Short stay in London (7 Days)

Old Oct 26th, 2010, 01:58 AM
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Short stay in London (7 Days)

Hi Everyone,

We are a family of 5 (3 kids, ages 8 to 15) planning a short visit to London by mid November for the first time. We will be staying in the Frimley area.

We would like your advise on what are the places to visit that are interesting not only for us but also for the kids.

Is the hop on - hop off city tours being offered ok or they're just too quick? Are we better off doing the sightseeing ourselsves? We really don't have plans to go outside the City (London) but if time permits would love too. Any suggestion on that.

Thank you.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 02:36 AM
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You do realise that Frimley isn't in London, right? It's in a suburban area about 50 minutes driving/30 minutes train outside of central London. You might want to double check on the location. It seems odd that you would stay there unless you had a compelling reason (e.g. family).
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 03:00 AM
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Yes you are right. We'll be staying with my sister.

Thanks.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 04:20 AM
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The ho/ho bus tour is fine for orientation if the weather permits sitting up top. From the inside, you really won't get to see all that much. On the other hand, you can see quite a bit from the inside of a the Thames River boat and the trip to Greenwich -- with a visit to the museum -- is a great family activity.

With the range in ages, I would also recommend the Tower of London and the changing of the Horse Guards followed by a walk through Green Park to Buckingham Palace.

Cambridge and Brighton are two of my favorite destinations for day trips. In November, Cambridge might be the better choice. Here again, a ho/ho bus can be a good start.

For a museum day, the Victoria and Albert has a lot to offer all ages and a great gift shop as well. Or perhaps split up and let one parent take the younger children to the Natural History museum next door.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 04:43 AM
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Thanks a lot for the information.

We’re also thinking of booking one of those “day tours”. We're just a bit worried that the these tours are just too quick or would spend just a few moments or just passby the attractions, not enough for the kids to enjoy. We love to take pictures of the attractions with the kids. We really would appreciate feedback from those who had experienced this.

Due to time constraints, we would want to visit those well known attractions like The Tower, Big Ben, Buckingham, St. Paul’s, Westminster, River Thames Cruise and perhaps the London Eye, the London Zoo and the London Aquarium.

Any advise on the easy and economical mode of transport around the city? Should we purchase an Oyster Card or other like it?

Thanks.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 04:56 AM
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>>Should we purchase an Oyster Card or other like it?
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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I've been reading about the city - attractions, tours, transportation, etc,..... it seems so confusing to me since there are too many options. :~)

Thank you for the information.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 06:47 AM
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I goofed, you get to Buckingham Palace from Horse Guards by walking through St. James Park, which has a wonderful pond stocked with swans, pelicans, and all manner of ducks and geese.

I haven't been to the London Zoo in years but remember enjoying a day there with our then 13-year-old. (She now has a 13-year-old of her own.) It might be fun to start a day at the zoo in Camdentown, where the older teens will find lots to buy, then take the canal boat to the zoo stop. The London Aquarium is interesting, but very dark and often so filled with youngsters on school trips you can barely move or hear yourself think.

Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Horse Guards and Buckingham Palace make a good long walk. There are lots of benches in St. James Park for resting. If you start at Buckingham Palace, you will be working your way down hill and could easily end your tour with a ride on the Eye.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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Are all these with in the so called Zone 1-6?

Thanks.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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Notting Hill is fun to see ( portebello market) just to stroll through. Brunch in this area can be fun.

Regent park-where the zoo is, is fun, but Hyde park is so nice as well, just to stroll through and you can walk to knightsbridge, if you want to see Harrods.

i love the national Potrait gallery, ( you can do Leicester square and then walk to here) , then you can go to Covent gardens- catch some of the live acts on the street of the performers, or watch a show , if you fancy..
there is so much to do in London!

The ho/ho buses, let you stay out as long as you want, so there is no real rush to get back on. Taking the tube is the way to go, as prices are so expensive of cabs. if you do end up taking a cab, take a mini cab, vs the black cab.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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oh day trips- Oxford, Bath, Stonhedge.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 07:19 AM
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The London zoo is not that great and it is expensive. Especially compared to all the museums that are free. The great thing about the free museums is that you don't feel bad if you just go in and see one part and leave again. For example the kids might like the Egyptian section at the British museum or the dinosaur section at the Natural History museum. Many of the museums have special kids kits or other features to make them family friendly. Here's a good website with list of free London museums and links to their own websites for more information. http://www.eurocheapo.com/blog/londo...e-museums.html
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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Also be sure you take advantage of free child fares on rail, tube and buses. See this brochure from Transport for London. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...s_may_2010.pdf
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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You can try the Travel for Kids site:
http://www.travelforkids.com/Funtodo/England/london.htm

There will be firework displays all over London on Nov 5-6, and one on Nov 13:
http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/london-f...-displays.aspx
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 08:50 AM
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I guess we'll do the ho/ho buses as a start and then for the rest of the days just stroll around to cover other areas of interest. We're planning to buy all day travelcards for that.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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IMO - If you want to see the Tower of London, I would go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 09:44 AM
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What manner of kids? Boys, girls, mix? Which are which -- a 15 y.o. boy would be bored stiff at the Portobello Market. But boys would likely enjoy both the Imperial War Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms and they should definitely like the weapon and armor displays in the Tower.

The HO/HO buses are a waste of money. They cost a small fortune and you can grab the three foals, stick them on the top of a double-decker #9 or #15 or #139 and get a tour of the city for way less.

Frimley is more than 30 minutes by train -- the schedules on nationalrail.co.uk indicate anywhere from 70-85 minute rides, with transfers from "Frimley" to London. And that's just to Waterloo Station, from which you will likely have to catch trains to your London destinations. Waterloo is also not on the Circle Line on the Tube nor on the Piccadilly Line -- which are the two most convenient for tourists. That means once you get to Waterloo, you'll likely need another change from your initial Tube train. This is an unholy pain.

Can you afford something closer to the city? If your main purpose is to see London just about every day, you're starting from a bad location and will be spending a lot of extra time and money in travel.
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Since you are staying w/ your sister (presumably for free) I'd definitely consider forking over ££ to stay IN London 1 or 2 nights. That way you can get to the Tower at opening time w/o having to leave Frimley at 0ark:thirty, and have time to see quite a bit w/o having to commute in every day.

Your sister will be able to arrange some of the great sites semi-convenient to Frimley that are outside of London (Windsor, Winchester/Salisbury/Stonehenge, Avebury, RHS Wisley if you are into gardens, etc).

Folks suggesting day trips to Cambridge and the like - probably don't know where Frimley is (40 miles SW of London)
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 11:52 AM
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sorry about the smiley. Should read >>0 dark thirty
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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We have 15 & 12 year old boys and an 8 year girl. My idea of using the HO/HO buses is to cover as much ground as possible. Guess we to rethink that strategy.

Thanks for the advise. We do have to stay a few days in Frimley but also looking into booking a hotel in London for a couple of nights. Any recommendation?
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