3 days in London in January

Eric15

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My wife and I are going to spend a Thursday to Sunday in London in January. I know, I know, why are we going in January? It's the only time my parents could watch the kids for 4 days.

We welcome any and all suggestions. I think I want to stay at the Marriott London County Hall which is right across the river from Big Ben. How would you prioritize the major tourist attractions? Which are can't-miss and which are overrated? Any can't miss restaurants? Is a walking food tour recommended?

Thank you.
 

LeMoyneCuse

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#2
I went to London in January and loved it. Not very busy, weather in the 40s. Just be ready for a rain shower at any moment, even if skies are blue.

Imperial War Museum is unbelievably cool if you're a history nerd. Also, the Churchhill War Rooms are amazing. British Museum is obviously incredible, but kind of overwhelming. Changing of the Guard is... okay. All of the museums are free, so don't worry about leaving if you're not enjoying yourself.

Just find a pub and hang out. Pub culture is super cool.
 

tptcuse

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Lived in London for three years. Great questions. Restaurants are hit and miss. If you like pub food, that might be the way to go for a couple of meals since you will only be there a few days. The Indian food is great in London. If you stay where you mention in your post, all sorts of great walking around there. The London Eye is NOT overrated. Tower of London takes a really long time. Some people like it, but I always felt like it wasn't worth the wait. The British Museum is excellent and walking around Covent Garden is great during the day. You should definitely see Buckingham Palace. If you want a more village, old school feel, head up on the Tube on the Northern Line to the Hampstead stop. It's beautiful there...winding side streets and the like.
As mentioned by LeMoyneCuse, have small umbrellas with you at all times, as it could rain on the sunniest of days. It is usually more of a drizzle or mist though.
 

pfister1

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I love Westminster Abbey. The history represented in the people buried or memorialized there is amazing.
 

Pearl309

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My wife and I are going to spend a Thursday to Sunday in London in January. I know, I know, why are we going in January? It's the only time my parents could watch the kids for 4 days.

We welcome any and all suggestions. I think I want to stay at the Marriott London County Hall which is right across the river from Big Ben. How would you prioritize the major tourist attractions? Which are can't-miss and which are overrated? Any can't miss restaurants? Is a walking food tour recommended?

Thank you.
Definitely on the bucket list. Hope you enjoy
 

Ghost

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Lived in London for three years. Great questions. Restaurants are hit and miss. If you like pub food, that might be the way to go for a couple of meals since you will only be there a few days. The Indian food is great in London. If you stay where you mention in your post, all sorts of great walking around there. The London Eye is NOT overrated. Tower of London takes a really long time. Some people like it, but I always felt like it wasn't worth the wait. The British Museum is excellent and walking around Covent Garden is great during the day. You should definitely see Buckingham Palace. If you want a more village, old school feel, head up on the Tube on the Northern Line to the Hampstead stop. It's beautiful there...winding side streets and the like.
As mentioned by LeMoyneCuse, have small umbrellas with you at all times, as it could rain on the sunniest of days. It is usually more of a drizzle or mist though.
Lived in the UK for a bit as well.

Concur with a lot of this. The Tower of London is pretty decent, but sucks up a lot of time. I'd rather do a day trip to somewhere like Cambridge than spend hours at the ToL.

London County Hall is a great location - underground is accessible, and you can walk to a lot of great sights with relative ease. I stayed at St. Ermins (Marriott) last time I was there, liked the location - easy walk to where you will be staying. Not sure if one is cheaper. Some of the rooms at County Hall are tiny, no?

All the museums are great - Churchill War Rooms are amazing. The Natural History Museum (love, love love this building) and the V&A are great, but put you a bit out of the way if you're looking to stay central, still you're close to Harrods at that point if that's your thing, and Kensington which is decent enough - The National Gallery is great as well and Trafalgar Square is right near some great theatres if you want to catch a show.

Check out some of the markets - Borough, Camden, all kind of fun and quirky for food and random crap - and cheap eats that are kind of decent if you're not a foodie (mostly food in those two). I don't know, I used to love the markets, so I have lots of thoughts on those. If you're a Harry Potter nut, Leadenhall is the Harry Potter one. Some of them are sort of dull now - Spitalfields, for example used to have some fun shopping, but seems to have gone to crap. Etc...

What can you skip? Nothing. Just try to pack in as much as possible. I wouldn't do the St. Paul's tour if you're thinking about it.

Big Ben is going to be a disappointment. It's still covered up, no?

Download a good tube app - the route planners on the one I have always works great.
 
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#7
Of course it is all about what you are interested in; for me:

Tour of the House of Parliment, but especially Westminster Hall, where so much important history is literally embedded into the floor. The architecture is grand. Plan way ahead or go in January.

Westminster abbey: history, art, architecture, religious pomposity, and Princess Diana.

Ride the city bikes all over town, especially the bridges - in January, wear a 3 or 4 season parka. Bring a rain coat!

The tower of London was a must see for me but I'm a history guy.

Indian resturants are the best - try several, including 'hole in the walls' - they hold up quite well to the pricey 'name joints'.

I'm also an art guy and the British musuem is first rate and an absolute must - and don't forget to go to the 1500's wing where they have a Leonardo (one of only 17 known) and a Michelangelo painting.

And stop in any corner pub that you want (there are some famous ones but they are not necessarily worth the brother); you can almost anyways strike up a fun/interesting conversation.

My wife and I are going to spend a Thursday to Sunday in London in January. I know, I know, why are we going in January? It's the only time my parents could watch the kids for 4 days.

We welcome any and all suggestions. I think I want to stay at the Marriott London County Hall which is right across the river from Big Ben. How would you prioritize the major tourist attractions? Which are can't-miss and which are overrated? Any can't miss restaurants? Is a walking food tour recommended?

Thank you.
 


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