must do list in London

Sep 2nd, 2009, 12:33 PM
Original Poster
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must do list in London

My husband and I will be in London for 3 days. We will really only have one full day to see the sights in London because we wil be spending one day at Windsor Castle with friends and one day business. Are we better off taking a tour to see all the sights or do we go on our own. If a tour would be better can anyone reccomend a tour company?
Reneey is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Rather than a tour per se hop on the Hop on and Hop Off open-top double-decker buses that circulate incessantly by nearly all major London tourist sights - buy one ticket get on and off all day long - commentary provided as you circle town. The Big Bus Tour is one company - just buy ticket at any of their bus stops - no need to reserve nor possible i would think.

The Big Bus Company
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And i would first ride the London Eye ferris wheel on the South Bank and get a bird's eye view of all of London for orientation - again there are diagrams to tell you what you are seeing.
Palenque is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 03:54 PM
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Is there anything you specifically want to see in London?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 04:20 PM
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London is the size of New York or Tokyo. There's no way you are going to "see all the sights" in a day. Can't happen.

Do as the Pickle advises and figure out what you really want to see and go do it. Spending time hopping on and off a bus in London traffic for a high price (like 22 GBP = $36 per person) seems a waste. Unless you get a clear day or evening, the Eye is a waste too -- the price is 17 GBP ($27). You're not needing it to orient yourself because in one day you need to group activities or sights together.

One way to spend your day would be to go to Westminster Abbey, visit the Cabinet War Rooms, walk to Buckingham Palace, hop on the Tube at Green Park (Victoria Line, northbound), change for the Central Line to St. Paul's and then either walk around the City area or take the Central Line to Bank and walk to the Tower.

I'd go to specific places I want to see, not ride around on a bus to view the city. You can cover the hop-on/hop-off routes with the Nos. 9, 15, and 139 buses and for far less money.
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 04:50 PM
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I often recommend the H-o-H-o double decker buses for the first day in London - to give an overview.

But IMO it would be a terrible idea for you. You would basically ride it all day long and see just about everything from outside, and maybe have time to go inside 1 or at most 2 major sites.

I also normally recommend the Eye - I LOVE it. But you won't have any idea what you are seeing from up there.

London is huge. You cannot possibly see everything in in a day. So instead of barely glimpsing all these places and spending a LOT of time just sitting in traffic --

Elendilpickle and BigRuss have the right idea. Pick the 2 or 3 places you've always wanted to see and visit them. Have a nice walk along the river. A nice meal. Forget about the bus tours/Eye.
janisj is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Well i agree with Janis and Big Russ and Pickle - i was o0nly responding to OP's request for tours recommendations. At least for the bus but i would certainly recommend doing the Eye Over London ferris wheel and yes there are signs in each cabin pointing out the main sights. But yes i rather be strolling on the South Bank walk or around the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace areas than on a bus stuck in London's horrendous traffic all day.
Palenque is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Here's one plan..

There is an area that you could easily fill one day with, and would be walking only.

Buckinham palce, St James Palace, St James park, Horses Guard, Trafalgar Sq, National Gallery, St Martin in the Fields, Covent Garden.

Banqueting House, 10 Downing, Cabinet War Rooms, Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey.

Time permitting, tube to St Paul's. Evensong would be nice at either Westinster or St Paul's.

