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London after 10 years, with 2 kids now

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Hi folks,
About 10 years ago we made our first trip to London with our then 18 month old. She's now 12, with a 9 year old sister joining her on this trip with us. By a sheer stroke of luck we are going to be able to take them to London in 2015.

Last time, we had a great flat on the edge of Earl's Court, but it was a little far out for what we want this trip. We'll have about 4-5 nights, and we want to hit the ground running... or at least at a much quicker pace than we managed with a nursing, teething, stroller-bound baby last time. (I just looked back on my trip notes, and she cut like 9 teeth in the first 15 days of our trip. Fun times!)

I see a lot of posts here saying that Bloomsbury and Kensington have become "too touristy"... but I'm sure that's all relative. I don't lurk on the UK forum enough to know all the nuances, and I really didn't see enough of London last time to know what we want this time.

I'd sure appreciate some help zeroing in on a few neighborhoods.

I don't mind using the tube. (Look ma, no stroller this time!)

We want to see, at a minimum, the British Museum, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London. Maybe do a London Walk (are there any good ones for 9-12 year olds?) Maybe Kensington Palace. And possibly the Natural History Museum if we can get to it.

I am not at all interested in staying in the Theater District. It seemed more frenetic than other neighborhoods. I loved what seemed like relative quiet in the streets around and behind Harrod's (is that Belgravia?), but I don't know if I have that budget. I tend to prefer the quieter, more residential neighborhoods than to be in the heart of the action.

I'm sure I'll be posting tons of silly questions over the coming months. Hope you'll bear with me.

Thanks for your help!
Skatterfly

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