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London in April with a stopover in Reykjavik

London in April with a stopover in Reykjavik

Old Nov 4th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 164
London in April with a stopover in Reykjavik

Hi all, I am entertaining an idea of catching an Iceland air flight to London to visit friends with a possible stopover in Reykjavik for 2 days in April of 2015. I am still in early stages of planning. I will be traveling alone with my 8 year old son.

We will rent a flat in London or stay with our friends. They live in Primrose Hill. I have been to London before but for a short visit. My questions are:
1. Is it worth it to spend 2 days in Reykjavik, in your opinion? Or is it better spent in London?
2. Apartment leads? I will dig up some threads, particularly those by janisj and other London experts.
3. Is it better to go in the summer? Late June?
Pintxos is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2014, 11:31 AM
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I did Icelandair to Switzerland, and I found it very worthwhile to stopover in Reykjavik for a couple of days. It was late May. In April there will be somewhat fewer tour options, but I think you still have a chance at the Northern Lights. And it will be cold and possibly rainy. But its such a fascinating place and a different kind of landscape that it would still be worthwhile.

Of course, the answer depends on your interests. if you are a museums & shopping & theater type of traveler then Iceland is not for you. If you like the outdoors, photograph, and interesting geological landscapes than Reyjavik is definitely worth it. And it also depends on how much time you have. Sure, London is great, and offers lots of possible day trips.

The other reason it worked well for us was the lack of jet lag. We took a late afternoon flight, arrived in Iceland about midnight. Slept well, spent 2 full days exploring, then on the 3rd day flew to Zurich inthe early morning. We totally avoided that jetlaggy first couple by doing this. Made the whole trip more pleasant.
china_cat is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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Ditto to what China Cat says above - well worth a stopover but how many days do you have in all - that is a key question before answers to your Iceland whether or not can be answered. Several days in London, sure stop - just a few days in London maybe not.

And lack of or reduced jet lag could be key on a short visit as well.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2014, 11:46 AM
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10 days total. That's including Reykjavik. What about Akureyri? Yea and nay?
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Old Nov 4th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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10 days I'd put two in Iceland - much different than anything you'd see in London on those two extra days.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2014, 10:39 AM
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If you had a choice between 8-9 days in April and a longer visit in July to London with possible other stops, which would you choose? I like the idea of April because it is the shoulder season. However, my husband will not be able to join us in April, so I will be alone with my 8 year old. I took him to Legoland alone last year and swore that I will not travel with him without my husband again.
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Old Nov 8th, 2014, 08:06 AM
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April is a great time to visit London, particularly the week of April 21. The city celebrates St. George's Day and Shakespeare's and the Queen's birthdays and most of the events are free.

Of particular interest to an 8-year-old boy might be the 41 gun salute fired in Hyde Park on April 21 to mark the Queen's actual birthday. Galloping horses, spiffy uniforms, really loud cannons. No Queen, but no charge either. Just show up a little before noon, find a spot behind the rope and enjoy the pageantry.
VirginiaC is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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With a total of 10 days I'd do only Reykjavik, maybe later you can do a separate trip to Iceland. My nephew loved the Tower of London, you could maybe take your son there. Also take him up on the London Eye, that should be quite exciting for a young boy.
geetika is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2014, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Been to both London and Reykavik, only got to spend one day on a cruise port stop in Reykavik but it was a totally awesome experience! Nothing like we've seen before, absolutely amazing landscape. We did book a private tour guide and there were 6 of us in his van. He was so amazing with how he planned our one day. He took us to places the average person would not get to see in one day. We visited a horse farm and saw the famous Iceland horses, you can go horseback riding as well. We did the "Golden Circle Tour" and that is an all day tour. However, what you would see is amazing. We visited Gullfoss which is a waterfall located in the canyon of the River Hvita in Southwest Iceland. Gullfoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, truly spectacular to see. The geyser, Strokkur erupts every 5 - 8 minutes. We stood in wonder waiting for it to erupt (it did). Your son might like this attraction. You would get to see the volcano that erupted a few years ago. It's amazing to get up so close to it. There is always the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights as well.

(Jon's website and contact info)

You can read the reviews on Trip Advisor as well. Highly recommend!

Dog sledding would be an amazing experience for your son (you too). I'm sure there might still be snow in April! You could visit the Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle tour in the same day. We opted to do the Golden Circle and none of the group was interested in the Blue Lagoon so we skipped that.

This just gives you a few ideas of what to see and do in Reykavik. I still remember what a wonderful day we had visiting there w/ Jon, our tour guide. I would definitely urge you to consider visiting Reykavik as you will be so close.

London is also amazing but totally different experience than Reykavik. I say go for it!
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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Thank you all. We are still weighing the options. I am also looking at mid-July for the same trip.
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