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vinonobile987 Feb 10th, 2019 07:54 AM

My April trip to London (fourth time visit)
 
Hi All,

First and foremost, I would like to tank so many of you who gave me fabulous advice for my day trips from London and for the Kensington area.

Here is my plan. I had visited many London major attractions in the past, so I am not going to the Westminster Abbey, Churchill War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, etc. this time (I revisited them in September 2018 - fascinating!).

London Trip - Apr 21 to May 1st.


April 22 Monday

Arrival day after the overnight flight from Boston. My hotel is AC Marriott Xenia and I am planning to take a tube to Earls Court from LHR as I will have only one relatively small bag with me - I always pack light.

Kensington Palace (opened till 4pm)
Kensington Gardens
Victoria and Albert Museum (opened till 17:45 pm) - second visit. Booked ticket for the “Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams” exhibit at 15:30pm

April 23 Tuesday

St. Paul Cathedral (from 8:30am till 16:00pm). Closed Sunday.
The Charterhouse
Museum of London
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Shakespeare Globe tour - if time permits.

April 24th Wednesday

National Gallery (opened till 6pm and Friday till 9pm)
National Portrait Gallery
Wyndham Theater: Arthur Miller “The price”

April 25th Thursday

Leeds Castle (from 10:00am till 16:30 pm). From Victoria Station.

April 26th Friday

Tower of London (from 9am till 16:30 pm)
London Bridge - just to take a look (we had done a short tour years ago)
Walk to Covent Garden (45 min via Victoria Embankment) - good idea?
ROH “Romeo and Juliet” at 7:30 pm. Ticket purchased.

April 27th Saturday

Winchester day trip from Waterloo
Winchester Cathedral (from 8:30am till 5pm)
Wolvesay Castle and Old Bishop’s place, if time permits.
Tate Modern (15 minutes walk from Waterloo Station) - opened till 6pm and Fri-Sat till 10 pm

April 28th Sunday

Options:
1. Hatfield House - 30mins from Kings Cross. The House is right opposite the station.

2. Richmond and Ham House (50 minutes by train from Waterloo Station).

3. Arundel - 1 hour 30 min from Victoria Station

April 29 Monday

Canterbury - 1 hour from St.Pancras Station.

April 30 Tuesday

Hampton Court - 45 minutes from Waterloo Station
Eltham Castle from Waterloo Station, if time permits.
Walk in Hyde Park (my usual walk when I am in London)

May 1st - flight home to Boston

I know I have a busy agenda, but I am not skipping lunches or dinners😊. And all my day trips are weather dependent and I am sure I will be shuffling things around on the spot.

What do do you think?

Thanks a million!






janisj Feb 10th, 2019 08:58 AM

Random comments.

• Your day 1 is awfully full for a possibly jet lagged day. I know the Dior tix are set . . . but I'd drop Kens Palace and just plan on walking in the Parks and the V&A.

• April 23 doesn't make sense. You are zig zagging across to St Pauls, back across to Chelsea, then back to the Globe which is right across the river from St Paul's. I'd drop the Chelsea Hospital and concentrate on City sites and the Globe. Have you been to the Guildhall with its Great Hall, art gallery, Roman amphitheatre, etc. It would be a much better fit with St Pauls than anything in Chelsea/to the west.

April 27 -- I don't see how you could fit in the Tate after a long day trip to Winchester. The train will take more than an hour each way and and you'll want at least 5 hours IN Winchester so even with an 8 AM start from your hotel you likely won't get back to London Waterloo before 5PM PM at the earliest.

Assuming you mean Eltham Palace -- your April 30 is nigh on impossible. HCP will take at minimum until 3 PM by the time you get back to Waterloo. Trains to Mottingham (for Eltham Palace) don't leave from Waterloo -- either Charing Cross or Cannon Street. Do either HCP or Eltham Palace which you can combine with something nearer Charing Cross.

I know you are set on Leeds Castle -- but if it was me I'd use that day for HCP or Etham Palace instead

vinonobile987 Feb 10th, 2019 09:12 AM

My plans
 
Totally makes sense, Janis! Thank you!

Guildhall is a great idea (never been) and everything, except for St.Paul’s Cathedral, is just a wish list and not a must. I will add the Globe tour (it takes 40 minutes and also I will spend some time in the museum).

Also, Tate Modern is opened till 10 pm on the day of my Winchester trip and I will be rested after the train ride. I am not a huge fan of modern art, so I am mostly going there for the views and for the painters I like. “Black Square” like paintings do not inspire me. My Tate Modern visit will be nowhere near as long as my day in the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.

I included plenty of day trips, but I know for a fact that Leeds and Arundel are 100% weather dependent, so I am just trying to arrange something as a backup plan.

