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Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

Summerfield, North...
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Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

Hi All-

We are a family of 4 (kids ages 16,19) arriving on June 16 for 4 days in London. We are staying in an Airbnb in central London (the Clerkenwell area near Exmouth market- zone 1.) Our closest tube station in Farringdon and the bus stops right in front of our place. We arrive at Heathrow airport around 10:15am and plan to ride the tube (Picadilly line) into Central London. No clue about the tube system but were thinking about getting an Oyster card fo the 4 days we will be there- thoughts?

Here's a rough itinerary:

DAY 1: Saturday (arrival) - I'm guessing we will probably not get to our accommodation until at least 12:30ish....drop bags and acquaint ourselves. Possibly do a HOHO bus tour? Recommendations on a good one? We will be tired and jet lagged so this seemed to make sense but we are open to suggestions for weary travelers who want to take advantage of the day but don't want to do any major touring on arrival day bc of exhaustion.

DAY 2: 10:30-2pm We are doing the Grand Bike Tour with Brake Away to see all of the main attractions at a glance (London eye, Big Ben, Westminster abbey, changing of the guard, etc) This will give us an overview of the city and what we may want to do after the bike tour has ended. WE are meeting in the Waterloo district so will probably spend the rest of the day in that area-Possibly ride the London eye?? Thoughts on this? Is it worth it?

DAY 3: TOWER OF LONDON- take the bus first thing in the morning and go directly to Crown Jewels before it gets too crowded. Take the Thames River Cruise back? Enjoy a museum or two in the afternoon.

DAY 4: (Last day) This is where I'm stumped. Part of me wants to go to Windsor Castle for the day but another part of me wants to just enjoy the City and take in more museums. My husband wants to see the Churchill war rooms and I'd like to have tea with my daughter. I think my son is flexible. Thoughts??

I don't want to cram in too much but at the same time this is probably the only time we will be in London and I want to see as much as possible. I should mention the museums we want to visit and maybe someone can help us fit them into our rough itinerary?

Victoria & Albert Museum

Churchill War Rooms

British Museum

Thanks in advance for any help or recommendations of things I haven't covered.

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24 replies to this topic
Watford
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1. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

The HOHO bus divides opinion on these pages but I certainly wouldn't suggest on your arrival afternoon when possibly jet lagged. Sitting in the open air and listening to someone speak (either live or recorded) is a cast iron guarantee of zzzz's and interrupted sleep that night.

The open air is good, it's the sitting part that isn't so I would consider walking down Farringdon Road, past Ludgate Circus to reach the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge. You can then walk along the river in either direction to get a lie of the land and if needed get a 63 bus back from Blackfriars to your accommodation when you have had enough.

If you are willing to split up then on day 4 I'd be tempted to head to Windsor with your daughter and have afternoon tea there whilst let hubby visit the War Rooms. Son can choose!

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Indianapolis...
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2. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

I was also going to say you could split into groups. Maybe have everyone rank the top two places or experiences they want and then use the last day and the afternoons of day two and three to fit them in. With such limited time and your kids being old enough dividing and conquering may make sense. You may also het there and see something that interests you more and switch things up!

Kingston upon...
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3. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

I past the London Eye a couple of weeks back when the weather was overcast, & the line was very long.

Personally I would never go up the Eye, partly because of the cost & partly because I seen the view from the Shell Center many years ago when it had a viewing gallery. Perhaps you could try the view from the Sky Gardens in Fenchurch St, near the Tower of London. You will have to book online, but it is free.

What exactly do you want to do in Waterloo area?

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4. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

Each person will need an oyster card, get them from the underground (tube) station at Heathrow, they have a refundable £5 deposit. Add £20 credit to each card to start with, you can add more later (£10 at a time is sufficient).

Take the Piccadilly line from the airport to Kings Cross St Pancras station. Exit on to the road and take the 63 bus from stop D outside Kings Cross station. Take the bus to the Farringdon Road/Rosebery Avenue stop which is close to Exmouth Market. The tube will cost £3.10 off peak, £5.10 during peak times plus the bus at £1.50. Your children will pay adult fares.

Taking to tube to Farringdon station will take you further on and mean a 10 minute walk back to the area you want.

Oyster isn't valid for the train journey to Windsor so you will need a return train ticket for that part of the trip, probably Paddington.

Edited: 11:47 am, June 10, 2018
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Kingston upon...
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5. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

Shame the OP is not staying longer as there are staying near the London Metropolitain Archives

Albuquerque, New...
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6. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

Agree the HOHO bus will have you all asleep in no time. Adamhornets suggest a good walk for that day but you could also go to Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square areas and walk around and enjoy the street performers. There is also some fun shopping for you and your teens. My teen loves Forbidden Planet and Orbital Comics and Neal’s Yard is nice too.

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Tennessee
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7. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

My family of four just returned from our first trip to London. My sons are a bit older than your children (18 & 20). On our arrival day, we mainly just walked around, checked out the nearby parks & popular areas. We were more jet lagged than I thought we'd be & so I'd agree with one of the earlier posters about not scheduling something like the HOHO bus. For us, we really just enjoyed walking around & looking at everything. My sons were fascinated by the buildings, the people & we really all just enjoyed walking for a while. I'm not sure what is in your area - we walked around Euston Station & Covent Garden (which isn't far from other squares). Enjoyed street performers, ate ice cream.

As for the London Eye, we opted for Sky Garden instead. Of course you'll want to check their site pronto to see if they have released free tickets yet (I had to check back multiple times) but it was definitely worth it. We had a beverage while up there & enjoyed looking around at the various landmarks.

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Summerfield, North...
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8. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

WOW! ElmersEnd this is such helpful information! THANK YOU.

Summerfield, North...
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9. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

Thanks Oberry2017- I think we will take yours and others advice and walk around on our arrival day and take in the sights. We will also def do the Skygarden (if we can get in!) I went on the website and it looks like they book one week at a time- is this right? I clicked on the link and when I clicked on the Sunday, June 17 (along with every day that week before) nothing was available. When should I look to book for either Monday or Tuesday - they don't seem to be allowing me to even book yet for ether of those dates. Since you were just there with older kids- what were. your favorite activities? It never occurred to me to split up but that is definitely a strong possibility. I'm also curious what you did with your cell service during your time in London? We are with Verizon and are trying to determine if ifs better to add data to our plan or if we should get a mobile hot spot to carry with us while there (you can rent them.). If anyone has advice on this- I would love to hear it.

Thanks!!

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Summerfield, North...
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10. Re: Thoughts on this London itinerary for family of 4 next week?

Thanks Adamhornets- great and useful information. Do we have to buy tickets in advance for Windsor or is it possible to make a call on last day if we decide to go? I love the idea of tea with my daughter there. :)

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