Some Advice on 1st time in London

Feb 5th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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sorry - but HCP is not on the tube.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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I have been to London many times,as I live up in Glasgow,Scotland...Victoria is quite a good area and you will be able to get around easily enough on The Tube....If I was going on a first trip I think that I would take in The Tate Modern.....And you will notice that The Millenium Bridge connects it to near St.Paul's Cathedral...The view from Tate Modern over Bridge to St.Paul's is amazing....But then I love all old churches...In my top five of things to see I would include Sir John Soanes Museum...(this is after me visiting London over last 35 years)...The British Museum and National Gallery would be up there in the top five,too...
carioca4ed is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Well as much as I want to do Stonehenge I would like to do the inside tour which would not be feasible this trip. I think I will save it and a castle tour for another trip with the kids. I think I am going to go with the Paris idea,seeing that it's only about a 3 hour trip and that way I can say I have been to London and Paris And one day in Paris would be enough for me since really the only things that I am interested in seeing at this time are Notre Dame and The Eiffel Tower,and just a general feel and look of the city.

Daisy54: Thank you for the info,that eases my mind I don't need fancy as long as it is clean and a nice area.

With the way I have things planned out right now even with the day trip to Paris I still have a entire day in London with nothing planned for the day.
mtngal76 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Go for it.

Don't be badgered into staying in London just because there's a lot to see and do there. The fact is that there's a lot more to see and do outside of London - including Paris! Get on the earliest Eurostar in the morning and the last one returning, and you'll be able to do a drive-by tour of the major monuments. Check out for a river view, or my DiY bus tour for a ground perspective:

Have you looked into the possibility of booking an "open-jaw" flight itinerary into London or Paris and returning from the other? It would save one Eurostar trip.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Fodor's is the best site ! ! ! Try this site to see what people have to say concerning the hotel you chose Have fun in London, too.
osuredhead is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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I like's site management better - you can delete posts with obsolete information, build your own links, and post image files.

The experienced traveler lore is better here, however. But I'd no more frequent just one kind of site than drink only one kind of wine.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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What do you have planned for the different days? You can post it here and people can give you suggestions, based on the amount of time things will take, the area of town, etc., as well as add other ideas.
noe847 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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When I search the Frommer's boards, all I ever get is a Travelocity or ad, never any results. That's even with the most generic search term imaginable -- "dublin" or "london. I can SEE the articles in the forums, but I can't search for anything. Boo, hiss.
fnarf999 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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I too will be heading to London in March for the first time as well.
I will be there the last week of the month. I was considering doing the Stonehenge tour but decided to go for one of the tours on Travelocity.
My question is, should I bring my heavy winter parka or my more light weight fall/winter jacket?

Mtngal: - I was thinking of doing the Jak The Ripper walk & the possibility of a trip to paris as well.
tibberon is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 01:27 AM
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<<What do you have planned for the
different days? You can post it here and people can give you suggestions, based on the amount of time things will take, the area of town, etc., as well as add other ideas.>>

This is not a set in stone itinerary.

Friday March 16th

For my first day my flight arrives at 7:30am,the hotel that I believe I am going to go with has a 1pm check in so even at a worst case scenario of getting through the airport/taking the tube to my hotel I figure I'm looking at being at the hotel around maybe 10am. So if the room is not ready I'll drop off my bags. I'm thinking that at this point I would indulge the geeky fangirl in me.
I'm a big Doctor Who fan and heard that
Earlís Court Tube Station has police box outside of it,for my Harry Potter fascination I want to go to
Kingís Cross Station to see the plaque thing they have for Platform 9 ĺ

Since it's highly doubtful those two things would bring me to 1pm I figure I would walk around just catch a feel of the city maybe sit in Hyde Park which is right by the hotel.
After I get checked in I'm not sure. I do want to get to The Who Shop in East Ham which is about an hour tube ride but I don't know if I should wait and do it another day,maybe my last day since it's the day I have no plans on, except a possible trip to Highgate Cemetery.

