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Old 05-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by kristilew View Post
One way to pass the time til September: download the podcast series "A History of the World in 100 Objects." The director of the British Museum details objects from the collection and their signifcance in an historical context. Each podcast is about 15-20 minutes and they are all fascinating. When you get to the museum, special placards point out the 100 objects, which are throughout the museum. There is even a map for where to find them. This was a great way to organize our touring there, and helped to put what we were seeing in persepctive. Plus, it was fun to know a little bit more about what we were seeing than just what the signs said.

Also, if you enjoy historical fiction, you may want to check out Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily mysteries. Or, the first few anyway. (the first one is "And Only to Deceive") As a sideline to the mystery, there is a lot of history of the beginning of the British Museum. The stories include details about the private collections that were popular and led to the establishment of the Museum. When we toured the Museum, there is one room that is set up like one of these "gentlemen's collections" and I especially enjoyed it after reading these books. (I did eventually get tired of the later ones, as it's not the very best writing, but the first few were enjoyable!)
Ooooo! Thanks for the recommendation! I've subscribed to that Podcast, and have downloaded the first couple. That sounds wonderful! I'll check out the books, too.

Thanks! This is really starting to get exciting. The downside to booking so far in advance is that I can't be in active planning mode for a whole year, so it tends to get put off, and the excitement, too.

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:28 AM   #47
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[QUOTE=WeLoveABD;41001498]When we did Knights and Lights a few years ago, Harrods was included (along with tea)--is that still part of the tour? If so, you'll have some time to roam around there--and do hit the food area![/quot]It's not listed on this year's itinerary, or in the catalog, so it seems it may be gone. I should probably call ABD and confirm that...

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Leeds: great maze as mentioned by another poster (we went to Leeds with Disney as a pre-tour before the Baltic cruise). The castle tour is interesting (multi-generation owned it--many periods represented), but I especially loved the grounds and the walk to and from the castle to the parking lot (fairly long walk), and got lost in the maze!!
Thanks! I'll look into this. I love castle grounds & mazes!

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Another dining option: they have redone the central area of the British Museum, with a cafe there--so that is a possibility; and the crypt cafe in St. Paul's is cafe style--quick, not too expensive--have tea in the crypt area of St Pauls for a cool experience!
Ooooo. Tea in the crypt of St. Paul's *does* sound like a cool option. I'll definitely check that out.

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:29 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Gigi22 View Post
Harrod's--I highly recommend the food halls. There are a couple of restaurants as well. Not to be missed is the toy department. When we were there, a long time ago, there were wonderful wooden rocking horses. Also the linens area--I remember seeing a complete set of linens for a four poster bed. Amazing!
Harrod's is definitely on the list for our free afternoon during the tour. Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Gigi22 View Post
And the Tate Gallery. DH and I like the size of the Tate, and the content--the Pre-Raphaelite pictures alone make the trip to the Tate worthwhile.
Cool. Thanks! I do like the Pre-Raphaelite period. That sounds great.

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:32 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by rachel09985 View Post
I have never been on the Adventures by Disney trip but I went in college and my favorites were Princess Diana's fountain, the big park I forget the name, Harrod's- it smelled so yummy, and just walking around the streets.

I am not sure if you are going with family but my absolute favorite was the Absolute Vodka Ice Bar! It was pricey but I loved it. They give you a drink with the price and it is served in an ice glass. They give you robes as well.

Forgot to say the Changing of the Guards at the palace. That is a definite must do as well!
Thanks! A lot of people have mentioned the Princess Diana fountain. I'm adding it to the list!

Not traveling with family, but I'm not much of a drinker. But I may have to check out this Ice Bar just for the heck of it.

And the changing of the guards is a part of the ABD. I'm told they have a pretty good vantage point for us!

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:34 AM   #50
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We took a boat ride on the Thames from the Tower of London. There's so much to do...get the Oyster card it was quite useful.
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I've gotten more than one recommendation to do a boat ride on the Thames. That does sound cool.

And I will *definitely* be checking out the Oyster card. I've heard it's a must.

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:16 PM   #51
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Ceremony of the Keys info

http://www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk/keys/index.htm

http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/...ofthekeys.aspx

Tickets are free, but you must apply in writing and follow all instructions contained in the second link above. I applied in March for July tickets.


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Old 05-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Harrod's is definitely on the list for our free afternoon during the tour. Thanks!
Do you think there is anyone in our group who doesn't want to go to Harrod's?

And was the tea at Harrod's previously listed in the ABD itinerary before? If not, I'm wondering if that is another "spoiler". Whenever I notice these things, I can hear the "cha-ching!" from all the money I'm saving our group. I've saved you some good pub money because of the London Eye spoiler.

It's possible that it's completely off the tour, though.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:47 PM   #53
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My list of places to visit in London

Here are a few things that I am considering on our visit to London. Does anyone have any good or bad comments about the following:

The Sherlock Holmes Museum
http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/

Dr. Who Experience
http://www.doctorwhoexperience.com/

London Showboat dinner cruise on the Thames
http://www.citycruises.com/showboat.htm


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Old 05-06-2011, 08:13 PM   #54
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Hi Sayhello!

