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Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
51 posts
131 reviews
Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

Our goal is to enjoy the main sights and enjoy ourselves without being too rushed. We're not a museum family. Any feed back is greatly appreciated.

Sun-Arrive at Heathrow at 9am Private driver picking up us. Very thankful (Girls=lots of luggage)

Stopping at a rail station to pick up 7 day zone 1/2 travel cards.

Will buy passport photos there or should I get them from Costco before we leave?

Planning on using 2 For 1 for the attractions.

Drop off at our rental flat in S. Kensington. (using London Connection)

Maybe nap, maybe walk around our area of town.

1pm Sunday Roast beef reservation at Hawksmoor

Do light siteseeing with either a HOHO and/or boat cruise

Mon-10 Tower of London inc Yoman's

1-Shakespeare's Globe and guided tour

3-Burrough Food Market

4-St Paul's Cathedral guided tour

5:30 Res at Sky Garden

Evening at Hyde Park Winterwonderland

Tue-9 Westminster tour+Verger tour, House of Parl

12-Churchill War bunker

3-London Eye

4-London Dungeon

Wed-Train to Bath for a day doing Mayor's walk (Already booked via Virgin bc of US credit card)

Eve-Visit Primark/Harrods

Th- 10-TKTS to hopefully pick up Matilda tickets for that night

11-Check out Camden Market

2-Madame Tussards

5-Fortnum & Mason Tea (need to prebook or can we show up?)

7:30-Matilda show

Fri-10 Train to Windsor Castle (will buy that day, would like combo discount tix or family tix?)

11-Changing of the Guards

pm-Rtn, Ck out Portobello Market

Overall does this seem right logistically and time wise?

What National Rail station is along the way from Heathrow into London where we can pick up the travel cards?

This particular week, should I prebook the London eye/Madame Tussards/London Dungeon times? I hate to be locked in in case we're running early or late and they want specific 15 increments. Would hate even more though waiting in very long lines.

Westminster verger tour? Should I prebuy entry so that way we can increase chances for the first Verger tour?

Bath, we arrive at 10:30. Would we have time to catch up to the free Mayor's Walk, ok if we miss a bit and then do the Roman Baths or should we do it in reverse? Leave at 4:45

Looking forward to the trip and will write an extensive review when we return.

15 replies to this topic
London, United...
Level Contributor
4,471 posts
354 reviews
1. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

If you want to make sure you have the passport photos with you then get them before you leave. There are photo booths around London at some train stations, but not all. It's one less thing you have to worry about.

I'd strongly advise you do not nap/sleep or any variation when you arrive. Power through your first day, sleep at night and you will feel much better for the following week.

The HOHO buses are a waste of money and I've never seen much value in a river cruise either. I'd suggest you would find a tour with Fat Tire Bike Tours much more enjoyable and a great way to get your bearings and tick some sights off the list in a short time.

https://www.fattiretours.com/london

Borough Market not Burrough Market

Madame Tussauds not Madame Tussards

If you have your heart set on seeing Matilda while you are in London, I'd recommend you book your tickets through the theatre website in advance, rather than try your luck at the TKTS booth.

You can just show up for afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason, but it wouldn't hurt to book in advance. The queue is often long.

https:/…afternoon-tea

You say you're getting the train to Windsor at 10am and then watching the changing of the guards. I presume you mean the changing at Windsor castle?

Also there's little point heading to Notting Hill market when you return as it will almost certainly have finished for the day by the time you get back.

Overall the itinerary looks ok. Others will add their thoughts. There's no National Rail station on the way from Heathrow. If you're staying in South Kensington, you could walk to Victoria to get your travelcards. It's a bit of a walk, but not terrible.

Don't bother prebooking tickets for the London Eye, but perhaps for the London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds. There queues at either can be ridiculous some days. Consider getting a combo ticket if you want to visit all three.

https:/…

At Westminster Abbey you should be ok to just get your tickets on arrive and join a tour. Just try to get there first thing in the morning to beat the crowds.

Best to post your Bath questions in the Bath forum for some local knowledge.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
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12,302 posts
217 reviews
2. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

Are you planning to use the 2 for 1s linked to a ticket(s) bought at a rail station? If so I don't think you can book things like Madame T's in advance.

The theatre has some tickets available for your dates (prices from £47.50) but it regularly sells out so if you want 4 together you'd better book asap.

