After much deliberation and much planning, my parents and my middle brother and Joshua and I have our London itinerary for September fully prepared.
We believe that we have prepared an itinerary that will be pleasing to everyone: plenty of art for my mother to enjoy, and plenty of historical and military things for my brother to enjoy. As for my father and Joshua and me, we three will be happy to do anything as long as it does not involve shopping.
On this trip, we will be focusing mainly on London attractions that hug the northern bank of the Thames, from the Adelphi area of London (near Waterloo Bridge) to Chelsea. This will keep us from running here, there and yonder, in a breathless fashion, spending a very short time at each of a plethora of attractions.
However, we have not totally restricted ourselves, geographically, to a narrow strip of the northern bank of the Thames. We will visit most attractions within walking distance of our hotel in Kensington, except for the South Kensington museums, which are so overwhelming that we will, by and large, avoid them on this trip. We will spend only one hour in the South Kensington museums, and that hour will be devoted to viewing The Raphael Cartoons at The Victoria And Albert Museum.
In addition, we will spend one day exploring a few attractions on the South Bank, and we will spend another day exploring a few attractions in the King’s Cross area.
Otherwise, however, we will be visiting virtually everything there is to see and do in Chelsea, Westminster, and the very center of London south of Leicester Square. We shall save other areas of London for a future trip.
My brother and I have already seen everything on our itinerary--in many cases, more than once--with a lone exception: he and I have never visited Leighton House. However, he and I are happy to go back to each and every one of the attractions we plan to visit, and show them to Josh, and enjoy them with our parents, who either have not visited these sights recently or have not visited them at all.
We have tried to arrange our days so that they involve several different--and contrasting--things to see and do. We have also tried to arrange our days so that most days are spent in one fairly-constricted geographical area. This has been done, among other reasons, in order for us to minimize the number of subway journeys we must endure.
One item beyond our control is the fact that all concert-going will occur in the first week of our stay, and all theater-going will occur in the second week of our stay. This was a function of Proms scheduling more than anything else, and there is nothing we can do about that.
From a theater-opera-ballet perspective, we will be visiting London precisely at the wrong time. From a Buckingham Palace-Palace Of Westminster perspective, we will be visiting London precisely at the right time.