London in 5 days.

Mar 5th, 2004, 06:31 AM
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London in 5 days.

I will be spending part of my honeymoon, around 5 days, in London (Arrive Monday, 11 AM, and depart Friday, 5 PM). I was thinking of taking the Eurail on Wednesday to Paris and return on Friday. I've been to Paris and loved it, but I haven't been to London, so I don't know if one day and a half is enough. I'm also considering spending the 5 days in London and checking towns or cities outside London. Are there any nice antique castles, like the ones in the Loire in France, near London? Thanks.
estuardos is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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I'm curious why you've chosen to spend your time in London, if you don't want to actually be in London? There are many castles throughout England, so you would not necessarily have to be in London. Or, if Paris is really what interests you, you'd save a lot of travel time by just going there and skipping London.

However, only you know your travel tastes and how many days you want to spend in one spot.

But, if you can provide your specific interests (what do you want to do in London? what do you want to do in Paris? how leisurely and relaxing vs. hustle and bustle do you want your honeymoon to be? where else are you going on your honeymoon and what will you do there?) I'm sure people can help you with decision making.
Mar 5th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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We spent several days in London & used it as a base while taking day trips to Bath, Stonehenge & Windsor Castle. I think you can hit most of the high points of London in a day & 1/2. We took the train to Paris & stayed there for a few days & made the run to Versailles.
Our best trip was flying to Paris for 3 days, taking the hovercraft to Dover then renting a car & driving to London. We made several days of the road trip & stopped where we felt an interest. We wound up in London, dropped off the car & spent 3 days in London. We saw many great sites- Broadlands, Longleat, Warwick Castle, Arundel, Stratford (Shakespeare's home), Bath & more. Our favorite night's rest was at a sheep farm B&B near Rye.
benj is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 07:17 AM
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I wouldn't go to Paris. There are so many things to do in Lond that you will barely scratch the surface.

If I were you I would take the Big Bus Tour the day you get there. You will see things that you'd like to come back and spend more time visiting.

For a day trip, take the train to Hampton Court. There's a great castle with wonderful tours and beautiful gardens.
Grasshopper is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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"nice antique castles" how quaint that one can consider a castle to be an old objet d'art.
m_kingdom is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 09:02 AM
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> I think you can hit most of the high points of London in a day & 1/2

Big grin!!

Which is why we need to know people's tastes to judge how their advice releates to ourselves. I an curious what items you include in your high points.

My London high points minimum list includes, at least 2 theatre shows, a service in one of the churches, visiting at least Westminster Abbey (perhaps St Pauls as well), the Tower of London, Greenwich, Parliment, the British Museum, a boat ride, an Indian meal, fish & chips in a pub, and at least one London Walk.

Others would add Harrods, other shopping, the London Eye, Cabinet War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, changing of the guards, double decker bus ride, london cab ride, other museums.


PS: I don't assume that any of us have the "right" list, just the right list for us.
Keith is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 03:14 PM
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I have been to London 7 times and still have not hit all the "high points". This city is an endless source of wonder that will keep me coming back for the rest of my life. Mr. Johnson's statement deinitely applies in my case.
rj007 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 03:23 PM
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Correction (that is what I get for not previewing my reply!)

definitely applies in my case.
rj007 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2004, 02:39 AM
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Do hit Harrods when in London but don't forget Selfridges, which I prefer.
LolaLasagne is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for replying. I'm taking a 1 month honeymoon in South Africa and Egypt (in November), and on my way will spend 5 days in London. I think I will will forget about Paris and stick to London instead.
I'm an architect, so I do consider castles and many old and new buildings to be works of art. I will spend at least two days in London, Warwick Castle and Stratford looks very interesting. Thanks.
estuardos is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 02:03 AM
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Selfridges is a cluttered, gimmicky, claustrophobia inducing, poorly staffed dump. Their designer collections are very poorly bought - both with respect to sizing, and the pieces themselves, there are concessions absolutely everywhere cluttering up the place.

The staff are inattentive, and at some times rude. Harrods is a much more pleasant store to shop at, and Harvey Nichols, whilst also feeling cluttered has a quality stock as its redeeming factor.
m_kingdom is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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If you're an architect, you'll probably want to see the Sir John Soanes Museum - he was an architect also. Lots of modern stuff in London as well. Plus all the Wren churches, including St Paul's.

Also, If you like Georgian, consider walking around some of the squares in Belgravia (around Victoria Station). Eaton Square is an example (the location for the television series "Upstairs/Downstairs").

As for castles:
- The Tower of London obviously - parts date from the 11th centurey.
- Windsor is less than an hour by train from Waterloo Station. I believe it claims to be the oldest continually-occupied royal castle in Europe (perhaps also the largest). Still one of the Queen's official residences.
- Hampton Court is a palace rather than a castle, but still fascinating. I think it's definitely as worthwhile as Windsor, and about the same distance from Central London.
- Plenty of others further out, but still easy day-trips by rail: Warwick, Dover (one of the most impressive in my opinion, with parts that are Roman, Saxon, Norman, Elizabethan ...), Leeds Castle (beautiful, but a bit "sanitized" by restorations).

If you're interested in Ecclesiastical architecture as well, there are lots of possibilities.
- I think Salisbury Cathedral has one of the most coherent, beautiful exteriors in the world.
- Nearby Winchester Cathedral is just the opposite - an ecclectic mix of styles from several centuries all cleary visible.
- St Albans Cathedral is interesting both architecturally and for the remnants of interior decoration (painted walls, ceilings, etc) that remain - most cathedral decoration was done away with by the Puritans, so St Albans is one of the few cathedrals that give a glimps of how ornate the interiors originally were.
- One of my favorite London churches is the Temple Church, just off Fleet Street (or the Strand, I can't remember where the name change occurs). It's in one of the courtyards of the Temple Bar area.

Consider a boat trip to Greenwhich as well. Not only is the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House worth seeing, but along the way the Docklands provide lots of architectural viewing - from old taverns and renovated warehouses to modern flats and the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.
drsawyers is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Let me throw my hat in for a visit to Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London. Hampton Court is fascinating...the architecture, down to the chimney pipes, is incredible. The other interesting part of Hampton Court is how the Palace was added to over the years, with virtually no attempt to "blend" in with previous styles. It's a lovely place. As for the Tower of London, it's a fascinating place in its own right, but also displays a fascinating blend of architectural styles, from the crumbling Roman wall, to one of the last remaining original Tudor buildings in the city. The fact that both of these locations are steeped in history only adds to the interest.
suzski is offline  

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