blood" because of all the fights that broke out in it. It was also one of Charles Dickens favorite spots on his pub crawls. Backtrack to Garrick Street, turn left, continue down Garrick (which changes its name to Bedford) to The Strand and turn left again. Continue on The Strand to 91 The Strand and The Coal Hole pub. Now a popular refuge for theatre people, it got its name in the early 19th century from the coal haulers who unloaded boats on the river and went there to restore themselves. Leave the pub, cross The Strand and walk straight ahead to Southampton Street. Walk up to Maiden Lane, turn left and continue on Maiden Lane which changes its name to Chandos Place. At 51 Chandos Place you'll find the Marquis of Granby pub which dates to the 17th century when it was called "The Hole in the Wall" and run by a mistress of the Duke of Buckingham. It's a friendly tavern which, like the others, attracts theatre people. Now backtrack on Chandos to Southampton, turn left on Southampton and continue up the hill to Covent Garden Market where you won't find any pubs of historic significance but you will find three pubs on the north side of the market, any one of which serves pretty good traditional pub food.

Remember that most pubs are of the self service variety. You order food and drink at the bar and pick it up yourself. Also, traditionally, bartenders are not tipped.

 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 01:48 PM
  #7
Ben Haines
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Dear Ms Costello,

It's a good plan, but since you ask for comment I'd tweak it a bit to give a little less travel within London. No big matter, so you could ignore my points without suffering.

First Sunday. St Paul's for morning service. If your street map is good enough use Carter Lane to reach Blackfriars Bridge, walk over, at the south bank drop to river level and go 100 yards downstream to the Founders Arms for lunch. Back to the bridge level for a bus 45 or 63 to the Imperial War Museum: your two-zone travel card includes busses.

Monday Windsor. Not just the castle, but also across the river and a half mile walk into Eton to see the remarkable shops, the school museum, and the chapel. There are some good pubs in Windsor: I don't think Eton knows what they are.

Tuesday. Westminster Abbey (I think they open early, 9.30 or 10), perhaps the National Portrait Gallery (see "Thursday"), Harrods, and at night Starlight Express. Lunch at the Two Porters, nesar St James Park Station on Queen Anne's Gate and Lewisham Street.

Wednesday. Hampton Court. Night at Wembley.

Thursday. The bus tour (at last !). The British Museum and then Covent Garden last thing in the afternoon, as most things are open to six, and many to eight. I know no reason to see Madame Tussaud's. If you'd like to mull over the famous I suggest the National Portrait Gallery, ten minutes by 24 or 29 bus from near the Museum to the church of St Martin in the Fields. Then you'd have ten minutes walk up Long Acre to Covent Garden. Covent Garden rices for evening meals are hiugh: I'd walk vcer Waterloo Bridge to sup at the restaurant of ither thje National Film Theatre (cheaper, but quality varies vrom excellent to so-so) or the Royal Festival Hall (more expensive, but safe for quality).

Friday. Canterbury

Saturday. Bath

Second Sunday. Tower of London (you buy your tickets at any tube station, the day before, and arrive at opening time a bit ahead of the crowds). Tower Bridge. Lunch on Horseleydown Lane or Shad Thames, both on he outh bank.

You've had good advice on dress for the theatre.

Please write if I can help further. Welcom o London.

Ben Haines.
 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 03:54 PM
  #8
Elizabeth
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Hi Katie,
Are you going to purchase a tube pass? I would highly recommend it. My husband and I were there in early October, and the weekly tube pass worked out great. We even took a underground to the commuter train directly to the Richmond station and continued to use our pass to take a bus to Hampton Court. We did have a 4 zone pass though. Hampton Court was neat, make sure you go through the maze it was fun.
I was sick with a bad cold the time we were in London so we didn't do the list of things we had planned to do. My point is it doesn't matter if you do what you planned or not, your outings should be fun, but don't make them stressful by trying to do to much.
If you have any specific questions please feel free to e-mail me directly. We also spent 3 nights in Canterbury.
Happy travels,
Elizabeth
 
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Nov 17th, 1999, 05:28 PM
  #9
MarkJ
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Very nice, if you have a chance you might try one of the "Original London Walks" walking tours. Check out their web site "www.londonwalks.com" for their schedule. We found them very good and informative and very enjoyable.

MarkJ
 
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Nov 18th, 1999, 11:46 AM
  #10
katie
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2 days and counting!! Thanks so much for all of your great suggestions! Any other last minute pieces of advice?
 
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Nov 18th, 1999, 04:17 PM
  #11
bly
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Katie: check out the thread " London in 3 weeks" there's some great advice there. I agree with Ben re: skipping Madame Tussauds. Don't miss the Beefeater tour at the Tower of London. Its included in admission. Go early. We found the tour of the Tower Bridge and the Dungeon Museum a waste of time and money. Also, unless you're really into it, I would skip the Costume Museum in Bath - walking around this beautiful city is a much better use of limited time. b
 
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Nov 20th, 1999, 07:46 AM
  #12
Carl
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Hi Katie--
Your itinerary looks wonderful and take Wes's and Ben's suggestions as gold. Here's my 2 cents worth from our visit to London and Bath last May. At the Tower of London arrive at 9am and go straight for the Crown Jewels, Saving the Beefeater tour and Tower for later. That way you'll have the Jewels to yourselves and avoid the long lines that can start when the crowds get there after 9:30am, it will save you loads of time. Try to take in an Evensong (that's when they do the entire service in song) at either St Paul's or Westminster Abbey. They are free and usually start around 5pm on weekdays, so you could do the tour 1st and stay for the Evensong. It is magical hearing the Choir sing the service in such a historic setting. Take the Early train to Bath and arrive no later than 10am. In Bath I agree with the post about skipping the Costume Museum, unless clothes are your thing. Also in Bath be sure to take the free 2 hr walking tour offered by trained local volunteers that leave from in front of the Pump Room (I think the 1st one leaves at 10:30am). It is a great way to get an overview of the city from a local's perspective before venturing out on your own. Then do the Bus Tour and hop and off all day.
Hope this helps, have a wonderful trip!!
 
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