Saturday March 17th
Westminster Abbey get there at opening 9:30am
Buckingham Palace get there for the Changing of the Guard 11:30am

These two I am not sure of doing back to back like this as I'm not sure a)How long I would want to spend in the abbey and b) how long it would take me to walk over to the palace to catch the changing of the guards in time.

Trafalgar Square
St Paulís Cathedral

Sunday March 18th
Day trip to Paris. Leave earliest train(5:30am) depart Paris latest train (8:45pm?)

Monday March 19th
Tower of London get there when it opens
London Eye if I can summon the courage to do it,deathly afraid of heights but I would love to get pictures from it for my husband and the kids to see.
London Dungeons
Equus? 7:30pm showing not sure on this one still trying to decide if I want to go and see it.

Tuesday March 20th
Madame Tussaudís(Yes I know most will say not to go here but I would like to see it and a friend who may be with me wants to see it also)

British Museum

Wednesday March 21st
Highgate Cemetery? The Who Shop?
Maybe see the Pagan equinox celebration if outsiders are allowed?

Thursday March 22nd
Flight leaves 11:40am

One of the evenings I would like to maybe try the Jack the Riper walk or on one of the days take one of the Harry Potter walks.

Things I would like to see if I could find time for them and have the money for would be The London Zoo and Aquarium, Keats' House and the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

I am open to comments,suggestions, critiques.


Thank you for the suggestions I have defiantly made up my mind to see Paris for a day.

I am not entirely sure I know what an open-jaw flight would be but I have already booked and paid for my plane tickets so I don't want to go making any changes.

mtngal76 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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mtngal - thanks for posting your itinerary. I think the key thing with London is realising that to go from one end of the city to the other takes time (for example Earls Court to Kings Cross would take you over 30 minutes) Therefore one of the best ways of scheduling your days is trying to group things you want to see together.

Therefore I would twin the Tower with St Pauls Cathedral for one day. Trafalgar Square with Westminster Abbey and London Eye for another.

Similarly do the Platform 9 3/4 (just a wooden sign by the suburban commuter line) with the British Museum.

Also try and schedule a lighter day after your Paris daytrip which will be exhilirating but exhausting. The Tower/St Pauls will be a tough day on the feet.

On a personal note there is so much that is hidden in London that might catch your eye that it is always a good idea to slightly underplan your days than overplan to give you this flexibility.

Hopefully you'll enjoy your time here realise you can't see everything and just whet your appetite for a second visit.
londonengland is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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Mtngal76, you're not allowing for jetlag. That long day in Paris soon after an overnight flight would wipe me out. But maybe you're different. londonengland gives good advice about grouping sights.

Tibberon, better to layer than take a heavy jacket/coat. But make sure the outer layer is waterproof. Windproof would be good too. I remember some cooold winds knifing through London.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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I had a look at that hotel site and there were a few things that looked a bit odd to me, sometimes it describes itself as a B&B, other times as a 60 room hotel. It also casually mentions a spa at one point but with no further listing of this under the info on facilities. From the outside it looks to me like one of the many very cheap lodging places that tend to have homeless people in them, especially in that sort of area, so I'd not book it myself.

So I looked on tripadvisor ( and the 17 reviews there nearly all say it is terrible and don't go there!
nona1 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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The Sherlock Holmes Museum was fun and doesn't take too much time. It was fun for us that when we came out and were walking back to the tube stop, here came Sherlock walking down the sidewalk toward us, complete with cap, pipe, and walking stick.

