Planning a trip to London and Edinburgh for honeymoon

FSU Girl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips to help with my planning for my honeymoon trip in May. I’ve changed this trip around a lot and finally decided on a week in London and a week in Edinburgh. We are flying round trip out of London and going to Edinburgh in the middle.

What would you suggest is the best way to get to Edinburgh? Flying or train? I’m a bit afraid of flying and it seems more out of the way with the airports, but the train is 4 1/2 hours. I booked a bunch of one day tours that go all over Scotland, but leave from Edinburgh. We’ll only have the night to explore the city.

I’m trying to figure out what to do when we are in London. Here’s a rough schedule for the trip, if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

  • Arrive in London - be jet lagged and not do much.
  • Go to Tower of London
  • Either fly or train to Edinburgh for next week.
  • Spend one full day at Windsor (what’s the best way to get here from London?)
  • Do the Harry Potter tour.
  • Already booked tickets to see the Harry Potter play across two nights
  • Go to Harrods, see British museum.
  • It’ll be my 30th birthday on the trip, any recommendations of what to do that day?
  • Any good restaurants you’d recommend in either city?

When I changed my trip from a cruise to land trip I got a little lost in where I could ask questions for planning
 

BadPinkTink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
I have lived in both Edinburgh and London

Train Travel
I would defiantly take the train. I have done this journey multiple times

Train Pros
The train stations both London and Edinburgh are both in the central areas. You dont have a long transit time between hotel and train station in either city
You dont have to be at the train station 2 hours before departure like you do with flying.
The journey is very scenic and as an American visitor you will really appreciate the views
Train travel in Europe is very different to America, the trains are much more comfortable

To book train tickets use https://www.thetrainline.com/ and make sure to book in advance. Train tickets get more expensive when you book near to departure day.

You can book tickets online and collect them at the departure train station on the day of travel. When you book the train tickets online you will get a confirmation number on the email. To use the self service ticket machine at the train station you will need to use the bank card used to book the tickets. You insert the bank card into the machine, select collect prepaid tickets and enter the confirmation number to release the tickets. The machine will print the tickets for you.

When I travel by train in England, I always print out the confirmation email and write on it which card I used to book the tickets.

Harrods, The British Museum and Tower of London
How are you planning to travel around London> Do you plan to see all of these in one day?
Harrods, The British Museum and Tower of London are all in different parts of London.
Harrods is located in Knightsbridge, The British Museum is in Bloomsbury and Tower of London is in City of London.
The British Museum and Tower of London would take about 2 to 3 hours each.
What do you want to see in Harrods? Its basically just a high end department store.

Harry Potter Tour
This is located in Leavesdon Studios, which is about an hour north of central London. You would need about 4 hours approx as there is ALOT to see. You need to book tickets for this about 3 or 4 months in advance.
Again how are you planning to travel to this?

Edinburgh
Where are you staying?
What do you want to do / see in the city
Have you booked tours for every day of your stay except your arrival and departure days?
 
  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    you should also check out my thread How To Do London Like A Local I have put a huge amount of info for first time American visitors to London,

    in this post https://www.disboards.com/threads/disney-magic-how-to-do-london-like-a-local.3654997/#post-58621888 I have put a ton of info, including photos about travelling by train in England
    Thank you all of this is sooo helpful!

    I haven’t really figured out how we are getting to any location in London yet lol. We are going to be there two days before going to Edinburgh so that’s when I want to see the Tower of London. Everything else for when we get back. We’ll have 6 nights so plenty of time to spread stuff out. I figure windsor and Harry Potter will be full days. I’ve just heard Harrods was famous so wanted to visit, was thinking maybe on my birthday to get a gift :)

    For the train and card we use can I use a normal visa credit card? I know there are differences between how cards work between the countries since we don’t have pin codes for our credit cards, could that cause an issue?

    For Edinburgh one of the reasons I had been leaning towards flying was we could get in really early in the morning to have a full day to explore the city. I wanted to cut one of our tours to explore the city, but I couldn’t figure out which not to do. We arrive on a Monday, have 5 full day tours starting the next day and then leave on a Sunday. I could have stayed an extra day, but I really didn’t want to travel on my birthday which is the next day. If we do the train and the earliest one gets in at 2:30pm do you think that’s enough time to see the city of Edinburgh? I’d like to go to the castle. All the tours end at 5:30 so we will have a lot of nighttime to see the city. I booked the Hilton Carlton. It’s very close to the Royal Mile and the train station.

