Friday, 18 July 2014

Surviving a Visit to London with Children

Going to a big city can be a little daunting especially if like me you live in the sticks.  You wonder if your children will be overwhelmed on the underground dealing with the crowds of people or panic the whole holiday will cost a fortune because of all the attractions they will want to see or you feel you have to do whilst your there.  But when we visited we were pleasantly surprised.

If you avoid rush hour times the tube was fairly manageable.  But ideally booking a hotel in central London keeps travel to the bare minimum, keeping the hassle (especially if your travelling with prams too!) and costs down.  Hotel Direct conveniently have a whole list of hotels near the city centre.

There are lots of free attractions in London that will keep your children happily occupied with minimum distress to your wallet, which is very reassuring as it’s quite an expensive city.  The Natural History Museum is immense and such a good day out, lots to see and very educational, make sure you borrow a free explorer backpack too!

Rainbow Park at the Southbank Centre is fabulous too, with lots of coloured sand for children to play in.    

You also have the living statues that cause quite a stir whilst you’re in the area, so many different costumes and a buzz about the area, with lots of laughter over their antics.  The Science Museum is also free but we have yet to visit that, but it looks an interactive child friendly place to head with lots of exhibits.

Coram's Fields sounds like another suitable place if you’re watching the purse strings.  Based over seven acre’s there is ample space for children to run around and explore, you can see the animals at there city farm and let off some steam in the play area’s.  It’s such a shame I did not know about this place when we visited in 2012.

However if there are a few paid things you would really like to do then its worth seeing if they have any promotions running that might make it more affordable.  We did the London Duck Tours, which I highly recommend; the boys still go on about it now almost two years later.  

We also found time to head to the Zoo, which again is a lovely day out.  If you book tickets online you can save money on the price you would pay on arrival.  Kew Gardens might be worth a visit too, as children 16 and under get in for free bringing costs down.  My two seem to have an appreciation of walking round places like this after I have dragged them round so many National Trust gardens!  But I think I would have stuck to the complimentary attractions if I had realised quite how many there were and how much they offer at the time.

Now my boys are a bit older I would love to stay again and try and visit the attractions we missed.  Their god mummy has just bought a new house so really I have the perfect excuse to holiday there again!

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