Friday 10 January 2014

My London List

Since being back in England one thing I've really appreciated is seeing London with fresh eyes - and older kids. Before we left, I was encumbered with a baby in a pram and a three year old, so going out and visiting the sights was hard work.

I remembering heroically trying to take the double buggy on buses to places such as the Natural History Museum, then spending all day chasing after two over-excited and then over-tired small boys. Frankly, taking them to soft play or a walk on Clapham Common was both easier and more constructive.

But now, the boys are older and more appreciative of trips, so I've resolved to take them to see something of London in 2014 - as well as reacquainting myself with the city.

On my list is:

The Zoo (and surrounding area). Littleboy 2 in particular has a thing for tigers so I've promised him a trip to the relatively new Tiger House. While we're there, perhaps we'll walk up Primrose Hill, go look at the canal at Camden Lock or have a wander through Camden Market (I know for a fact I haven't been there since August 1997, the day Princess Diana died).

The City of London. Littleboy 2 has been studying the Great Fire Of London, and wants to see the Monument. I'd also like them to try out the Whispering Gallery St Paul's and visit the City church of St Andrew-by-the- Wardrobe where we got married.

Art Galleries - starting with Tate Modern. Last time we went there, in 2008, this happened. But now, I have one keen artist, and both of them say they want to be movie makers when they grow up (I just hope they'll be the new Coen Brothers). Surely this time they'll appreciate those video installations? We can combine it with a walk along the South Bank and a trip to Borough Market.

Hampton Court. Both of them love mazes, and Littleboy 2 is slightly obsessed with Henry VIII (he keeps drawing pictures of him). So, perfect.

The Science Museum, Natural History Museum and British Museum. Lots of potential fun to be had here. I just hope to be able to choose a time of year when they're not packed either with tourists or other children on school holidays...

Kenwood. I used to have picnics with my parents there, and remember the joy or running down the grassy hills, exploring in the woods, and climbing on the Henry Moore sculptures.

Kew. We used to go there a lot before going to America; I wonder if the boys will remember it?

What else should be on my list? Any recommendations?


Nota Bene said...

Head up The Shard...they can try and spot your home...and the Orbit in the Olympic Park...and take them on the cable car across the Thames. Go to Hampton Court on a's a great trip....what about the Docklands Museum and The Horniman in Dulwich?

Sherilyn -Dominee Huisvrouw said...

You should definitely go to the Museum of London. It's a hidden gem! There was a large exhibit about the Great Fire when we were there too!

Was Living Down Under said...

NVG I don't have any ideas, not being from London, but I wanted to say that I always have it in my mind to look up your blog when we go somewhere. So far you've inspired me to go to Vermont (we just spent a week up there over New Year's). And one of these days we'll take the kids to New York City (and check out the places you listed) and in our neck of the woods, Sandbanks Provincial Park. I'll be keeping this post in mind next time we take a trip to the UK. Bet you didn't think your blog would be used as a travel guide for another mum eh? Thank you!

Iota said...

The Whispering Gallery - not for the vertiginous. Just warning you.

I rather agree with your analysis of modern art, in the 2008 post.

How about a tourist bus ride? Take in lots of sights from the top deck. Probably expensive, I'm guessing.

You must do Trafalgar Square and walk down Whitehall to Parliament Square. Horse Guards Parade too on your way.

How about a good arial view - perhaps you can do that from St Paul's, but if not, there must be other places. London Eye? One of the skyscrapers in the City?

Tower Bridge - you used to be able to go up one of the towers.

Interesting to hear you got married by a wardrobe. Narnia, or somewhere?

Expat mum said...

Don't forget the Eye if you haven't already done it. We went to the Sherlock Holmes museum a few years ago and both boys loved it. We also did Churchil''s bunker on the same day but yours might be a little young for that. You an also book tours of Parliament for free.

nappy valley girl said...

NB - The Horniman is the one place we go all the time, as it's just down the road. We love it. Will definitely look into boat to Hampton Court although think the Shard is too expensive (and they won't appreciate it...).

Sherilyn - I've never been, so will add that to my list too.

Iota - it's a historic City church (there, that sounds quite American) which was next to the King's wardrobe - Edward II I believe. Well worth a visit if you're ever near Blackfriars.

WLDU - that's great to hear! I've always wanted to be a travel writer and only recently achieved it - my fried in Dubai took some of my blog posts and recycled them as travel articles for a magazine there.

Expat Mum - I haven't been on the Eye since before having kids - would love to take them, but can't face the queues....I'd love to do Parliament though.

Elsie Button said...

Ooooh I miss London so much - you are in one of the best places in the world - I'm envious!

Anyway, your plans sound fab - our girls loved the London Eye last time we were there and riding around on double decker buses and the Tricycle theatre... Xxx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ideas. I must get my boys down to London again. It's been a while. Only one other suggestion, it's expensive, but they are running dinosnores at the natural history museum where you can sleep in the museum overnight. I think that sounds fun

Metropolitan Mum said...

A boat trip to Greenwhich. Did one pre kids a couple of years ago. Maybe it's time again...