London Itinerary help! 5 days

Feb 6th, 2011, 12:05 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 29
London Itinerary help! 5 days

We will be flying to London in less than two weeks and have 3 full days and 2 half days. Our priority is to visit as many museums and immerse ourselves in the London culture as much as possible AND visit Windsor Castle and Hampton Court, or other great castles. We are in our mid twenties and plan on taking public transportation.

We still need to book a hotel and are looking to stay as close to SOHO as possible for no more than 100 pounds a night in modern hotel, english breakfast included a plus. Will consider Kensington.

Here is what we planned so far

Friday - Fly in to Heathrow at 1PM, London Connect to London, Visit National Gallery (closes at 9PM.)
Saturday - Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tate, Tower of London, East End
Sunday - Market in South End. Warwick Castle
Monday - Hampton Court and Windsor Castle
Tuesday - Sightseeing in London, Fly out of Heathrow at 3PM

Is this itinerary possible for such a short stay. We can always take out Warwick Castle on Sunday and go shopping instead.

We need:
1. accomodations

2. recommendations of places to eat fish n chips, shepards pie, indian food, and chinese food. We are total foodies and appreciate authentic cuisine.

3. small guided tour operator to castles, or public transportation to castles then hire a guide.

Would appreciate to hear from you.
dominicinco is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 03:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Usually get best deals on www.betterbidding.com

search "London" recently bidding Pricline Thames view room

Tower Hotel for $80.

www.londontown.com good options if you do not want to bid

also city guides food options... Happy Travels!
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 03:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 321
Yes, if you want to immerse youselves in London culture I would definaely take out Warwick Castle. You already have a challenging schedule and there is so much else to do and see in London. My Sunday instead would be a look round the South Bank and a boat trip to Greenwich. No need to get a tour operator and the places you will be visiting should have excellent audio guides.
tjhome1 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 04:29 AM
  #4  
 
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How you get to London from Heathrow will depend on the location of your hotel. I cant help there cause I live in London, but you dont necessarily want to take the Connect into Paddington. It may be better to use a car service like www.justairports.com or the Piccadily line.

I would expect to spend 1/2 a day at the Tower - go first thing and head to the crown jewels and then go back to the entrance and pick up the free beefeater tour. You can then take the District or Circle line to Westminster, see Parliament and Westminster Abbey, walk through St James' Park to Buckingham Palace. You should have time to go into Westminster Abbey. The other things are just walk-bys really. I think you will have a hard time fitting the Tate in this day. YOu arent taking into account travel time and actually seeing the sites.

Why are you wanting to see the East End - there are way more interesting things to see. I would also skip Warwick Castle with this short of time in London. In fact I would also skip Hampton Court and/or Windsor. Each one is a day trip out of London so to try to do them in one day is a bit unrealistic. There is more than enough to see and do in London in 3 days without leaving London so I would skip them both - do 1 if you must.

If you have an international flight from London you will need to be at Heathrow around 12-12:30 and to get out there is going to take you about 1-1.5 hours so you really dont have much time at all on the last day.

I think you should get a map of London out and plot where you want to see and then look at how long it takes to get to these places. We can help or you can use the following sites for tube and train times:

www.tfl.gov.uk
www.nationalrail.co.uk
jamikins is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 04:35 AM
  #5  
 
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I always recommend www.walks.com for day trips out of London (Expolorer Days) but you will see that they do Hampton Court and Windsor as day trips.

I just checked and getting from Hampton Court to Windsor & Eton where the castle is takes 1.5 hours with 1 change.
jamikins is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 06:16 AM
  #6  
 
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Yes, do you really mean Warwick Castle? It's not anywhere "in" London. I too would suggest you not try to do both Hampton Court and Windsor in one day. Also do The Tower first, as mentioned above.

If you want to do a "castle" trip, you need to come back and get out of London. Just immerse yourself in London this time--the British Museum, St. Paul's, walking around the parks and Southbank in addition to the sites you mention. You are probably underestimating travel times.

You will definitely want to allow LOTS of time for return trip to LHR and there: that 3 hour suggestion is true.

Also as suggested look into justairports for car service from (and back to?) LHR OR depending on where you have rooms you may be able to just ride the Tube, which would be cheaper than either. I think your plan is pretty pricey. Justairports has to be booked ahead, though, so make your comparisons and decide once you get your room.

I don't have any room suggestions. We have used AtHomeinLondon for B&B's but I don't think they have any in SOHO but might in Kensington.
texasbookworm is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 01:07 PM
  #7  
 
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Soho is very central -- Kensington isn't. There are a lot of areas closer to Soho then Kensington is. So is there some reason you are focusing on those two specific neighborhoods when you say as close to Soho as possible?

Did you by any chance mean South Kensington (which is different than Kensington). S. Kens, and Soho and other places are on a direct tube connection from LHR. Kensington isn't.

Also -- do you actually want to stay IN soho -- or just very central? Every place along the Piccadilly tube line is convenient to the west end/soho/Covent Garden and to LHR.
janisj is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 11:31 PM
  #8  
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Thank you for all your comments and insight on location names and castle info. It has been a while since I visited London, so I am not sure where anything is anymore, perhaps you can help me get to where I want to go.

We chose Soho because the guide books say that's where the restaurants and shops are. We want 3 things in accommodations: to be central to sites, value, and comfort(modern).

Warwick castle is off our itinerary, and we plan to visit only 1 castle on our own, not with a tour. Which would you recommend if you can only see one, Hampton Court or Windsor Castle.
dominicinco is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 11:58 PM
  #9  
 
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There are restaurants and shops all over London, not just Soho.
alihutch is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 12:31 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes, agree - you dont need to limit yourself to Soho to be near shops and restaurants. They are everywhere.

What is your budget for hotels? Premier Inn has a good location by London Bridge and is modern and good value: http://www.premierinn.com/en/
jamikins is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 07:46 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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"We chose Soho because the guide books say that's where the restaurants and shops are. "

I have no idea which guide books you have -- but I'd toss them in the bin. That is absolutely silly. Yes there are restaurants in soho -- but there are just as many in Covent Garden or South Kensington or most any other central area. And shops? Well there are a lot of shops 'of a certain kind' in Soho, plus some regular run of the mill shops. But for actual shopping -- I can't think anyone would recommend Soho for shopping.

What sort of shopping do you want to do and we can send you to the best areas.

Also -- really there are relatively fewer hotels in Soho compared to some other parts of the city
janisj is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 08:03 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Hotels in Soho charge by the hour - and an overnight stay isn't doable for £100

And for a tour visiting museums you have failed to include a single museum in your tour

Also Hampton Court isn't a castle - it's a palace
alanRow is offline  
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