London in 11 hours

Aug 8th, 2011, 09:57 AM
  #1  
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London in 11 hours

We have a total of 11 hours in London. We arrive from Paris via Eurostar. Here's my proposed itinerary - can it be done and still be enjoyable?

Tour Tower of London & Crown Jewels
See St. Paul's Cathedral for a bit
Go to Covent Garden for about an hour
Walk through Trfalgar Square, have lunch at a surrounding pub
See Big Ben
Tour Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews
Sherlock Holmes museum (for my DH)
Abbey Road crossing (for me)
Stop by Picadilly Cirus on our way back to Eurostar.


Now, how to best do - buy tower of london and buckingham palace tics in advance, for sure. Then catch tube to do all of this?
LibbyLuv is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 10:15 AM
  #2  
 
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"can it be done and still be enjoyable?"

No - you can see two out of three from the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace & St Pauls plus the minor things you can fit in. I doubt if you have enough time for the Sherlock Holmes Museum or Abbey Road

Given the popularity of Bucking Palace this year I would recommend pre-bookign but not for the Tower - assuming you go to either.
alanRow is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 10:54 AM
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What time do you arrive and what time do you leave? You have a very busy morning.

Not sure if Picadilly circus is particulary worth a side trip.

Maybe you could use the Hop-On Hop-Off bus as your 'taxi' to get you from place to place.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 10:57 AM
  #4  
 
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Assuming 11 hr is arrival to checkin time for departure:

- Buck House is prebooked time only, so your timetable revolves around that. Possibly: start there (tube: Green Park)
- The walk to Traf Square keeps Big Ben in view. Bugger all worth looking at in Traf square: walk on to Covent Garden (about 50 yds from NE corner ofthe square) Lunch anywhere
- Best to St Paul's by bus along Strand/Fleet St. Or walk.
Now decide whether you've got time for Tower. Tube
- Piccadilly Circus is just pointless
- You MIGHT have time for Abbey Rd. At least 30 mins by tube (St John's Wood) plus 10 mins walk each way. Then 0.0001 seconds to see everything worth seeing there.
- Almost certainly tube back to St P (20 mins plus walk to tube)

- All this needs reworking if your Buck House ticket's a different time
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 11:38 AM
  #5  
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Okay, how about this itinerary:

I have not purchased tickets yet, so hopefully this is a go:

We arrive at 8:13 a.m., and have to be back at station by 7:30 p.m.

Buck Palace first thing (if not open yet, then sightsee in area or get in line) - this includes Royal Mews, which I didn't mention before. I'd like to see a carriage.
Traf Square/Big Ben/lunch
Covent Garden for an hour
Tower of London - Crown Jewels
Holmes Museum

Still too much?
LibbyLuv is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 11:43 AM
  #6  
 
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Everyeon here recommends doing ToL first, to avoid lines (as tour buses start to appear)

Maybe TOL, then Buck, late lunch in Covent Garden area...etc...

I might ask someone here to confirm which crosswalk you might want at Abbey Road...it is not, as far as I've hear, the one in front.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 12:06 PM
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The Holmes "museum" would be a low priority for me. I did not know it existed but as Holmes was a fictional character and 122b Baker St. did not exist, it must house some Conan Dolye memorabilia. The location is 122 Baker St. I briefly read the description which said it is a reproduction of a Victorian study. Hmmmm
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Holmes Museum is at 221 B Baker St - any fan knows that!
mztery is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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Holmes museum is not worth the time IMO. Its really cheesy and out of the way from what you want to see. Spend the time on the other sites and enjoy them.
jamikins is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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I haven't read every post --BUT don't count on getting into the Palace. It has been VERY popular this summer due to interest in the wedding/gown. At least two Fodorites have posted they were not able to book tix for any of their days in London.

Now I'll go back to reading all the other posts . . .
janisj is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 01:17 PM
  #11  
 
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Just an FYI - we went to buckingham palace on 31 July. You MUST book tickets as soon as possible, they book up VERY quickly. You also need to get to the palace 1 hour before your allotted time to collect your tickets. It will take you about 1.5 - 2 hours to get through the palace and the gardens and you come out at the far end of the royal gardens, and its a short walk from Victoria station.
jamikins is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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"We arrive at 8:13 a.m., and have to be back at station by 7:30 p.m."

