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First trip to London

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We are booked on the Silhouette next June from Southampton. Hubby has been to London before (many years ago - before me), but I have never been. We are planning to stay in London before the cruise. Have a list going for what we want to see but am having trouble deciding on how many days we need. We are early 70’s and can’t do the really long days we did years ago. Suggestions?

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We are booked on the Silhouette next June from Southampton. Hubby has been to London before (many years ago - before me), but I have never been. We are planning to stay in London before the cruise. Have a list going for what we want to see but am having trouble deciding on how many days we need. We are early 70’s and can’t do the really long days we did years ago. Suggestions?

 

I would suggest at least 3 days and possibly up to 5, depending on what you wish to see. That might include a train trip to Windsor Castle and/or other sites outside Central London. There is ample to do in the metro London area. You could spend a month there.

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We did five nights pre cruise in London. This was not our first trip to London and we didn’t want to have to rush around, did mostly museums and shows. Whatever amount of time you do, It won’t be enough! So much to see!

 

Recommend you stay in a central area. London is expensive but I think it’s worth it to pay for convenience. We did an air Bnb apartment that was one block from Marble Arch so could walk or take nearby tube everywhere.

 

 

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You can get cheaper accommodation in the suburbs, but then you will spend more time just travelling. There are some reasonably priced hotels in the heart of tourist-country like Premier Inns for example.

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I'd suggest at least a week. Last year we stayed three nights in London before our cruise. We're staying five nights this year. The first afternoon your body will probably still be getting over jetlag. Last year, we went to an evensong service at Westminster Abbey and walked around the Trafalgar Square area before heading back to our hotel. The second day we went to Kensington Palace, the Victoria and Albert, and Harrods. The third day we went to the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace (including the garden tour), Fortnum and Mason for tea, and to a show that night. As you can see, we did a lot but there are a lot of other things we could have done as well if we had more time.

 

This year, we have tickets to Hamilton and Everybody's Talking about Jamie. We're planning on going to the Globe Theatre, Sky Garden, and St. Paul's the first day. Our Hamilton tickets are for the afternoon performance our second day. We'll probably walk through some of the parks near Buckingham Palace but no plan on any other major things but we may change our minds and go to the Tate Modern in the morning if we get up and feel like it. The next day we have tickets to the Churchill War Rooms in the morning. There's a free afternoon performance at St. Martin in the Fields we can catch afterward. And then we'll go by the TKTS booth to see about tickets for a show that night. Our last day we'll go to the Tate Modern if we did not before or perhaps a boat ride to Greenwich to see the museums there. Our tickets to Everybody's Talking about Jamie are for that night.

 

I lived in London for seven months over 30 years ago, and the year before that I studied for a month through a program with my university. When I was there for that month, I saw most of the major museums and other attractions that a lot of people have high on their lists, such as the Tower of London.

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Have a list going for what we want to see but am having trouble deciding on how many days we need. We are early 70’s and can’t do the really long days we did years ago. Suggestions?
Three months. That is how long it will take to see London properly. And you don't need to go to work when you get back, do you? ;)

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How long do you reasonably have?

 

If you can do it, I think 7 days would be nice. That should give you a nice flavor of London. Globalizer's somewhat tongue in cheek reply is probably far closer to the truth; London is a large, diverse city with large and small attractions, and is a central hub for so many other areas of England. The longer you can stay, the more you'll enjoy it.

 

I'd echo the recommendations to stay central (a hard to define term in London from a tourist's perspective). Research what you want to do, pace yourself, and enjoy yourself.

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Geoherb: you are in for a truly special treat seeing Hamilton in London. We saw it prior to our June BI cruise, and were blown away by the talent. Enjoy!

 

 

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Geoherb: you are in for a truly special treat seeing Hamilton in London. We saw it prior to our June BI cruise, and were blown away by the talent. Enjoy!
Thanks. We also got tickets for the touring production coming to Durham later this year. Sam has listened to the soundtrack over and over. I've just seen bits and pieces on TV and the internet.

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So we only had 3 full days when we were there last summer and we packed it in. But we also did the weekend out on the west coast as well. We saw the major things we wanted to, and even got tickets to Les Miz! My fav!! I certainly wish we had at least 3 more days to see several other things. We're pretty active though, so on our first day we walked 11 miles across the city! The next 2 days we used the tube to get around. Oh, and we drove by Stonehenge on our way back to London from the weekend.

