Suggestions for 5 days in London

Jan 18th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Suggestions for 5 days in London

We are travelling to London arriving from Sydney 7am 13th April.

We will be there for 6 nights then picking up a car for a 2 week trip around england and scotland.

I have an idea of what I would like to see in the six days and was looking for some comments regarding it's feasiblity.

Our Hotel is in Westminster just near victoria station and we are not adverse to walking both of us walk around 5 or 6 kms a day as excercise.

I am thinking first day we will be pretty jet lagged but intend to stay up for the whole day so thought maybe take one of the hop on hop off tour buses to see whats what.

We would like to see Buckingham palace, changing of the guard, hyde park, british museum, westminster abbey,houses of parliament, churchill cabinet rooms, take a thames river cruise, tower of london, tower bridge,Imperial war museum and st pauls. Would also like to do one of the jack the ripper or similiar walking tours.

So we have 1 orientation/jetlag day and 5 full days to look around.

Any ideas or help would be greatly apreciatted.
trip2006 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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I'm sure others will reply with more specific information, but I would suggest the following:

The changing of the Guard is highly over-rated IMO. A long wait with masses of people and little to see. But if you must, get there early, secure a good vewing position and wait...and wait.

As to your other visits, they are all doable in our time allotment:however, I would get a map of London( you'll need one anyway) and arrange your sightseeing according to location. For example...the Tower, Tower Bridge and St. Paul's are located in basically the same area. I'd probably add the London Museum to that day's itinerary.Get to the Tower as early as possible.

Westminister Abbey, Parliament,and the Cabinet War Rooms could comprise another day.

The cruise on the Thames can be done in either direction from Westminster to/from the Tower.

The Jack the Ripper walks seem to be popular with tourists;however,there are much better London Walks, IMO. Jack the Ripper seems to be highly over-rated.

The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus is a good idea for your first day.
historytraveler is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 01:40 AM
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agreed, changing guard and jack the ripper are can consider traveling to Cambridge / Oxford..both are lovely and not so far from London (around 1 hour by train)
firedrago is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 03:51 AM
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Here is a note that I often send to first visitors.

Visitors need some London geography and history. So at a newsagent’s shop in their arrival area at Gatwick, Heathrow or Waterloo International they should buy for 3 pounds 95 pence the AZ Visitors Atlas and Guide to London. The page describes it. It is convenient, small, and spiral-bound, and gives places, costs, and opening times. In the same shop they can buy for about four pounds the weekly events magazine, Time Out. At any tube station, including Heathrow and Victoria, they can have free the London Travel bus map of central London, with many places marked, beside the bus routes (a London travel card covers not just tubes and central London trains but also busses). It may become worn out, so they can ask for two.
Now to your enquiry.

I agree with historytraveller, but shall of course follow your ideas in what I say. So we start with the BUS TOUR.

Next day in the CITY. I add early in your visit is two or three hours in the Museum of London, north of St Paul’s, and good for having a picture of the whole history of the city. You can then fit what you see on tour into that picture. There is are good lunches in two nearby pubs. First Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, 15 Fleet Street. Blackfriars tube. Very old historic pub with good but cheap beer. Great atmosphere with several different rooms in which to have a drink and something to eat. Good food. Second Ye Olde Cock Tavern. 22 Fleet Street, London, EC4 1YA. Temple and Chancery Lane tubes. Mock Tudor frontage, long bar full of Victorian woodwork with lovely classical style pillars on the bar itself. One of the most famous taverns in the City of London and the oldest in Fleet Street. Built originally in 1549. The upstairs Function Room is airy with a stained glass ceiling. Old prints cover the walls.

That gives us a bus tour on the first day, with a bus map on your knees. You will not pass Buckingham Palace, as the Royal Parks are closed to busses and tradespeople. On the second day St Pauls, which is open from 8.30, and the Museum of London, open from ten. You can add the river cruise, starting at the Tower Pier, also good for the views and for orientation.

You need a day that starts at the TOWER, which opens at nine. You can buy the ticket at any tube station the day before, and avoid a queue or line. Tower Bridge is nearby, and pubs for lunch are two. First the Dickens Inn. St Katherine’s Marina. Tower Hill tube. An 18th century spice warehouse converted in the style of a 19th century balconied two story Inn. It has two restaurants, a snack bar, and traditional tavern. The beer garden and restaurant balconies are open during the summer. The pub overlooks Tower Bridge and the Marina with its boats and walkways. Second Hung, Drawn and Quartered. By the Tower. Tower Hill tube. Interesting decor with a nice outside area. and you take the tube to the Imperial War Museum, open till six, at Lambeth North station.

