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Suggested Itinerary for 5 Days in England

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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:12 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Suggested Itinerary for 5 Days in England

Hi everyone. I've been lurking around this forum for a couple a weeks now, trying to plan my trip, and everyone seems so helpful, I thought I'd ask for some help with my itinerary.

I'm a 20 year old college student who is going to be taking courses for five weeks at the University of Cambridge (Emmanuel College) starting the first week of July. The professors running the study abroad program built in a long weekend so that we could explore more outside of Cambridge. I was originally going to use the weekend to go to Paris with a group of other students, but last minute, my mom decided she couldn't pass up the opportunity to travel outside of the country for the first time, and chose to come with me. So we're going to be seeing as much as we can of England.

Here are a few sites/activities we want to partake in:

-Tower of London
-London Eye
-Big Ben
-Buckingham Palace
-Madame Tussauds
-Muggle Tours (quintessentially tourist-y, I know)
-Tate Modern
-Stonehenge and Bath (figure this will take an entire day)
-Harrods
-Trafalgar Square
-Camden Market
-A play on the West End
-Afternoon tea someplace nice

I'll be getting to London around 2 PM on a Thursday and leaving in the evening on Monday, if that helps. Any suggestions on the order of events, or even restaurants or other attractions we should see would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Note: Things that have been left off the list like the British Museum and Library and Westminster Abbey are only not there because I will be seeing them as part of my study abroad program. I wouldn't dream of not seeing them at all.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #2
Hez
 
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So if you're going to be seeing London as part of your study abroad program, wouldn't it make more sense for you and your Mom to go to Paris?
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:38 AM
  #3
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Hez, we will only be making short day trips to places like London and Canterbury. But that's beside the point in my mind. This is about what my mom wants to do, and what she wants to do is England. She's in her 50s, has never been abroad before, and likely never will again. I'm young, I've already travelled internationally, and will probably get plenty of opportunities to do so in the future. So I'm happy to do whatever she wants. I want her to have the best experience possible in the places she wants to go.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:48 AM
  #4
 
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I am sure you will have a great time in London!

If you arrive at 2pm on Thurs, thats late afternoon by the time you get to your hotel and settle in, so you wont have much time that day - when does your mom arrive...if she isnt jetlagged you could do a show that night after an early dinner.

Of the other things:

-Tower of London - go first thing and expect to spend 1/2 a day here - go right to the crown jewels and then circle back and pick up a Beefeater tour to avoid the long lines at the jewels

-Trafalgar Square
-London Eye
-Big Ben
-Buckingham Palace
These three things are easy to group together and the last two are really just walk bys so maybe a morning of time.

-Madame Tussauds - I would drop this, the lines are horrendous and its just a wax museum!

-Muggle Tours (quintessentially tourist-y, I know)

-Tate Modern

-Stonehenge and Bath (figure this will take an entire day)
check out www.walks.com for their day tours of Stonehenge and Salisbury - to do Stonehenge and Bath you would need two days so this isnt really going to work on this trip to London

-Harrods

-Camden Market - you could spend a few hours here and have lunch on the canal

-Afternoon tea someplace nice - book in advance and look at http://www.afternoontea.co.uk/ for reviews

For transport you may want to look at www.daysoutguide.co.uk and get daily paper travel cards at Kings Cross when you arrive. You can get several days worth if you go to the manned booths and ask for the specific dates you need. If you want to take advantage of 2for1s you cant use the Oyster method of payment.

Hope this helps!
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:53 AM
  #5
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Jamikins, thanks so much for your helpful response! My mom will be getting to London earlier than I will, about around noon, but you're right. We won't have much time to do a lot on the first day in. I love the idea of dinner and a show. Also, Madame Tussauds isn't a must, it just seemed like one of the typical things tourists do. We could easily drop it from the list to make time for something else. Thanks again!
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:56 AM
  #6
 
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Check out www.tkts.co.uk for cheap theatre tickets. I think you can buy them a few days in advance so that can help keep the costs down!

Most restaurants in the theatre district serve pre-theatre menus so have a look out for those!
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Jun 18th, 2013, 09:34 AM
  #7
 
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Will your mother be arriving after a long overnight flight? If so, she will probably be jet-lagged and sleepy the first day or 2. I would never last through dinner and a show on my first day. I'm doing well if I stay awake til 8 PM.

To shorten jet-lag, the best thing to do is walk around outside. Maybe this would be a good time for Big Ben etc. and a walk along the river.
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