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1 week in london before the tour?

10 Sep 2013 BrookemarleySA asked


Hi I was just wondering if people tend to stay at the royal national hotel (that contiki use) for stays before their trip or if its just as easy to stay else where then just meet for the tour at the royal national?
Im looking to do the easy rider tour in may 2014, and I would like to see london first and am looking to stay for approx 6 nights before my tour departs
Thanks guys :-)

  • Read the responses 11 responses so far
  • 24 Sep 2013 Jordan said


    I stayed at the Royal National for a couple days before I did my second tour. I liked it because its literally around the corner from the underground and so easy to get everywhere from it and it makes it easier for you so you don’t have to pack up and travel to the hotel for the tour, as your already there!

  • 25 Sep 2013 BrookemarleySA said


    Yeah I think I will just stay there also, it just seams so much more convenient, and the price really isnt all that bad. from what I’ve researched London is expensive all round.

  • 13 Oct 2013 cirona said


    I’m most likely doing the European Explorer on May 18th with a mate. We were thinking the exact same thing.

    We still aren’t sure what to do in London or how long to stay their prior to our tour. Our tour is set to start on the Sunday morning, so we were thinking of arriving in London on the Wednesday…And then doing London, Newcastle and Liverpool over the Thursday/Friday/Saturday. Thoughts?

  • 15 Oct 2013 BrookemarleySA said


    I am going to stay in london for one week before my tour starts as there is a fair bit of stuff I want to see there.
    I have three full day trips that I want to do
    1) Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath
    2) Oxford, Stafford-upon-Avon, Warwick castle and the Cotswold’s
    3) A day trip to Brighton (my mum was born there)
    I also thought I would get a two day hop on hop off bus pass to do some of there more central sights like tower of london, london eye, museums etc Think I would also like to do a night time jack the ripper tour.
    I looked into going to newcastle also, it would mean an overnight stay.Same goes for blackpool, as I wanted to go to the pleasure beach theme park there. So i think this trip will be london and surrounds only and I will save the rest of england so our next trip which will be england, scottland and Ireland

  • 18 Oct 2013 Ben said


    Just came back from my contiki/ extra week in London yesterday and i found there was enough to do in London that like you i’d go back to the UK and do an all over trip rather than cramp too much in.

    My 2 biggest highlights in London were Westminister Abbey and i’m not even that religious but the architecture was amazing and the digital guide was very good and the Camden markets. Other things that are a given is going to the theatre, a football match. i did the sandemans free walking tour (more of a pay what you want then free) which went for 3 hours and covered history of Buckingham Palace,House of Parliament and Westminister Abbey it was very informative and interesting. plus the British Museum which is free is like a 2 minute walk from Royal National.

    Also a Oyster travel card is a must it was so good it covers all forms of public transport but i mainly used the tube and its excellent value, it saves time/money and you get a refund on the left over money on the card.

    I stayed at the Royal National and enjoyed it, it probably helped i had low expectations as i only heard complaints about it. but its in a great local with everything close and easy access to transport and while i wouldnt call it cheap its one of the cheaper hotels in the area. only thing is if you want a single room dont book through Contiki as they only offer twin or triple share.

  • 20 Oct 2013 BrookemarleySA said


    thanks for the reply ben its been very helpful :-)

    Im not religious either but Westminster is defiantly on my list! also St Paul’s cathedral. Anything with awesome architecture really interests me. This is one of the main things I am looking forward to from my Europe and London trip, we just don’t have the history and detailed buildings here in Australia the country just isn’t old enough.

    I really would like to see the Lion King at the theatre. Im hoping that it is still playing when I go in May. What show did you see?
    Im not that fussed about a football game but that is just me lol im not a huge sports fan but I will consider it as I think it would be a good experience and totally different to what we have here.

    I also plan on getting an Oyster Card. did you organize this in advance or can I just pick one up from the airport when I arrive in London?
    Do you happen to know if this card only covers London or can I also use it for my day trip to Brighton? This is something Im planning to look into more as it gets a bit closer, as so far I haven’t really decided how to go about this daytrip.

