London, England | What you can do in 3 days with a family of 4

London, England | What you can do in 3 days with a family of 4
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In the summer of 2013, our family visited 3 main destinations in Europe: Scotland, London, and Paris. Welcome to our family vacation to London, England. If you’ve never been to London, you are in for a treat. I was blown away by the architecture and once you see London in person after so many images you’ve seen on the media, it is inspiring to see it for yourself! You need at least 3 days in London to see the major attractions/things to do. Here are seven things that you can do within 3 days not in any particular order of importance.

Thing to do #1: The London Eye

London Eye

The London Eye is a basically an indoor ferris wheel that moves very slow. More and more major cities are starting to erect these and for good reason, too. It gives you awesome views of the city! As you look down, you see Parliament/Big Ben. Did you know that Big Ben is not the name of the building, but just the bell? If you have time, book ahead a tour of Parliament where the House of Commons and the House of Lords is located. Parliament Tours lists dates, times, and prices. We did this and it was history coming to life! I highly recommend this if you have a tween or teenager!

Thing to do #2: The London Film Museum

London Film Museum

If you’re a big TV and movie buff like our family is, you will love this place. They have an extensive collection of props and memorabilia from your favorite sitcoms and movies. Since we are fans of Dr. Who, I chose these photos of course!

Thing to do #3: Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

If you go during the summer, let me give you a warning…it WILL be crowded. Since we went in the summer, we know. There are tours you can take of some of the staterooms, but if you have limited time it’s worth the stop. If you do stop, go early in the morning if you can. Do your research before you go about when the changing of the guards are. I can’t stress enough to people to do their research BEFORE leaving home. It saves you a lot of time AND money. It saves you money because you can see all your options as far as prices and companies you can book tours from. If you wait to do this at your destination, you are wasting your vacation time when you could be doing something fun already. We did not do any tours, but we decided to make a stop during the changing of the guard and it was exciting to see.
The entrance of the palace is blocked off, for obvious reasons, but there are sections for you to get close enough to see through the gates for the changing of guard. The processional leads through the gates and the guard changing inside. This is one of the reasons why you should arrive early so you can get a close spot to see it. Otherwise, it does become quite hard.

Thing to do #4: Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms

Since my husband, Bill, is a huge history buff, we just had to visit here. I’m not a huge history buff, but let me tell you something…don’t underestimate this place if you’re not! This place left me very impressed and had a lot of interesting information. It was designed to have each station inside to have an audio tour that captured my attention and kept me engaged. It makes for a great History lesson!

Here are a few things you can expect to see:

  1. Churchill’s underground bunker
  2. Life in the bunker
  3. Churchill’s life & legacy
  4.  Churchill’s role in WWII
***While touring and walking about London, take a sneak peek at Westminster Abbey. This is the church that the monarchs coronation happen. This is also a burial ground for the most significant people in the United Kingdom’s past.***

Thing to do #5: The British Museum

British Museum

The British Museum houses many artifacts, holds special events and exhibits. This place can take a long time to look through and justly so. However, if you go in with a game plan having chosen ahead of time knowing just the rooms and/or artifacts that interest you, then go and do just those. Then if you have more time, you can go back and continue seeing more. Some of the artifacts that I personally wanted to see was the original Rosetta Stone. I am a Spanish teacher so, of course, this interested me. This building is A LOT bigger on the inside than what you see on the outside!!! I was shocked!

 Rosetta Stone

Thing to do #6: Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is one of King Henry VIII residences. You will need a full day here because it’s on the about 14 miles away from city center of London. Don’t get this confused with the nearby London hotel named Hampton Court Palace Hotel. You can’t stay at THIS place overnight no matter how bad you want to! When you visit, you will feel like absolute royalty. There is so much rich history here.

The walking audio tour is definitely worth it! On the photo to the right is me, but I am not on my phone. I am using their audio tour piece in the dining hall.

The photo underneath is also in the dining hall. Imagine you’re one of the royals sitting at this table in front of the silver platters and everyone else sitting at the side tables. Royalty always sat at the head of the room. The walls of the dining room are lined with tapestries that are extremely old.
My jaw dropped when I saw the gardens! I mean, who doesn’t want a garden like this one? It’s beautifully manicured and landscaped.
For a small fee, you can take a stroll on horse carriage instead of walking the gardens and surrounding areas. Our youngest son absolutely loves horses!
Hampton Court Palace has a Guinness World Record for the largest vine!

Thing to do #7: Tower of London & Tower Bridge

Tower of London

Source from Wikipedia: “The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.”

At the White Tower (a section of the Tower of London) consists of the past and present queen’s jewels. It is heavily guarded as you can see! Absolutely beautiful to see! It is located within a short walking distance of the Tower Bridge, so both can be done one right after the other.



There are also stories that prisoners were once tortured in drastic torture chambers and devices. The photo marks the spot of Queen Anne Boleyn’s execution among others. This is where the scaffold was. There are many stories regarding this eerie place. If you’re interested, you can read more on The Scaffold on Tower Hill website.

The Tower Bridge is NOT the same as the London Bridge. Many people get this confused. The bridge is also NOT the Tower of London. Many people get that confused as well. It is an impressive bridge with detailed architecture. It sits beautifully at the cross path of the Thames River. There is a a walking path to go across it away from traffic.

London Bridge.

I love how these bobbies (police in Britain) had a fun attitude and let me photograph them! 

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