Tuesday 15 October 2013

Fun Trips in London

Today, I'm writing about Fun Trips.

Since I live in London, that is what I'm talking about. I've put in plenty of links for anyone who would like a virtual trip!

It is really hard to know where to begin as there is so much to see and do.
Just a couple of general points:
  • driving in central London is busy, parking is expensive and during the day, in the week involves paying congestion charge. It is better to use the buses and tube.
  • many museums are free. I've marked free venues with a F. Exhibitions in these venues are not necessarily free.

London has a long and rich history.
The Museum of London (F) is devoted to this. It is child friendly and the old London walls are just outside.

The Tower of London is an iconic part of London's history. Many famous people, including Elizabeth I and Lady Jane Grey were imprisoned here. Lady Jane and a couple of Henry VIII's wives lost their heads here.

Greenwich Palace is just a ruin now but if you are visiting Greenwich, it is worth popping in to the Old Naval College which has artefacts from the excavation of the old Palace.

Hampton Court Palace is a fabulous Tudor Palace with regular events including actors as period characters. If you are interested in the Tudors, then this can be a whole day visit. It is possible to visit via a longish trip on the River Thames.

Westminster Abbey is really more of a national monument than a place of worship. It is disappointing as the latter but fascinating as a burial place of many famous people.

St Paul's Cathedral was rebuilt after the Fire of London by Sir Christopher Wren. It has a famous whispering gallery.

Science Museum (F) is a favourite with children. It has two interactive areas: The Garden for small children (up to about 6) and Launchpad for older children. The Launchpad has frequent demonstrations. Word of advice, from experience, avoid school holidays!

The British Museum (F) has become child friendly over the last few years. Now, it has free activity packs for children. Definitely worth a visit and, due to the artifacts stolen from various parts of the world, fits in well with the study of the history of many cultures.

Maritime Museum (F) in Greenwich is a fascinating, interactive display of all things maritime. Again, there is an interactive area on the top floor. 
This Museum fits in well with a trip to the tea clipper, the Cutty Sark or to the Royal Observatory.

The National Gallery (F) in Trafalgar Square is an art gallery not to miss. Next door, is the National Portrait Gallery (F).  The portraits of the Tudor monarchs are especially successful with children.

There is so much more to see. Don't forget to walk along the Thames,

see the changing of the guard,

and check the flag flying on Buckingham Palace to see if the Queen is at home.

Please do add your favourite London sites in the comments.

Virtual Field Trips Round-Up

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  1. I am looking forward to exploring London more. I am sure I will reference this when we do. We spent time around St. Paul's and we did Hampton Court. There is so much to do there.

    1. I've lived here for years and there is still so much that I haven't seen.

  2. This is really helpful as we are planning a trip to London. Any advice on the best places to stay for a larger than average sized family? Would you play it safe and go for a Premier Inn?

    1. Kirsty, this is a difficult one. Probably a Premier Inn or even a Travelodge would be best but you would probably need two rooms. As you probably know, they have strict restrictions on the number in a room. Be careful, to check where the hotel is as some of the so called "London" sites are a fair way out!

  3. Your post reminds me of when my brother and I were small and Mum and Dad took us to London a number of times to visit museums, see the sights, and so on. There's certainly plenty to see and do!

    1. I have some childhood memories of visiting London, too. It was always such a special occasion.

  4. Thank you for this little tour of London - we'd love to get the chance to visit one day - and here you've provided a tour book for us. thank you!

    1. Hope you can visit London someday. There is plenty to do without needing to go outside the capital.

  5. We loved living in England and did everything on your list and many more. Great suggestions I would add the Imperial War museum too:)

    1. You did so many trips-I've got some on my "to do" list that I found out about from your blog. The Imperial War Museum is good although it probably isn't the best time to see it at present as it is being upgraded from the centenary of the First World War. Next year, it will be a "must do" again!