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Something for everyone in London

London, , United Kingdom
5 Kudos
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Visited London for 6 days in July 2014 with husband and two kids, 14 and 12. Definitely too short. Visited all major sites and stayed at 3 different hotels. Such a beautiful city with easy to use subway system, easy to understand the language and so much to do you can't possibly be bored. One of my all time favorite destinations.
Story Details

Culture and experiences

The Household Cavalry Museum
The Household Cavalry Museum
This is the place for you! As with any place I visit, I like to read everything to learn the most I can, however the kids were a little bored. Kids are able to dress up in the uniforms which was pretty cute. This is in a great location, very close to buck palace, Churchill war rooms, and 10 downing street. Behind the museum is Horse Guards Parade where the summer Olympics beach volleyball games took place!
Churchill War Rooms
There is so much to learn at this fascinating place, you could spend 3 hours if you want to read every plaque and learn every bit of history. The war rooms are an amazing glimpse into history, my kids (12 and 14) were shocked to learn about food and clothing rations but it helped them understand the era. There was a short talk and movie before we toured which was very interesting and told about the rooms themselves and gave little tid bits about the people who lived down there and about Churchill himself. This is part of the 2for1 travelpass offer so that's how we saved some $$. Kids are free. Audio guides are very helpful.
Ceremony of the Keys
Really interesting for adults, maybe not for kids. I've done it 10 years ago and the experience depends on who you get as a tour guide. Definitely ask a lot of questions and be sure not to be 1 second late as the gates will close on you.

Entertainment

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Very impressive even if you're not the biggest Harry Potter fan. Truly made me appreciate how much work goes into all the movies.

Hotels

Holiday Inn London - Mayfair
My first priority when choosing hotels is location, and this can't be beat. Amazingly convenient from Heathrow via Piccadilly line to the Green Park tube stop, and effortless walk (even with luggage) to the hotel door. However, being that the tubes in London are not air conditioned, we were sweating sitting in the hot train and from carrying luggage up the tube station stairs. The hotel lobby is barely air conditioned and the rooms aren't much better. On first inspection the room was very clean and there was enough space for four people. However I then noticed the dried raisins and potato chips on the floor near one of the beds so I can't say it's really clean. The wifi was only free b/c of my status w/ IHG.
Again, the location can't be beat... down the block from The Ritz, on the same block as Funky Buddha and around the corner from Mahiki, walk to major sites such as St James & Buckingham Palace. But, there was no "do not disturb" sign so my son made his own. The lobby was the size of a guest room, and there was no ambiance whatsoever, in any part of the hotel. Would I stay again, no. I'd find another place w/ a great location and more atmosphere.

Points of interest

Tower Bridge Rd
Tower Bridge Rd
Tower Bridge Experience worth the price
Tower Bridge
More beautiful in person than in photos
Westminster Cathedral
Not as famous as the other Westminster, but worth the visit
Westminster Abbey
Truly amazing. So much history in one place. Get there early as lines are long and the place gets very crowded as there is no timed entry
Buckingham Palace
As a huge fan of the British Royal Family, this was a great place to visit. This year's exhibit, Royal Childhood, was just ok (wish I could have seen Kate's wedding dress). Amazing to think of how much storage space the family must use to keep all these things preserved. While I could have spent 3 hours walking at my own pace, my 14 yo daughter was a bit bored. Honestly, how many oil paintings of old people and candelabras can one girl stare at?

Shopping

Cool Britannia
Not that there's a shortage of souvenir stores in London, but this place is fun. Lots of One Direction merchandise to bring back to the states for your girlfriends!
Selfridges & Co
A little more refined than Harrods, but overall the same type of experience...expensive goods that are nice to look at while you watch the wives of oil company execs buy it all.
Harrods
Definitely overrated. It's like any other high end store in other big cities.

On The Map

1 Comment

by rkt34491

07-29-2015

My husband and I will be going to London at the end of August. I'm so looking forward to it. We will definitely put some of your places on our agenda. Thank you.