Notices

London plus tour

Reply

Jan 8th, 2014, 05:00 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
London plus tour

My husband and I are planning a trip arriving to London May 5 thru May 16. I am having difficulty piecing together a schedule for us. We are also working with a travel agent but we like to plan our own adventures. First of all I need ideas on which part of London should we stay? Is Kensington a good area? Prices for hotels seem a little bit less there. We want to spend between 200 to 275 dollars per night We love boutique small hotels the best with some flavor. The travel agent wants us to go with the London Pass but I see a lot of people say not to take that. Why? Anyway we want to see the usual sites but also Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle. We also want to stay 2 days in Bath and 2 in York. Is that enough time for Bath and York? We were interested in taking a 4 day tour around England seeing some of Wales, and Chester as well as Shakespeare territory. Are there any small 3 day tours? Is 2 days enough for York? I have names of B&B's for York as well as Bath thankfully from Fodor users. Am I trying to put in too many things for this visit? We love countryside as well as city. Any thoughts will help me get organized. My husband are "young seniors" with plenty of energy. We are great walkers. Also any ideas of how to organize the sites in London would be helpful. I might be wanting to do too much. So need some help. Thanks.
maxie12 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 8th, 2014, 05:10 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
fire your travel agent - the London Pass is a complete rip off (and she may get a small commission for selling you one)

Be that as it may - I can't see any reason you'd need a TA for this type of trip.

As for which area - there are many good/central neighborhoods. Kensington is upscale and nice but maybe not as convenient as some others (Plus some properties cheat a bit ac say they are in Kensington when they are actually in Earls Court). Other more central areas that have some moderately priced hotels would be South Kensington, Victoria, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury/Russell Square, etc.

You are talking approx £120-£150 -that isn't all that much in London - I'd call it sort of 'low moderate'. Check Londontown.com and hotels.com you should be able to find lots of places w/i that budget.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 8th, 2014, 05:15 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
Meant to say - 11 days is long enough for London, Bath, York and perhaps one other place. But since you are talking days trips out of London like Windsor - you'll want at least 6 days in London. 2 days is fine for each - Bath and York, so w/ 6 or 7 days in London, Bath and York -- that is about your whole time.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 8th, 2014, 06:26 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,647
I must admit I'm totally confused by your plan.

How many days total?

Are the days in Bath and York in addition to 10 days in London with day trips (like Windsor Castle)?

Are you asking about a tour of England in addition to or instead of spending 5 days in Bath, York and getting from one to another?

And y es, the London Pass is a waste of money - it's practically impossible to get to enough plaes to make it worthwhile.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 8th, 2014, 06:42 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
OK - need some clarification . . . Are you in London May 5 thru May 16? Or is the entire trip May 5 thru May 16?

Makes a huge difference . . .
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2014, 02:36 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 821
In London, use the 2 for 1 offers, not the London Pass.
Hooameye is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2014, 09:17 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,340
The travel agent wants us to go with the London Pass

FIRE HER.

Here are some top attractions in London:

British Museum
British Library
Victoria & Albert Museum
National Maritime Museum (actually in Greenwich)
Imperial War Museum
National Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
Tate Britain
Tate Modern
Museum of London
Museum of Bank of England
Old Royal Naval College
RAF Museum
Sir John Soane's Museum
every park of note in London (Hyde, Green, St. James, Regent)

Here is the COMBINED total of the entry fees for those attractions based on today's exchange rate: $0

Why would you need the London Pass?

Would you need it for the travelcard? No, the LP travelcard includes zones 3-6, which you won't need.

What about for the Tower, the War Rooms, Hampton Ct Palace?

No, you only need to do this: (1) go to www.daysoutguide.co.uk and print out every voucher that seems interesting; (2) bring passport-size photos with you to London; (3) go to a manned ticket booth at a national rail station (Victoria, Waterloo, Charing X, Paddington, etc.) and purchase seven-day PAPER travelcards. You will save 50% off the admission price for two for the Tower, Cabinet War Rooms, Hampton Court Palace, HMS Belfast, possibly St. Paul's, and more.

And fire that travel agent for even suggesting the London Pass.
BigRuss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2014, 11:06 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
Thanks so much for all that info. Will work on it. Thanks for explaining the London Pass objections. We are arriving the 5th and leaving England on the l6th. I think I need to stay in London for more days than I thought! Any suggestions for small hotels?
maxie12 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2014, 11:28 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
So you have 1/2 a day jet lagged on the 5th and your last night is the 15th - leaving at total of 10.5 days. Really 10 useable days since heavy duty sight seeing is pretty much impossible on your arrival day.

I'd think about doing a week in London and 2.5 days in York (Bath can be done as a day trip from London by train). How are you leaving London - by train or flying?

