On Monday to mark the start of the Easter holidays we had a family day out in London. We love days out in London and G really seems to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city. Given a choice between the beach and London, he always asks for a trip to London.
What always amazes me is how much you can do with young children in London. Yes it can be expensive, especially getting there and eating out but you can spend very little on seeing and doing things if you plan your day carefully and have tons of fun. We have invested in Oyster cards for getting about which we use each time we visit which I am sure has saved us money in the long run. The Oyster card can be used on buses and tubes and if you use your Oyster card the fare is less than if you bought a paper ticket.
Instead of an Easter egg this year we promised a visit to Hamleys to buy a new dinosaur which G had been talking about since we did this as a birthday treat back in January. We also booked some tickets to take a circular river cruise on the Thames from Tower Pier something neither Ed or I had done before. As a 20 something I lived in London for a few years but I was far too busy enjoying a busy social life to take time out and visit the sites. These were just the places I passed each day as I was out and about doing my thing. Now I relish the opportunity to enjoy taking time to soak up all the capital has to offer.
The team at Tots 100 are currently running a competition with the five star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington for a family of four including breakfast. I am always keen to spend time in London so when I saw this on our return last night I knew I had to enter! They are asking for ideas on what you what you and your family would get up to on your ideal London break, while staying at the Royal Garden Hotel sampling a taste of London life. I popped over to their website and the first thing that struck me was they have teamed up with Micro Scooter which you can use whilst staying with them! This is already a big tick for us as the first thing we said on Monday was ‘why didn’t we bring the scooter?’ We love the scooter as now G is definitely too big for a pushchair the scooter does mean we can cover a lot more distance with a little person in tow.
When we were sailing down the river I started making a list of all the things we could do in London next time we visit that would cost us next to nothing.
So this is my list of things that we would love to do if we had a weekend in London, that won’t break the bank meaning your pennies can go a bit further during a stay in the capital.
My top 10 Ideas for a fab weekend in London
- Visit the Kensington Museums – The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum are both free (and located a stones throw from the Royal Garden Hotel) and have so much to offer you can spend two days in just these fantastic treasure troves.
- Visit the Diana Memorial Playground – A huge wooden pirate ship is the amazing centrepiece of the Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground. The playground is in Kensington Gardens. It never ceases to amaze how many green spaces there are in Central London, all that can be enjoyed for free (whilst zipping around on your scooter too!)
- Be like Christopher Robin and Alice and visit Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard.
- Take a bus to Westminster. You don’t need to spend a fortune on one of the sightseeing ones. Just sit upstairs and watch London life go by as you head off to see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and have your photo taken at the top of Downing Street.
- Walk across the Millennium Bridge, the first pedestrian bridge built across the Thames for over a hundred years.
- When you get to the other side drop in and visit the Tate Modern. Children will love some of the weirder and wackier installations.
- Walk along the embankment and take a look at Cleopatra’s Needle.
- Visit the South Bank area which comes alive at night in the summer.
- At the moment Shaun the Sheep is in the city. A trail of Shaun’s that have all been individually decorated and designed are dotted around London. For £1.49 you can download the app and find them all. Yesterday we found 3 and are definitely going to go back and find some more.
- Snap away with your camera, then at the end of a busy sit down with a drink and flick through the pictures smiling away as to what a great day/weekend you have had sampling a small part of London life!
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