There will be a lot of walking. Bring comfortable
One pound = $2...so just multiply
everything by 2.
That is not a good exchange rate. Everything will
be expensive. Therefore we will need to be frugal. Some ways to do this:
Eat in the flat ..we do need to experience British restaurants,
especially the pubs, but we can eat breakfast in, and evening snacks, and
occasionally lunch and/or dinner.
Lots of things are free ..do them.
Keep souvenirs to a minimum. Our best souvenirs
are photos and memories.
Baggage – keep it minimal. One bag plus one carry
on per person. Your carry on might be what you use when we are
out-and-about in London. We can do laundry while there if need be, I
Relax. We have a full week. We do not have to do
everything at once; in fact we do not have to do everything period.
Saturday, August 18
Tom is working in the morning?
Party at Paul’s, until ???? Maybe we
go, maybe we don’t – we’ll see. It might be nice to go to the party
hang for a few hours, and then go straight to the airport, especially
since it sounds like not many people can make the party.
Flight BA0068 leaves from Philadelphia at . We should be at the airport car park by , although we will probably end up having to
kill time in the terminal. Bring a book. Drink water (it helps you avoid
jet lag). Set clocks to London time.
We are flying “World Traveler” class. I expect
the plane will be full – they usually are.
We’ll get a nice dinner on board, probably our
choice of chicken or beef or something. Also all the beer/wine you want!
But drink a lot of water.
Relax and enjoy your own personal seat back
video screen with a wide choice of latest blockbuster movies and TV
entertainment or drift away listening to a choice of 12 channels of CD
Get some sleep!!!!! They will “shut down” the
plane for a few hours so people can sleep. It is crucial to get at least
30 minutes sleep. Just do it. The longer the better. I know a plane ride
with your own TV is exciting but GO TO SLEEP.
We’ll get at least a “snack” breakfast on board
The flight only takes 7.5 hours but since we are
flying “into” the sun and there is a 5 hour time difference we arrive at
Heathrow at ,
seemingly 12 hours after we left.
We each get a 7 day London Underground pass for
our use through Saturday. They cost about $90 each - DO NOT LOSE THEM. We
can use our passes to take the “regular” train into London, but it cannot be used on the Heathrow Express
– no worries, there is a direct train to Earl’s Court. Somebody needs to
stay awake so we don’t miss our stop.
Hopefully by , we are settled into the flat.
Walk around and check our surroundings? Take the
tube into the theatre district? Have a pint somewhere? Walk through Hyde Park (from our flat to and around the park and back
would take a few hours – that might be perfect for our first day).
A Sunday roast at a local pub? Roast turkey or
beef is a traditional Sunday pub grub staple.
A short nap, up to 1 hour, might be OK but it’s
probably best to avoid it and
just go to bed at a “normal” time or maybe a little early. You might wake
up in the middle of the night, since your body is all confused. Go back
to sleep. The goal is to wake up in the morning at a normal local time.
Then have some coffee.
Hit a grocery store?
Monday through Friday
Typically eat breakfast at “home”. Read, coffee, play with the cat, maybe browse the web,
watch TV, a walk around the neighborhood or in some park.
There are three major museums (science, natural
history, and “stuff”) about a mile from us. They each open at and are free. Maybe a walk to one of these and
some time browsing around is a good way to spend the morning/early
On the other hand ... it might be smart to do
some “real” touristy stuff bright and early, such as the Tower or the
Eye, to avoid the crowds, then retire to the flat for a quiet mid
afternoon, recharging for an evening out somewhere?
Late mornings through early evenings are for
sightseeing. Museums, famous buildings, shopping ...
Pub grub lunches should be good and reasonably
This is also the time to hit the half price
ticket booth at Leicester Square.
Some evenings we’ll do something
..a show, shopping, the movies?
We should probably plan on some evening meals
in the flat. Check out British TV.
Perhaps one night we will check out a “club”.
This is a London young person thing. Tom and Julie might find
it interesting. One or both of “us”, the parents, would go with them.
Melissa Edwards’ favorite club is the Metra. I think these clubs get “full” and have
long lines of “kids” waiting to get in so if we want to do this we’d
probably go “early”. I’ve sent an email to Melissa about this to try to
get more info.
Courtauld Institute at the Somerset House is free
admission from to . It has a
nice impressionist collection. It can be combined with a visit to St. Paul’s, right “up the street”.
Garden -..its no
longer a real market and is targeted at tourists but that is what we are!
This summer they have extended hours on Thursdays into the evening until .
Saturday – beginning of the Bank Holiday weekend
During this holiday weekend London hosts a HUGE Caribbean themed carnival, we’re talking a million or so
people, in the NottingHill area. The main activities
take place the day we leave and the day after we leave. But, the day
before we leave, Saturday, there is a key carnival related steel band
competition in Hyde Park between and .
Clean up the flat.
One last walk in a favorite park.
Pack and leave by (just after )
Our 7 day pass is used up so we have to buy
Flight BA0069 leaves from Heathrow at Same amenities as the
flight over except we will not need to try to sleep. Flying “with” the
sun means we just have a very long day.
Arrive in Philadelphia at , after an 8 hour flight.
Home by and to bed. It’s a long day.
Keep your fingers crossed about the flat. I have
no idea what it is like. The one they were in before was ideal for us ..three bedroom, close to
the underground and several nice stores, pubs and parks. The one that we
will be in is further from the underground (but its not terribly far), has
only two bedrooms, and I have no idea what sort of pubs, stores are
around, and the large parks are several long blocks away. But I have a
feeling the whole thing will turn out to be perfect!
Here is where we are (see arrow):
Closest tube station is Earl’s Court (0.5 miles?)
although High Street Kensington isn’t too much further.
Nothing of real interest right on our doorstep
but the following are within “walking” distance (from near to far) and I
think are all free:
A walk in Regents
Park and a beautiful view of London from the top of Primrose Hill maybe with a
Here’s a site which describes
several interesting London
(huge “ferris wheel”) - it costs $30 each except
Julie is half price and I can skip it but if you all want to go, you can,
its supposedly very nice but I’ve seen warnings that you should book in
advance. Maybe it should be an early morning thing?
Dungeon – Maybe just for Tom and Julie as that would cut the cost
OK, this is something that is on all the “top London attractions” lists but that I have never been to
and I think it might be neat. It’s a Shakespeare “museum”, the Globe Theater. The
centerpiece is a theater that represents a reconstruction of a theater
back in Billy’s day. They put on his plays, and apparently do a really
good job of it. When we are in town a three month run of the Merchant of
Venice is just starting. Personally I think it would be a great night out
for the family, although tickets might be difficult/impossible to get
since its the opening week. What do you think?
Hampton Court in
southwest London although it might be crowded
Maybe we just take a canned tour
to Stonehenge and Bath; its about $80 per
person but includes the round trip ride plus admission at both sites (a
total of $60 at Stonehenge and $88 for the Roman Baths. And we avoid the
hassle of getting and returning a car and driving in London. On the other hand we also miss the fun and
freedom of having our own car. On the third hand there is plenty to do
in London and we don’t have to leave it. So, what do you
think ..rent the car
and see Stonehenge and the Roman Baths is $248 .. take the canned trip is $320 .. do
neither is $0?
Could possibly include a visit to one or two
friends of mine. Pretty countryside, historic city, could possibly
include a drive to the Cliffs of Dover.
is only about 6 miles from downtown London and is a neat place to visit on a nice day. I
think there are free ferry rides from nearby various tube stations so that
is one option – but I don’t know how crowded they are. It would be fun
just to ride the ferry. Sue Edwards suggested this as a good day trip, no