Your trip really is getting closer - you must be so excited. You've gotten a ton of good suggestions for your time in London. Will you have a chance to do any day trips out of London? The countryside is just beautiful, and Oxford is one of my favorite places in the world. Definitely worth a trip if you have the time.

My family's favorite experiences on our very short trip to London last fall were: eating treacle tart in a pub, seeing Les Miserables (get tix in advance if you really want to see it, as they weren't available at the half price location while we were there), taking a flight on the London Eye, and touring spots where the Harry Potter movies were filmed!
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:15 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by NotUrsula View Post
Imperial War Museum, definitely. If you're brave, do the WW1 trench experience; really creepy in the tunnels. There is also a Blitz Experience; my sister and I did it and she starting shaking -- she was 5 during the Blitz, and it all came back to her instantly. Also, the building itself is actually the old Bethehem Hospital, aka "Bedlam" -- it was once the most infamous insane asylum in the world. The Cabinet War Rooms are part of this museum complex, though they are in a separate location, so I think you can still save money on a joint ticket.
Wow! That sounds intense! I'll check it out.

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If anyone in your party likes to sew, the Victoria & Albert Museum is an absolute must. The costume galleries are out of this world. The V&A is a decorative arts museum, so it also houses a lot of furniture and silver, and some really magnificent Rembrandt "cartoons" -- pencil drawings for large room size murals.
I don't sew (much) but I *ADORE* costumes! I'm adding this to my list! Thanks!

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:17 PM   #56
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Just as a heads up Leeds Castle is in Maidstone, Kent which is on the outskirts of London (approx. 40 miles from the centre) in the South of England. Leeds (the city), Yorkshire, is approx. 200 miles from London, in the North of England and several hours away. This is probably where your family lives.

Also know that, much like WDW, prices in London are highly inflated compared to comparable prices in the rest of the UK.
Ah! Thanks for that clarification. I was wondering about that. The family is definitely in the city of Leeds that is in the North of England.

I'm assuming that going to London is like going to New York City. Expen$ive!

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:20 PM   #57
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We have also done an evening pub crawl walking tour ..... it was a cold and rainy night and we were soaked by the time we got to each pub, so those drinks sure did hit the spot. And the thing we love best about England is not the beer, but the cider. Oh so good and gets you nice and warm in just a few minutes.
I'm not much of a beer or ale person, so I'm glad to hear the cider is so good. I'll keep that in mind!

Quote:
The best dinner theater tour we ever did was dinner at Hatfield House, Elizabeth I palace. There were wenches serving us mead and dinner, musicians playing, sat on Henry VIII's lap, jugglers, fire-breathers, etc. The dining area has huge chestnut beams, just gorgeous!

Now I wish we had a vacation planned back to England.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out!

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DH just walked in and told me to say "Don't forget to go on the Jack the Ripper tour at night." Yes, it was awesome.

Lastly, I believe you can order from AAA a tube/underground pass for unlimited travel on the London subway/bus system for a specific amount of days. You have to order this in the US as it cannot be bought in England. So, if you are going to be touring for 3 days, you would order a 3 days pass. We have always done this and the only time we had to pay for an actual train ticket is when we traveled outside of London proper and went to someplace like Stratford-upon-Avon.
I'm already looking into doing the Jack the Ripper tour. It sounds very cool.

Thanks for the info on the AAA pass. I'll head over to AAA and get all the info from them.

Thanks,
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:23 PM   #58
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Have a look at the website for The Royal Albert Hall and see if they have anything on you like. It is an amazing place and make sure you cross the road and look at the Albert Memorial. They do tours round during the day and it is just up the road from the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum
I remember hearing something about the Royal Albert Hall being very cool, with great acoustics. I'll check it out!

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:25 PM   #59
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Definately do St. Paul's...go all the way up to the viewing gallery. Incredible view. Also try to do Westminster...very beautiful and just awe-inspiring.
We stayed at the foot of the Eye...great area. Used Waterloo station a lot. Also quick walk to the Embankment station. Very easy to get around.
We booked a special tour of the banks of the Thames...got to learn a ton about the history of the river and then muck about on the shore at low tide. Actually found some wonderful things that we were allowed to keep!
We did the Harry Potter walk...a ton of fun. We did one for Westminster Abby that took us through some beautiful parks and down by Buckingham Palace. http://www.walks.com/London_Walks_Ho...s/default.aspx

We found it very easy to get around the city...lots to see and do. I would save some 'free' time and just poke around.
OMG, thank you for that link! I took a look, and they have several walking tours that I am *VERY* interested in! Wonderful!

Definitely going to St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey is on the ABD tour. I'm staying pretty near the Eye, too. Got a fabulous deal on a hotel there, and it just seemed like a great location.

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:28 PM   #60
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http://www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk/keys/index.htm

http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/...ofthekeys.aspx

Tickets are free, but you must apply in writing and follow all instructions contained in the second link above. I applied in March for July tickets.


-Paul
Thank you for this info!!! The site says that April, May & June are fully booked. So I'll get cracking on sending a request letter to them.

Thanks!
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