Brandon O'Brien

Travel and Adventure Journal

I wanted a place to journal all my travels and adventures around the world. I always enjoy going back and reflecting on my past travels and getting to relive them through my words and photos.

You're reading posts I wrote in May 2011. Return home.

Planning the London Trip

Friday, May 20, 2011 @ 7:50 PM in 2011 London

On May 16th, Eric messaged me saying he wanted to go on a vacation before he started his new job. A few minutes later he mentioned going to London. We had been talking about going back to Europe since a group of us went in August / September 2008 for a friend's wedding. After giving some flights a quick look and seeing the pricing was fairly reasonable for such short notice, I said sure.

Eric still needed to get confirmation that he had the time available before starting his new job to take a full week long vacation. After a day of waiting for confirmation, he finally got it. We really started looking at flights then and finally booked them on May 18th. That night we also did a lot of research and found a hotel that got a lot of good reviews, had free breakfast and was close to a tube station. We made our reservations and then started compiling a list of everything we might want to see.

I created a shared Google Docs document and we started adding things that night and the next day. On the 19th we started putting a rough itinerary together based on the location of the areas of interest, the time we planned on spending there and the hour of operation (if applicable).

Our first iteration had us in London every day except for one that we allocated for getting outside the city. After checking Frommer's, we decided we were grossly over estimating the time we needed to spend at each location. We also cut out a few things that weren't really high on our list.

Our final itinerary, shown at the bottom of this post, is what we ended up with. We thought that doing a bike tour to hit the major sights and get some information about them was the best way to start the trip.

We allocated Monday the 6th to seeing a lot of the Royalty and governmental sight seeing destinations. Tuesday takes us to the Tate Modern and Tower of London to see the crown jewels. We're also planning on seeing a performance at Shakespeare's Globe that night. Wednesday sees some more tourist spots as well as the National Gallery and British Museum. Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be spent touring some areas outside the city, including Dover, Canterbury Cathedral, Windsor, Cotswolds, Bath and more.

All in all we got quite a bit planned and figured out in the matter of a few days. We're hoping that by putting the itinerary together, it'll help us see everything we want and not resort to aimlessly walking around hoping we run into something cool (which happened more than we'd like to admit on our last trip to Europe.) Stay tuned for more updates and information as the trip gets under way!

Trip Itinerary

Everything we're seeing (Google Maps)

Friday, June 3

  • 12.45 - Eric departs from LAX
  • 16.15 - Brandon departs from ABQ

Saturday, June 4

  • 10.35 - Eric arrives in LHR
  • 12.25 - Brandon arrives in LHR
  • 14.00 - Check into our hotel
  • Walk to Hyde park / Kensington Gardens from our hotel
  • Dinner, then sleep

Sunday, June 5

  • Bike tour along River Thames
  • Regents Park
  • Jack the Ripper tour at night

Monday, June 6

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Downing Street
  • Big Ben / Parlament
  • Westminster Abbey tour
  • London Eye
  • Harrod's

Tuesday, June 7

  • Tower of London tour
  • Millennium Bridge
  • Tate modern
  • "Much ado about nothing" at Shakespeare's Globe theatre

Wednesday, June 8

  • Piccadilly Circus
  • National Gallery
  • British Museum

Thursday, June 9

  • Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath tour (all day)

Friday, June 10

  • Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover tour (all day)

Saturday, June 11

  • Blenheim Palace and Cotswolds tour (all day)

Sunday, June 12

  • Check out of hotel
  • Depart back to the US

Tags: london, england

Posted from: United States