    For traveling around London I was thinking taking the tube. The stuff outside of the city will take a little more figuring out.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    I haven’t really figured out how we are getting to any location in London yet lol. We are going to be there two days before going to Edinburgh so that’s when I want to see the Tower of London. Everything else for when we get back. We’ll have 6 nights so plenty of time to spread stuff out. I figure windsor and Harry Potter will be full days. I’ve just heard Harrods was famous so wanted to visit, was thinking maybe on my birthday to get a gift :)
    Right ok London
    You will need to get an Oyster card for each person
    The Oyster Card is a credit card sized travel card. It can be used on the regular London busses, tubes, DLR and some overground routes.

    It can be used 2 ways

    1. Pay As You Go
    2. Weekly or Monthly Unlimited Use

    This is the Oyster Card website https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/entry.do

    You havent said, so Im just going to give you a generic example

    1. Land in Heathrow airport
    2. Collect luggage and go through passport control
    3. Follow signs to arrivals hall
    4. In arrivals hall follow signs to Underground Trains
    5. At the Underground ticket hall, buy a Oyster card for each person at the ticket desk
    6. Ask the ticket person to put £30 Pay As You Go onto each card
    7. Use the Oyster Cards to go to the Underground Platform
    8. The Piccadilly (Dark Blue) line goes direct from Heathrow Airport to central London
    This is the Tube Map
    tube.JPG
    All the lines are colour coded

    Dark Blue = Picadilly Line7
    Light Blue - Victoria Line
    Red = Central Line
    Yellow = Circle Line
    Green = District Line
    Black = Northern Line
    Brown = Bakerloo Line
    Grey = Jubilee Line
    Pink = Metropolitan Line

    The trains run North or South, East or West. The trains have the end station marked on them. So for example Heathrow is the end of the Piccadilly line. To get to central London you take the Piccadilly Line train to ****fosters which is the other end of the line.

    Arrival day you will be disorientated and jet lagged. Dont plan anything major. Go to your hotel, freshen up and then go for a wander in the local area. Research the area and find a restaurant nearby, or shops nearby.

    Depending on how you feel, this might be a good time to go to Harrods. Harrods is located beside Knightsbridge Tube Station.

    Day 1
    Tower of London Day
    I would suggest taking the tube to Tower of London, using your Oyster Cards. Go there first thing in the morning, making sure you have booked tickets in advance. I would suggest spending the morning at Tower of London and then maybe St Pauls Cathedral and then over to Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden area for the afternoon and evening

    For the train and card we use can I use a normal visa credit card? I know there are differences between how cards work between the countries since we don’t have pin codes for our credit cards, could that cause an issue?
    As far as I can remember, you just need the conformation number when you put your bank card into the ticket collection machine. You can also go to the ticketdesk and the person behind the counter can release the tickets for you.

    Day 2
    Travel to Edinburgh
    We arrive on a Monday, have 5 full day tours starting the next day and then leave on a Sunday. I could have stayed an extra day, but I really didn’t want to travel on my birthday which is the next day. If we do the train and the earliest one gets in at 2:30pm do you think that’s enough time to see the city of Edinburgh? I’d like to go to the castle. All the tours end at 5:30 so we will have a lot of nighttime to see the city. I booked the Hilton Carlton. It’s very close to the Royal Mile and the train station.
    Yes if you get to Edinburgh at 2.30pm you will have time to see the city. That hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the train station. Just make sure when you exit the train station you are going in the direction of The Edinburgh Dungeon on Market Street as thats the shortest way to the hotel You should be checking into your hotel about 3pm and then depending on how long you take to freshen up , you could be on your way out to the Rpyal Mile and The Castle by 3.30pm. Just make sure to book tickets in advance.

    If you have time I would really advise going to Mary Kings Close https://www.realmarykingsclose.com/ which is on The Royal Mile. You will pass it on the way to the Castle.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    I havent been to Windsor so I cant tell you about how to get there. However I can look it up as if I was going if you want :)

    For Harry Potter tour, this is the most hassel free way to get there. I used Golden Tours https://www.goldentours.com/warner-bros-harry-potter-studio-tour-london

    The bus leaves from Victoria bus station and is a direct bus to and from the studios. There are other ways to get there, which involve using the tube and then getting a local bus, but to me this is the most convenient.

