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Help me plan my London trip

(25 Posts)
Notthisnotthat Sat 13-Jan-18 17:45:44

Hello

Trying to plan a weekend in London for my 10 year old daughter and I, it will be her first trip to London.

We will be arriving into Kings Cross, travelling from Scotland so it's our only choice. We will arrive at about 2pm. Saturday is Harry Potter Studio day, and I had planned to use the bus that picks you up at Victoria that's recommended on the HP studio website.

Debating where to stay though, I can get a good rate at the hub by premier inn at kings cross, is it easy to get to Victoria from there? How long would that take?

What else can we do to fill in the rest of Friday, and Sunday morning. Maybe a show on the Friday night.

DropZoneOne Sat 13-Jan-18 17:54:10

Get the Victoria line tube from Kings X, will take about half an hour.

Download the Citymapper app - I use this all the time for getting around London, it's tells you tube, bus and walking routes.

Things to do depends on what your DD likes. We did London Eye (but lots of queues), Shard, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Afternoon tea at Royal Horse guards hotel because they did a children's version.

ClaudiaWankleman Sat 13-Jan-18 17:57:43

KX to Victoria is around 15 minutes, including walking and waiting times at the station. Direct southbound on the Victoria line.

KX isn’t a bad location to stay - you can walk to a lot in the West End, and the British Museum. Trafalgar Square is about two miles away. Good transport options too, in case it’s very cold or wet.

I think the London Eye does ticket deals when bought alongside a national rail train ticket(?) so I’d check that out. I always recommend St Paul’s (241 deals with a train ticket). When I finally went last year I was really amazed, despite considering myself to know London well.

My biggest tip is to not get the tube everywhere, and to not plan days which require journeying from east to west and back again. London is a really attractive city, and you’ll miss a lot if you are getting the tube half a mile. It’s also an extra and unnecessary expense, and some lines are torturously slow so you’ll want to avoid lots of journeys back and forth on them (I’m looking at you, District and Jubilee lines envy ...)

Notthisnotthat Sat 13-Jan-18 18:03:23

That's great about an app, I've only been to London 3 times, and relied on others to get us about.

I did wonder about the London Eye, and she would love an afternoon tea.

If we do use the tube, I do have a contactless card but how does that work when paying for a child too? I've an Oyster card somewhere I think.

DropZoneOne Sat 13-Jan-18 18:04:48

Go through the wide gates that are manned. You tap your card and both go through. Contactless is fine, no need for Oyster.

Ginandplatonic Sat 13-Jan-18 18:05:07

If staying at Kings X it would be easier (and cheaper - bonus!) getting one of the fast trains from Euston to Watford Junction for Harry Potter Studios. There is a shuttle bus to the studios from there.

Toomanycats99 Sat 13-Jan-18 18:08:23

Euston is about 10 minutes walk from kings cross so again recommend train. There's also platform 9 3/4 I think at kings cross.

Covent Garden is nice for a wander round - lots of street entertainers usually.

DropZoneOne Sat 13-Jan-18 18:09:30

London Eye - we prebooked through BA but the queue to swop our voucher for tickets was long and then it was a case of waiting to get on. I didn't realise though that we could call beforehand to book a specific slot. Think it's different if you book direct.

The Shard we just went straight up, no queues!

viques Sat 13-Jan-18 18:11:00

If she is ten she will travel for free. On buses you just use your card to tap in for you, on tubes go to the wider gate for people with luggage.

Nightmanagerfan Sat 13-Jan-18 18:12:02

Children are free on the tube so go through tbe wide gate together.

Definitely take the train to Watford from Euston for Harry Potter - Victoria is completely in the other direction.

I suggest Covent Garden for wandering and seeing street performers. A show if you can stretch to it - Lion King is good and near Covent Gdn.

If you have time a boat trip from Westminster to Greenwich is a good way to get a sense of the city.

viques Sat 13-Jan-18 18:13:36

Ps don't forget to tap out when you leave the tube (you don't tap out on buses) you will then only be charged the day rate. Especially easy to forget if you go on DLR!

Ladydepp Sat 13-Jan-18 18:16:42

my 10yo dd absolutely loved the show 42nd Street. It's in a lovely big theatre in Covent Garden. There's a lot of dancing so if that's not her thing then maybe not...

Ladydepp Sat 13-Jan-18 18:17:51

Also, if she's a HP fan there's platform 9 3/4 at King's cross. Be prepared to queue for a photo!