I'd not do Changing of Guard. HoHo would have been a suggesiton, but the above analysis sounds correct.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 04:13 PM
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I'll add that we did the hop-on, hop-off bus our first afternoon in London. We enjoyed driving past places like St. Paul's that we didn't have time to actually visit, but with your one day I wouldn't spend the time or money doing that.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 05:31 PM
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I must admit that my first response was going to be a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus but then I reconsidered. Think about what you think of when you think of London. Does it bring images of Big Ben, St.Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, etc? One of the exciting things to say is 'I've been there' or 'it looks just like that' so go and visit that place that you think of as being London. If you are lucky you can get a couple of them in, so start as soon as they open so as to not miss out. Don't forget there are also 'walks' in the evening that are great fun, take you into interesting places and will make you feel like you got the most out of your day.
PastTimesWriter is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 07:15 PM
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I love The Big Bus ticket! In 24 hours, we took advantage of the bus, the boat, and two of the walking tours. You do not have to do the full bus or boat tour to benefit from the ticket. Be especially sure to do the changing of the guard tour. You won't really see the actual changing of the guards, (but neither will 95 percent of the thousands standing in front of B. Palace!), but you will have an upclose view of all that precedes the actual changing. Be prepared to move quickly--our guide said, "This is not a walk; this is not a march; this is a workout!" Indeed, parts of it were, but it was well worth it. You may also enjoy Hampton Court. (We took the train there and returned by boat.)Another of our favorites during our 3 1/2 day stay recently was the Churchill War Rooms and Museum. Both Hampton Court and the Churchill have excellent audio tours.
MaryAnn111 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 08:08 PM
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Another "vote" for picking a central spot and focusing your short time in London there. Like others have mentioned, the Parliament/Westminster Abbey/St. James's Park/Buckingham Palace/Cabinet War Rooms area is a good choice in my opinion. Add to that a visit to the Tower of London, or a museum of your choice...
KidsToLondon is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 12:30 AM
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Dil Pickles - a wally - you should eat one of those with some Fish and Chips
Or see if you can get a tub of Jellied Eels.

THe Original Bus Co is another doing the topless tours...same arrangement - looked like they had more frequent buses.

don't try to see to much
khunwilko is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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>>Dil Pickles - a wally - you should eat one of those with some Fish and Chips
Or see if you can get a tub of Jellied Eels.<<

Sorry, are you addressing me or the OP?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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You might consider a boat ride on the Thames River to Greenwich. It will allow you to see some major sites-Big Ben , the Parliment, the London Bridge, the Eye, and it is relaxing. Greenwich is interesting for a quick daytrip.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2009, 01:18 PM
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Perhaps you can Check out London walks and see what tours are available for the day you will be there.

With just 1 day, I might base it on the weather...

If it is rainy, perhaps go the the British museum. It is free to get in, and has wonderful exhibits that you would not be able to find in other museums.
I felt like the tower of London was a must see, although will take up half day.

It was easy to see the churchill museum, parliament, westminster abbey, and changing of the guards since they are located so close to each other. (I did not go inside buckingham palace, as it would have cost 30 pounds to do so)

I would also try to arrange to take a break for high tea!

With only 1 day, i dont think I would go to Greenwich village. I went and thought it was nothing special.
Augusta78 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 02:52 PM
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If you do the BIG BUS...and don't get off how long would that take on a Sunday?
sunswhtdog is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 03:40 PM
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If and when I visit London, I want to go on the Eye. Unless of course it was a foggy or rainy day. I like art so I'd like to visit the National Gallery, and most likely Westminster Abbey. I'd also like to go for a quick ride on the Thames river and find a nearby spot for some fish and chips. Maybe in the evening, visit a local pub for a pint or 2.

These are some of the top things for me to see, if I only had one day. As with anything else, what I find interesting may bore someone else to tears. Have a great trip. Greg
gregs317 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 03:58 PM
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You could walk over Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern, walk around Southbank, maybe visit Borough Market, take a Thames Clipper back to Embankment, people watch in Trafalgar Square, pop into the National Gallery or the National Portrait Gallery, walk from Trafalgar Square down to Westminster and then hang out in St James Park.

Whatever you do, don't get on that godforsaken hop on/off bus.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 04:01 PM
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My wife and I just spent 2 days 2 nights in London at the end of our vacation.

We stayed at the Sofitel St. James on Waterloo Place. This was easy walking distance to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliment, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, SoHo, Buckingham Palace, Harrod's incredible store, the London Eye. This kind of covers lot's of the highlights. We also walked (2 1/2 miles to the Tower of London (took a cab back)). Easily did all of this in 2 days.
Masterphil is offline  

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