Ours is a small family. There are only two kids--niece, now 21, and nephew, 18. When niece was finishing high school in 2011, I was longing for Paris after a 6 year break. We thought a great gift would be to invite her to accompany hubbby and me to Paris as her high school graduation gift. The alternative was a "non equivalent amount in cash." Niece chose the trip and we had a fantastic time in May 2012. She is a great traveller!
So now it's the nephew's turn. Since it's not going to be a surprise, we told him he could choose London or Paris or Rome after he graduates from high school in 2015.
He chose London which hubby and I have been to once before and absolutely loved. We are excited to go back! The hard part of planning this trip has been incorporating things that nephew will like (or at least not hate), my "must-see's" (Bath, some castles) and the Goodwood Festival of Speed (hubby's only request).
The dates for Goodwood FoS are set: June 25-28. We will arrive at Heathrow at 740am on 6/26 and depart on 7/6. This gives us 11 sightseeing days, including the jetlagged arrival day. We'll pick up the rental car on arrival at Heathrow, either visit Windsor Castle or Arundel Castle, then check into the hotel. We'll return the car in London on Tuesday.
I already have tickets for the FoS on Saturday, June 27. It was really hard to find a place to stay but I got us two rooms at The Elmer in Middleton-on-Sea for two nights. Hubby is inexpicably delighted to be staying above a pub, while I'm more worried about noise!
After the FoS, we'll head to Bath for two nights at the Cornerways B&B. On the way to Bath, I'm hoping we can stop in Winchester for the Cathedral (second choice is Salisbury). I don't need to go back to Stonehenge but might be overruled.
We'll head to London from Bath and have 6 nights there. We definitely plan to get the 7 Day TravelCard and take advange of 2-4-1 offers. I'm guessing there will be discounts for nephew's admissions since he'll only be 18 and still a student.
So far I've only prebooked the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London (7/4) but will also book the Parliament Tour. We did it last time on our jetlag day and really didn't absorb as much as if we'd been well rested.
I researched things in London that might appeal to an 18 year old boy and came up with: London Dungeon, Jack the Ripper Tour, Tower of London, Imperial War Museum, Greenwich, Cutty Sark, London Transport Museum, Museum of London, and pubs. Of this list, we have only previously visited the Tower of London but definitely want to go back. I gave nephew our used Rick Steves London guide and asked him to let me know what he'd like to do or would hate to do while on this trip.
During our time in London, I hope to get out to Hamptom Court and Wimbledon (we'll try for the after 5 tickets); Greenwich; and Windsor Castle (if we didn't get there on arrival day).
I finally found airfare that I can live with for flights that are at good times (arrive at 740am/depart at 225pm). Tickets are bought so we're definitely going!