London post visit

We will be staying in London for a couple of extra days after our August tour. I noticed that a guest had information on a guide/driver for Edinburgh. Does anyone know of someone who could provide the same type of service in London? We are interested in going to Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace, Churchill's War Rooms, the Victoria and Albert Museum, St. Paul's for Evensong and maybe a tour of the Houses of Parliament. I thought a guide might help us make better use of our time so we could see as much as possible. When I contacted the hotel concierge it was prohibitively expensive. Any ideas are welcome. Thank you.


  • If by a couple of days you mean two, you will never get all these places seen, if you mean to step inside them. All but Hampton Court are easy to do, but take hours to do them justice. Buckingham Palace, book well in advance, that alone takes several hours to see. Hampton Court you could take a bus tour or train, that will also take a long time to see. Pick your top choices, and do those thoroughly. Save the rest and go back another time, maybe save something like the V and A and The Churchill War Rooms for an off season winter visit, cheaper flights foo. But the palace is only open during the summer and the gardens at Hampton Court should be seen in summer.
  • edited June 2015
    We did this tour two years ago and it has changed some, but like ours, your afternoon is free after visiting Westminster Abbey on day 13. This is the best time to see the Churchill War Rooms which are only about 3 blocks from Westminster. After we finished touring the Abbey our TD arranged for the local guide to lead those of us who were interested right to the entrance of the War Rooms which are well worth visiting. We also had a free afternoon the first day in London. Our tour stayed at the Royal Horseguards, just up river from the Savoy, so we walked over the Golden Jubilee Bridge and rode the London Eye (Now officially the Coca Cola London Eye- OMG!!!!) that afternoon. During our extra day after the tour we took the tube to the British Museum for a few hours. You can easily spend and entire day or two there! Then we took the tube to the Notting Hill area to see the huge street market on Portobello Road made famous in movies. It is open on weekends.

    Like British said, there is too much to see. I would research each place you would like to visit, figure out how much time you think you might spend there, plot the locations on a map of London, use Google maps to see how long it will take to get between them (walking, car/cab, tube) then work out a plan of attack. Keep in mind, that by the end of the tour (remember it is a tour, not a vacation :) ) you will be a bit tired. A number of companies offer multi-day/multi-venue discount admission pass books for selected sites. Check them out online.

    I think you will find the price for a car and guide quoted by the concierge is probably competitive. You usually get what you pay for. Take advantage of the best currency exchange rates we've seen in years. The price quoted is typically for a car that will hold 4 - 6 people, not per person, so see if any others are staying later in London who might be interested in sharing the cost. Remember, buses and the tube run just about everywhere you might want to go and you can buy multi-day passes that will save money. Depending on the itinerary, group tours with Viator might be less expensive than a car and driver, or for even less, you can ride the 'Hop-on/Hop-off bus.'

    August is prime tourist season in London. Time is running out and tickets for some attractions may already be sold out for your dates, so get busy researching online! : ) You will have a great tour and this planning can be a fun exercise.
  • A tour of parliament is a monumental day activity in itself. You may not able to get everything done as they really do let you have a detailed look, it's almost impossible to getaway without wanting to see more.

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