London Fun and Soccer!
Dec 26 - Jan 2, 2023
We had an excellent time in London. The house was exactly as advertised with plenty of space. We met with Ann on our first day and enjoyed excellent weather with our walking tour. Ann was kind and very flexible as we did cut the tour a bit short due to exhaustion.
Each day we used the Tube as there were suspensions of other services and frankly the tube was swift and easy to use.
We went to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery on the second day before enjoying our Chelsea game. They even played our American player!
The following day we traveled to Westminster. Our tickets were excellent and we were able to quickly enter. It was crowded but beautiful. We walked the rest of the day - over to Seven dials to get lunch and onto St. Paul's. We LOVED climbing the the top. After, we through the financial district (my eldest son's dream location due to his university interests). We then walked along the river to see the Tower Bridge light up. We walked around the Tower of London which had beautiful lighting and, then across the Tower Bridge. We ended up returning home via the Tube and had to change trains at Kings Cross, so of course, we went into the train station to see 9 3/4. Boys were bored and sitting in the corner and my daughter was gleeful!
On our free day the boys slept. Joe and Lizzie went to the British Museum and met up later with the boys for the Harry Potter Tour. Kate spent hours in the William Morris museum and then walked the Walthamstow Wetlands. It was beautiful.
Our tour of Stonehenge and Bath was lovely. It was nice to get out the the city and Lawrence was delightful. It was a comfortable ride, we found food (essentials for the boys) and the weather was cooperative (enough - just a bit of rain). Long day at the end as Bath was far from London and traffic was awful, but this was not unexpected.
The following day, Joe, Lizzie and Patrick went to the Tower. Kate and Dominic went to the Science Museum to the gallery of mathematics - this was Dominic's favorite as he studies this at university. We met later to travel to the Shard.
We stayed in New Year's Eve. We had no idea that there would be so many fireworks. Fireworks are common in the USA in the summer at July 4, but not at New Years.
On our last day, we slept and traveled early to the Tottenham game. Kate was so excited. The food was excellent and the stadium was beautiful - now if only Tottenham would have played better :(
Many thanks to Eleanor for planning our dream vacation.
This house was spacious (for London). The photos are accurate and the owners left good instructions. They cleared out generous space for food in the fridge and the temperature was very comfortable. Beds were large and comfortable and having 2.5 bathrooms was excellent (and the main reason that we selected the house). Being from the USA, we were completely clueless on how to work the microwave and the washing machine. Many thanks to YouTube for assistance. Directions would have been helpful. I'm not sure we ever really understood the washing machine. Special Note: The house is clearly owned by artists who enjoyed modern and avant garde art. There were artistic drawings and photos of semi-nude women in the house. They were beautiful but a bit shocking and my sons informed me where each drawing/photo was as they wandered the house. Younger kids would likely not notice and adults may appreciate them, but teenage boys are likely not the audience for these photos. We were not offended but I know many a USA family who would be unappreciative of these decorations.
This would be great, if the weather would cooperate. My kids liked the view but it was considerably cloudy, so buying tickets ahead of time is a gamble. We have done it once, so don't need to repeat this experience.
Wonderful stadium and food. Lovely atmosphere but our tickets were DIRECTLY in front of opposing team fans which was an odd experience. Now if only Tottenham had played well. Since Villa won the game there was much taunting by these fans directed towards Tottenham fans. My kids thought that this was amusing and not typical of the USA.
Our guide was Ann. She was knowledgeable and flexible, adapting to what we wanted to see. It was a lovely day and a great experience.
Great food and lovely seats. A bit high up, but good view of the field. You can arrive early and also stay after the game.
This was an excellent day but a long drive home afterwards. I wish we had done Bath first and then Stonehenge (or just skipped Bath and found some closer place.) The museum at Stonehenge is interesting and the walk around the stones was lovely. Our entire family really enjoyed Lawrence and he was a helpful and responsive guide. I highly recommend him for future tours. His car was comfortable and he had a lovely personality.
This was a lovely place although we attended at peak tourist season, so a bit crowded.
This is a lovely church. We thoroughly enjoyed climbing to the top and enjoying the views. All three teenage kids really liked that experience.