And I am very open for more things to do in London. I do love day trips, but London I love more than everything.

janisj Feb 10th, 2019 09:21 AM

Oh - I forgot Tate Modern is open late on Sat. too. But . . . The Tate is right next door to the Globe and across from St Paul's. Since you don't plan on spending much time in the Gallery -- I'd lump it in on the St Pauls/City/Globe day.

vinonobile987 Feb 10th, 2019 09:32 AM

Tate Modern
 
Yep, I was thinking about it too, Janis! Great idea!


northie Feb 11th, 2019 05:35 PM

on 28th I would do Hatfield House-childhood home of Elizabeth 1.-loved it.

vinonobile987 Feb 11th, 2019 05:42 PM

Hatfield House
 
Yes, Hatfield House is very high on my priority list now. Can I combine it with Kew Royal Botanical Gardens?

janisj Feb 11th, 2019 06:08 PM

>>Can I combine it with Kew Royal Botanical Gardens?<<

Not at all. One is in the western suburbs and the other is 20 miles north of London and you would have to double back through London to get from one to the other. Kew is a doable match with Hampton Court but not doable with Hatfield.

vinonobile987 Feb 11th, 2019 06:20 PM

Kew Gardens
 
Perfect! Thank you, Janisj! I will then combine Kew Gardens with Hampton Court. I messed up: meant to combine Ham House with Kew Gardens, not Hatfield House.

janisj Feb 11th, 2019 07:03 PM

>>meant to combine Ham House with Kew Gardens, not Hatfield House.<<

That does make more sense . . . :)

Ham House is an even better fit with Kew than HCP. Ham House is less than 4 mies from Kew.

vinonobile987 Feb 11th, 2019 07:10 PM

Ham House
 
Will go to both then😊. And will most likely replace Leeds Castle with Hatfield House. Thank you, Janisj!

janisj Feb 11th, 2019 07:21 PM

>>And will most likely replace Leeds Castle with Hatfield House<<

I think that's a good choice. The train ride to Hatfield is 30 minutes shorter and the entrance is right across from the station. Not only does Leeds take twice as long by train -- you then have to catch a periodic shuttle bus to the castle.

vinonobile987 Feb 11th, 2019 07:40 PM

Yes, reaching Leeds Castle was my biggest concern, so I would rather go to Hatfield House. It will be fun to visit the childhood home and of Elizabeth I.

Odin Feb 12th, 2019 02:23 AM

If you were renting a car, Kew Gardens and Hatfield House are very easy to combine but by public transport, it would take far too long plus you need quite a bit of time to see each place, no good being rushed. At Hatfield House, not only do you have the main house, but the gardens/park and the Old Palace, St Ethelreda's Church and a walk down Fore Street in Old Hatfield is very interesting, many Georgian houses to see from the outside. Hatfield House has been used in many film locations over the years.it has some Roman items eg a roman marble bath tub in the Marble Hall which came from nearby Verulamium (St Albans), some personal items from Elizabeth I are on display.

Kew Gardens is always a delight at any time of the year IMO, again there is alot to see inc. interesting buildings and kitchen gardens. Combined with a trip to Ham House and Richmond afterwards to walk along the river which is very close by, a good place to have dinner - the Ivy has an all day dining cafe there but it is always full, so needs prebooking.

vinonobile987 Feb 12th, 2019 04:47 AM

Richmond
 
Thank you so much for your wonderful advice, Odin! No, no car... My husband drives everywhere in Europe and we had done countless driving trips, but we never attempt to drive on the “other side”, so we had done all our previous trips to England and Ireland using public transportation.

I revised my plan now:

April 25th Thursday

Hatfield House - 30mins from Kings Cross (is it correct?). The House is right opposite the station.

April 28th Sunday

Richmond and Ham House (50 minutes by train from Waterloo Station) or Tube. Royal Botanical Kew Gardens.

April 29 Monday

Canterbury - 1 hour from St.Pancras Station.

April 30 Tuesday

Hampton Court - 45 minutes from Waterloo Station

Looks realistic?

Thanks a million to all! You gave me exactly the tips I was looking for.

Odin Feb 12th, 2019 05:06 AM


Originally Posted by vinonobile987 (Post 16872130)
April 25th Thursday

Hatfield House - 30mins from Kings Cross (is it correct?). The House is right opposite the station.

April 28th Sunday

Richmond and Ham House (50 minutes by train from Waterloo Station) or Tube. Royal Botanical Kew Gardens.

April 30 Tuesday

Hampton Court - 45 minutes from Waterloo Station



Hatfield Station is about 30mins from Kings X, the entrance to the house is exactly opposite the station, You have to walk thru the entrance and along a road to get to the actual house.
If you have the time and inclination, you can visit Eight Bells Pub in Park Street, Old Hatfield, grade II listed with lots of history and charm

50mins seems a bit long for Waterloo to Richmond, it's more like 20mins but then you need to get to Ham House and Kew Gardens which can be done by bus so I guess it would be about 50mins overall. A very very very nice place close to Ham House for lunch is Petersham Nurseries. A nice place for dinner near Kew Gardens is the Glasshouse

vinonobile987 Feb 12th, 2019 05:20 AM

Fantastic, Odin! I am so thrilled about my day trips now! Something so different from my usual castle obsession😊

The places for lunch you have recommended are on my list. Thank you so much!

All I need is decent weather. Do not mind cold, wind or even a bit of rain. We enjoyed our walk in the Holyrood Palace Gardens in Edinburgh in pretty nasty weather, London was not too kind with the weather last time as well, so I am not too picky.

vinonobile987 Feb 21st, 2019 07:32 AM

Sir John Soane's Museum
 
Hello All,

You have been so helpful! My trip is shaping up nicely and I will post my final itinerary soon.

One question: what do you think about the Sir John Soane's Museum? Is it worth visiting?

Thank you in advance!

janisj Feb 21st, 2019 09:21 AM

>>One question: what do you think about the Sir John Soane's Museum? Is it worth visiting? <<

LOVE it!! Yes -- very 'worth' visiting . . .

vinonobile987 Feb 21st, 2019 09:56 AM

Thank you, Janisj! I am sure capricious London weather will present unwanted surprises to my planned day trips, so this lovely museum will be a great alternative for me.


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