Dontfuckingsaycheese Sat 13-Jan-18 18:17:55

Sky garden is amazing. And free. But you book online in advance. Walkie talkie building. You get off tube at monument.

Dontfuckingsaycheese Sat 13-Jan-18 18:18:36

Sky garden is amazing. And free. But you book online in advance. Walkie talkie building. You get off tube at monument.

Cloudyapples Sat 13-Jan-18 18:20:04

Is your dd a big potter fan op? If so you could try to also go to the exhibition at the British library which isn’t too far from kings x but you’ll likely need to book tickets in advance. Also look at bb bakery bus tours - afternoon tea on an old red bus while driving past the tourist sites. You could also try London zoo, the longest tunnel slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit or a day out in Greenwich (look around the markets and go to the Royal Observatory).

LockedOutOfMN Sat 13-Jan-18 18:22:41

King's Cross is a good place to stay, OP. You take the Victoria line tube southbound from King's Cross to Victoria.

You can walk to lots of places from King's Cross, which is fun and cheap.

Half price tickets for West End shows from Leicester Square. (I heard Matilda is great but I'm not sure if it's still on?)

Notthisnotthat Sat 13-Jan-18 18:31:52

Thank you all so much for your hints and tips.

That's great that travelling around is quite simple in terms of paying for it. I did look at the train to Watford and the shuttle bus, but we live quite rurally and not used to navigating about a city. But maybe with the app, and google maps, we could manage.

We are also huge fans of the railway children, and sad that we missed seeing that at kings cross theatre.

DH and I took the boat to Greenwich the last time we went and we spent the day at the imperial war museum. Maybe we could stay a day longer and do more. We don't get fined for taking kids out of school in Scotland.

MagentaRocks Sat 13-Jan-18 18:34:58

The chesterfield do a Charlie and the chocolate factory afternoon tea.

We booked using superbreak for train, show , hotel etc. Really good value.

tribpot Sat 13-Jan-18 18:37:19

I would recommend the Sky Garden over the Shard - (a) it's free and (b) your view includes the Shard! Does need to be pre-booked.

There is a Platform 93/4 at Kings Cross, and not too far away is the lovely House of Mina Lima. If she's a major Potter-head, I would also go to the Millennium Footbridge just by St Paul's - you've got the Globe theatre right next to it on the South Bank, as well HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge. You can get a boat down the river to the Eye, which is fun.

The Hub by Premier Inn at Kings X is a great hotel, very well designed, modern, super-friendly staff, fab breakfast. However, be warned it's designed with business travellers in mind and so the rooms are absolutely tiny - there's a nice big, comfortable bed, a desk at the end, a small strip of carpet, and a bathroom with a good sized shower. That's it. Some of the rooms are underground and so have no window - that's why there's a lovely coffee lounge upstairs on the ground floor, so you don't go insane in the room in the evening!

The British Library exhibition is great but is sold out as far as I know, at least for weekends and holidays.

We're very fond of the Museum of London (also St Paul's tube) - not quite as busy as some of the 'big' museums.

tribpot Sat 13-Jan-18 18:40:29

I would just use Google maps for navigating, btw. I would agree with the advice to avoid the Tube as your default transport option - places are a lot closer together than you might think from looking at it.

In terms of shows, we recently saw The Play That Goes Wrong and it is fantastic - just hilariously funny. My 12 year old said his cheeks were hurting from laughing so much.

Quickerthanavicar Sat 13-Jan-18 18:51:54

There is also an Everyman cinema at Kings Cross with sofas. If when you get here it rains.

superram Sat 13-Jan-18 19:39:15

Drop zone one-how was royal horse guards hotel afternoon tea? We got married there and been married 10 years so might be nice to go back with kids.

Ginandplatonic Sat 13-Jan-18 19:58:08

It's honestly really easy to do HP studios by train from Euston. I use the google maps app for navigating/journey planning - it makes things really easy. Plus on Sat morning probably 90% of people on the Watford train will be going to HP so you can follow the crowd!

DropZoneOne Sat 13-Jan-18 21:13:52

superram it was lovely! We went at Easter and they had themed cakes - the pic is of DDs. A lot of the hotels didn't cater for children or were really expensive (Grosvenor House). Horse guards felt more relaxed than some of the other 5* hotels where I'd have felt awkward with a child.

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