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Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

germany
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Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Hi everyone,

We are a family of 5 including 3 children ages 8, 8 and 11. We will be staying at Camperdown House on Alma Road in Windsor for the upcoming UK Friends for Life Conference at Beaumont. That is Nov. 2-4. We arrive at Heathrow Nov. 1 and Windsor Cars has quoted us a cost of 22 pounds to get to our apartment. We plan on using them to get to Beaumont House daily for 10 pounds each way.

Starting on Nov. 5,we plan on going to London daily except maybe one day I will take the kids to the leisure center in Windsor. I realize the Windsor castle is there of course, but based on past experience and knowing my kids, I just don't see them all that interested in it or at least all 3 so thought possibly the Warwick Castle would be better for our family.

On Nov. 5th, I was interested in taking the HOHO original tour bus that has the activity pack for kids. There is currently a 2 for 1 so it would be for 48 hours. Initially, would like to just stay in the bus the whole time and get an overview. Would also want to take the Thames ride and the free walks, especially Jack the Ripper.

Some of the places/attractions that I think would interest our family are the London Eye (I have a fear of heights so not sure for me), Tower of London with the Beefeaters tour, London Bridge, Natural history museum, science museum, V&A museum, Museum of London, British museum, swimming, IMAX theater, Leicester Square, Hunterian Museum, Trafalgar Square, Hampton Court palace, Hamleys (will never get 11 year out so may have to leave him there lol), ice skating, changing of the guards, orangery for tea, good fish and chips and good ice cream if they have it and two LOVE hot chocolate.

My 8 year old daughter is a girly girl, her twin brother likes lots of gore, ghouls and blood and my 11 year old son likes toys and Hamleys the entire time would satisfy him. I adore anything as long as I don't have 3 kids whining I don't want to walk, I'm tired, I'm hungry and so on.

This will be an expensive trip and I've been reading over all the great tips on the financially challenged thread (wonderful thread) My husband refused to get a second job so I have to make do lol We are coming from Germany.

After that novel, my questions are:

1. What is the best way for our family to travel from Windsor to London each day which essentially will be Nov. 5-10 with maybe one of those days swimming in Windsor?

2. Definitely want to do the 2 for 1 deal for attractions so how would I do that? Do I decide that I'm doing the tower that day, for example, and get a paper ticket from the train station? I have to know exactly what attractions I want to see?

3. Based on our interests, how would you group them with plenty of down time for ice cream, relaxing, etc? Any parks worth going to in November?

4. Would love to take kids to a musical. We talked about Lion King and Shrek with the preference being Lion King but I've only found good discounts on Shrek. I do know about the Leicester Square 1/2 price deal. I went to theatre monkey and on Wednesday or Thursday only in the upper circle, G 17-21 can get tickets for 5 of us for approx. 140 pounds. I don't know if I could get a better deal or possibly get Lion King instead if I wait.

5. How to do the HOHO bus. After listening to the commentary, should I do the walks and thames tour the first day and that's it and then use the 2nd day to hop off to various places?

6. How would you do the museums? I want to take advantage of all that have activity packs for the kids. I realize they can't see everything so just want to hit highlights but not rushing around so I can say we got to see them all. Would the musuems be the best place to hop off on the 2nd day and just see highlights? I would imagine even with just seeing highlights, it would take more than 1 day.

7. Best way (and cheapest) to get to Warwick castle from Windsor?

Obviously, we don't have to do all the interests that I listed but was just some ideas. I apologize for the length. A recent move has caused me to wait until the last minute to plan this which is very unusual for me.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you, Bonnie

Essex
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1. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Windsor Castle is great for kids - go there. See REAL soldiers doing REAL guard duty, not a pastiche. Windsor is a Royal Castle where the Queen still lives......

Honestly, it is hard to better it! - save the dough you would 'waste' on trekking to Warwick Castle and use your time more efficiently. Windsor will also make a nice contrast with the Tower of London.

Bucks, UK
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2. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Lots to entertain kids at Windsor castle - real soldiers, great display of weapons, dolls house, kids audio tours etc, etc. It would be a mistake to pass on that in favour of a 2 hour train ride to Warwick Castle.

germany
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3. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Thanks for the replies. I understand why you would champion Windsor Castle but I've also read many reviews where it was boring for kids and the Warwick one was recommended for kids this age. I know my kids. They don't care for audio tours and just walking around and looking at stuff would bore them. It wouldn't be a good buy if they are saying I'm bored after 10 minutes and want to leave. I thought I would do changing of the guards at Buckingham palace with the orginal bus tour if I get the HOHO pass and honestly, I'm not so sure that will even thrill them. Just being honest. I'm willing to do a day out at Warwick or even the Hampton Court Palace looks like it would appeal to them more. Was sort of hoping to do both.

I'm wondering if I should post my novel on the London forum for more replies? I really need feedback on the other things. Do you think that would be better as I would imagine more traffic on that forum?

Thanks for your feedback. I will reconsider but my gut instinct tells me I'll pay a lot of money for not such a great experience and honestly, I'm not a big fan of castles either. I'm one of those...very nice and pretty now lets move on.