    For your other days in London, once you are there and have used the tube a couple of times, you will be able to get around and see alot more than you may think
     
    Last edited:

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    some other things you might find useful

    Many of the tube stations in London do not have elevators. There are escalators from ground level to platform level BUT if you are changing platforms or changing lines most tube stations only have stairs. When I lived in London I did travel to America and I had a 50 pound pull along suitcase. I am used to managing heavy luggage on stairs so I was ok using the tube network with a 50 pound pull along and a carry on back pack.

    Many of the tube stations have long underground corridors between platforms and connecting lines. You may walk up to 15 minutes on underground corridors to get to the connecting tube line platform.

    On the train from London to Edinburgh, there will be limited luggage storage areas. Usually the storage racks at the end of the carriages. Depending on how busy the route is on the day you travel, you may have to store your luggage at your seat for your journey.

    Also on the trains, there is usually no porters, most people only have luggage they manage with no help.
     
  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    some other things you might find useful

    Many of the tube stations in London do not have elevators. There are escalators from ground level to platform level BUT if you are changing platforms or changing lines most tube stations only have stairs. When I lived in London I did travel to America and I had a 50 pound pull along suitcase. I am used to managing heavy luggage on stairs so I was ok using the tube network with a 50 pound pull along and a carry on back pack.

    Many of the tube stations have long underground corridors between platforms and connecting lines. You may walk up to 15 minutes on underground corridors to get to the connecting tube line platform.

    On the train from London to Edinburgh, there will be limited luggage storage areas. Usually the storage racks at the end of the carriages. Depending on how busy the route is on the day you travel, you may have to store your luggage at your seat for your journey.

    Also on the trains, there is usually no porters, most people only have luggage they manage with no help.
    You are awesome! All of this is super helpful!

    I think for the train I would go to a person to pick up the tickets, it seems easiest with the cards. I would actually prefer to have my luggage with me so I can keep an eye on it, having it at my seat is an option? My husband is really tall and strong so I’ll put him in charge of lifting the suitcases.

    I’ll check out that tour for Harry Potter, that sounds like the easiest way to do it.

    I’ll definitely get those passes for the tube since we’ll be using it quite frequently.

    Do hotels in the UK hold your luggage if you arrive before your room is ready? I don’t want to have to bring it around with us as we explore Edinburgh.

    Is there anything you would suggest we do while in London?
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    You are awesome! All of this is super helpful!
    You are welcome :)

    I think for the train I would go to a person to pick up the tickets, it seems easiest with the cards.
    Probably the best, just be aware lines can be longer at the desk than at the machines so make sure you have plenty of time. Also I think the train to Edinburgh is from Kings Cross, you might want to get to the station extra early as they have a Platform 9 3/4 photo op and a Harry Potter shop which can get VERY crowded. :)

    I would actually prefer to have my luggage with me so I can keep an eye on it, having it at my seat is an option? My husband is really tall and strong so I’ll put him in charge of lifting the suitcases.
    Yes you can, there are overhead luggage racks for lighter items like the carry on bags and coats. There is usually a space between the seat backs of forward facing seats and backwards facing seats and most people put larger bags in this space. Depending on how busy the train is that day, you may be lucky and get a 4 seat and not have seat mates, so you can use the seats for luggage too. Just be aware that you may have to move the bags if someone needs the seat. The train staff are usually very lenient when it comes to luggage on the trains. I have even sat on my bags in the middle of the aisle on one train journey as it was so crowded.

    Also be aware that your husband may have issues with the seat sizes on trains, tubes and buses. The seat pitches and leg room is generally smaller than trains and buses in America. I use the underground and local buses in LA and there is more room compared to London underground and buses.


    I’ll definitely get those passes for the tube since we’ll be using it quite frequently.
    I didnt want to overload wit info but the Oyster cards can also be used on the regular London buses. Once you have money on the card you just tap and go :)

    Do hotels in the UK hold your luggage if you arrive before your room is ready? I don’t want to have to bring it around with us as we explore Edinburgh.
    Yes they do, but if you arrive around 3pm, most likely your room will be ready

    Is there anything you would suggest we do while in London?
    oh gosh yes, tons of things. The best thing to do would be to pick an area, as London is huge and there is so much to see and do. When I go back to visit, I usually go to an area and spend a morning there or the afternoon there.
     