Is your train at 7:30 or is that your check in time? If you are on a 7:30 train, you'll need to be at St Pancras by 7PM

But no, hell no, you can see all that in one day. Leaving aside whether you can/can't get tickets to the Palace.

One thing that will help a little is skip the Sherlock Holmes museum (which isn't that great an idea even if you did have the time) and go to the Sherlock Holmes Pub instead.

http://www.sherlockholmespub.com/

It has a museum and is just around the corner from Trafalgar Square. That will kill two birds/tick two things off your list -- a pub and Holmes. Best pub in London --no. But OK and it has the Holmes stuff (and the stuff there is no more fake than the stuff in Baker St)

But before anyone can give you advice on what else to cut -- you need to get on the website NOW to see if you can get into the Palace. Then let us know whether you get tickets/when and we can work on the rest.
janisj is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 01:39 PM
  #13  
 
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The Sherlock Holmes Museum is very cheesy, expensive and out of the way. But,it was enjoyable to my then 8 and 11 year-old boys a couple of years ago and I personally love the Sherlock tiling at the Baker Street tube station.

I haven't been myself, but lunch/dinner at the Sherlock Holmes Pub might be a good substitute:

http://www.sherlockholmespub.com/index.php
sfmurphys is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 01:41 PM
  #14  
 
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Great minds think alike, Janis!
sfmurphys is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 04:08 PM
  #15  
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Well, Fodorites, I can't find Buck Palace tickets. But I'm okay with that - the more I thought about the length of time in line, the less I wanted to do it (altho if I had more time in London I'd stand there all day!). Oh, well. Let me try again.

Tower of London is a must
Covent Gardens would be great
Sherlock Holmes pub is a terrific idea
Then wrap it up with either: Nat'l Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, or Westminster Abbey. Any thoughts on which would be best?
My hubby still wants to walk thru Picadilly Circus, and I guess I do, too, since I've heard about it all my life. Does it get lively as evening comes on?
LibbyLuv is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 04:10 PM
  #16  
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About my time: I have to be back at the station at 7:30, for my 8:02 departing train. I forgot to answer that.

So I arrive at 8:13 in London, and have to be at station at 7:30 p.m. to leave at 8:02 p.m.
LibbyLuv is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 04:27 PM
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"Tower of London is a must
Covent Gardens would be great
Sherlock Holmes pub is a terrific idea
Then wrap it up with either: Nat'l Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, or Westminster Abbey. Any thoughts on which would be best?
My hubby still wants to walk thru Picadilly Circus, and I guess I do, too, since I've heard about it all my life. Does it get lively as evening comes on?
"

This is totally doable. Pick one of Nat'l Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, or Westminster Abbey (the "Big 3") and do it after the Tower. Especially if the Abbey or St Paul's you need to be there before 3PM because they close in the late afternoon to prepare for Evensong.

Things like Covent Garden, the pub and Piccadilly Circus (the "little 3") don't have opening hours you have to worry about that.

The 'Little 3' are near each other, near Trafalgar Sq/the National Gallery, and not far from the Abbey.

So go directly to the Tower, stay 2 or 3 hours. Have lunch there or near your second major site. Then visit one of the 'Big 3'. After that you'll have plenty of time for all of the "little 3".

When is this trip? Because it isn't dark by 7PM now, so Pic. Circus wouldn't be much to write home about until later in the year.
janisj is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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oops - That should be : "Things like Covent Garden, the pub and Piccadilly Circus (the "little 3") don't have opening hours you DON'T have to worry about that."
janisj is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 05:29 PM
  #19  
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It's at the end of this month. I wish we could stay longer in the evening, but it is what it is. I guess we'll just have to be the wildest things people see at Picadilly Circus at that hour!

Thanks for the tips; I love that it's doable. Probably will choose National Gallery - I'd love to see all. Maybe I'll get another chance some time. Thanks again to you and all Fodorites; you've been a big help.
LibbyLuv is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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Sorry -- but this month there will be nothing much to see at Piccadilly Circus at 6:30-7PM so I'd skip it. Sunset won't be until nearly 8PM so it will still be bright daylight. The lights will be on but why bother??

You'd have time to ride the Eye if you want to pre-book tickets for around 6:00 or 6:15PM (and hope it isn't pouring down w/ rain). W/ tickest in hand there is no queueing and the ride take 30 minutes.

You could ride the Eye, then take the tube (or catch a cab for a bit of a kick/splurge) to St Pancras.
janisj is offline  

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