London Trip Schedule- ???

May 17th, 2006, 07:04 PM
  #21  
 
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Before the Globe Theater, you could go to St. Paul's, and then walk across the Millenium Bridge. Or you could go to the Museum of London, which gives you an overview of the history of London.

One more vote for the Cabinet War Rooms -- when we were there, they had a separate audio tour just for kids. Everyone in our group really enjoyed the Cabinet War Rooms. I have not been there since they added the Churchill Museum to the complex.

Enjoy!
Annette
annettetx is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 04:17 AM
  #22  
 
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You can buy tickets to some of London's major attractions at some of the underground stations (inc Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, London Eye, London Dungeon etc). These tickets can be bought up to several days in advance. Last time I was there I bought my Tower and Tussauds tickets in advance at Piccadilly Circus underground station. The line was about 5 people long compared to the HUGE lines at the attractions themselves. It's a good feeling to be able to walk past hundreds of people and go straight in, knowing you won't be waiting 1-2 hours for tickets.

You can also buy a London Pass but you would need to determine the cost effectiveness of this if your days in London are non-consecutive and whether it includes everything you want to see.
speckles is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:59 AM
  #23  
 
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I was wondering why you felt the need to see so many plays since you mentioned that you are from the NYC area.

On one of your London days, I would include an hour at the British Library and another hour at the British Museum.

I think that Bletchley Park sounds interesting but I have no idea how much time it would take nor how interesting it would be for your family. It has obviously taken your eye. In the same vein, I'll third (or is it fourth) the Cabinet War Rooms. It will probably be of interest to the 11 year old (girl's aren't necessarily into war in the same way but would be a wonderful experience to have when studying WWII if they do that in school anymore.

I don't see any mention of Harry Potter, like you need more to do but the kids may enjoy seeing what they can cook up on that theme.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 11:53 AM
  #24  
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Thanks everyone
1- please advise what else we can do at night if we don;t go to the theater?

2- we are going to mary poppins on August 17.I was considering eating at The Portrait restaurant before hand.Is this a good idea?

3- which of these markets are the best to go- Covent garden market
OR Camden Lock Market?
We are not shopping for any thing particular;just looking around.

4- This is what we have picked to do in London
Did we forget anything or is there something on my list that we should not do?

Museum of London
Imperial War Museum
HMS Belfast
British Museum
Winston Churchill's britain at war experience
kensington Palace
Tower Bridge
Buckingham palace
St Paul's
London Eye
Imperial War Museum
westminister Abbey
Big Ben


thanks

melissa
MelissaBeckoff is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 12:55 PM
  #25  
 
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We went to Portrait restaurant before the theatre and really enjoyed it. The pre-theatre fixed price/limited choice menu is pretty reasonable. Here is a link to my trip report (2 parents and 17yo daughter) where I talk about the restaurant (providing a link to the menu/price info) and also other things on your list of sights.

As for markets, we went to Portobello because of the timing, and to be honest, my preference. Camden is more of a punk scene from what I've heard. I also think that I've read that Camden is the largest tourist attraction in England. My 20yo daughter went to London with friends this spring and loved Camden. Now Camden is on the 'must see' list of my now-18yo for our upcoming August return trip to London.

Covent Garden is more like a shopping area with lots of shops, some established stalls, and street performers. I wouldn't really call what I saw at Covent Garden a London market, although we had a great time poking around the area, including Neal's Yard. Chinatown is not far. You can get a lot of info from a Google search on "London markets" or a search on this forum.

We did not do the Britain at War Experience, but I'd strongly urge the Cabinet War Rooms/Churchill museum (along with all the other people who have replied to this post)instead. It is amazing to be in the rooms where the war effort was conducted. The rooms speak eloquently for themselves, without a lot of sound effects, etc. The audio guide is very good and the new(ish) Churchill museum that is attached to the War Rooms (and included in the price) is very well done. I think there is something that each of you would enjoy there.
noe847 is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 01:07 PM
  #26  
 
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You definitely want to go the Tower of London; I imagine it just got missed in your list. I would suggest planning to hit Covent Garden sometime when it fits in with something else nearby. Shopping on Oxford street or at Harrods might fill some evenings. Depending on interests and time, you might enjoy Victoria and Albert museum. You may want to give a bit of time to the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square, and maybe an evening concert at St Martins in the Fields. Hampton Court Palace is also worth considering (short train trip).

I would suggest having a couple of priority destinations each day, and then a list of other "maybe's" that you add or not depending on time and interests.

