Third Trip to London!

Jun 20th, 2009, 02:44 PM
  #1  
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Third Trip to London!

I made this trip with my daughter. We had a wonderful time of course, but I made the mistake of scheduling our trip during a holiday week. My daughter could get an extra day of vacation because of Memorial Day, but I didn't realize at the time that it was also a Bank Holiday in the UK. I couldn't believe how much more crowded everything was than for my first 2 trips, 3 & 4 years ago, which I took in mid-May. I can only attribute it to the holiday and perhaps the weaker pound. This was also my first time travelling through Heathrow. That was no problem. We took the Heathrow Connect to Paddington and then we made another mistake by taking The Tube to Embankment with our luggage. I wanted to save some money, but it was not worth it. Perhaps we should have taken the Circle Line, but on Bakerloo it was so tight and crowded, and there was no place to put luggage except right between my legs! Once we got to our hotel (Royal Horseguards) everything else went well. The first day we visited Southwark Cathedral, Tower Bridge and The Monument. I was amazed that I was able to climb the 330 or so stairs to the top of The Monument. The second day we visited Hampton Court Palace, which was beautiful. That evening we saw the Ceremony of the Keys. That was a big crowd; more than twice as many people as 3 years ago. But it was still nice to be there, even if we couldn't see everything. Next day was Sunday and we went to Matins at Westminster Abbey. We went to Speaker's Corner in the afternoon which was very interesting to listen to all the characters. Then we heard the organ recital at St. Paul's Cathedral. On Monday, the holiday, we took a bus (coach) to Leeds Castle. We nearly missed the bus because I thought it departed from Fountain Square, but it was actually Victoria Coach Station. Leeds Castle has amazing grounds, but the interior was not that impressive, at least compared to Hampton Court. Finding our way through the maze was a nice change of pace. Later that day, we visited the new Westfield Mall in Hammersmith. It was much nicer than the Westfield near us! The next day we went to Greenwich Park and saw the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House. We took a City Cruise up the Thames to Westminster. We tried to get to Mansion House in the City for the weekly tour, but we arrived too late. That evening we saw Sister Act at the Palladium. That was a fun show. On Wednesday we took a bus to Windsor and visited the Castle. This was my daughter's favorite day. It's a wonderful place to see. For our last day, we visited Kew Gardens. I'm not much of a plant person, but it was still a beautiful place and I'm glad I got to see it.. We also visited Kew Palace, which really wasn't worth it. They need to put more furnishings and decorations in it. We had planned to visit Apsley House and Wellington Arch after that, but again, we arrived too late. The traffic and the crowds were just more than I ever expected. I've learned my lesson and my next visit will be in mid-May again. IMO that's the best time to go. Most evenings we took walks and saw Buckingham, St. James and Lambeth Palaces, as well as Battersea, Albert, Chelsea, Lambeth, Westminster and Hungerford bridges! I think those walks were actually my favorite parts. We weren't rushed and didn't have to deal with traffic or crowds. We took a taxi back to Paddington, which was well worth the 14 pounds! All in all it was a great trip and of course I will do it again!
jeffrx is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Glad you had fun!
SallyCanuck is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 11:28 PM
  #3  
bdj
 
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What was your impression of the Royal Horseguards?
bdj is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 02:13 AM
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There's no "royal horse guards" as such. There s horseguards parade - near downing st.

It's very impressive and the guards themselves are similarly impressive.

It's certainly worth a look.

CW - A child of the guards and as such fairly difficult to impress. The Guards at Horsegaurds impress me.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 02:23 AM
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CW, I think the poster meant the Royal Hrseguards Hotel

Horseguards Parade is one of my favorites and I loved this poster in front a few years ago.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/100_1998.jpg
avalon is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 05:17 AM
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Horseguards Parade is slated to be the site of beach volleyball competition in the 2012 London Olympics. Isn't that fabulous? Apart from how well it'll work as a sports venue -- and I assume the organizers know what they're doing -- the choice shows a nice sense of whimsy, imho.
tahl is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Please paragraph. Your post looked interesting, but it's hard to read a big block of print such as your post.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 03:13 PM
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I had to check about the beach volleyball and its true, seating and "beach" on the parade ground. Good website with all this sort of information http://www.london2012.com/
helen_belsize is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
  #9  
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Yes I was talking about my hotel, the Royal Horseguards. I've stayed there all 3 times and it's been great every time. The location is perfect.
Sorry I didn't paragraph. I was in a bit of a hurry.
I was hoping someone would comment on bringing luggage on the tube. It's not a good idea unless you're traveling light.
jeffrx is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Horseguards Parade is slated to be the site of beach volleyball competition in the 2012 London Olympics.>>>>

I am already happy. Scanttily clad bints cavorting always goes down well

CW - a bit of a perve.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  

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