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London itinerary

Old Jun 26th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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London itinerary

Planning a European with a stay in London for 4-5 Days in December
Any tips on possibly my itinerary would be appreciated. I tried to base itinerary relative to places I wanted to visit in area.

Day 1. Double Decker yellow route tour.
Tower of London tour
Tour/possibly show at the Globe Theatre

Day. 2 Museum Tours. British Museum, Charles Dicken Museum, Museum of London, Sherlock Holmes Museum and Madame Tussads

Day 3. Day Trip- Stonehedge, Windsor, Baths

Day 4. Victoria Albert Museum, Harrods, Liberty and tea at the Ritz

Planning to make reservations at Gordon Ramsey. Any thoughts on lunch or dinner.
Would also like to visit Wimbledon. Any recommendations on staying an extra day to visit?

Any suggestions on itinerary would be appreciated.
atlantamsc is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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Of course you should stay an extra day.

Skip Tussaud's - made just for tourists to rip them off. The bus tour is lots of money; you can get the background you want from any number of books and just ride the heritage routes (9, 15, 136) for a cheap orientation tour.

You won't be able to do 5 museums on day 2.

There is a sizable and interesting cathedral not far from the Tower named for a Jew who changed his name whilst traveling to modern-day Syria. It is not on your list.

There is also an Abbey of some note not far from a tremendously tall clock tower near the seat of the British government. It is also worth viewing and absent from your list.

Your list is a checklist. What do you really like?
BigRuss is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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Atlantamsc, I agree with Russ that doing that many museums in a day is impossible. I would skip the Sherlock Holmes Museum too which is really tacky. Their 221b Baker Street has no resemblance to the lush Victorian interiors used as backdrops in the great BBC Jeremy Bret Sherlock Holmes series of a few decades ago – or other Holmes films for that matter. Of course, as a past and present English teacher, I had to check it out. This summer I hope to visit the Dickens Museum which is housed in one of the author’s authentic residences.
London offers soooooo much to see and do that no one can do it all in one trip. Be flexible and enjoy!
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Old Jun 26th, 2011, 04:42 PM
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For your trip to Stonehenge, Windsor, and Bath I highly recommend using International Friends. We did this exact tour in April and it was fantastic!
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Old Jun 26th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Agree that you have left out a number of key sights - including St Paul's and Westminster Abbey. I would also do a changing of the guard - Horse Guards for preference.

Mme Tussauds is for kids alone. Can;t comment on Sherlock Holmes or Dickens Museum - but either British Museum or London would take most of the day. And you're ignored the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and either of the Tates - all well worth seeing.

Harrods and Liberty are well worth a brief look - but unless you have very big $ to spend not a lot of time (anything you would buy there wold be much cheaper in the US).
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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Will agree that Madame Tussaud's is absolutely not worth a visit (have been there, sorry to report), and all reports I've read suggest the Sherlock Holmes Museum is also a rip-off. I'd drop both from your itinerary, especially as there are so many worthy London sights.
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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I thought the Sherlock Holmes Museum would be interesting for the people who are quite familiar with the stories. There are a lot of letters and other stuff lying around that pertain to specific cases. It was fun to see, but it didn't take me long because, although I have read the complete works, I didn't remember too much about them. It would be maybe third tier for a visit for me.

The Dickens Museum, too, is for Dickens lovers. His office has leather-bound copies of all his works, and the house is true to the time period. Again, it isn't a must for most people. I'm and English major, and I saw it with my English-major niece, so we enjoyed it but didn't spend much time there.

Westminster Abbey is at the top of my list; and I really liked the Churchill War Rooms, which are quite nearby.
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 05:15 PM
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One thing you may not have allowed for is the very short days. It will be dark by 4 pm - so you need to get to things when they open and see the outdoor stuff before it's daark.
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 05:51 PM
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I have been blessed with 3 five week stays in my dear, intoxicating London. Quite simply, it forever changed me (in a good way, lol). I am in general agreement with the others.

Madame Tussads' is not worth the money & time it requires. But do not pass up the story of the Madame herself. It is extremely interesting & to be had for free with a little research.
I adore Sherlock Holmes & have been to 221b Baker and soaked it all in. That being said, it to should be a pass as it is aptly described above. I did enjoy standing on the street, just across from it and pretending though.
Dickens House is worth it for the feel of the checkered floors and the delightful guides. It is one of the "Great Men's Houses" that gives you a feel of the times. It will not take long.

