Subject: Re: Please help with London, Germany &France
Hi Cheri. I'd do one of two things for accomodations for London: go to a bed and breakfast or check with British Airways for a reasonably-priced hotel. On the first, we've found the Bloomsbury area, particularly Gower Street, to have a wide variety of B 'n B's available at reasonable prices. We first stayed there as impoverished students in the early 80's and still find a clean bed on our trips to London, which is prohibitively expensive. On our trip two years ago, a single was 49 pounds and a double (two double beds) was 80 pounds with a huge breakfast, found on the net. All familly run and a great sleep and a great way to start the day, sharing your breakfast table with travellers from around the world. I found our plaace in a very simple way - typed in Bed and Breakfast London on Google and went from there. Alternatively, speak to a British Airways agent. This is their specialty. In Canada, they are most helpful (maybe a side benefit of being a former colony) and have a roster of hotels that they can recommend, again many in Bloomsbury, which is a fabulous location, for a very reasonable price.

As for sites, it depends on what your family is interested in visiting. I'd suggest sending your kids to the internet to do some searching on possible sites to visit. In England, Greenwich is a good choice for all ages as is the Tower. The evenings are always a challenge. Check out the London Walks Tours. You'll find the brochures at Heathrow (assuming you're flying in to London) but they also have a website ( To engage your kids from the start, take them on the Jack the Ripper tour. All tours congregate at a Tube station every night at 7:00 p.m, cost about 5 pounds, and they are fascinating. The tour leaders are actors, historians, retired bureaucrats or writers and all are very knowledgeable and interesting. I guarantee everyone in your family will enjoy these walks. I have learned more about London, in a fun way, from these guides than I could ever hope to learn from books. But do start with Jack the Ripper - your kids wlll be entranced. As a last resort, visit Selfridges, on Oxford Street, with your daughter. Lucy