One day in London--any suggestions?

Old Feb 20th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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One day in London--any suggestions?

My husband and I are planning to take the Eurostar from Paris in June and visit London for 1 day. We are travelling with our 2 year old daughter as well. We have travelled through most of Western Europe but never got a chance to go to London (exhange rate is always beating us down!)

Does anyone have any suggestion as to what is a must do/see as well as a good value restaurant that is conveniently located?

Thank you in advance!
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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London offers diverse opportunities for every kind of person. What kinds of things do you like to do? Inside or outside? Boat trip? Gardens? Museums? For the restaurant, conveniently located to what? What does good value mean to you? What kind of food do you like?

Lots of people will help you here, but can give you better information if you tell us a little bit more about yourself...
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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If the weather is nice, I'd take this walk:

Start at Westminster Bridge near the top of the hour so you and your daughter can hear "Big Ben" bong. Walk around Parliament Square to get an outside view of Parliament and then past Westminster Abbey. Continue east on Great George Street and then right on Horseguards Road, hopefully timed right to see the changing of the horse guards (11 a.m.).

Then stroll through St. James's Park, stopping to look at the ducks and more exotic wildfowl, plus the wonderful flowers. There's a child-friendly restaurant here called Inn The Park...a bit pricey, but not so bad for this neighborhood.

Continue through the park and you'll reach Buckingham Palace (with different timings, another guard changing opportunity). There's a small playground at this end of St.James's Park.

But if it is playgrounds you seek (OK, your daughter seeks) take the Tube or a taxi to Kensington Gardens and the top-notch Diana Memorial Playground--a paradise for kids under 12. The nearby gardens at Kensington Palace are worth a look and Hyde Park stretches east from here. There's a moderately-priced restaurant/tea spot in Kensington Gardens--the Orangerie--as well the Boardwalk Cafe (right at the playground).

Have fun!

Dave W.
http://www.kidstolondon.com

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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 06:53 PM
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I agree with Dave's first suggestion. If you only have one day, the best way to spend it would be visiting "postcard London." When we were there several years ago we took a walk that allowed us to see Trafalgar Square, Banqueting House, 10 Downing Street, Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. You truly feel like you are in London when you take this walk!
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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I would suggest one of those hop on/off double decker bus tours to start. It will hit most of the heighlights and be much nicer than taking the tube. You pay for the ticket and can jump off and on all day as you like. Very "touristy" of course but to me there's a huge rush arriving in London and just riding around in a double-decker bus!

Dave's walk is nice. You could actually do most of his walk and then catch the bus near Buckingham Palace. They've got people out on the corners selling tickets all day long.

From there it's all up to you...Harrods, London Eye, whatever you like!

I think this is the one we used last time: http://www.theoriginaltour.com/tour_map/

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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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Thanks Dave-- great suggestion. I will keep in mind the double-decker bus as well (my daughter would love it!). We do love to walk on our vacations as it seems like you really get the feel of the place better that way, though in the interest of time (since we're only there for the day) a bus is not such a bad idea.

We are taking the Eurostar to and from Waterloo station. Is that situated in the centre of the city? Do you recommend any restaurants in that area (our train leaves at 8:00 pm so I'd like a place that is close to Waterloo station so we don't miss it).

Thanks again for all your great suggestions!

Alex
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 07:30 PM
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Waterloo is south* of the river, a little bit east of the Eye.

For dining in the area, how about a pub? Go to fancyapint.com and search by tube station for Waterloo. They have excellent (and in my experience, very reliable) reviews of both food and drink.

* Actually east, because the Thames runs north-south in this area. But let's not get pedantic. It's across the river from Big Ben and five minutes further on.
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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Waterloo is walking distance to the start of "my" walk--cross the river at Westminster Bridge. And the London Eye is on your way too. Waterloo has an Underground station if you get too far afield during your day in London and need to get back to catch your train.

Don't have any nearby dinner suggestions for Waterloo rail station. Hopefully someone else can help here.
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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Since you are only here for 1 day, i would suggest that you buy sandwiches to eat on the return train, this way you will be able to see more of london rather than sitting in a restaurant.
My proposal would be to get the bus tour first - stay on for te full tour and then do your walking. This way you will have had a "snap shot" of London and can return to the parks for a light lunch in a cafe and then choose which bits/areas/museums you wish to visit in the afternoon and evening. hope this helps
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 09:19 PM
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If you check the link I posted earlier there is an e-map with the bus route. You can use it as a nice vauge reference for the sites. I would do the original tour (yellow route). I was just checking it because we'll be taking our daughter in May and the 1st thing we'll do is jump on the bus.

I would certainly ride the London Eye. As you can see, it is very near Waterloo station. You may want to head there first. Depending on the line, you could ride it then, or buy a ticket for an late afternoon/evening ride when you know you'll need to be back near that area anyway.

Riding the bus the whole way is a good idea, but it does take a while (~2hrs?) So if you want to see more of an area and you didn't get off the 1st time, you'll have to go around again or take the tube (or walk). There are also some very good walking tours you can take (london walks?), just search.

I'd go with:

(in no particular order)
Bus ride
London Eye
Walk from Westminster to St. James and Palace (Dave's walk)
Hyde park (walk from palace?)
Probably time for a museum visit or Harrods or tower of london (good tours), or a walking tour, etc.

Substitute to suit your own interests. I'm sure there are many similar previous posts you can search on as well..have fun!

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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 06:44 AM
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Since no on has mentioned this, I might as well: for transportation on the Tube and buses, trams, and trains, buy a 2-zone, 1-day Travelcard when you get to Waterloo. It provides unlimited travel on all modes within the inner zones.

You can even arrange your own hop-on/hop-off bus tour by downloading and printing this map of all the "must-sees":
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/cen_bus.pdf

For six bucks (the price of a one-day Bus Pass) instead of thirty.
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Most railway stations have good sandwich shops/cafe's right in them so you could grab your quick dinner that way. Also, I'm pretty sure that Marks and Spencer have a food hall right near the Waterloo railway station, where you can get all manner of prepared food to take with you.
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Excellent suggestion!

Marks & Spencer is IN Waterloo Station, on the north side of the main hall, about halfway down. Note that this is a different "room" than the Eurostar terminal.

Many is the gnosh we've grabbed at M&S on the way to a train.
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 09:53 PM
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LOL you mean "Nosh" not "Gnosh"
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Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 08:32 AM
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How clever of you to notice. Does this mean your posts are now fair game for picky, anal correction?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 08:52 AM
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We are in a similar situation this spring. We have two nights, so one full day in London. We have been to London twice before (total of about 7 days), so have seem most of the "must sees", and would like to plan a good day.

We have never been to the V&A Museum, or the National Library and was considering ONE of these. I have also been considering another visit to the British Museum or National Gallery, but it seems a bit much for one day. We would definitely like to spend half the day in an area where we can do a bit of a wander, see some smaller sites, have some lunch and maybe pop into a few shops.

Anyone have a favorite "day in London" they would like to share?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 09:45 AM
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I have on disc notes on things that children like in London, and shall gladly copy it to anybody who asks.

Ben Haines, London
[email protected]
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Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 02:04 PM
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I also think the double decker tour bus is the way to go if you only have one day. You can see a great deal and hop on and off to see the sites as you choose.
 
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