I'm not a big fan of tour busses; they do tend to have an older crowd, always move at their pace, not yours, and often try to cover so much ground that you spend too much "seat time". When we made a similar trip a few years ago, we did about a week in London, then took the train out of town and rented a car for the rest of the time.
curmudgeon is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 01:24 PM
  #27  
 
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I go to London several times a year, every year..grandchildren there. I highly recommend Tower of London, Mary Poppins(kids have been 3 times), Warwick Castle, War Cabinet Rooms, Tower(?) market on Saturday or Sunday for kids. I always take London Walks tours to see parts of London and for day trips. Their trip to Stonehenge and Canterbury was great and the trip to the Cotswolds was special. Take a look at their website..google it. They have the best guides of any tours we have ever taken worldwide. I just wonder if the kids would like a trip/tour to Cornwall rather than the Astral tour..sorry to add more choices. You will all love London. Eat a Waggamammy (sp?). Don't plan to shop..the prices are silly.
Elainee is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 01:37 PM
  #28  
jgg
 
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We went to both Camden Locks and Covent Gardens. As noe847 said Camden is punk, but fun for an hour or two. I suspect your 14 yo daughter will enjoy it like my 13 yo daughter did. She bought a sundress there, and my son got an inexpensive Beckham soccer jersey, and England sweatshirt. My daughter insisted on us going there so she could get a picture in front of the Camden Locks sign - right where Kate Winslet films that Amex commercial.

I really liked Covent Gardens and it did have a market where people were selling local craft items. I really enjoyed walking around there. There were a lot of smaller stores in the area.

I have not been to Churchill's Britain at War Experience, but I had asked here on fodor's about it before we went on our trip, and had people telling me that it was a tourist trap. (Doesn't look like it from their website, but we didn't go).

Otherwise your list looks good!
jgg is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 01:39 PM
  #29  
 
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Regarding what to do in the evening, I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the museums' late days. I have written down for my trip the following:

Tuesday - British Library til 8pm
Wednesday - National Gallery, 9pm, and Victoria and Albert Museum, 10pm
Thursday - British Museum, 8:30pm, Portrait Gallery, 9pm, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 10pm
Friday - British Museum 8:30pm, Portrait Gallery, 9pm, and Tate Modern, 10pm
Saturday - St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Tate Modern, 10pm

You might want to double check, but these are recent times
ecolszewski is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 01:44 PM
  #30  
jgg
 
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Oh, yes, I meant to comment about what to do in the evening. I agree with the previous poster about late opening museums. Also, don't discount how tired you might be from a full day of siteseeing. A nice dinner than back to our apt. for an hour of British TV was about all we could muster (British TV is hilarious!)
jgg is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 06:04 AM
  #31  
 
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Just a couple of things….You have opted for Britain at war rather than the Cabinet War rooms – I think this is a mistake.

Britain at War is part of the Tussauds empire, and isn’t any kind of authentic experience. The Cabinet war rooms are the real deal.

You also ask what you can do in the evening. I would take one of the evening London walks – maybe one of the ghost ones for the kids?

Also places like covent garden stay open late and are quite lively in the evening with lots of entertainment (of very variable quality) and a nice atmosphere.

When you get here buy a copy of Time Out – which has a kids activities section. They also publish a book on kids London which you can get from Amazon, which may well be worth a look.
david_west is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 06:21 AM
  #32  
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Some restaurant questions:
What attractions are these near?

China Experience
Savoir Faire
Tiger Lil's

Thanks
Melissa
MelissaBeckoff is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 06:25 AM
  #33  
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We were planning to go to both the War Rooms and the Britain at war experience.

has anybody gone to the britain at war
experience ?
It seems very good for kids.

Melissa
MelissaBeckoff is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 09:31 AM
  #34  
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Here go.
This is my suggested day to day schedule.
Feel free to give me your opinions , as if you guys don't anyway.
Thanks for all of your help.

Wednesday August 16- Arrive 8:40am London - See Buckingham Palace and the Mews

Thursday August 17 - See British Library , British Museum and Dicken's Museum Dinner @ Portait Restaurant and Mary Poppins

Friday August 18 - 10:45 London Walking Tour Of West Minister Abbey and changing of the guard
2:30 London Walking Tour of Dickens London
Evening -Going to Hatfield House for Med Dinner

saturday August 19 - See London eye-Big ben-Parliament-10 Downing Street- Trafalager Square- HMS Belfast - Imperial War Museum

Sunday - August 20- Premium Tour of Stonehenge-Bath & Lacock

Monday - August 21- Tower of London & London bridge

Tuesday August 22 - St Paul's Catheral
-Globe Theater - Play

Wednesday -August 23- Leeds Castle-Canterbury & Dover

Thursday -August 24- Cotswold & Oxford

Friday August 25 Stratford-upon- Avon stay over see Play

Saturday August 26 Warwick Castle

Sunday August 27 - Cabinet war Rooms & Museum of London



MelissaBeckoff is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 09:35 AM
  #35  
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Here go.
This is my suggested day to day schedule.
Feel free to give me your opinions , as if you guys wouldn't anyway.
Thanks for all of your help.