    Disneypeach

    Fan of the Fort
    Joined
    Oct 14, 2010
    FSU Girl - I was in London for a week this past Sept and was able to use my "wireless" aka "tap" credit card to use the underground subways...it worked like the Oyster card that BPT referenced. I just "tapped" my cc card at the gate, rode to my stop and "tapped" at the exit gate...super smooth and easy... Saved me money since I didn't have to pay for the O card itself.

    You may want to touch base with your CC company to see if you could get one. This method of paying is not as prevalent in the US as in Europe but I'm seeing more of it here in Atlanta. It also made paying for other things in London easier.

    I also took the train to the Harry Potter studios tour...awesome tour, train was easy with a bus from the station to the studios.

    Hope you have a great trip!
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    FSU Girl - I was in London for a week this past Sept and was able to use my "wireless" aka "tap" credit card to use the underground subways...it worked like the Oyster card that BPT referenced. I just "tapped" my cc card at the gate, rode to my stop and "tapped" at the exit gate...super smooth and easy... Saved me money since I didn't have to pay for the O card itself.

    You may want to touch base with your CC company to see if you could get one. This method of paying is not as prevalent in the US as in Europe but I'm seeing more of it here in Atlanta. It also made paying for other things in London easier.
    This is another option and thanks for bringing it up :) but I dont usually recommend this for non UK visitors for 2 reasons

    1. This type of card, contactless is not something USA people are familar with. To explain contactless cards can sometimes be a bit confusing
    2. Each time you use your contactless bank card on the underground, you get charged an international exchange rate. One of my friends from Ireland used her Irish contactless card on the underground and found she got charged for every transaction. ie thee underground payment system takes out the payment in UK pounds Sterling and your bank converts this amount to your home currency and charges you a fee. She switched to using an Oyster card on her next visit.
     
  • Disneypeach

    Fan of the Fort
    Joined
    Oct 14, 2010
    BPT,
    Good points.
    I checked on all of that with my cc company before I left the US. They don’t charge an exchange fee but of course that’s not true of all cc companies. I did have exchange rates but even with that it was still cheaper. Of course, YMMV depending on cc and rate of exchange during your visit.
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    Probably the best, just be aware lines can be longer at the desk than at the machines so make sure you have plenty of time. Also I think the train to Edinburgh is from Kings Cross, you might want to get to the station extra early as they have a Platform 9 3/4 photo op and a Harry Potter shop which can get VERY crowded. :)
    I'm always early for things so no worries there. I'd love to do a picture with that so we'll have to budget time for that too.

    Yes you can, there are overhead luggage racks for lighter items like the carry on bags and coats. There is usually a space between the seat backs of forward facing seats and backwards facing seats and most people put larger bags in this space. Depending on how busy the train is that day, you may be lucky and get a 4 seat and not have seat mates, so you can use the seats for luggage too. Just be aware that you may have to move the bags if someone needs the seat. The train staff are usually very lenient when it comes to luggage on the trains. I have even sat on my bags in the middle of the aisle on one train journey as it was so crowded.
    That's good to know, I would definitely prefer having my suitcase with me instead of out of sight. Do you think a Monday in early May would be crowded?

    Also be aware that your husband may have issues with the seat sizes on trains, tubes and buses. The seat pitches and leg room is generally smaller than trains and buses in America. I use the underground and local buses in LA and there is more room compared to London underground and buses.
    Ya he's kind of tall so he'll be a bit squished. When you're on the train do you have to stay in your seat or can you walk around? It might be hard for him to sit for that long with no space.

    FSU Girl - I was in London for a week this past Sept and was able to use my "wireless" aka "tap" credit card to use the underground subways...it worked like the Oyster card that BPT referenced. I just "tapped" my cc card at the gate, rode to my stop and "tapped" at the exit gate...super smooth and easy... Saved me money since I didn't have to pay for the O card itself.

    You may want to touch base with your CC company to see if you could get one. This method of paying is not as prevalent in the US as in Europe but I'm seeing more of it here in Atlanta. It also made paying for other things in London easier.
    I'll look into this, but it sounds a little confusing until now I've never heard of it before haha. I think just buying the oyster card might be easier way to do it.

