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Whistle stop tour of London in Dec. Any advice?

(13 Posts)
nellyjelly Thu 08-Nov-12 16:01:54

My DD is desperate to visit London so we are squeezing in a day while we are down south visiting relatives at Xmas. We will arrive at Waterloo and then we need to try and fit in some of the main sites in a day!

From the map I can see we will be near London Eye and could go on to Buckingham Palace from there, just not sure how far it will be to walk. She also wants to see Big Ben and Houses of Parliament so they seem near too.

We won't have enough time for museums so just the main attractions with a stop for lunch will have to do!

Should we book a bus tour or river tour do you think? We will have a baby with is so don't want to use tube with a buggy tbh.

Any suggestions really welcome. Thanks.

PseudoBadger Thu 08-Nov-12 16:14:05

You can walk across the river to Parliament from the Eye. Then it's just a walk across St James's Park to Buckingham Palace. Or in that area it's more economical to jump on the 11 or 24 from Parliament Sq past Downing Street/Horseguards Parade down to Trafalgar Square (could walk up The Mall to Buck Palace) than pay for a tour bus. Everything round there is very close.

ceeveebee Thu 08-Nov-12 16:16:55

How old is your DD? Its a bit of a trek from waterloo to buck palace (probably about 2 miles) but the tube is easy from waterloo to green park - lifts at both ends - just avoid rush hour and you'll be fine

You'll be able to see Houses of Parliament and Big Ben from the eye so no need to walk and see them (better view from up there). Note oyu can't wheel your buggy onto the Eye. You can either leave it int he buggy park which is 5 mins walk (and then hold your baby while queuing) or you can queue with the buggy and fold it up just before getting on. You can imagine how much fun that was when I went on their with my non-walking twins!!

I don't know if you can take a buggy on an open top bus tour (I've never been on one) but you can take them on the boat trip, and they are great fun). You won't need to prebook.

You could go to the Winter Wonderland if you want to splash out, its in Hyde Park which is near to Waterloo. Or just walk along South Bank - normally they have a Christmas market on and there are lots of street entertainers

Have fun!

LIZS Thu 08-Nov-12 16:17:17

There are hop-on ,hop-off bus tours which may mean you could go further afield (ie St Paul's , Pudding Lane, Tower of London) or the Duck tour by road and river. How old is your dd ?

ceeveebee Thu 08-Nov-12 16:17:45

Sorry - that was an xpost - vwasn't trying to contradict you pseudo?

nellyjelly Thu 08-Nov-12 16:45:19

Thanks so much for the info. DD is 7 so doubt she will walk 2 miles! It doesn't seem as far on the map!

Good point re buggy on bus tour. I will have to check it out. I like the idea of a river tour especially if you don't have to book. I was thinking of taking baby to Festival Hall or somewhere for a snack while DH and DD do the eye. Any suggestions of somewhere to while away 45 mins around the Eye?

The idea of Pudding Lane and St Pauls is good. She is doing Fire of London at school.

PseudoBadger Thu 08-Nov-12 16:54:01

Personally I wouldn't say it's 2 miles. The problem with Buckingham Palace is that you will have to walk a bit. The best thing to do would be to get a bus to Victoria Street or tube to Green Park and then walk.

Blu Thu 08-Nov-12 16:55:15

If the weather is nice stroll along the S Bank while they go on the Eye - there are usually loads of street entertainers.
Or go into the RFH for a coffee - great view of the river and good people watching. Also there are shops under the RFH, a great bookshop, and the RFH shop in the foyer or a bigger one on the outside walkway by the pedestrian bridge over the river.
The BFI cinema and the National Thetare also have relevant shops - books / DVDs / themed nick nacks - you could probably get a good lot of Christmas Shopping done!
EAT have a cafe under and in RFH, there is a rather more upmarket cafe place called Le Pain Quotidien on the walkway, next to the RFH shop.

CarolynKnappShappey Thu 08-Nov-12 16:56:08

2 miles isn't too far for a 7 year old over the course of a day fuelled with frequent hot chocolate breaks.

I'd be tempted to keep it very simple - Eye, Westminster, Buck House (check for Changing of Guards), Pelicans in St James' Park, Fortnum & Masons, Downing St, Horseguards, Trafalgar Square (will the Norwegians' Christmas tree be up?), maybe National Gallery all on foot, with a bus/ taxi back to Waterloo at the end.

Blu Thu 08-Nov-12 17:09:37

Simple to me, with a 7 year old, would be Eye, Big Ben, Buck House!

ceeveebee Thu 08-Nov-12 17:28:12

No - you're right, its more like 1.5 miles, And aged 7 that should be doable. Its a nice walk over the bridge too, you can take some lovely photos with landmarks in the background.
Blu has said everything I was going to say about eating!

CarolynKnappShappey Thu 08-Nov-12 17:28:56

Well yes, you don't have to do all the things in my list, (and you'd get footsore if you did) but they're all available in a small radius without getting involved in public transport which makes it simple.

nellyjelly Thu 08-Nov-12 18:47:23

Thanks all. Some great ideas. Definately want to see xmas tree in Trafalgar Sq.

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