 

 

I did a trip report on all of it, so you can read what we did. But again, if you can afford it and have the time, I'd suggest closer to a week to enjoy things.

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In my opinion, you never will have enough time to see London. We did a transatlantic from Southampton a few years ago and only had 2 days pre-cruise. Needless to say it was not enough time. Agree that 1st day is recuperating from jet lag so do something easy. Then put your running shoes on and go til you drop.

 

We took an all day bus tour that I prebooked before we left home and that worked out well where we had so little time. We decided not to do hop on bus because we felt we wouldn’t be able to maximize our day with the wait in between to re- board bus. We had a great tour guide and we saw a lot in one day. We were at Buckingham Palace nice and early for changing of guard and guide got us up very close to palace. Stopped at St. Paul’s Cathedral and went inside and had a tour there. Drove thru city and tour guide pointed out various buildings. Had an hour for lunch to relax. Our last stop was Tower of London and another tour there. Last stop was boat ride on Thames. Ticket included the 3 places we visited. We didn’t feel rushed at all. Would recommend if you don’t want travel on your own. We too were in same age category.

 

I prebooked bus tickets for journey to Southampton and took taxi from hotel to bus station. That was a nice trip and driver pointed out sights along way. It’s about 1.5 hr trip to port. All in all we loved our visit but had many other things we wanted to do. We used taxis several times to save time but they are expensive. I’d be happy to share other ideas with you.

I think the biggest thing is a hotel central to attractions. We stayed in Earls Court area and did some walking in area. Restaurants galore there.

Happy planning and enjoy your cruise.

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We are just back from the UK and a cruise out or Southampton. We were in London for 9 days before the cruise and we still have a list a mile long of things for “next time” (hopefully 2020). So, I recommend staying for as many days as you can manage! In the next day or so I’ll be starting a more through review of what we did, but the bullet list is:

 

Tower of London

Kensington Palace

Hyde Park

Serpentine Gallery

Clarence House

Westminster Abbey

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts I and II the same day)

Hampton Court Palace

Victoria & Albert Museum

Afternoon Tea

London Eye

Queen’s Gallery/Royal Mews/Buckingham Palace

 

Plus a full day trip to Highclere Castle

 

 

 

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In my opinion, you never will have enough time to see London. We did a transatlantic from Southampton a few years ago and only had 2 days pre-cruise. Needless to say it was not enough time. Agree that 1st day is recuperating from jet lag so do something easy. Then put your running shoes on and go til you drop.

 

We took an all day bus tour that I prebooked before we left home and that worked out well where we had so little time. We decided not to do hop on bus because we felt we wouldn’t be able to maximize our day with the wait in between to re- board bus. We had a great tour guide and we saw a lot in one day. We were at Buckingham Palace nice and early for changing of guard and guide got us up very close to palace. Stopped at St. Paul’s Cathedral and went inside and had a tour there. Drove thru city and tour guide pointed out various buildings. Had an hour for lunch to relax. Our last stop was Tower of London and another tour there. Last stop was boat ride on Thames. Ticket included the 3 places we visited. We didn’t feel rushed at all. Would recommend if you don’t want travel on your own. We too were in same age category.

 

I prebooked bus tickets for journey to Southampton and took taxi from hotel to bus station. That was a nice trip and driver pointed out sights along way. It’s about 1.5 hr trip to port. All in all we loved our visit but had many other things we wanted to do. We used taxis several times to save time but they are expensive. I’d be happy to share other ideas with you.

I think the biggest thing is a hotel central to attractions. We stayed in Earls Court area and did some walking in area. Restaurants galore there.

Happy planning and enjoy your cruise.

I was also wondering what tour company you used.

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I was also wondering what tour company you used.

 

So sorry not replying before now. We booked London in one day tour through Evan Evans tours. Here is their website:

 

https://evanevanstours.com/sightseeing-tours/london-tours/

 

There is a USA 800# on website and I contacted them and booked the tour. I printed out my voucher and brought with me. I was very satisfied with the tour. Let me know if you would like any other info.

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