    I have also decided to stay at the Royal National hotel. It seams to be in a good location and is convenient. I’m not too fussed about sharing my room if it means I can get it a bit cheaper. I have read alot of reviews on TripAdvisor, so have a bit of idea what to expect. Im not that fussy really so I think it will be fine.

    Im planning on spending time at the Brittish museum, do you think a whole day is required? I would also like to go to the Natural History Museum.

    Did you go to the wax museum? I think I would also like to check this out.

    I have been on the Singapore flyer already so Im thinking I may give the London Eye a miss

    Thanks again for all your help, just makes me even more excited to go :-)

  • 21 Oct 2013 Ben said


    I know how you feel about Australia I was the same when I was over in Europe.

    I went to Thriller the Michael tribute (not my choice but was the only thing on a Sunday really) I went with a guy from contiki as he had 2 tickets because of the London Explorer contiki extension and he wanted to see that over say Lion King, Wicked etc. good thing about London is the amount of Theatres and shows on offer.

    With the Oyster I got it when i was over there but you can get a Vistor Oyster card from the uk transport site and they send it out to you . I got the 30 pound card and it never went under 21 pounds and i was travelling so many times it was good value. The oyster card won’t cover you for Brighton as it only works for London.

    I only spent 2 hours at the British museum i did take my time but I only occasionally stopped to read the exhibits so i don’t think a whole day is needed but it opens at 10am , i didn’t go to the 2 exhibits where you had to pay because they didn’t interest me but the rest of the Museum is relatively large with ancient history from Rome, Egypt, Middle East, Asia, Greece etc.

    I didn’t go to the wax museum as i went to the Sydney one a few years back but from what i’ve heard the London one is much better.

  • 22 Oct 2013 Joe G said

    Joe G

    The Royal Nat is a super good location and you can meet up with others at the London Pub, but there are some pretty decent hostels, like the Generator, that have excellent rates and communal bedding kind of like the Royal Nat. Either way, you can’t really go wrong in London. Don’t forget, you’re only a few hours from Paris on the Eurostar, so you can make it down for the day and back. It’s totally worth it. I will be in London a day before on May 19th!!

  • 24 Oct 2013 BrookemarleySA said


    ben: thanks very much for the oyster card link, I think I will organise it before I go :-) Cant wait to go to the museum, reakon I will get there for opening and see how I go and if I have time I will make my way over to the natural history museum as well.

    Joe: yeah I have decided to just go with the royal national hotel, have heard afew bad things but nothing that overly concerns me, seams like the pros out weigh the cons. My contiki tour stays in Paris for three nights so I have that covered :-)

  • 31 Oct 2013 Megs said


    Definitely go to the Natural History Museum – it was awesome! There is so much to see and do, and you can pop in at the Science Museum next door if you want to – they have a super fun experiment type of floor.

    I also went to the theatre, and saw Les Miserables. If you can watch Lion King – DO IT! I saw it in South Africa a few years back and it’s mind-blowing!

    For the Oyster Card, it will usually work out cheaper, and it’s certainly easier than buying day-tickets every time. I didn’t use one, because my trip into London was the maximum cost anyway, so there wasn’t much point. Just remember to always scan it when you leave the station, even if you don’t need to go through a gate or turnstile!

    The Royal National is good, I only stayed there the night before and after because I stayed with family the rest of the time. Just be warned though that it’s possible you may have a different roommate every night – and they might be going to or coming back from tours so that means early mornings. It’s not so bad though, I didn’t even hear y roommate leave for her tour, and you’re basically only there to sleep anyway! Make sure you go to the Greek restaurant across the road – it has some divine food!

  • 4 Nov 2013 BrookemarleySA said


    Hey Megs, thanks for the tips :-) I so cant wait for london!!

    The lion king is the show im hoping to go to, Just hope its still playing when I get there next year :-)

    Yeah I suspected that I may get a different room mate every night, shouldn’t be too much of an issue as long as they dont bring back any special friends lol. dont mind the early mornings as I intend to get out of the hotel as much as I possibly can.

    Thanks for the retaurant tip I love greek food :-) will be sure to check it out.

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