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One evening in London

One evening in London

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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:06 am
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One evening in London

We have a one night layover in London in a few weeks, arrive at 5:30pm on a Monday and depart at 12:20pm on Tuesday. We’ll have our 9 year old son and my 78 year old active father with us, neither have been to London. I know it’s jam packed but we’ll have the return flight to sleep so we’re going to try and cram in something that evening.

We’d like to at least check off a few of the “sites” even though they will be closed and only viewable from the exterior. Hopefully our son will last long enough to grab a fish and chips before he crashes around 10pm.

After we get them to bed my wife and I will likely go out for one meal, then we’ll all eat breakfast in the morning.

Are we best of staying near Paddington for efficiency of getting to/from the airport and connections to the sites? What is feasible to knock out if we arrive in the city around 7pm and have 2-3 hours to run around on a Monday night?

Would love recs on a meal for dinner/breakfast that captures London as well. Was thinking maybe Cheshire Cheese?
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:29 am
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Hi,

During March sunset will vary between 1740 & 1830 so it will be getting dark by the time you arrive so I would not visit many parks ( not that they are unsafe it is just that you would not see a lot)

For a quick visit to some of the illuminated buildings and sites ( you will not see them all so choose some of them

Leicster Square
Covent Garden
Walk around St Pauls Cathedral them
Across the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern
the replica Shakespear's Globe theatre in southwark
Tower Bridge ( beautiful lit up at night)
Round the outside of the Tower of London
Going up the Shard on a nice evening
The London eye ( ferris wheel ) may be lit up
Paddington whilst very handy for the Heathrow express it a little away from the sights.

I see you are a Marriot Member, The County hall ( may be expensive) is close to the london eye.

As you have a midday flight I would stay in central london and then cab to paddington the next morning.

Where are you flying in from? If a long haul you might be too tired to do a lot of walking.

A lot of restaurants might be closed by 10pm ( fast food places will still be open)

Regards

TBS
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:35 am
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Perhaps jump on one of those tourist buses that goes around all the sights of London for a quick fix?
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:46 am
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It also works well to take the tube to/from LHR if your hotel is walkable from one of the stations (without a transfer being required) and ideally has an escalator/elevator so that you're not forced to do stairs with luggage. [Hyde Park Corner is good for this.]
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Old Feb 17, 19, 10:26 am
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I think you should base the first part of the evening around the interests of the 10 year old. Perhaps take in a show (not sure where you are flying into but, unless it's Stanstead or Luton, that's very doable), or focus on a short walking radius rather than jumping on and off buses or tubes - so Covent Garden/Trafalgar Square, or Parliament/Trafalgar Square, or Parliament/London Eye, or Tower Bridge/Southwark. Certainly in the Covent Garden area all the restaurants will be jumping at 10pm, as they will in any of the central locations.

You won't gain any time messing around with the Heathrow Express and Paddington - and don't even think of a cab from the airport as it's the middle of rush hour. I would just tube it into wherever you are staying, which should be central rather than out at Paddington. If you are arriving at LGW, then the Gatwick Express is the way to go and if at LCY, then DLR and tube.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 10:40 am
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I assume you are arriving and departing from LHR?

If so I would consider leaving most of your luggage at the left luggage places in each of the LHR terminals. Yes it would cost (I think £12 per bag) but it would save you hassle of travelling with them. It is possible your airline might tag your bags right through for you so you dont have to collect them at LHR so that could be an option - just make sure you have your overnight things in a carry on.

And then depending on where you stay forget about the HEX and Paddington, The tube really is the best option if you are going to LHR and not staying in the Paddington area. The Heathrow Connect service is cheaper than the HEX for a longer travel time.

