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How would you group these sights for my London trip?

How would you group these sights for my London trip?

Mar 12th, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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How would you group these sights for my London trip?

I will be arriving from Bath on Thursday afternoon, September 18, departing on the next Wednesday afternoon. I have made a list of must-see sights. How would you group these together? Have I missed any favorites?

British Museum

Westminster Abby

Parliament tour,
I have tickets

Buckingham palace tour,
I have tickets

Victoria and Albert Museum

St Pauls, at $20 each I think
the price is alittle steep

Tower of London,
I plan to buy tickets

Tate Modern

Tate Britian

National Gallery

London Eye
InMiami is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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Hi there,

I'll take a stab:

Parliament and Westminster Abbey are right beside each other so they are naturals. If you go to Westminster Abbey on a MOnday you could get a guided tour with London Walks http://www.walks.com/Homepage/Monday/default.aspx#316 I havent taken that tour but really want to.

Depending on how much time you spend there you coudl also walk through St James's Park to Buckingham Palace...or you could do that another day. I think Buckingham Palace is closed to the public in Sept (but I could be wrong) so that would just be a walk by unless you want to watch the changing of hte guards.

Or you could do that walk through the park another day and do the London Eye after Westminster and Parliament.

If you do that, match up St James Park and Buckingham Palace with the Victoria and Albert Museum

Tate Modern and St Pauls are right across the river from each other so you could do Tate Modern during the morning on a Friday and then a London Walks tour of St Pauls in the afternoon...there are lots of places around to eat lunch. I took the St Pauls tour and it was fantastic and worth the price. http://www.walks.com/Homepage/Friday/default.aspx#137 I think its 6GBP for the tour and you get a discount on the entrance fee. Fabulous tour.

Tower deserves at least half a day...then you could take the tube to the British Museum..or you could walk...they arent that far apart...

Only thing on your list that is left is the Tate Britain..from there you could walk to Westminster Abbey, across Westminster Bridge and do a walk to London Bridge along south bank, which is a lovely walk. Or you could stay on the same side of the river (north) and walk along Embankment...also great walk.

Hope this gives you some ideas!
jamikins is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I'm actually really terrible at this myself! Even in my own city I find myself running back and forth across town wasting time! Add to that the fact that maps can make things look deceptively close or convenient to eachother. Janis is really good at this and she's helped me tweak my itineraries a lot. I hope she responds to this for you.

I do know this: The Tate Modern is very near St. Paul's (just cross the Millenium bridge) so those 2 could be easily combined.

As jamikins says Parliament and Westminster Abbey are very near one another as well. Also, the National Gallery isn't too terribly far from Westminster Abbey. And in the other direction the London Eye is also close.

I'm afraid I couldn't advise on the rest very well. I love my little Knopf map guide of London. I've found it really useful in planning both London trips. I hope you get some good advice!

laustic is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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Great information - bookmarking.
dawnnoelm is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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jamikins and laustic, thanks for your prompt responses to my question. You both bring up good points and obviously I have some work to do. Are there any sights on this list that are not a favorite? Also am I leaving out something? What areas of London are great for just exploring?
InMiami is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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The Tower of London is not particularly close to anything else on your list (it's more than 2 miles from the British Museum, so I probably wouldn't walk between them). Just budget the Tower for a good solid morning's worth of time, and then take transportation to your afternoon's destination. Most people recommend arriving at the Tower at opening time and going directly to the Crown Jewels before the crowd. Then you can go back and catch the Yeoman Warder tour and look around the rest of this fabulous complex.
noe847 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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I can't really say to you "don't go there" because everyone's tastes are different. Of your list I really enjoyed the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye. My all time favorite London site is Tower of London - not to be missed. I'll actually be revisiting all of the places I just mentioned! I didn't love the Tate Modern. It just wasn't my thing. I'm planning on the National Gallery and V&A for my upcoming trip (in 6 days!).

As for areas the only ones I became somewhat familiar with on my last trip were Notting Hill and Chelsea. We stayed in Notting Hill and I loved it. Portobello Road Market was fun, but I don't know that I'd recommend you rush out to see it if you're pressed for time. I loved Kensington Palace and the gardens. I also enjoyed both Holland Park and Hyde Park quite a bit.

We discovered Chelsea on a walk with London Walks. It is a charming area with lots of shopping and pretty homes. We'll be staying there this next time around so I hope to have even more information when I get back.

The area around the London Eye is very lively and exciting especially on a pretty sunny day.

I also particularly enjoyed the Along the Thames walk with London Walks. It ends up near the Borough Market area at a neat old pub called The George Inn (http://www.pubs.com/pub_details.cfm?ID=187). If you're in this area I think it could be worth your time to poke around here.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. I'm definitely not one of the London pros on the board, but I absoultely love the city and I'm always happy to talk about it
laustic is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:57 PM
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I can second noe's recommendation. We followed this advice to the letter and we were very happy. The crown jewels are dazzling, but I can't imagine waiting in line to look at them for just a few seconds. We got there early enough to go through twice
laustic is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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It's pretty easy to get to St Paul's from the Tower of London on the tube, and then across the bridge to Tate Modern. I would consider that a nice day's work.

I really like St Paul's & wouldn't miss it, personally. If you are fit, the view from the Dome is fantastic.

