2 Apr 2015

London Life with a pre-schooler

My son J adores trains, but he had never been on an electric train in all of his three years. We decided to change that last summer when we took him down to the big city of London for a weekend break. I have been meaning to write all about it, but procrastination being my middle name, never really got round to it. Until now.

Spurred on by a competition hosted by Tots100 and the stylish Royal Garden Hotel (#rghfamilies) in leafy Kensington, I have decided the time has come to relive our wonderful family weekend in London in the hope that we can recreate some of those magical moments and perhaps add to the beautiful memories of London this summer, if we win. A five-star weekend family stay at the Royal Garden Hotel is up for grabs, and it will provide the perfect setting from whence to step out and take in all that London has to offer.

Here are my top ten must sees and must dos when visiting London with a pre-schooler.

1) Buckingham Palace

A Queen in a palace guarded by guards in bright red uniforms and bearskin hats. This is the stuff of children's fantasies. No visit to London would be complete without taking in the magnificence of Buckingham Palace. We missed out on the Changing of the Guard though, and would love to get a close-up view of the band and the marching on our next visit.



2) Walking down St.James's Park towards Big Ben and London Eye

The entire C-household loves a good walk and this is one of our favourite routes. The tranquil surroundings of the park offer the perfect setting to soak in the architecture and history of the great structures along the way, while the plethora of avian fauna keep little ones entertained.



3) Walk along the Embankment

No visit to London would be complete without a walk along the Thames. There is always so much to see and do for all ages, whether it is completing certain trails or waiting for the bridge to lift or just watching all the boats sail by. We would love to climb to the top of the Shard if we can. I can't begin to imagine the view from the top!



4) The Tower of London

As you have probably guessed by now, I do enjoy my history. The Tower of London is one place that is steeped in it. I would love to see the Jewel House again, although I could do without the shivers that ran down my spine when I walked along the Traitor's Gate.



5) The Museums 

London has so much to offer in terms of art, science and culture and most of it is free. We found the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and British Museum are great for kids, no matter what their age. If you ask me, they are never too young to start visiting. Ask our J now, and he will happily narrate details of the dinosaur skeleton and the rockets and satellites he saw.

   

 6) Covent Garden

This is without a doubt my most favourite place to visit in London. There is something quite charming about Covent Garden, perhaps it is to do with Audrey Hepburn selling flowers in My Fair Lady. I absolutely adore the atmosphere here, with its street shows and quaint shops.



7) The Parks

The Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park is something I have been meaning to witness first hand for a while now but have never got round to. But we have managed to lounge in Green Park on a sunny day and would gladly appreciate more of the same at the next available opportunity.



8) Riding at the front of the DLR to Greenwich

There is something utterly fascinating about clickety-clackety rails and a train that climbs up steeply over a bridge. Words do no justice to the experience of sitting right at the front of a docklands light railway as it makes it way to Greenwich. J loves trains, and this is an experience he will continue to enjoy without ever getting bored.



9) London Zoo

This is the place where J's love affair with penguins began and we ended up with a family of cuddly toy penguins in our home. Needless to say, this is a must-see attraction as far as my little boy is concerned. And I concur.



10) Ride the big red London Bus

In all our excitement to ride on the iconic London bus, we forgot to take photos. So we have to make do with a die-cast toy one instead. I intend to rectify this error the next time we are at the bus-stop waiting to ride on the upper deck of a big red London bus.



11) Watch a musical in Leicester Square
12) Visit Wimbledon, preferably to watch a match on Centre Court
13) Take a boat trip down the Thames
14) Visit Portobello Road Market
15) Visit Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery

Oh, the list is endless! I could go on for another 1000 words and still not have written about everything we like about London and all that we would love to see and do the next time we visit the capital.

This is but a tiny flavour of our London Life. It is a lot to pack in over a weekend, but we try.

14 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a fun packed weekend. Fabulous photos. I grew up in London and if I don't get back there atleast once a year I begin to crave it. Tower Bridge is one of my most favourite spots x

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  2. I love visiting London there is so much to do

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  3. I love London and the Royal Gdn hotel is amazing. I hope the little man gets his visit.

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  4. I have promised myself I will take my son to see Buckingham Palace this year, it's long overdue! Good luck in the competition!

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  5. Looks like you really did have a wonderful time! Some brilliant suggestions - I wish I had been able to see the poppies.

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  6. I took my eldest daughter who is 6 for her first London visit yesterday, just me and her. We did the National history museum and went to buckingham palace. She completed loved it and it was amazing seeing London through a childs eyes :)

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  7. I am so nervous of taking the kids to London on my own as its so busy - would love to see all the sights though

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  8. I always walk people from Buckingham Palace, down the Mall to Trafalgar Sq, down Whitehall and then back up through Victoria when they visit me x

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  9. I would love to go to London again some time soon - there is so much to do there, whatever your age.

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  10. We love visiting London, there is always something new to see

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  11. Great list!! We love London, such a great city and so much to do for every age group. Good luck with the competition!

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  12. It looks like and amazing weekend. I can't wait to go to London this summer :)

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  13. We love London, so much do to for all ages

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  14. we were recently in London for three days and it was wonderful to do touristy things! Love St James's park x

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