You need a WESTMINSTER day. You can start at the Abbey since it opens at 9.30, look at the front of Parliament, and be at Horse Guards Patade for the changing of the guard there. It is easier to see than the changing at Buckingham Palace, and the horses add interest to what is a slightly dull event. Times and places are on Two pubs offer good meals. First the Albert, 52 Victoria St. Good views of Westminster Abbey and pub grub for dinner. Victoria and St. James Park tube. Second the Two Chairmen. Just east of St James Park tube station. Full lunches and good suppers, in a pub used by members of parliament and civil servants.

You need a NORTHERN day, for Hyde Park, to include monuments at Hyde Park Corner, the walk by the Serpentine, and a view of the Albert Memorial and the Royal Albert Hall. A good pub for lunch is the Grenadier. 18 Wilton Row, Belgravia. Knightsbridge tube. A correspondent wrote: Arguably London's most famous pub, and reputedly haunted, the Grenadier was once frequented by the duke of Wellington's officers on leave from fighting Napoleon. Filet of beef Wellington is always a specialty. The nicest thing about it is the location - great neighborhood, and as a mews pub it always feels cozy and "undiscovered" even if it turns up in every guide book (and can be occupied almost exclusively by tourists some times.) I don't know about the Beef Wellington, but my recollection of the food there was it was okay, nothing special, but pricey. Then end the day at the British Museum, where main rooms stay open weekly on Thursdays and Fridays until 8.30pm. Earlier in the day, I encourage people also to take the lift up to the rooms for Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England, with splendid funereal treasures, even though the province of Britannia was on the edge of the known world.

We have made five days. After the first two it does not matter in what order you take them.

You may have time for places less well known, that respond to your personal interests, professional or as hobbies. For example we have small museums on nursing and banking, and an hour into Kent we have the house of Charles Darwin, fascinating, and well set out. If you ask Google for museum banking London or museum nursing London you will see what there is, or more simply you can use the AZ Atlas Guide book. Failing Google, would you please ask me. For example, there may be a specialist shop to meet your tastes: there is a shop for umbrellas !

Ben Haines, London
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ben_haines is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 03:56 AM
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About five years ago I collected these comments from forum readers.

Ben Haines, London
[email protected]

Find an apartment with a washer/dryer (usually one piece of equipment). Soooo nice to toss a load in before bed and awake to clean stuff. It's washed and dried in the same unit, through water-sucking, not hot air). Being able to store a supply of juice boxes, milk, so helpful with a group, no matter what the ages. If the kids like cereal for breakfast, you can buy almost any of their favourite brands in the grocery stores such as Franprix. Unless the place has an elevator, try to book one on the ground or first floor - those winding stairs in most apartment buildings are no fun with a stroller.


Nancy is an American who represents private owners. She has a wide range of prices and locations:

Has apartments in the Bastille area: [email protected]

We rented a delightful apartment 4 years ago: my kids were 11 and 15. It was Orion Hotel de Louvre, walking distance to all the great sights across from the Louvre. The weekly rate was very reasonable and you could have breakfast in their "breakfast room"

ben_haines is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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I second the recommendation for getting to the Tower early. We had the place to ourselves(almost) for nearly an hour in July 2005. We did buy our Tower tickets at a tube station. However we learned that not every tube station sells Tower tickets. The Imperial War Museum was fantastic. Spent 2 1/2 hours there. In one day we did the Tower, had lunch at the Chesire Cheese Pub, did the Tate Modern and walked across the pedestrian only Millenium Bridge.
marymarathons is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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I am bookmarking since I am going to London too. Thanks!

And a stupid question.... can minors go into pubs at lunch time?
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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Good info.

I assume that the St. James Park tube station would be one of the stations selling Tower tickets? Are these tickets timed?
twk is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Our teen girls were 13 and 14 when we had lunch at the Chesire Cheese-loved it!
marymarathons is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Be sure to check the times in advance for changing of the guard - it doesn't happen every day in the winter. Not sure of the status in April.
cantstayhome is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:38 PM
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trip2006 is offline  
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