Okay, now that I've made myself look bad lol.............

Harrow, United...
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4. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Travel to london from windsor is easy (train or train). There are 2 options windsor central station runs a shuttle every 15 minutes to slough station. Takes 6 minutes. There you switch to either a slow train to paddington (takes 34 minutes) or a fast non stop one that takes 16 minutes.

Alternatively windsor riverside & eton station a bit rather along has trains to waterloo every 20 minutes. These stop numerous times and take just under an hour to waterloo.

You can get a paper travel card from either station that will include tube travel in zones 1-2 as well as return travel to london for about £12. You can use these paper tickets for your 2 for 1.

Essex
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5. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

No, you don't look bad, we all have our differences and unique tastes, that it what makes us 'US'! If we were all the same and all liked the same as each other, the world would be a dull place indeed.

Seemed a bit 'funny' though (if you can forgive me saying so) that you would make a difficult train trek to visit one Castle, when you are already right by a very interesting one!

Still, I see what you mean and I do understand, truly. (would like to say though, that my nephew, then 5yr age, really enjoyed his trip to Windsor Castle in case that helps a bit......!)

Anyway, Warwick Castle is owned by Madame Tussauds and has been a bit 'disneyfied (OK Mme Tussified) - I can see though that that would please some kids more, especially the dungeons for the 'gorey' one!!

Hampton Court Palace could be a good compromise though, it is much easier to reach from Windsor than Warwick is and gets fab reviews on TA from visitors of all ages!

Essex
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6. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

actually, it is now owned by Merlin Entertainments (who also own Madame Tussauds).

www.merlinentertainments.biz/en/homepage.aspx

U.S. expats
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7. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Here is info on Windsor Castle--

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186419-c157824/Winds…

The things your kids might enjoy in Windsor Castle--

-Queen Mary's Dollhouse (if fills an entire room)

-the Changing of the Guard

-the Armoury (suits of armour and swords and lances)

-the banquet hall, where many state dinners are served. There is a video that shows how they pull it off.

-St. George's Chapel--a cathedral in all but name.

When my kids were first exploring England, they were young teens, and we went to many, including Warwick, Windsor, and Hampton Court.

My kids enjoyed Windsor and the surrounding town--they had a lot of fun at Hampton Court Palace, where you can don robes, visit the Tudor kitchens, go through the maze, and see the historical reenactors. They were only impressed with some aspects of Warwick. It is very "Disney," and they were completely bored by the wax museum inside. My son, who was 11, only enjoyed two things--climbing up to the walls, and watching the flaming ballista. After that he wanted to go home!

I would have to agree that going to either Windsor, or Hampton Court would be wiser than spending the time or money getting to Warwick. It will cost nearly 40 pounds per person for a round trip train fare to Warwick; in addition, it will take a minimum of 3 train changes and two hours each way.

I would not go to Warwick. If you really feel that your kids would not enjoy Windsor, then take them to Hampton Court. But ask your cab driver how much he would charge for the five of you to go to HCP. Training in means going nearly to London and switching. As you number 5, it *may* be more cost effective to cab.

Here is an article about getting to Windsor from London. You'll get a lot of the info you need about reaching London from Windsor.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186419-c157699/Winds…

germany
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8. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Can you clarify? How do I find the exact price for a family of 5 get to London every day? In retrospect, I should have got a place in London but I made these reservations months ago for the specific purpose of the conference and didn't even think about staying in London because it is so expensive. It didn't even occur to me about the cost to get to London as in most of my travels there is usually some deal for tourists where the travel is heavily discounted and I just wasn't thinking.

I would imagine the 7 day travel card would be my best bet.

germany
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9. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Thanks for all the replies regarding Warwick. I will say that I've read a lot on these forums and Warwick was actually recommended over Windsor and the rest for kids this age. I think I would like it but maybe I've been disneyfied myself lol.I know my son would love it as he is into knights and castles and it looks like what he would imagine. In any event after thinking about it, I don't think we will go and put the money toward a musical which they will enjoy. Maybe next time.

However, will definitely do Hampton palace as I think they would like that. Still don't believe Windsor will hold any interest for them other than the doll house which will appeal to my daughter but not for that price.

So you convinced me with regard to Warwick. I'm a bit disappointed but I'll get over it lol No, only kidding.

I think I'm going to post all of this on the London to get some more commentary but appreciate the replies thus far.

U.S. expats
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10. Re: Travel from Windsor to London for family of 5

Bonnie, I don't k ow if your lodgings in Windsor are flexible, but reading your other post, it may make a lot of sense to stay in Windosr during the conference, and may e one day after, and then move to London--which is not necessarily more expensive--for the remainder of your trip instead of commuting in each day as you have planned.

I think you have already been quoted a price for seven days of traveling by train from Windsor to London, and it is steep. Why not just stay in London? You could save all that cost, and time.

Warwick would then definitely be a possibility for you, as it is a much shorter journey from London than Windsor.

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