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Archive for April 24th, 2010

UPDATE: 17.10.2012 – the Olympics are over so now all areas are once again accessible :). Hope you enjoy the walk.

UPDATE: 18.04.2011 – this post was written for a friend last year.  However, feel free to use the information herein.   I have a blog on London where you can find out a lot more about fun and interesting things to do and places to go while you are here – go to http://3daysinlondon.info/  Wishing you a fab time in the city.

So assuming your free time is the whole 6 hours I would suggest that you go to Green Park and visit Buckingham Palace to see the fabulous flowers (seasonal) and then take a walk to Big Ben & Houses of Parliament; so here goes:

Buy a one-day travel card for zones 1-6 at Heathrow Underground Tube station, off-peak Zone 1-6 £8.50 this will allow you unlimited travel from Heathrow to and in and around Central London and back again. If you travel before 09:30 the cost will be substantially higher. For further fare info click here which will take you to TravelforLondon website showing fares/zones.

Hop on the Piccadilly Line which runs from all Heathrow terminals. Allow an hour for the journey and go to Green Park (it’s direct).

Get off at Green Park and take the exit straight into Green Park.  Stroll through the park till you reach The Mall and on the right you will see Buckingham Palace = approx 10-15 minutes stroll allows you time to look around and enjoy the many features.

Buckingham Palace

At Buckingham Palace spend some time looking at the Victoria Memorial Gardens and the Queen Victoria Memorial fountains.

Victoria Memorial Gardens

then take a walk along The Mall towards Trafalgar Square.   On your way take a stroll through the park = St James’s Park.

tulips at St Jamess park

It is beautiful this time of year (April) and the tulips are magnificent = 30-45minutes or so. If you walk through the park, head to the Blue Bridge and cross over towards Birdcage Walk and stroll along towards Big Ben and Parliament Square.

Then at Trafalgar Square, spend 15 minutes or so if you wish to look around

fountain at Trafalgar Square with National Gallery in the background

While at Trafalgar Square why not pop in to The National Gallery, it’s free (they do appreciate donations) and the entrance is beautiful.  Although the Olympic Clock is now gone, I have left a photo in just because 🙂

london 2012 olympic games, olympic games london

The London 2012 Olympic Clock at Trafalgar Square

and then head along Whitehall (main road) towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace) = 15 minutes or so.  A pointer for direction is that Lord Nelson on his perch (column) faces towards Big Ben and Houses of Parliament along Whitehall (name of the road),

you will also pass Horse-Guards Parade (4pm to see the 4 o’clock parade; much lower key than say changing the guard but impressive and free. If you get there at any other time then all it is is a big square. Having said that there is a memorial to those killed in the South African campaign over 100 years ago which is both impressive and moving – thanks to Paul for the inserted contribution) as well as No 10 Downing Street on the right hand side of the road and the Cenotaph; a memorial to those killed in the 1st & 2nd WW situated in the middle of Whitehall.

At Big Ben, be sure to cross over to Westminster Abbey (looking towards the right & closed at 3.30 most days), the whole area is looking gorgeous.

royal wedding, westminster abbey,  things to do in london

Westminster Abbey the venue for the Royal Wedding on April 29th 2011

After that return to Big Ben

Big Ben

and walk up onto the right-hand side of the bridge (Westminster Bridge)  where you can view the whole palace alongside the river.

Houses of Parliament aka Westminster Palace

At that point you would be able to see the London Eye and the Aquarium.  Cross over to the opposite side for a better view.

the London Eye with the Aquarium in the background

be sure to stop and have a look at the statue of Boudicca on her chariot (Queen of the Iceni who ravaged the Romans).  There is an ice-cream stand on the corner there where you can buy a double cone soft vanilla ice-cream with flake for £? the prices changes regularly but it’s in the region of £2.00-£2.50) 🙂  If you take a walk along the Victoria Embankment, be sure to have a look at the Battle of Britain memorial…it’s stunning.

If you want to and have the time, take a walk along the Victoria Embankment (with the river on your right hand side), towards the next bridge (Hungerford & Golden Jubilee Bridges), where you can see the RAF (Royal Air Force) monuments alongside the embankment as well as all our gorgeous trees that are just about in their full greenery (assuming you are here in spring/summer). = 45 minutes.

At Embankment Station there are a number of coffee shops where you could stop off and have a cuppa = 30minutes or so. If not and its a hot day, then have an ice-cream instead 🙂  If you have time climb the stairs onto the bridge, for a magnificent view upstream of the river towards the London Eye etc.  From here you can take the District or Circle tube line to Earl’s Court and change for the Piccadilly line for Heathrow.

Heathrow to Green Park = 60-70 minutes give or take

Green Park station stroll to Buckingham Palace 15 minutes

Buckingham Palace through St James’s park to Trafalgar Square 60 minutes

Trafalgar Square 15 minutes

Walk to Big Ben and Houses of Parliament 15 minutes

Time at Big Ben and perhaps Westminster Abbey 60 minutes

walk along the Embankment (the London Eye will be on your right hand side) to Embankment station 15-20 minutes

stop for coffee (or not). There is a lovely park just behind the station; Victoria Embankment Park, a lovely environment to stop and rest for a while.  You will find a memorial to the poet Robert Burns in the park as well as many other statues and and interesting memorials = 30 minutes

Back to Heathrow from Embankment approx 60-70 minutes.

These are all estimated times and depend on how long you stay at each place or how slow/quickly you walk.  I have allowed extra time for each leg of the excursion, so you may find it takes a bit less for each. It’s up to you how long you want to take at each place. Good luck and have a fabulous time.   Let me know if this works for you. 🙂

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