There is a Sherlock Holmes Pub, also, on Northumberland Street near the Embankment tube stop. It has a glass enclosed SH sitting room at the top of the stairs. The food was better upstairs than down.
carolyn is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:02 PM
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First to address some of the concerns that have been brought up.
The length of the tube rides won't bother me at all. As I mentioned before I have never ridden a subway before and it will probably be as fascinating to me as the actual sites of the city

As for the jet lag I have no idea how I will be affected,I have only flown commercially twice,once when I was 16 from Colorado to California only one hour difference so it didn't affect me and the other time was from Florida to Colorado for my MIL funeral didn't feel it too bad then but Colorado is my home state so coming back was exciting which may have held off the jet lag. A 14 hour flight(3 1/2 hours from Denver to Montral nearly 4 hour layover in Montreal and then nearly 7 hours to London with a the 7 hour time difference will defiantly affect me just don't know how. My problem is as much as I may want to take a nap when I get there I won't be able to because of the check in time at the hotel and I know for me the best thing will be to keep busy until I can get into my room to take a quick nap.

nona1: A poster earlier had mentioned so I checked the hotel out there as soon as I saw two reviews that said bedbugs I was on the hotel's website canceling my reservations .

My mom receives magazine called Realm and in the back she saw an ad for a hotel I checked the reviews and most seem to be favorable, plus according to the hotel's website it is a member of the London Tourist Board which I assume is a good thing. i haven't made a reservation yet but I think I will probably go with the hotel that my mom found.

I have taken the suggestions for my ittinary.

Friday March 16th
I have kept this the same I realize the time between the tube stations is long but like I mentioned above that's part of fun for me.
The Who Shop East Ham(aprox 45 mins from Paddington)
Paddington to Platform 9 ĺ Kingís Cross Station
Kings Cross to Earlís Court Tube Station police box outside

Saturday March 17th
Westminster Abbey opens 9:30 am
Trafalgar Square
St Paulís Cathedral

Sunday March 18th
Day trip to Paris? Leave 5:30am back in London 11:00pm(aprox)

Monday March 19th
I took into consideration the suggestions to keep this day easy after Paris. I figure if I sleep in and miss the guard change I won't be terribly upset and this way I can take my time in the afternoon to see the museum.
Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard 11:30am
British Museum
Equus? 7:30pm showing

Tuesday March 20th
Tower of London
London Dungeons
London Eye?

Wednesday March 21st
This day is pretty much still in flux most of this stuff I probably won't do but if I do one or two of them this will be the day I do them.
Madame Tussaudís
Pagan Equinox celebration Tower Hill?
Highgate Cemetery?
Jack the Ripper Walk? Some form of London Walk Tour.

Thank you all for the suggestions keep them coming

mtngal76 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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IF you plan to spend an entire day for stonehenge, you may be a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was very cool but all of the visitors can take away from the spiritualness of it. I have been to windsor and Tower of London on 2 seperate trips. both are great but the tower can satisfy your need to see a castle and it is right in the middle of London. allow a huge piece of your day to see the British Museum and research the exhibits before you go so you can see what interests you the most. British Museum is a "do not miss" sight!
anad123 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Westminster Abbey AND St Paul's on the same day is sort of over kill. I would totally ditch the Dungeon (about the schlockiest tourist trap you could imagine) and do St Paul's after going to the Tower on Tuesday. Then walk across the Millenium Bridge and up frive to the Eye.
janisj is online now  
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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the changing of the guard isn't quite what it is cracked up to be. If you go watch where the tour guides have their people. they know where to stand to see the parade, etc. the day I went they played the Yellow Rose of Texas...go figure. In my opinion, your time would be better spent in the British Museum
anad123 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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I have to agree that the changing of the guard is highly over-rated. I was there well before the actual event and managed to prop myself on a rather narrow post. By the time the guard arrived I was stiff, sore and out of sorts. Besides even though I had an advantage over most as far as viewing positions are concerned, I still couldn't see much.

The best viewing position is near the top of the Queen Victoria Memorial, but you'll have to get there long before the event.
IMO one's time would be much better spent actually touring London's sights.
historytraveler is online now  
Feb 11th, 2007, 07:49 PM
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Hi, the hotel looks real cheap to me i wouldnt stay there, why are there more phoyos of london sights than the hotel rooms etc. It may be cheap but for me i waould want something better, especially as its ur first trip to London
flybob is offline  

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