IF LGW is involved then the southern trains are cheaper than the HEX and only take a couple of minutes longer to get to Victoria. If you stay closer to London Bridge then Thameslink to London Bridge / Blackfriars is the best option.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 5:30 pm
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I think it depends of what airport you are arriving from and then traveling out of. This can have a big impact on how you travel, where you travel and what is closest/easiest to see and do.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by jmail1 View Post
We have a one night layover in London in a few weeks, arrive at 5:30pm on a Monday and depart at 12:20pm on Tuesday. We’ll have our 9 year old son and my 78 year old active father with us, neither have been to London. I know it’s jam packed but we’ll have the return flight to sleep so we’re going to try and cram in something that evening.

We’d like to at least check off a few of the “sites” even though they will be closed and only viewable from the exterior. Hopefully our son will last long enough to grab a fish and chips before he crashes around 10pm.

After we get them to bed my wife and I will likely go out for one meal, then we’ll all eat breakfast in the morning.

Are we best of staying near Paddington for efficiency of getting to/from the airport and connections to the sites? What is feasible to knock out if we arrive in the city around 7pm and have 2-3 hours to run around on a Monday night?

Would love recs on a meal for dinner/breakfast that captures London as well. Was thinking maybe Cheshire Cheese?

If you arrive at 5:30pm the chances of you being in central London by 7pm are zero. Expect the time to be closer to 8pm (or later) by the time you are checked in to a central London hotel.

There would be time for a quick stroll around Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and perhaps down to see Westminster and the Thames. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a pub so breakfast is out. Pubs close at 11 so if your son goes to bed at 10pm you would be hard pressed to get there for dinner.

Last edited by Badenoch; Feb 18, 19 at 5:30 am
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Old Feb 18, 19, 5:57 am
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If you want a more authentic fish and chip experience in central London, try one of these 2:

http://poppiesfishandchips.co.uk/
http://www.goldenunion.co.uk/


Otherwise find a pub and most should have it on their menus. The trouble with a lot of pubs is that they are part of chains and most things are brought in chilled/frozen and assembled/heated on site. Most of the time it's fine, just nothing special.

As above, you really don't have a lot of time and a lot will depend on when you arrive in central london and where you stay. I'd just do a walk from say Oxford Circus, down Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, across to Leicester Sq and then onto Covent Garden and then onto the Strand and finally Trafalgar Square. That should be 1 hour at a fast pace or 2 hours for a more leisurely route. You'll see the key sights and have an opportunity for a bite on the way.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot View Post
Hi,

During March sunset will vary between 1740 & 1830 so it will be getting dark by the time you arrive so I would not visit many parks ( not that they are unsafe it is just that you would not see a lot)

For a quick visit to some of the illuminated buildings and sites ( you will not see them all so choose some of them

Leicster Square
Covent Garden
Walk around St Pauls Cathedral them
Across the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern
the replica Shakespear's Globe theatre in southwark
Tower Bridge ( beautiful lit up at night)
Round the outside of the Tower of London
Going up the Shard on a nice evening
The London eye ( ferris wheel ) may be lit up
Paddington whilst very handy for the Heathrow express it a little away from the sights.

I see you are a Marriot Member, The County hall ( may be expensive) is close to the london eye.

As you have a midday flight I would stay in central london and then cab to paddington the next morning.

Where are you flying in from? If a long haul you might be too tired to do a lot of walking.

A lot of restaurants might be closed by 10pm ( fast food places will still be open)

Regards

TBS
There are a few attractive AirBnB available in Convent, that seems to be a good location based on what's available to see at that time.

Sorry I did not clarify, we are arriving into Heathrow from Rome so the flight in won't be long. It is at the tail end of a long trip so we will be adjusted.

I don't see why we wouldn't be able to check our bags through and keep only one bag for us to share in London, thanks for the idea on that
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Old Feb 18, 19, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by jmail1 View Post
There are a few attractive AirBnB available in Convent, that seems to be a good location based on what's available to see at that time.
That's Covent Garden. You need to use both words when you name the place.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
That's Covent Garden. You need to use both words when you name the place.
I've got my head mixed up with Convent Rd in Bangkok!
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