London with an 8 year old daughter

Jul 27th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
London with an 8 year old daughter

My husband, myself and daughter are planning are first trip to London. I need additional suggestion for my itinerary. I want to see Hampton Court and go to the London Eye, the Tower of London and possible do the London Duck Tour. Maybe London Walks (the Ripper tour). Additionally, we were wondering in the banquet at Hatfield house is worth it. Any suggestion on how to fit in the above or additional ideas would be really helpful. This is our itinerary thus far:
Augst 24 - arrive tired after flying all night. Rolling Stones Concert at Twickenham in the evening. Staying in Mayfair and am hoping transportation is OK
25- open to suggestions
26 - tickets to Buckingham Palace and Royal Mew at 1:00.
27- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tickets for the evening.
28 - Warwick castle tour (Astral tours)
29- Stonehenge Tour (beyond the fence at sunset with Premium Tours)
Cronen is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My kids, at ages 13 and 15, thoroughly enjoyed the Hatfield banquet, the Tower of London, and Warwick Castle, as well as the Stonehenge inner-circle tour. If you go to Hatfield, go on one of the nights that Henry VIII is there. The juggler is absolutely magical.

I would not bother with the Jack the Ripper tour, because it tends to be very crowded and is also rather gruesome for a youngster! London Walks offers many other wonderful walking tours, perhaps there's a daytime one you'd enjoy, or their walk thru the British Museum.

Do take a nap after you arrive on Aug 24, if possible, though may would advise you not to. Since so many of your activities are in the evenings, you'll have an extra challenge for adjusting to the time-zone change.

I'd recommend that you include an outing to the Tower of London. Get there at opening (you an buy advance tickets at tube stations) and look at the crown jewels first, then go back to the entrance and join a Beefeaters Tour, they're quite remarkable.

Hampton Court can fill up a whole day, so do consider carefully whether you want to trek out there, or save it for your next trip. The Eye and the Duck Tour are both fun and will give you a good general orientation if you do them on your first full day (bring a map!).

I checked out the Stonehenge tour since I'd never heard of Premium Tours before (ours was through Astral Travels). Their web site indicates that the August 29 Stonehenge visit is a "morning viewing". You might want to double-check this with them. Anyway, the day, with Lacock and Bath, sounds very full and fun.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 05:17 PM
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Dear Anonymous,
Thanks for all the info. It is helpful. Your are right about the tour being scheduled as a morning viewing. I had written an enquiry and they informed me it had changed to a evening viewing, which was perfect for us as we're not morning people. Two questions for did you like Astral tours and how was transportation to and from Hatfield House. I'm concerned because it doesn't end until 10:30? Thanks for your help.
Cronen is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We liked Astral a lot. Their vehicle was a comfy little bus that holds only abut 15-20 people, and it wasn't full. Our driver was new, charming, and spoke with an unusual accent from Berkshire. The Astral Inner Circle tour focuses on Neolithic things in the area; we had time at the Avebury circle (2 museums!), hiked up West Kennett Long Barrow (sp?), etc. as well as taking side trips to view crop circles (obviously has to be planned last-minute via local informants!) and also the pub where the driver alleges they're plotted. The main drawback was that there was not much opportunity for food other than a snack bar at Avebury or the pub there which would take up the entire stop. Since we never leave home without food, we had a cooler with sandwich fixin's, drinks, fruit, etc., and were the envy of the whole bus! We got to Stonehenge just before regular hours ended, so had time to visit the gift shop and toilets. Being able to walk among the stones was awesome, and the tour guide provided metal dowsing rods so we could test our feel for the ley lines.

We had a car and drove to Hatfield, so I can't offer much insight about transport. There's a train station right at the end of their drive (no coincidence, according to local political lore) but it might not run late enough, it did run past 10:30. There are several tour companies that bring in busloads of people from various hotels, so probably you can search for one of them. The banquet is held in the very hall where young Elizabeth held her first council meeting upon learning that she had inherited the throne, and all the performers (including the serving wenches) were very talented, IMHO. Plenty of mead for everyone (except our designated driver, LOL).
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 274
There is a brass rubbing center in the basement at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church, as well as an excellent cafe. My kids really enjoyed doing that. You will love Hampton Court. The town of Richmond is very nice too
laurelt is offline  
Jul 27th, 2003, 09:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,215
My family and I enjoyed the long-running play Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap". Have you thought of going to tea?
KathrynT is offline  
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