Q: My wife and I are planning a trip to see our son, who is currently serving in Africa, in the Peace Corp. We have about 42 hr. layover in London between our arriving and departing flights. (This will be on the 2nd weekend in May.)

My question is, what would you do if you had about 36 hours and this was probably the only trip to London you would ever make in your lifetime?

I very much want to see the famous crosswalk near Abbey Road Studios.

A: if I had only a short time in London, I’d try to see the following places:

– Big Ben
– Westminster Abbey
– St Pauls cathedral
– the Houses of Parliament
– Number 10
– the Thames
– Buckingham Palace
– Trafalgar Square
– Piccadilly Circus
The good thing about the above places is that only Westminster Abbey and St Pauls requires any real time at all to explore – as you can’t actually go into the H of P, Number 10, Big Ben, and the palace. And how long do you need to photograph a river or a square.

So, you could start your day by doing the royal walk to take in a number of the above places, which would take around 2 hours to do at a leisurely pace. You could then add to that say 2 hours to see Westminster Abbey.

Then you could get on the underground at Westminster and take the JUBILEE line northbound to St Johns Wood. On exiting the station at St Johns Wood, there used to be a concession stand selling Abbey Road memorabilia and it may still be there. If not, someone at the station can point you in the direction of Abbey Road – I believe it is only a couple of minutes walk away.
Probably allow half hour (ample) to get to St Johns Wood from Westminster – its only 4 stops on the train.

After seeing Abbey Road, you could return to Westminster station, then change to the CIRCLE line and travel 7 stops to Tower Hill. On leaving the station there you will emerge to street level opposite the Tower of London.

A tip – consider buying a one day travelcard each instead of paying individual fares. It will work out cheaper and allow you to use the tube as often as you like in a day.