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Proposed London Itinerary 4.5 days - have I under- or over-planned?


Proposed London Itinerary 4.5 days - have I under- or over-planned?

Old Feb 18th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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Proposed London Itinerary 4.5 days - have I under- or over-planned?

We (2 parents, 2 college-age daughters, one of whom is studying now in Madrid) are traveling to London (and then to Paris) for spring break. First time for the kids, so I want to fit it most of the "must sees" plus shopping. We are not real museum people. I'd welcome anyone's thoughts as to whether I've put too much (or not enough) into the few days we have. Also, the London Walks look so neat, I may be trying to fit too many of them in - is it overkill?


Arrive hotel late morning
Walk to Marble Arch, Speakers corner, around Mayfair
Back to hotel to meet daughter flying in from Madrid
Portobello Market
Kensington Gardens

11:00 Magical Mystery Tour & Abbey
The Eye
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament


Walk by Buckingham Palace and through St. James Park
Changing of the guard at 11am Horse Guard Park
Walk by Trafalgar
National Portrait Gallery (meeting friend for lunch)
Covent Garden
7:30 Theater


Tower of London
Tower Bridge
Soho/Carnaby Street
Walk South Bank Thames
Shakespeare Globe Theatre
St. Paul’s & Millenium Bridge
The London by Night walk 6 pm.


Shopping Oxford St / Regent St
Lunch at Harrods
The Chelsea - London's Riverside Village Walk
8:05 depart on Eurostar to Paris
BarbaraF is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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LOL, no you have not "overplanned".

Tuesday is a long day on your feet. Are you planning to eat dinner before or after your walk?
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Sounds doable to me, or least it was doable by me when I was still less than 50 years of age.

There are several HUGE omissions as I see the world, namely The British Museum. Also why the portrait gallery and not the National Gallery? Those two omissions seem to me to be major.

Your one Sunday might be a little crowded because Westminster Abbey can be crowded. I would up it to first on my list and be in the queue to get in as part of the first wave.

If you have time afterwards, there are many other places to visit.

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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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Near the Globe Theater (New Globe Walk) is TAS Pide a Turkish restaurant which we found to be very good.

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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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It looks to me like you're not going to arrive at Portobello Market until relatively late in the day on Saturday (well after lunch?).
Is going there a strong priority?
If not, I'd take some other easy activity from another day, such as the walk by of Buck. Palace, or through St James's Park, or, lunch at Harrods.

If you do go, there's a printable guide on this website
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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I'll address each day:

Saturday: nothing going on at Speakers' Corner. Portobello Rd market will have pretty much shut down by the time you get there (assuming late-ish afternoon). So -- re-think what you want to do. that day. The walk/park makes sense.

Sunday: Westminster Abbey is not open to the public (except for services) on Sundays.

Monday: All of your plans except the Portrait Gallery are basically "walk-by's" so you really haven't planned too much. Hope you mean the change of the Horse Guards.

Tues: You are zig zagging back and forth across London way too much this day. The Globe is walking distance from the Tower - but you are planning on heading all the way to soho/Carnaby Street and then back to Southwark and then St Paul's. There is probably no way you could get to St Paul's before it closes to tours at 3:30. So I would re-think your tues.
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for all the very helpful comments. I had a feeling that Tuesday might be a killer. Will have to rethink that, and will also rethink the Saturday Portobello plan, maybe substitute in Buckingham Palace/St James Park instead. Older daughter coming from Madrid will not be jet lagged, but the rest of us will be sagging a bit.

Our hotel is close to the Marble Arch, Speakers Corner, etc., so the stroll around there is just killing time until our older daughter arrives from Madrid, and so she doesn't miss something really big.

I've got the Portrait Gallery in there because we are meeting friends on Monday for lunch at the rooftop restaurant.

Seetheworld, thanks so much for the Turkish restaurant recommendation. I'm putting it on the list. I foresee some difficulty picking restaurants as one daughter is a vegetarian but doesn't eat pasta, Indian food, or anything that is the least bit spicy (impossible, but I've had 18 years to get used to this!). She does love seafood and vegetables, so mediterranean/turkish/greek and sushi are great choices.

Thanks again.

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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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I think everything is doable except Tuesday. Personally, The Tower was my favorite and between taking the tour and exploring ourselves, we (my father and I--I was studying in London at the time) spent about 3 hours inside, another 45 min. walking across the bridge.

If you plan on going to St. Paul's I would recommend climbing the stairs for the best view of London (aside from the Eye), but again, it is time consuming to walk the stairs, let along tour St. Paul's.

You MUST walk through Westminster Abbey, so for sure change the date so you will go when it's open to the public.

The Globe is great if you are a Shakespeare fan, however my father, who never understood any of his works, found this quite dull and boring, so you may want to just skip it (it is out of the way from a lot of what you want to see as well).

Have a GREAT time -- you will love it!
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