You will be hard pressed to include the British Mus., Mus. of London & the V & A. Each one is very good and very different. The British Mus. covers the world. From mummies to manuscripts to fine jewelry. You will forget where you are. It should be seen in its entirety, but a specific interest can be viewed and the rest left to another trip. If there is nothing specific there you wish to see, then perhaps the V & A would be a better choice.
The V & A collections also spans the globe, but gently & very beautifully. The beauty of the structure itself, inside & out, speaks of the uniqueness of this charming city. Thus one never really lets go of the feel of London throughout the V & A. It is can be viewed in its entirety max 2 hours.
The Mus. of London, is just that. A historical trip through the life of the city. I loved it & visited several times. I must share that I am history grad, so my opinion here may be slightly biased.

Stonehenge, Windsor & Bath I went to separately, so cannot really address a tour. But I will say I went to Stonehenge & Salisbury on a tour, each trip! Delightful, & please have lunch at the Salisbury Cathedral!
Windsor of course, is beautiful & quite enjoyable. But my favorite palace is Hampton Court. The artwork, gardens & labyrinth like quality of the structure itself is wonderful. The history of the place is quite interesting also.
Bath was just charming & a very good time! I am a big Jane Austen fan, so I soaked this place up like a sponge! The Roman Baths, the churches, the little streets with shops and the bridge with shops. Yes, Bath is lovely.

Walk by the Ritz, but go to Harrod's to peruse the lower floor reduction items and then head up to have tea there instead!
Cannot address Liberty, have not been there.

Skip the double decker tour as stated above. Equip yourself with a couple of good guide books & a travel pass for the buses & underground, and your much better off.

The Tower of London YES! Apply early for a ticket to The Ceremony of the Keys.

Unless you have seen the following on a previous trip to London, as stated by the others, you should really consider the following. Each trip should be planned according to one's personal taste, always. That being said, these are pretty much, not to be missed, sites.

Westminster Abbey
Big Ben clock Tower
The Changing of The Guard
St. Paul's
A play, may be in the West End
Leicester Square in December, that sounds lovely.

Hope this helps, I have never been to London in December. May be I will see you there...
St. Paul's
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Old Jun 28th, 2011, 06:38 AM
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Hope you are "listening" to advice above.
1.You've probably figured out that there are no productions at the Globe in Decemeber, as far as I know.

2.You will have SHORT daylight hours, so keep that in mind for your plans.

3.In your short time there, I too would recommend you drop several things (from my own experience or garnering from others)--drop Md. Tussauds, the London Museum, Dickens and Holmes museums.

4.Whether a bus tour is worth time/money is sorta up to you. I think in limited time you'd be better to spend time beforehand planning your own itineraries and then spend time in areas around your destinations via walking/tube/bus rather than ride around all over the place for an overview. Of course if you are more of a hands-on person and would get more out of that than doing map/guidebook/internet preplanning, then...only you know.

5.I too would highly recommend you include Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's. My top 6 "essentials" of London are the Westminster area including the Abbey and the Thames from the Bridge; the Tower of London; the British Museum; Trafalgar Square/maybe a bit of Whitehall/National Gallery; St. Paul's, including a climb up to the Golden Gallery if you can do it on a decent weather day; and some walking, like in the parks, including Hyde Park and/or St. James (don't forget Buckingham Palace for a walkby!) or along the Southbank.

6. A play would be great to include especially as you will have so much after-sunset time that you may want to spend indoors.

7.If you want to do a day trip, then do some good research. Bath (is that what you mean by Baths?) could be a whole day all by itself. Stonehenge/Salisbury do make a great day trip. Again look into daylight and travel times; I rather doubt if you could do all 3 together; if some tour says that, you will be really rushing.

8.Yes add a day.

And is your Day 1 really a whole day or are you actually arriving this day? You HAVE to take jet lag/adjustment/checkin/get settled/sort transport options into it. If Day 1 includes arrival and all the above, then you need to rethink what you "planned." It's best to be outside, even in December, walking as much as possible on arrival day. (There are other opinions about this.) And if Day 1 includes arrival, don't plan to go to a play; you risk falling asleep!

Be sure to respond to our responses if we are helping at all so we can help you hone it some more or help with details of your choices and decisions. I LOVE London (and got the mug and teeshirt to prove it ha ha) but it is so huge and full of so many choices that it can be overwhelming. You are wise to plan ahead--and to get advice (and I couldn't have enjoyed my trips there as I have without this forum.)
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Old Jun 28th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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MORE TIME IN BATH- it's great. Like everyone else, I say skip Tussauds, Sherlock Hoxlmes-( it's a huge letdown). if you're going to plays, the trick is getting dinner. Before is too early, after is better, but make reservations or at least decide ahead of time where you're going. You can see Buckingham from a taxi as you drive by,

Don't miss the Tower, and you might like to look into the ceremony of the keys. It's evening, and you have to reserve months in advance, but it's fun.

Several stately homes in London areopen, but that mig not be your idea of a good time - I'm a decorator. I alo love the National Gallery on Charing Cross.
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