Check the websites I linked above for hotels. Here is a fantastically located B&B hotel near Victoria station that has various rooms w/i your budget . . . But they are VERY popular and book up far in advance so you'd want to nail things down ASAP. http://www.bb-belgravia.com/index.php

Or you might consider renting a flat - more bang for the buck. Especially of you decide to stay a week. Those small hotel rooms can close in on you after a few days.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2014, 12:04 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
I can't believe how helpful you all are!!!!I am feeling much better, a bit more organized and thanks for taking the time to reply!!!! You are much better than a travel agent! I am looking for a small hotel or apartment then for our time in London. I will use the sources recommended Janisj, thanks so much!!And I love B&B's so I will look that up right now.I can see our budget might have to go up in London….And BigRuss, thanks for all your tips as well. I will most likely will have more questions and will ask them later.
maxie12 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2014, 12:13 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 591
As this is your first visit to London, I'm a little reluctant to suggest the place where we now always stay. It's at the opposite end of the spectrum from what we in the USA think of as "boutique". It's plain, basic, with small rooms. It is clean, however. And inexpensive for such a great location near Covent Garden and the theatre district and a short walk to Piccadilly and Leicester Square. It is the Seven Dials Hotel: http://www.sevendialshotellondon.com/

I strongly recommend you reserve the "triple en suite" (double and single bed), even though you are a couple, for the little extra space.

We've never been bothered by street noise but "just in case", you should bring earplugs. We always do when on our travels, in case we get noisy neighbors and paper-thin walls! There's no elevator and a narrow, winding stairway.

If you'd think you might be interested in a bare-bones place like this, you should read the TripAdvisor reviews so you will know what to expect: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...n_England.html

We'll be staying there with four of our grandchildren at the end of May/beginning of June.
evecolorado is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2014, 06:02 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
Now that I am getting more organized I have more questions. Since my husband and I want to take a side trip to Bath and York, from London, should we purchase both Oyster cards and paper travel cards? Where do we catch a train from London to Bath? I noticed there is a train from Bath to York. We can do that as well. Thanks again for your help.
maxie12 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2014, 06:52 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,559
For rail enquiries go to http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
It gives times and prices.
Oyster cards only function in London. If you are getting paper cards to take advantage of the 2 for 1 offers, that's all you need.
Of course, you will need separate tickets for Bath etc.

The paper card thing can seem complicated because it's a sort of work around.
Essentially, the 2 for 1 is for people like me who visit London by rail from other parts of the country armed with our return tickets.
By buying a seven day ticket from a RAILWAY station in London, tourists can take advantage of the scheme
MissPrism is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2014, 09:17 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 501
We flew into Gatwick purchased a train ticket into London and were then good to for for the 2for1. I liked Gatwick much better than heathrow.
You have come to the right place- great people willing to help

Ceremony of the Keys at Tower of London is awesome and free. Just have to mail a request with international postage - from your local post office
oh2doula is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2014, 09:29 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
Note re the ceremony of the keys: the stoooopid US post office no longer sells IRCs so there is a special procedure for Americans to apply. No UK postage nor international postage can be purchased in the States. In fact the Tower's website has a PDF w/ special procedures for Americans (and they sound pretty exasperated about the whole thing)

Seems that sometime this year they will finally convert to on-line booking. I'll miss tube old way - getting an official envelope from Her Majesty's Tower of London always impressed my mail carrier
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 12th, 2014, 11:10 AM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
Still thanking you for all your help. Need some more advice. I plan to take a small tour that goes to Oxford, the Cotswolds, and Stratford. Someone on another thread said that Stratford is soooo touristy. Any suggestions? I will be in Bath for 2 days and plan to take a Mad Max tour so I want suggestions from London to other areas although I really want to see Oxford and the Cotswolds. Appreciate any comments.
maxie12 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 12th, 2014, 11:23 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,522
We took a London Walks tour of Oxford and Cotswolds. Not sure if that would fit your itinerary or not, but take a look.

http://www.walks.com/Standalone/Oxfo...s/default.aspx
rncheryl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 13th, 2014, 02:22 PM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
Now we are looking for apartments in London for 7 nights. Still unsure which neighborhoods to consider. Is Notting Hill and Chelsea too far from London center? Should we consider South Kensington and Westminster? We want the flavor of a neighborhood but not too far out. Would appreciate your help.
maxie12 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2014, 07:12 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 501
I went with Coach House Rentals for our trip in March - we stayed in Pimlico - loved it = they have several properties!!
oh2doula is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 14th, 2014, 08:10 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,008
Notting Hill is fine if you are anywhere near Notting Hill Gate tube station. This is on the Central line, and is convenient for getting around London. Some places labelled Notting Hill are quite far from the tube. Bus links are usually good too.
It's a great area, lots of restaurants.

Chelsea is lovely, but some Chelsea streets are very far from the nearest tube station. You don't want to be in Chelsea Harbour, for example. It's an expensive residential area, very nice, but Notting Hill is more central.

South Kensington is very central (and again, let us know exactly what street you are looking at, as agents like to stretch the borders of South Ken). If you're near South Kensington Station or Gloucester Road, you're in a great area.

Westminster covers a large area of Central London - some extremely expensive, some not so nice (ie near Paddington Station).
Tulips is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:55 AM.