When we finally found a week that would work for all four of us to visit London, we had no idea that we would overlap with the Queen’s Jubilee!
My mother was excited when she realized we could watch the 1000 boat flotilla on the Thames. We ended up having the same view of the flotilla as my mother did in Canada — from the television in the apartment we rented since the thousands of people that lined the banks of the river made it impossible to see anything, plus it was raining, no surprise!
I found a terrific apartment on the south bank on VRBO that worked really well for a week with our two twenty something sons. We ate breakfast in the apartment before heading out for the day and appreciated the space to hang out together. The apartment had a little deck area that was perfect for morning coffee, as I mentioned though, it rained a lot so we only sat outside one day!
We had a list of what we each really wanted to see (or what I said everyone should see) and worked our way through the list. We agreed that one museum a day was enough and I said no more than one meal in a pub each day! With those guidelines, we managed to see plenty of sites and taste a lot of beer. We got to the Imperial War Museum and learned about the Keep Calm and Carry On slogan which now seems to be everywhere! We followed Rick Steves advice and got to the Tower of London early and avoided long lines. We watched the weather forecast and waited for the rain to stop before attempting the London Eye.
Since we stayed on the south bank we were only a short walk to Borough Market and visited several times, picking up cheese, bread and strawberries for snacks in the evening. We also found food trucks parked on our daily route to cross the Thames and often grabbed something to eat on our way to the theatre. We took advantage of the half-price ticket office and saw three terrific plays.
We fought for a front row spot to watch the changing of the guard, did the obligatory walk through Harrods, and visited the Victoria & Albert Museum. Our favorite museum was the British Museum which kept everyone’s interest the longest. The Tate Modern was a short walk from our apartment so we squeezed in a visit before packing up and heading to the airport. It was a terrific family vacation in a city with so much to do, even in the rain!