London Weekend - Help with Itinerary!

Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:30 AM
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London Weekend - Help with Itinerary!

My husband and I are planning a weekend in
London in early February. We have been to
London before but still find there is never
enough time to pack in all we want to see/
places to eat, etc. I could use some feedback on the draft itinerary I've put
together:
Day 1: Check in at hotel (Sloane Square - the Willett); stroll through neighborhood;
early lunch at The Antelope
Tour of Victoria & Albert Museum
Back to hotel for pre-dinner nap
Dinner in the neighborhood
Day 2: Tube to Clerkenwell
Smithfield Market
St. Paul's Cathedral
Lunch at Viaduct Tavern
St. James
Back to hotel
Theatre at Royal Court Theatre
After theatre dinner - suggestions?
Day 3: Cabinet War Rooms
Lunch at Red Lion Pub
Tate Modern
National Gallery
Dinner suggestion?
Evening suggestion?
Thank you all for any suggestions--

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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Not sure what the attraction is about Smithfield Market - you might not be long there. Also, is there a reason why you want to go via Clerkenwell? It might be more interesting to take the No11 bus from Sloane Square to just past St Pauls, along Cheapside, and walk through from there to Smithfield, and thence back to St Pauls.

You might find going from Westminster to Tate Modern and back to the National Gallery a bit much. I'd suggest going to the Tate Modern after St Pauls (just walk over the Millennium Bridge), and if there's time and it's a Friday or Saturday afternoon, stroll along the South Bank to Borough Market.

Combine whatever it is you want to see around St James's with the Cabinet War Rooms and the National Gallery visit - they're much closer together.

Sorry, I'm not much good at dining suggestions, as a food-is-fuel person.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 01:07 PM
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I would combine the Tate with a river cruise of the Thames, possibly down to Greenwich and back by Docklands light rail. Have something to eat in Greenwich. Or go down by rail, see Maritime Museum, town, Cutty Sark, clock and Prime Meridian, and take a dinner cruise back. We've been on the boat trip but not a dinner cruise---I understand the quality of the food varies quite a bit, so you might want to ask for recommendations from people on Fodors and Travelers to Go who might have done the trip. Even if the food is mediocre, I imagine the trip at night would be really lovely.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 01:43 PM
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These are great suggestions - thank you.
Do you think early Feb. is an ok time
for a Thames cruise?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 01:59 PM
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I wouldn't have my heart set on a Thames cruise. They do go all year round - but if the weather is nasty I'd skip it. Below decks it is hard to see much as the windows fog up terribly. And it can be unbearable up on deck w/ the cold and wind chill.

IMHO, devoting 1/2 a day to a cruise to Greenwich and travel back when you are in London such short time doesn't make sense unless the weather is at least decent. So put it in the file of things you'd like to do, and if the weather is OK, go for it.

BTW there are several shorter river trips too. The Tate to Tate connects Tate Britain, the Eye and Tate Modern. You can go from Westminster to the Tower. Or just take one of the river taxis.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 03:59 PM
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Agree about the weather. It can be very nice in Feb., and in our experience the nicer boats don't really have a problem with "fogged" windows in cold weather. (We've been on them in early March and mid to late Nov.) But it's true that the whole experience will be much nicer if the weather holds.

Personally, I think Greenwich is quite interesting and deserving of a half-day. The trip there (Docklands rail) and back (boat) are not merely conveyances but activities in their own right, and fun. If you are at all interested in maritime history or seagoing Britain you will especially enjoy this trip. Perhaps you can have this as an option on one day, depending upon the weather?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Thank you all - how would I find out
about the Tate to Tate cruise?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 06:44 AM
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http://www.tate.org.uk/tatetotate/
This isn't a cruise so much as a boat between the two Tate Galleries. It goes about every 40 minutes, costs around £3, takes only 20 mins or so. Stops at the Eye on the way. Fantastic views, well worth the trip if you're short of time.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:27 PM
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The Tate boat ride sounds great - although I had checked the Tate website, I hadn't noticed information about that. How about the restaurant at the Tate Modern -worth it for lunch or should we scout out a pub?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Don't know about the restaurant at Tate Modern, but you should definitely check out the bar on (I think) the 5th floor. If you can time it to get there at sunset the reflection in the buildings opposite is stunning.
The restaurant at the top of the Oxo Tower (a bit further along towards Westminster) is good, so is the bar. And the views. Bit pricey though.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:31 PM
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There are two restaurants in Tate Modern. One up high and one on the ground floor. Upstairs is pricier but has amazing views. Both have decent food.

the OXO Tower is convenient for the whole of the southbank -- expensive restaurant, more moderate brasserie, lounge bar, and a free observation deck. I probably wouldn't eat in the main room - even w/ the amazing views. Just too expensive. But lunch out on the terrace at the Brasserie is greta if the weather is decent.
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