London was wonderful!

Feb 27th, 2005, 08:53 AM
  #1  
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London was wonderful!

Hi all,

My family just returned from our trip to London and it was WONDERFUL!! Thanks to all for the tips and advice. We took the Tower of London tour and that was great! The verger tour at Westminster Abbey was outstanding-it is worth the cost! The London Eye, although not good weather the day we went, was fun and great to see the sights. We rode the Big Bus the first afternoon (after a short nap), then took a Beatles walking tour and a ghost/pub tour free from the company.They were great. Finished our ride around the city the next day and even jumped on the cruise boat free before our time was over. I highly suggest the bus taken half on one day and half on the other to get the most of your ticket. Plus it rode us past all the sights and got us accainted with the vast city. We did Jack the Ripper tour with Donald through London Walks. My daughter REALLY enjoyed that. The Ceremony of the Keys was nice- it snowed that evening during the ceremony. My daughter walked all 500some stairs of St. Pauls to the top and was fascinated! We walked and walked and walked and just loved it- even in the cold! We were the puffy jacket people walking around all bundled up. We hardly see snow in Georgia- so we had the added fun in London. The weather is amazing as one minute the sun shines and then sprinkles or snow. But we were fine with that. Only one day was rainy and dreary, but we had our umbrellas ready and handy. The 2for1 rail tickets for Tower, St. Pauls, M.Tussaud, Globe Theater were great and we were able to use them at all places. We scratched Windsor and Greenwich due to time. Hated to do it, but we decided to spend time at the places we most wanted to see. This gives us a reason to RETURN!!

Phantom was great and Stomp is exciting. We appreciate the tip to get half price tickets ahead of time. The theaters are beautiful. We did watch the Changing of the Guards, which was a whole morning. But it was iteresting to us. I am a band director and my daughter is a drummer. It was fun to see the ceremony with the music. There was also a bagpipes group that day. I hope I don't offend anyone describing them that way as I am not sure who they were since it isn't announced. But we enjoyed the music and the parading.

Getting the 7 day travel card for the tube was an excellent plan. We used it regularly. While we live in a small town in Georgia, it was very interesting to see the hustle and bustle of the tube. Our hotel was Grosevnor Kensington which is one block off the South Kensington tube station. We added the 2 pound extention from Heathrow and were on our way. The hotel is nice, they were able to let us check in at 8:30am! That was a bonus and allowed us to get settled and nap before heading out on Saturday. The room was nice, had a double bed and two bunk beds for three of us. It was a spacious size. Breakfast was included as continental- crossants, cereal, fruit, and drinks which was fine for us. Our room was by the street while some are bothered with the noise, we enjoyed it. We had a balcony to watch the city.

While London is expensive for Americans, I took cash for what I wanted to spend- converted it (which was the part that hurt the most), and then just spent like normal. One must just live like the locals at that point which we were fine with costs after that. Didn't think about how much it would cost at home because at that point it didn't matter. I did use my credit card a few times and the exchange was not a big deal as I can see my costs already.

As my husband teases my daughter and I, we did help the local economy while there. We bought our trinkets, Lush soap, etc. My daughter plays soccer (football to some of you) and likes getting balls from various places. We were sent to Lilly Whites by a nice man at Hambleys. He told us we would find what we wanted there. They were having their 70% sale! We found a ball and so much more at great prices!! I had to have a royal crown charm from the jewel shop at Tower. My one big splurge, but not really much more expensive than a charm at home. Makes my memories feel like a queen! We found all sorts of little souvenir shops for postcards and trinkets.

I was surprised at how busy the sights were for February. And we thought about how CRAZY it must be in spring and summer. I can see how you could wait forever at some of the sights!!

All in all, it was a wonderful trip filled with great memories!! We will definitely be back at some point in our lives.

Again, thanks to all and best wishes!!
Debbie, Glenn, and Belinda Baker

tbsdebbie is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Debbie, thanks for an excellant report. The Bakers really had a wonderful time.
cigalechanta is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Debbie, My husband and I are sitting here with our mouths hanging open over your comment about enjoying the weather! We live in Ohio and we just returned from 8 days in England and we FROZE TO DEATH! Heavy coats, scarves and gloves and we were dying! The only thing we can figure is that we aren't used to walking anywhere ever. House to car to work. No outside for us in the winter.
Glad you had a great time. What an incredible city it is!
tudorprincess is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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Tudorprincess, I think you've hit the nail on the head - it's only when you're on holiday that you spend so much time outdoors in this kind of weather. I cope with it in London at this time of year because I skip from home, to the Tube, to work, to bars, restaurants, into cabs, anywhere indoors. I just spent a weekend in Southern Italy and froze, because I was outddoors so much!

Kate
London
Kate is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 11:39 AM
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Oh Kate and TP please! If you thought it was cold in London, you should be here in Vienna!!! It is absolutely FRIGID! As you noted, we tourists are out and about all day and really feel the cold. Boy, do I wish I had brought long underwear. Now I know why every Viennese woman over 40 has a full length fur coat.
The Thames Valley will feel nice and cozy when I get back.
Glad you had a great time.
BTilke is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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Tudorprincess,
It was cold, but we came prepared for chilly weather. And we just laughed at ourselves for going to the top deck of the bus. Which once we went, others did also! And the boat ride wasn't too bad. That was Saturday and Sunday. They were the best weather days while we were there.

I am sure we looked like such tourists! Oh well, we were!

It is nice to get away from the daily grind of life. And to get a chance to travel to such wonderful places is amazing to us. It is nice that our daughter can enjoy these trips with us.

I hope you were still able to enjoy your time in London even through the cold weather.
tbsdebbie is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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It's true that as tourists we put up with the weather. I had to buy warmer clothing in London. Now I can enjoy the purchases and compliments.
mimosa is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 08:36 PM
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Debbie, Sounds as though you had a wonderful trip. I also bought one of those royal crown charms at the Tower of London. Aren't they beautiful? I know just what you mean, had to have it!
SusanP is online now  
Feb 28th, 2005, 08:51 AM
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So Debbie's daughter's favorite thing in LONDON was the Jack the ripper tour ! It probably convinced her to stop selling herself! Good for her !
io6eebee6 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Debbie,

It sounds like you had a great time, even with the weather!

We are headed across the pond in May and we can't wait!

As for io6eebee6, what an ass. What kind of sick fool would make a remark like that about someone they don't even know? There was no need for a comment of that nature, but based on the other comments you've made in the 2 days or so that you've been leaving replies, I'm not surprised.
mamarosa is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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mamarosa: io6eeBee6 is just our latest troll. He has hijacked several threads over the last few days. Just ignore him -- either Fodors will nuke him like his previous incarnations, or he'll just dry up and blow away . . .

tbsdebbie: great report - sounds like you all had a lot of fun.
janis is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 12:15 PM
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I'm so glad you had a wonderful time on your trip to London. I enjoyed reading your trip report. My husband, 9 year-old son, and I are going to London in April and I'm curious how you got half-price theater tickets ahead of time and what you meant by the 2for1 rail tickets for the Tower of London. Any cost-saving tips are greatly appreciated!
JAKCruiser is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 01:25 PM
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Debbie

Glad you had a great trip to my favorite city. I happen to love the weather in London. It is one of the reasons I go in the off season.

Musuems, theatre, walks, pubs, the history - your trip touched on what keeps me coming back over and over. I will never get tired of going there. Thanks for a great trip report and welcome home.

Bob
rj007 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 01:34 PM
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London is a city I've always wanted to visit, so it was interesting to hear what you did/saw. So glad you had a good time despite the weather!
Chele60 is offline  
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