    I also took the train to the Harry Potter studios tour...awesome tour, train was easy with a bus from the station to the studios.
    I'll look into this option too, I need to buy the tickets soon, just need to figure out which day of the trip we want to go there.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    That's good to know, I would definitely prefer having my suitcase with me instead of out of sight. Do you think a Monday in early May would be crowded?
    I dont know, its been over 10 years since I travelled the London to Edinburgh route. It depends on the time of day and if its a holiday. The train may not be crowded leaving London but may pick up a lot of passengers along the way. Many people use the regular long distance train as a commuter route, especially between towns outside of London. You might see very few people doing the entire route but alot of people during a journey of an hour or less.

    Ya he's kind of tall so he'll be a bit squished. When you're on the train do you have to stay in your seat or can you walk around? It might be hard for him to sit for that long with no space.
    He can walk around, kinda like on a plane, when you can walk up and down the aisle. Just be aware that at stations, it might be a good idea for him to sit, as depending on how crowded it is , he may loose his seat if it is not occupied.
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    I dont know, its been over 10 years since I travelled the London to Edinburgh route. It depends on the time of day and if its a holiday. The train may not be crowded leaving London but may pick up a lot of passengers along the way. Many people use the regular long distance train as a commuter route, especially between towns outside of London. You might see very few people doing the entire route but alot of people during a journey of an hour or less.
    Hopefully not many will be on the train leaving London going elsewhere on a Monday morning. I feel like more people would commute into London instead of living in London and commuting out?
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    One more question. I really would like to go to Highclere castle where Downton Abbey was filmed. It's only open for one day while we are in London, the second day we are there. I had originally booked a hotel the first two nights right next to the Tower of London for convenience. Should I book this tour and maybe change our hotel location, or keep it and go to the Tower of London the day we arrive even though we will be really jetlagged.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    One more question. I really would like to go to Highclere castle where Downton Abbey was filmed. It's only open for one day while we are in London, the second day we are there. I had originally booked a hotel the first two nights right next to the Tower of London for convenience. Should I book this tour and maybe change our hotel location, or keep it and go to the Tower of London the day we arrive even though we will be really jetlagged.
    Highclare Castle is not near London, it would be almost 2 hours journey, as you have have to get from your hotel to Paddington train station and then get the train to Newbury and then a taxi from Newbury train station to Highclere Castle. Honestly, with all the travel you are doing, I wouldnt advise adding in more to take a day trip all the way to Highclere.
     

    piccolopat

    DIS Veteran
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    Apr 25, 2014
    1. What a wonderful honeymoon trip! We've been to London twice, both for 10-12 days. There is so much to see depending on what interests you. I wouldn't plan to do the Tower of London on your first day. Jet lag can be terrible and visiting the Tower of London can be tiring. You're right near the Tower Bridge and we enjoyed doing the Tower Bridge experience. We stayed near Westminster Abbey and took the Thames tour down to Greenwich. It stops at Tower Bridge and is a lovely trip, even if you just go to Greenwich and back. If you have time, see the observatory and the Maritime museum there. We loved the tour of Parliament and many museums such as the British Museum, Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Room and the Museum of London. We visited St. Paul's, crossed over the Millenium Bridge (a HP location) and did a tour of Shakespeare's Globe. We did a tour of Buckingham Palace but I don't think it is offered when you will be there. We did a full day tour that took us to both Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. At Windsor we decided to not waste time seeing the doll house due to the line and were glad we did as we saw so much else there. We loved sitting in the parks, especially St. James' Park and just people watching in Trafalgar Square. We did a bus tour to see the Harry Potter experience that also went to Oxford which inspired some HP locations. We used the tube a lot (with an Oyster card) and found the system easy to use. You do need to tap your ticket entering and leaving. I can go on and on since we saw so much and still plan on at least one more trip there. Let us know what your interests are and we can provide more help.
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
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    Oct 20, 2016
    Highclare Castle is not near London, it would be almost 2 hours journey, as you have have to get from your hotel to Paddington train station and then get the train to Newbury and then a taxi from Newbury train station to Highclere Castle. Honestly, with all the travel you are doing, I wouldnt advise adding in more to take a day trip all the way to Highclere.
    I found a tour that will go on the special event day so wouldn't have to worry about travel, would have to switch our hotel though because the meeting point is outside the British Museum at 7am so want to be somewhere super close by. I love the show so would really like to see this place. We'll move the trip to the Tower of London to when we get back from Edinburgh.