For another day, visit the National Gallery in the afternoon then hang out in the (adjacent) Covent Garden area in the evening, that's a nice area to just hang out & people watch. The Lamb and Flag pub is a great place to have a pint in the area, it's over 300 yrs old.
LAwoman is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Remember to check into the 2for1 options, unless you're traveling alone. Several of these sights are on that list. Google 2for1 if you want to check it out. (I haven't personally used these vouchers yet, but after reading as much as I could about them on this forum and other places,I plan to try them when we are there in July this summer.) The only places you didn't include that you might consider are the Regents Canal/Camden Lock area and --are you a Shakespeare fan? the Globe is really cool. Also definitely plan for half a day in both the Tower and the British Museum.
texasbookworm is online now  
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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InMiami: tell us the days/times of your tickets for Parliament and Buckingham Palace. W/o that info, we really can't give you best groupings.

Jamikins: yes, the Palace is open in Aug and Sept every year.
janisj is online now  
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:13 AM
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For locations, you could check out:



The Tower (go early), St Pauls and Tate Modern are close together.

You could also take the boat between Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

Westminster Abbey, Parliament and the London Eye are close together.

The National Gallery is a couple of bus stops away from Westminster Abbey, or a half-hour stroll down the Mall from the Palace.

You could also walk from the Palace to Hyde Park Corner for a bus or tube to South Kensington for the V&A.

Or if you've the stamina, you could combine the V&A and the British Museum on one day - it's a simple tube journey between them.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Good suggestions here!
Today I received my reservation packet from Buckingham Palace. The gold and navy sleeve combined with the formal admission "tickets" are quite impressive. We reserved the "Royal Day Out" pass which includes the Palace state rooms, the Queen's Gallery and the Royal Mews. We have to arrive at the Gallery by 9:30 on Saturday, September 20, the remaining sites are un timed.
For the Parliament Tour our reservation is for Friday September 19 at 10:00. These are the only sights for which we have commited.
InMiami is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Oh boy. This one is fraught with personal tastes!!

I would move Buckingham Palace up to third place under Westminster Abby and the British Museum.

I would slide the Tower down a little bit, unless the sight of the crown jewels appeals to you.

I like art, so the National Gallery moves up ahead of the V and A Museum, which would be 4th or 5th on my list.

I would shove the Tate Modern down to last place, just above the London Eye.

After that, I would take potluck.

I do think it important to group by area. The Buckingham Palace tour is timed closely when I went, so you have to give your time and day slot top priority.

Tate Britain I cannot rank because I never went there; it lacked appeal.

We were close on time, so we chose a musical: Mary Poppins.
bob_brown is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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Fabulous feedback! bookmarking
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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bob_brown, you don't seem very impressed with the Tate Modern. I love art in all forms, what about the Tate displeased you? What was your experience with the London Eye? It seems like a bit of a gimmick, but I tempted to be swept away with the "gee I'm a tourist so I must do this" mind set. With limited time I am trying to weed out those impulses.

Have you tried the London Travel Card? There is also the London Visitors Travel Card. And to further complicate matters the London Travel Pass. For £45 I get the 7 day Travel Pass. For £95 I get the 7 day Travel Pass and a 3 day London Pass. What to do? By the way my hotel is across from the British Museum.
InMiami is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 08:47 PM
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Please ignore any sales pitches for the London Visitors Travel Card and the London Pass. There is absolutely no reason to pre-purchase a travel pass and the London Pass is not a bargain for most visitors.

Now - about Tate Modern - it is an iconic modern art gallery. If modern art does not float your boat, you can skip it. But I certainly would not. The conversion of this massive power plant into an amazing venue right ON the river - even if you hate the art, just seeing the bldg and having a meal in it restaurant w/ panoramic views is worth the time.

Tate Britain is another terrific venue -- I cannot imagine anyone truly interested in art deciding to skip it. Just the Turners alone are worth a lengthy visit.

IMO - the Eye is not a gimmick. There are only a few places w/ the views - and none quite as dramatic. Oxo Tower, the top of St Paul's (but you have to climb all the way), Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath, The cocktail lounge atop the London Hilton - but none of these viewpoints are as amazing as the Eye.
janisj is online now  
Mar 19th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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janisj, thank you for your learned suggestions. If I do not buy the Travel Card should I get an Oyster Card in London? I like to walk and have a centrally located hotel but time becomes an issue when not using the subway.

Would you eliminate any of the sights that I originally mentioned? I have a tendency to try to see everything and then really miss out on experiencing the city. Are there specific walking areas of London that you would recommend?

BTW thank you for dissuading me from staying in Paddington in an earlier thread. I would have been locked into a pre-pay situation. The area of the Morgan Hotel is much more central.
InMiami is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 01:57 PM
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I would recommend St. Paul's as a must-see. I also recommend doing a guided tour. It's a little more money, but I found it enhanced the experience incredibly and you get go a couple places that you otherwise wouldn't be able to.

We spent the afternoon at the cathedral and then attended the Evensong service which was very nice.

I have walked between the Tower and St. Paul's with a stop at the Monument in between. But that day we didn't go into St. Paul's, just looked at the outside. Not sure how much time you'd have if you did both and walked between them.

For Westminster Abbey, I again recommend taking a formal verger-led tour. You get so much more information than just reading the book or listening to the audio doo-hickey. And again, you get to go places you otherwise wouldn't be allowed to. We were there in the morning so didn't attend the evening service, but would have like to.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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Hi inmiami,

one out of town "must" IMO is Hampton court, especially if the weather is good [which it might well be in September].

you can get a train there and back from Waterloo, or take a boat up [or down] the thames to get there.

I would only do the boat one -way though - it takes much longer than the train.

other warm-weather choices would be Kew gardens, or Syon park - both lovely places.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  

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