Wednesday August 16- Arrive 8:40am London - See Buckingham Palace and the Mews

Thursday August 17 - See British Library , British Museum and Dicken's Museum Dinner @ Portait Restaurant and Mary Poppins

Friday August 18 - 10:45 London Walking Tour Of West Minister Abbey and changing of the guard
2:30 London Walking Tour of Dickens London
Evening -Going to Hatfield House for Med Dinner

Saturday August 19 - See London eye-Big ben-Parliament-10 Downing Street- Trafalager Square- HMS Belfast - Imperial War Museum

Sunday - August 20- Premium Tour of Stonehenge-Bath & Lacock

Monday - August 21- Tower of London & London bridge

Tuesday August 22 - St Paul's Catheral
-Globe Theater - Play

Wednesday -August 23- Leeds Castle-Canterbury & Dover

Thursday -August 24- Cotswold & Oxford

Friday August 25- Stratford-upon- Avon stay over see Play

Saturday August 26 Warwick Castle

Sunday August 27 - Cabinet war Rooms & Museum of London

Monday August 28 -????

I want to go to Kensington Palace. Where should it fit in?

Also, should we use monday for windsor castle or hampton court>
or do you see a way to get an extra day to do both/

Thanks for all of you great help

Melissa



MelissaBeckoff is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 11:09 AM
  #36  
 
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I assume you mean Tower Bridge (London Bridge isjust a modern concrete bridge- the previous version is in Arizona).

I have heard that the tours of the bridge aren't that good. Others may have different reports.

You have 10 Downing St on your list - you can't see it. Downing st is blocked off by security gates and you can't see the houses from Whitehall. You will walk past the gates, but that's it.
david_west is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 11:26 AM
  #37  
 
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Just read one of your posts, and you mention a meal at Tiger Lil's.

My youngsters really loved this place and still talk about it now, 2 years later! In fact when we were in London last month they wanted to go there again, but were seduced by wagamama instead! Actually that was my doing because I couldn't be bothered to traipse out to Islington on the tube, but if you get a taxi it is well worth it. It is also worth your while to get there fairly early because after about 8pm the queues start forming for the Hot Woks...

To be honest, if you are touring/sight-seeing all day, your children will be weary, and happy to eat and then stay in some evenings. You can do the London Eye at night BTW.

Have a great trip!
julia_t is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 01:40 PM
  #38  
 
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I think that you could free up some more time by grouping your activities a bit more closely geographically.

You could probably add something to your first day - a park or the London Eye.

Your Thursday, Aug 17 has a lot on it. I don't think you could see the British Library, the British Museum AND the Dickens Museum before an early pre-theatre dinner. In fact, I'd switch your Thursday and your Saturday plans, so you can finish up at Trafalgar Square and the Portrait restaurant.

I'd put the HMS Belfast on the Tower of London day (Mon, Aug 21). The Tower doesn't have to take an entire day. We felt that our 2-3 hours wasn't enough, but 4 or 5 will be plenty.

The Cabinet War Rooms will fit on the day that you are doing Parliament/Big Ben (Sat moved to Thurs). The location is quite close to those and also to 10 Downing Street (or rather Downing Street peering through the gates to see number 10).

I'd put the Museum of London on the St. Paul's day. Even with climbing the dome, St. Paul's won't take more than a few hours, and the Museum of London is nearby.

Moving the Cabinet War Rooms and the Museum of London should free up a whole day for you.

Is there a reason that you are doing 2 walking tours on the same day (Fri, Aug 18)? That might be overload.

The British Library, Imperial War Museum and Kensington Palace are somewhat geographically separate from your other activities, so I'd just pop them in when you have a free block of time - maybe split up your walking tours into different days and fit these into the other halves of those days.
noe847 is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 02:04 PM
  #39  
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Thanks
Regarding our arrival day, we are getting into Gatwick at 8:30am; when would you make reservations for the London eye? Would you make them the first thing we do after eating?


Friday we are doing these two tours because London walks only offers these two tours on fridays and the next friday , we are going to statford upon avon. do you think that it will be too much?

so then on Sunday we could go to Windsor castle
and on monday go to Hampton court.
Do you think the 4 hour boat ride is a good use of our time or should we just go on the train?

Thanks

melissa
MelissaBeckoff is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 02:09 PM
  #40  
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Date: 05/22/2006, 12:35 pm
Here go.
Wednesday August 16- Arrive 8:40am London - See Buckingham Palace and the Mews & London Eye

Thursday August 17 - See Big Ben-Parliament-10 Downing Street-Trafalager Square-Cabinet War Rooms
Dinner @ Portait Restaurant and Mary Poppins

Friday August 18 - 10:45 London Walking Tour Of West Minister Abbey and changing of the guard
2:30 London Walking Tour of Dickens London
Evening -Going to Hatfield House for Med Dinner

Saturday August 19 - British Museum & Dicken's Museum
Sunday - August 20- Premium Tour of Stonehenge-Bath & Lacock

Monday - August 21- Tower of London & London bridge - HMS Belfast

Tuesday August 22 - St Paul's Catheral
Museum of London-Globe Theater - Play

Wednesday -August 23- Leeds Castle-Canterbury & Dover

Thursday -August 24- Cotswold & Oxford

Friday August 25- Stratford-upon- Avon stay over see Play

Saturday August 26 Warwick Castle

Sunday August 27 - Windsor Castle
Monday August 28 -Hampton Court

The only places that are not in the schedule are British Library-Imperial War Museum & Kensington Palace

Thanks

Melissa
MelissaBeckoff is offline  

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