    1. What a wonderful honeymoon trip! We've been to London twice, both for 10-12 days. There is so much to see depending on what interests you. I wouldn't plan to do the Tower of London on your first day. Jet lag can be terrible and visiting the Tower of London can be tiring. You're right near the Tower Bridge and we enjoyed doing the Tower Bridge experience. We stayed near Westminster Abbey and took the Thames tour down to Greenwich. It stops at Tower Bridge and is a lovely trip, even if you just go to Greenwich and back. If you have time, see the observatory and the Maritime museum there. We loved the tour of Parliament and many museums such as the British Museum, Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Room and the Museum of London. We visited St. Paul's, crossed over the Millenium Bridge (a HP location) and did a tour of Shakespeare's Globe. We did a tour of Buckingham Palace but I don't think it is offered when you will be there. We did a full day tour that took us to both Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. At Windsor we decided to not waste time seeing the doll house due to the line and were glad we did as we saw so much else there. We loved sitting in the parks, especially St. James' Park and just people watching in Trafalgar Square. We did a bus tour to see the Harry Potter experience that also went to Oxford which inspired some HP locations. We used the tube a lot (with an Oyster card) and found the system easy to use. You do need to tap your ticket entering and leaving. I can go on and on since we saw so much and still plan on at least one more trip there. Let us know what your interests are and we can provide more help.
    It sounds like your trip was awesome! Do you remember the tour company you used for Windsor Castle and Hampton Court? I tried booking tickets to Windsor Castle off their main site and not sure why it didn't work so I think a tour company would be better to get there. People watching can be a lot of fun and we have so much planned, I think some quiet time to just sit and relax will be good for us. I booked the Harry Potter tour with Golden Tours and then we'll have the play at night so that'll be a fun Harry Potter day. You're right, Buckingham Palace isn't open while we are there, but we'll go outside it to see it. I love all things history and watch so many British shows. I definitely want to hit all the highlights. I was in London for three days when I was dating a Brit, but we pretty much only went to pubs and didn't go anywhere I wanted. My husband has never been so I want to show him around and make sure he gets the most out of the trip. He isn't a planner and is letting me take charge pretty much planning everything. We both love food so going to good restaurants is a definite must, I need to research this more.
     

    piccolopat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    I found a tour that will go on the special event day so wouldn't have to worry about travel, would have to switch our hotel though because the meeting point is outside the British Museum at 7am so want to be somewhere super close by. I love the show so would really like to see this place. We'll move the trip to the Tower of London to when we get back from Edinburgh.


    It sounds like your trip was awesome! Do you remember the tour company you used for Windsor Castle and Hampton Court? I tried booking tickets to Windsor Castle off their main site and not sure why it didn't work so I think a tour company would be better to get there. People watching can be a lot of fun and we have so much planned, I think some quiet time to just sit and relax will be good for us. I booked the Harry Potter tour with Golden Tours and then we'll have the play at night so that'll be a fun Harry Potter day. You're right, Buckingham Palace isn't open while we are there, but we'll go outside it to see it. I love all things history and watch so many British shows. I definitely want to hit all the highlights. I was in London for three days when I was dating a Brit, but we pretty much only went to pubs and didn't go anywhere I wanted. My husband has never been so I want to show him around and make sure he gets the most out of the trip. He isn't a planner and is letting me take charge pretty much planning everything. We both love food so going to good restaurants is a definite must, I need to research this more.
    We went through Viator for all of our tours out of London (we also used them when we went to Paris). They use several different tour companies (Evan Evans, Golden, Premium) and I don't recall which one was used for the Windsor/Hampton. I do remember that the admission to Windsor was not included but not an issue for us since we bought a London Pass. Buying Windsor tickets ahead of time will allow you to avoid what can be a long line, something we had to do since we had to get tickets there even though they were no charge for us with the London Pass. I don't think you'll need a full day at Windsor and you can do it on your own by train. We wanted to see both locations on the same day and there was no easy way to get from one to another without a tour. If I had to choose one, it would be Windsor but we liked both. Note that St. George's Chapel at Windsor is not open to visitors on Sunday. We would have planned our tour for a different day if we had known.
     


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