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London for 4 days in August - what are the must-sees?

(13 Posts)
PrincessGeorge Tue 13-Jan-15 02:59:09

Hello, I am travelling to London at the end of August (from UK orig, but living abroad at the moment) with my husband and 11yr old son. It's been 13 years since I was in London. What do you think are the must-sees? Any recommendations for places to stay? Thx all!!

Bisgetti Tue 13-Jan-15 03:48:58

There's a thread on here about interesting places to visit in London. I'll try and link it for you.

My suggestions are the south bank, watch the street performers and walk along the Thames until you reach the Tate, go up to the viewing platform (I think there's a few open to non-members).

PrincessGeorge Tue 13-Jan-15 04:02:49

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have a look for other threads smile

Josie314 Tue 13-Jan-15 04:26:27

I think the Tower of London is the best attraction by far. But then I am a bit of a history buff.

I would also recommend just hanging out in Covent Garden watching the street performers.

And I second a walk on the south bank. There used to be a bar (kid friendly in the day) with amazing views across the river. I think it was on the 6th floor.

Bisgetti Tue 13-Jan-15 04:35:18

I can't work out how to do links on my phone but I've bumped the other thread so it will be in active convos.

What is your budget for accomodation? Would you prefer to stay somewhere central or don't mind traveling a bit?

I have stayed in youth hostels - both with and without the dc and they are amazing althought I've never stayed in the London ones. They are very central and will give you a good place to explore the city.

If I had the money I would love to stay at The Landmark next to Marylebone Station, it's beautiful inside but very £££. If you tell us your budget and a rough idea of where you want to be based I can make some more suggestions.

PrincessGeorge Tue 13-Jan-15 05:46:12

Again, thanks for the suggestions! As for budget, I would say wed like to be less than 100 pounds/ night biut not sure whether that's doable. We'll be driving so will need to take parking charges into consideration too. (Driving to London then dropping car off at gat wick when we leave). It's been years since I was at ghe Tower of London, but we're thinking of def seeing that, along with Harrods, buck palace, and some museums ... My son is a history buff too.

Bisgetti Tue 13-Jan-15 09:15:52

The gatwick express goes into victoria so if you want to be close to the station look at hotels in victoria. You will also be able to walk to Buckingham palace and are a bus ride away from Harrods. From Harrods you can get to South Kensington fairly easily for all the Museums (natural history, science and victoria and albert. Queues are horrendous during august but seem to be shorter for the science museum and almost non-existent for the V&A.

From there you can walk to Hyde Park and if it's a sunny day the princess Diana memorial fountain (I think it's called) is a nice place to have a picnic and dip your feet in. Strictly speaking people aren't allowed to walk in it but everyone does and the security guards never say anything.

Feel free to PM me if you want more info.

(I really love London!)

Rosa Tue 13-Jan-15 09:21:20

I would ditch the car before you get to London and save on parking charges. As the car will be sitting there for 4 days doing nothing... Its not worth trying to drive to places ypu want to go and see best to walk, bus or underground. If you pre book the gatwick express does some good offers. nat history museum, science museum, British museum are all great if you have a child who is interested in history.
Look at premier Inn often they have good offers and child under 12 eats breakfast free with 1 paying adult. Ibis is another chain.
theatre one night ? We booked with atg tickets .

florentina1 Tue 13-Jan-15 09:27:30

I would say a visit to the millennium park in Stratford. Loads of hotels around there with excellent travel links.

ToffeeLatteplease Tue 13-Jan-15 10:16:06

1)Tower of London. Make sure you catch a Beefeaters tour (they have several during the day), You could ride the river bus from here to South bank and do the London Eye

2)Walk Buckingham Palace up the mall through Trafalgar square and finish in Covent Garden (takes about half an hour). If you are feeling energetic walk back past the Houses of Parliament (again another half hour).

3)London Eye (South Bank)

4) Ride the Docklands Light Railway from either Bank or Tower Gateway(you would need to change from Tower Gateway) through the Canary Warf Building (so cool) to Greenwich. Here you could do the Greenwich observatory or Cutty Sark if you wanted or walk through the foot tunnel. Come back by boat (I prefer the cheap commuter service). On the boat you can see Canary Wharf Tower of London, Tower bridge, London Eye, Globe Big Ben (just about everything).

5) You could do the Museums, they are awesome, but give some thought to doing the Museum of London instead. Museum of London Combines very well with St Pauls Cathedral (another must see), Monument (to the great fire of London), Bank, The royal Exchange (posh shopping and way more historic than Harrods) and Walking through some of the old Passage ways around bank (maybe also Leadenhall market) . Total amount of walking here is about1 hour 15 (of course you'll be stopping enroute though). Route here is Monument, Leadenhall, Royal Exchange, Bank (there is an interesting museum here), Museum of London, St Pauls. It's great for getting a sense of Old London, the great fire of London and the city.

You can combine 2 AND 4 into one very cool but long day. Arrive at Buckingham Palace for changing the Guard, walk up from Buckingham palace to Trafalgar square (sandwiches either in the park of Trafalger Square), take a bus to St Pauls Cathedral walk to bank to take the DLR. (if you are seeing st pauls Cathedral otherwise take the tube from Trafalgar square to Tower hill for tower Gateway or Monument for Bank) Take the boat from Greenwich to temple (Glimpses of Big ben) walk up to Covent Garden. Have Dinner there or at Leicester Square. Walk to Big Ben. Or take the boat from Greenwich to South Bank ride the London Eye Have tea at the South Bank walk to Big Ben. Good for transport buffs too.

Walking is an awesome way of getting a flavour of the place and seeing how the whole City meshs together, particularly if you do manage to do the whole west to east thing in one day. Google maps is great for giving you walking times and routes, walkit is great for giving routes with lots of destinations en route

If you son isn't too cool old for the eye spy London book I'd get that as it is a great way of noticing stuff you wouldn't otherwise see.

ToffeeLatteplease Tue 13-Jan-15 10:23:15

I too would ditch the car before London and save car hire

PrincessGeorge Tue 13-Jan-15 15:05:29

These are all great suggestions! Thank you

LIZS Tue 13-Jan-15 15:14:34

Definitely the Eye, also look out for Kidsweek theatre activities and shows where kids can go free with an adult. Booking is usually from early June. Millennium bridge and the gondola over the river. River cruise/bus.

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