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Seven days in London--I need help planning!

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Aug 3rd, 2012, 12:59 PM
  #1
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Seven days in London--I need help planning!

My husband and I are taking our first trip together abroad and we are going to London. I know we will see the usual touristy stuff like the London Eye, Tower of London, Buckingham Castle... However I want to also take advantage of seeing sites outside of the city. My husband loves photography so I think Kew Gardens would be great. I also read that they have concerts in the summer at Kew Gardens and thought that would make a nice day trip. The one thing I know I want to see is Stonhenge while we are there. Is that a feasible option for a day trip? Should we rent a car or take a train (an even better quesion would be IS there a train that goes there)? We would like to have spent a day or two in Edinburgh, but we are not sure that would be possible in our limited time frame. I would love any advice you could give. We know we have a small amount of time to visit, but it is what it is. We are going in summer, which from reading other forum posts is a busy time of year there. Thank you in advance!
Olivia_Bingham2 is offline  
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 01:46 PM
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"Buckingham Castle"............Think you mean Buckingham Palace.

"The one thing I know I want to see is Stonhenge while we are there. Is that a feasible option for a day trip? Should we rent a car or take a train (an even better quesion would be IS there a train that goes there)?"

The train goes to Salisbury, then take the Stonehenge bus from there.
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 01:58 PM
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What's your time frame?

For Kew Gardens, it will have beautiful and interesting things to see, but bear in mind that its primary business is as a botanical garden for research.
www.kew.org
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 02:00 PM
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Ah, your title didn't fully register. Seven days could easily be spent in and around London; if that includes your arrival and departure days, Edinburgh really would be too much.
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 04:26 PM
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London Walks www.walks.com has a day tour to Salisbury and Stonehenge every Tuesday in summer. Their walks in London are also very good.
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Agreed London walks are good also try culture seekers they are really cool too http://www.cultureseekers.org/

Recommend visit Dulwich village, Dulwich art Gallery and Dulwich Park for Lunch in the Crown and Greyhound - Notting Hill - the Churchill Pub is terrific.

Tate Modern Damien Hirst show.

Borough Market Saturday morning.

Kings Road anytime!! Have fun
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 05:10 PM
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forgot to add Brick Lane too..
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 07:02 PM
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London is huge. Recommend doing some serious planning with a map, so you can organize your visit into geographic locations. eg.: Tate Modern and the Globe theater. Second the recommendations for London Walks. We loved the Oxford/Cotswolds trip.
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Aug 4th, 2012, 11:21 AM
  #9
jgg
 
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We were there for a week and found plenty to do in the city. We did do a tour with Astral Tours to Shakespeare on Avon, Cambridge and Warwick Castle one day, and it was nice to get out and see the countryside. I do believe there are tours that take you to Stonehenge for the day.

Here is a link to my trip report and pictures.
http://www.fromhometoroam.com/2012/05/london/

This will give you an idea of what we were able to accomplish each day. We were traveling with our kids, so may have gone a bit quicker through museums then you might.
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Aug 4th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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If you've only got seven days, I wouldn't go too far afield from London. But you could easily spend 7 days in the city itself, and there are plenty of available day trips, of which probably the most obvious are:

- Salisbury and Stonehenge
- Oxford
- Cambridge (the beauty of the Backs along the River Cam and the stunning King's College Chapel beat any individual aspect of Oxford, but overall, in my view, the scale and unity of Oxford makes it more impressive)
- Canterbury (readily reachable from London by train)

Kent, the area southeast of London, is chockful of castles, gardens and estates that are within an easy drive of each other, if you wanted to rent a car for a day or two. Consider Leeds Castle, on an island surrounded by a lake, Hever Castle, and Penshurst Place, for example. And Churchill's country estate at Chartwell (http://www.winstonchurchill.org/lear...den-of-england) is also readily visited from London. (Most people also enjoy visit Churchill's underground War Rooms in the city, which aren't all that far from the House of Parliament.)

I always recommend the Museum of London (a block or two north of St. Paul's Cathedral) as a great way to get an overview of the city's 2,000-plus year history. London Walks, as already noted, are fantastic, and one of the best travel bargains you'll every encounter. I found their their walks and talks about Roman London, Legal London, Christopher Wren's London, and the Jack the Ripper murder sites in the East End both informative and fun. I should think it would be a great idea to take one of their day trips oustide the city as well.

The Tower of London and the British Museum (and Reading Room) should be seen by anyone visiting London for the first time.

And the ancient pub Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_Olde_Cheshire_Cheese), which dates back to the 17th if not the 16th century, is worth a visit and perhaps a supper of very traditional English fare.
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