Wiltshire, United...
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for Wiltshire
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441 reviews
3. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

Bath. I realise why you want to hit the off peak period and arrive on the train at 1028, but it strikes me, as we Brits say, to be ‘a bit off’ to join a volunteer led walk perhaps 10-15 minutes late (once you have found them), so I’d go to the Baths first and take the afternoon walk at 1400, it finishes around 1600 and you will be only a few minutes from the station.

London, United...
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1,467 posts
64 reviews
4. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

Sounds busy...

Dallas, Texas
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5,559 posts
5. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

You have a lot to do between arrival time and a 1:00 PM Sunday Roast reservation. Certainly doesn't seem to be enough time for a nap.

Mondday really isn't an ideal day for Borough Market.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,467 posts
64 reviews
6. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

And I can't wait to hear about your primark/Harrods visit...

Level Contributor
3,608 posts
7. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

Monday is incredibly tight - I don’t think you’ve realised how much there is to see at the Tower of London, nor factored in the time it takes to get from one place to another. Also: very little to see at Borough Market on a Monday.

I’d be limiting myself to the Tower and St Paul’s, cutting out Borough Market & the Globe, especially if I needed to be at Sky Garden by 5.30 and then had plans to do Winter Wonderland as well.

The Tower really demands three hours at least, then presumably you want lunch, maybe a mooch around the gift shop. You might also want to stroll on to Tower Bridge and take photos... you’re pushing it to get to the Globe for 1pm and I fear you will then cut St Paul’s short as well - especially if you want to climb the dome.

Boston, United...
Level Contributor
172 posts
63 reviews
8. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

You have scheduled St.Paul's at 4 but it closes to sightseeing at 4:30 to prepare for evensong. It's hard to justify the £36 admission (including the 2 for 1) for a thirty-minute visit. This isn't nearly enough time for a proper tour. I would make adjustments as suggested in the post above or, if you really want to see the Globe, I would drop St. Paul's from the schedule.

Surrey UK
Level Contributor
1,992 posts
15 reviews
9. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

If your driver were willing to take you into London along the A4 (Bath Road/Great West Road) rather than the M4 motorway, Brentford National Rail station is a very short detour off. The station has an area where the car could pull off the road and wait while you get the tickets. The ticket office is only open 0630-1030 Monday-Friday. Outside those times you wouldn't be able to get the photo cards that go with the 7-day Travelcards made up. You would still be able to buy 1-day Zone 1-4 Travelcards (same price as Zone 1-2) from a machine.

The alternative would be for one member of the party to walk, as suggested, or take the tube ( = underground = subway) from South Kensington to Victoria. You don't all need to be present when buying the Travelcards. The photos are just to make sure that only one person can use each ticket. The single cash tube fare from South Kensington to Victoria is £4.90 (ouch!).

Detail of combined rail & Windsor Castle entry tickets here:

https:/…windsor-castle

The linked website belongs to the train operator out of Waterloo but, as indicated, the combined tickets are available from Paddington also.

I'd add just a reminder that London is further north than anywhere in the US except Alaska (about the same latitude as Calgary, though not quite so cold). In late November, sunrise is about 0730 and sunset about 1600. You'll find it starts getting dark quite early.

San Francisco
Level Contributor
1,135 posts
28 reviews
10. Re: Review of London Itinerary Nov 19- 25 family 4-2 teen girls?

Here are a few thoughts:

- Re passport photos, they need not be official, you can just print out 1 inch x 1 inch color photos on your home computer before you come. We did this and they worked fine.

-On your arrival day, skip the nap and the Hoho or river cruise. You will fare best if you get out and do a lot of walking around in the fresh air that day. This will help you not fall asleep mid-day and it will make your jet lag easier to contend with. Perhaps visit Covent Garden that afternoon, or walk through Trafalgar Square and down across the Jubilee Bridge for some great views down the river.

- London Dungeon and Madame Toussards are not widely thought to be worth the visit when there are so many other wonderful sights to see that are not tourist traps like these two.

- I think you need to plan to two big sights each day rather than 3 to 4. That pace will wear you out an not leave any time for spontaneity. Per my previous point, if you scratch the dungeon and wax museum that will help lighten up your schedule and make your trip more enjoyable.

-When in Windsor, leave some time for visiting the town or even having afternoon tea there. It's a charming town.

Have a great trip!

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