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We will be on Princess British Isles cruise in August and will be in London on August 17 (Saturday). We know our time in London is very limited so we  have decided to spend our time just at Buckingham Palace with hopefully some time to enjoy a little shopping and a pub lunch. We are taking the Princess shuttle/tour into London and have a few questions:

1. For anyone who has used the Princess transportation only tour. (Especially this year with the extra security) what time did you arrive in London and how long did you have in the city (not sure when to book the Palace tour)

2. For anyone who has done the Buckingham Palace tour how long did it take. We will buy our tickets online but I would love to hear/learn any tips you have to share 

3. Do you have a favorite spot for lunch or shopping  near Buckingham Palace (the tour drop off place is Park Lane)

4. Am I crazy to think I can tour the palace on such a short trip. Should I tour Westminster Abbey instead and just look at the outside of the Palace. 

 

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I can’t help with the Princess-specific questions, sorry. We did 9 days in London before our cruise. 

 

For Buckingham Palace, we had tickets for 12:15 and got in line about 12:05. We got in to the Palace about 12:30 and finished around 2:00. We ate in the tea room there on the Palace grounds. The food was good and surprisingly affordable considering that you are a captive audience. We probably spent another hour eating and checking out the shop. It takes about 10 minutes to walk through the garden to the exit, and once you exit you are a 10-15 minute walk from the balcony side. That view is closer to where you go in, so I recommend allowing time for that before you enter, especially if you are short on time. 

 

When we went to Westminster Abbey, we had entry tickets for 9:30 and Jubilee Gallery entry for 10:45. We could have used 15 more minutes in the Abbey. If you decide you are going to do that, book your tickets online from the Abbey website. This allows you to skip the entry line, and it’s the only way you can do that. Right after security outside, they direct you in the door. 

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2 hours ago, cft8 said:

I can’t help with the Princess-specific questions, sorry. We did 9 days in London before our cruise. 

 

For Buckingham Palace, we had tickets for 12:15 and got in line about 12:05. We got in to the Palace about 12:30 and finished around 2:00. We ate in the tea room there on the Palace grounds. The food was good and surprisingly affordable considering that you are a captive audience. We probably spent another hour eating and checking out the shop. It takes about 10 minutes to walk through the garden to the exit, and once you exit you are a 10-15 minute walk from the balcony side. That view is closer to where you go in, so I recommend allowing time for that before you enter, especially if you are short on time. 

 

When we went to Westminster Abbey, we had entry tickets for 9:30 and Jubilee Gallery entry for 10:45. We could have used 15 more minutes in the Abbey. If you decide you are going to do that, book your tickets online from the Abbey website. This allows you to skip the entry line, and it’s the only way you can do that. Right after security outside, they direct you in the door. 

Thank you the tea room sounds great!

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3 hours ago, Kay.redmann said:

Thank you the tea room sounds great!

To be clear, it’s not fancy, it’s a big tent on the terrace behind the palace. But, it’s convenient and the food is tasty. Plus then you can say you had tea at Buckingham Palace. 😉

 

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If you have time, I highly recommend the additional tour of the gardens. That was one of the highlights of our trip. 

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On 6/15/2019 at 2:27 PM, Kay.redmann said:

We will be on Princess British Isles cruise in August and will be in London on August 17 (Saturday). We know our time in London is very limited ...

 

I know that you're already being realistic with the plans that you're making, and you probably already know this, but it may be worth saying anyway: Your ship won't be docking in London that day. It'll either be in Southampton or Dover, each of which is a different city over 75 miles away from central London.

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19 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

I know that you're already being realistic with the plans that you're making, and you probably already know this, but it may be worth saying anyway: Your ship won't be docking in London that day. It'll either be in Southampton or Dover, each of which is a different city over 75 miles away from central London.

Thank you, I really want to see the palace but the more research I do I think It may be unrealistic and I might be better taking the Westminster abbey tour and just see the outside of Buckingham Palace. There is so much I want to do but I keep reminding myself that this trip to London is just a sampling and we will be planning a trip in the future where we can spend a few days in London. 

 

I logically know that I have to stay realistic with just a few hours in London I just am having trouble keep my dreams/plans under control 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Honestly, I think either Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace would be hard to do in a limited amount of time. We spent basically the same amount of time touring both, which is partly because we did the Queen’s Jubilee Gallery in the Abbey. Both have an audio guide, and I listened to every bit of them (actually, I probably listened to less of the Abbey one because we had a hard time to be finished for our Queen’s Jubilee Gallery tickets).

 

That being said, the Abbey is probably the easier one to just cut out early if you find your time short. When you exit, you’re on the street, as opposed to the Palace where you still have to walk through the garden to exit. 

 

Honestly, if you think that you will take a trip to London some other time, I would find an excursion closer to your port and not go all the way to London. 

Edited by cft8

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