Tips for a London weekend.

flossie 17 1.6k
26 Apr 2004 1:37PM
We're going to London with the kids (7 and 9) in June and I want to get the most out of it and see as much as we can.
We get there Friday lunchtime and leave Sunday teatime. It's Trooping the Colour Saturday morning and we're booked for a show Friday night - that's the only two definites so far, although the children would like to go on the London eye.
Can anyone give me suggestions to fill our time wisely and pack a lot in. Is there anything we should give a miss, and what is a must see?
I'm prepared for a lot of walking but my hip will only last a couple of hours at a time before I have to stop, so I also need to know the best ways to get around without doing it all on foot.
Is anyone from London or a regular visitor who can give me some advice?
Nyx 17 533
26 Apr 2004 1:50PM
You can get on one of those open top buses pay once and hop on and off all day.My friend went recently and couldnt go into certain places as theyd only let you in at certain times so if i was you id work out where you want to go then find out times.Not much else i can add sorry :/
Hope this little bit helps
KatieR 16 6.2k 6
26 Apr 2004 1:54PM
Some things I would recommend visiting:
The London Eye on the South Bank - wonderful views, very calm ride (not with kids, though!).
Right next to the Eye is the London Aquarium, which is also good - pick one or other because they are reasonably expensive for a family, I reckon.
Another thing if the weather is good - one of the Parks - Hyde Park or Regents park, perhaps.
To get around, buses are particularly good value, and you will get to see a lot more than on the tube. You will be able to get a pass to make it more simple. Do some research on the internet to find routes which go past some of the more interesting buildings and (with a bit of good weather) you'll have a ball.
It's often worth a wander around Covent Garden - very busy, but often some hilarious street performers as well as stalls and shops. Don't get food there, however - you will notice how expensive it is.
For a guide book, I recommend the main Time Out guide to London (the book, not the magazine) which is updated annually. It has some history and a bit about the areas.
If you want any more unusual ideas, let me know.
KatieR 16 6.2k 6
26 Apr 2004 1:58PM
Oh, and the weekly Time Out magazine lists things like Walking Tours - innovative, funny and educational - around some of the fascinating parts of London. They are gentle paced and not too long. The ghost tours are particularly great for children.
dwjones 16 232 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2004 1:58PM
If planning on going to London Eye would suggest boooking a 'flight' time as it can be very very busy and you'll still have to get a ticket to get a 'flight' time.
At least if you book you know when to turn up for your 30 mins stand in the queue.
You can book on the web.
bayesp 18 292
26 Apr 2004 2:01PM
A travelcard will let you use the underground and busses all day. They are very reasonably priced too.
Covent garden is usualy good on a weekend, as there will be a lot of street entertainers.
The kids might like the London Dungeon, the tower of londond is also quite interesting for all ages.
London Zoo is a possiblity, haven't been myself for many years but it is supposed to be very good these days.
If you are going to the london eye, you can walk across the bridge to Trafalger Square for a look around.
Theres also Madame Tussauds and the London planetarium right next door to each other. Buy tickets in advaance for Madame Tussauds if possible as there are allways long queues.
A boat trip on the thames.
The Rainforest Cafe.
The Traccadero.
The Science museam is great for kids, and free and is next door the the natural history museam and many others.

There are endless things to do in London.

Hope this helps

User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2004 2:14PM
Park wise - I reckon St James' is the finest in London and you'll be right by it for the ToftC ceremony on Saturday.

Other than that - the Tower of London is always a good bet and if you have time, take a trip out to Canary Wharf on the DLR.

If you want a cheap eerie experience, how about walking under the Thames to Greenwich - the foot tunnel is fantastic as it passes right under the Thames and the last time I was there (when I lived in Greenwich) the walls were very damp and the tunnel carried sound for 'miles' and you could imagine the millions of gallons of water passing just feet (a lot of feet I hope) above you.

When you get to Greenwich you've then got Greenwich Park for lunch and the Cutty Sark/Gypsy Moth IV before you stroll back.

Crikey - I'm beginning to miss London!

Barrie Smile
flossie 17 1.6k
27 Apr 2004 1:07PM
Thanks very much everyone, lots for me to look at there.
One more thing, does anyone know where I can get a decent map of London and also of the underground (preferably on the Internet) I did a search but it brought up loads and the ones I looked at weren't very clear.
michaeldt 16 1.2k
27 Apr 2004 1:12PM
try this
minoltaandy 16 370
27 Apr 2004 1:12PM
The London Underground Website has a pretty good one that also includes journey times.

Transport for London

KatieR 16 6.2k 6
27 Apr 2004 1:49PM
Flossie - I suggest an London A-Z would be invaluable. You can buy small ones which just cover central London, and then you have the peace of mind that if you find yourselves a bit disoriented, you can just look up the road name - easier than a fold-out map without a gazeteer. And they include an underground map. 5 or so from bookshops and stations etc. I carry one often when I go to London even though I generally have a good sense of where I am. It gives me confidence to go to places I don't know so well.
minoltaandy 16 370
27 Apr 2004 1:57PM
Good idea Katie. One thing I learnt whilst living in London is that the tube almost always takes longer than walking (if you're staying in the centre area) and the best bits of London are found whilst you're walking around.

It maybe a little harder with littl'uns but I would definately recomend walking whenever you can, you'll se so much more.
roxpix 16 2.2k 11 Scotland
27 Apr 2004 1:59PM
Kyd that made me laugh

'Buy a small a-z which just covers central London'

Wouldnt like to fold that oneSmile
mamboandrew 16 328 England
27 Apr 2004 2:16PM
One tip about the London Eye. If you can't/don't want to book in advance and arrive there only too find out tickets are sold out...they arn't.
Just hang around for a bit and you'll get on there no probs (sometimes at a reduced price even). It is best to book in advance to be sure though.

In June a trip on the river is a good bet, not too expensive and get a good view of the city. Like the tube you can buy a ticket and jump on and off at different stops from the Tower down to the Eye.

London Dungeons are an expensive waste of cash - the tower is much more realistic!!

Would recommend places like Portabello Rd/Carnaby St markets which can be good fun and also Covent Garden which will be heaving but lively.

Have fun!!
flossie 17 1.6k
27 Apr 2004 2:54PM
Thanks Michael and Andy must have both been typing at the same time :o)
Thanks Katie and Andrew also for your help.

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