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Suggestions for trip to England with preteen girls 11 & 13?

Suggestions for trip to England with preteen girls 11 & 13?

Apr 9th, 2014, 08:29 PM
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Suggestions for trip to England with preteen girls 11 & 13?

We are arriving in London in the middle of August with the girls (my granddaughters). My husband and I have been to England a number of times but not recently. We will be there for 2 weeks and plan to spend some time in London and possibly take them to Bath and Bristol. Any suggestions?

Thank you, Kerry
kerrylou is offline  
Apr 9th, 2014, 09:18 PM
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Give them each 500GBP and set them loose in Herrods for a day.

They might be interested in seeing Warwick Castle. It's not really on the way from London to Bristol/Bath but you could swing it as an out of the way two night stop from London to Bristol.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 9th, 2014, 09:41 PM
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>>Any suggestions?<< . . . suggestions for what . . . Places to stay? What to see? Something else?

Need more info -- how long do you plan for London? Outside of London are you driving or relying on public transport? Other than Bath - what sorts of things did you want to see out west?
janisj is online now  
Apr 9th, 2014, 10:04 PM
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I'll look into Warwick Castle.

More info: London for sure for about 4 days and yes, shopping, shopping. Plan to rent a car and drive towards Bristol possibly through the Cotswolds. Looking for suggestions of what would entertain 2 preteen girls - castles, activities? Hiking? A good beach?

Thank you
kerrylou is offline  
Apr 9th, 2014, 10:25 PM
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Just one quick note right now . . . I assume theta even though you have been to London, the girls haven't?? If so, IMO 4 days is far too little time in London. The girls will LOVE everything in London from the Shopping to the V&A to a posh afternoon tea to double decker buses, to the National Gallery to everything. W/ the jet lag an all I'd plan on 5 (absolute minimum) to 7 days in London.
janisj is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 02:22 AM
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I agree with janisj about more time in London. There is so much to do there, why rush it? I bet the girls would also enjoy seeing some plays there. Have they seen Billy Elliot? You could rent a small apartment for a week or even longer and not run out of things to do.

My kids enjoyed Bath. We did the free city walk which was educational and then the Bizarre Bath evening walking tour which was great fun: http://www.bizarrebath.co.uk. If you asked my kids they'd vote for the Bizarre Bath tour hands down. We spent a few days in Bath and spent one relaxing afternoon renting a small boat and punting down the river.

After Bath, you could go to Salisbury -- lovely Cathedral to visit. My family really enjoyed seeing Stonehenge. We booked an after hours visit and getting a chance to walk through and touch the stones was a highlight.
KTtravel is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 06:54 AM
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Those are great suggestions. Yes, we've been to London many times but not the girls. They will love the shopping of course but would also love a play. I can easily change my itinerary to include a longer stay in London.

I also think they would like Bath and Stonehenge.

Thank you for all your suggestions.
kerrylou is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 08:28 AM
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Herod was a king of Judea. Harrod's is the famous department store. If you give the girls 500 quid each, they'll do a surprisingly small amount of damage considering the prices . . .

Warwick Castle is tourist trappish.

If you can figure out what you need suggestions for, that would help you in receiving more of them.

Considering they're 13 (that's not a preteen, it's an actual teen) and 11, they must be internet savvy and therefore can research and determine what they'd want to see too. Get them involved.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 08:52 AM
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In London our tween/teen DDs loved Covent Garden - and went back a couple of times while we gallery hopped. Kids that age will not want Harrods - look for some of the chains with things that go out of fashion in 6 months.

Definitely do one boat trip in London.

And agree to have them research the sights THEY want to see.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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I second the recommendation for Warwick - I visited with my family when I was 12 (my brother was 9) and we both really enjoyed it.
AlysonRR is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 11:55 AM
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Things my 10yo DS enjoyed on his first trip to London: Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Cabinet War Rooms, ride in a real London cab. He loved (and still does, and he's 19yo now) going out to tea, so we went to tea at Richoux. He was big into spies and James Bond at the time, so we took the LondonWalks Spies and Spymasters Tour (I had told him about Kim Philby, who is really the focus of that tour).

Things my 14yo DD enjoyed on her first trip to London (different trip): Tower of London, National Gallery, Westminster Abbey.

Going to shows, yes, they both liked them, and liked the smaller venues of many London theatres. 39 Steps was great fun, if it's still on. And Mousetrap.

Things my 18yo DS enjoyed on subsequent visits: Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert - he spent hours. And Sir John Soane's Museum - what fun!

I never have had much success having my internet-savvy kids do trip research, and as I enjoy that kind of thing, it ends up falling to me. But I do bring up ideas, and have them check out websites so we can decide on some must-sees in advance. And I know by now, generally, the type of things that they like.
Lexma90 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 12:16 PM
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You might check to see if Buckingham Palace is open then for tours. I would also add to the above suggestions the London Eye and at least a brief visit to the British Museum. Take the verger's tour when you visit Westminster Abbey -- when we went they let my children sit where the Queen sits when she visits.

Windsor Castle makes a nice day trip.
KTtravel is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 12:55 PM
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I agree with Windsor. Check for the changing of the guard time there. My nephews (10 and 12) liked that and when we went there were fewer people than at Buckingham Palace. Queen Mary's Dollhouse is at Windsor and even the boys were fascinated with that.

Warwick may be "touristy" but they have much to see there: the red knight riding the grounds, the waxworks figures there for a country weekend party, a dungeon, a lovely little garden (where the ten-year-old fell into the frog pond), and a pleasant and delicious lunch at the café.

The town of Warwick is a good walkabout sort of place. We went to a museum (John Oakes, I think) which has a quite a collection of toys)
irishface is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Not John Oakes but St. John's Museum. Open 10-5, closed on Sundays during the summer. More info on Warwick at:


Could be visited by car on way to somewhere else or train from London.
irishface is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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>>You might check to see if Buckingham Palace is open then for tours.<<

Yes - the Palace is open to the public in August.
janisj is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:35 PM
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The girls might like Hampton Court Palace > Windsor. Depends on the girls. Either is an easy trip from London.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 10:58 PM
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You're right, these girls are very internet savvy but I think it will fall on my shoulders to put together most of the itinerary. Buckingham Palace will be good and we may take a trip to Windsor. Was also thinking about Oxford and some Harry Potter stuff although they probably would prefer the Harry from One Direction better.

Thanks again
kerrylou is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 06:14 PM
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If they're One Direction fans, hunt up a Nando's restaurant for them. Besides being a good restaurant, it's the favorite of one of the 1D boys ... I don't remember which one anymore, but when we were in England, eating at Nando's was a truly giddy moment for both our daughters, who were then 13. They took pictures. They brought their napkins home. We even talked the gracious and bemused staff into letting us bring our menus home with us.
Kandace_York is offline  
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