A Week in London
After spending a week in London with an American family and seeing so much of my own capital that I hadn't seen myself I thought I would share some ideas with anyone else planning to travel to London with or without children.
- Big Ben
- The London Eye
- Westminster Abbey
- The Tower of London
- The Parks
- Windsor Castle
- Legoland Windsor
- A full week
One of the 'You can't visit London without seeing...' tourist spots is Big Ben. There are many spots in the city centre you can see the big clock but if you want to see it up close it would be good to come out at Westminster underground station and there it will be in full glory. Take a short walk down the bridge crossing the Thames river and take a left. Here you will find the ticket office for the London eye which is a good opportunity if you have time although a little pricey.
The London Eye
The 'Eye of London' gives a great view of the whole of London and costs £16.74 for a standard ticket or £31.08 (random pricing) for a flexi fast track meaning you can skip queues and go any day and time you choose. It takes about 30 mins to make the circle and goes quite slowly. I only recommend it for those who haven't a fear of heights. For more information try http://www.londoneye.com/TicketsAndPrices/Tickets/Default.aspx
The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the resting place of seventeen monarchs. It is very pretty to look at from the outside and was recently used for the famous Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate. Again a little pricey to get in but you would probably only go once so it would be worth it. £16 an adult and under 11's are free. There are also reduced group rates. In with the price are audio tour sets so you can go around and hear about each item at your own leisure and learn some history as you take in all the different aspects.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is a historic castle on the north of the River Thames
There are separate costs for different areas such as viewing the crown jewels or going up the tower and unfortunately places like this don't allow inside photography, however outside with your family makes beautiful pictures too, with tower bridge in the background, the tower itself or maybe find a 'beef eater' or too.
There are several guided tours that are included in your admission fee so can hear some historical stories.
To book online I know is cheaper but you may have to Google prices for here.
Although London is a busy city there are still beautiful parks to walk around or just sit and enjoy. There are often statues, lakes or other things to see and do. My favourite park I have visited would have to be Hyde park. Within this park not only can you have fun with pedal or rowing boats but your family can enjoy the 'Diana, Princess of Wales memorial fountain'. Here children and adults alike can remove socks and shoes and walk around this fountain feeling the cool refreshing water. The floor of the fountain consists of a variety of steps, rills, curves, and other shapes so that the water plays in interesting ways and almost massages the feet as you walk around it.
St.James's Park is fun too. Children will love to feed the ducks and pelicans in the duckpond there if you bring your bread. It is very close to Buckingham palace so if you are there anyway why not have a picnic in the park.
Kensington gardens has the Diana Memorial playground though can often be rather busy and you need to queue a long time to let your children go play.
Other London Parks include Richmond Park, The Regents park, Greenwich Park, Bushy Park and Green Park
Windsor Castle is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. To go inside, there is again a fee of £16.50 an adult or for a family of 2 adults and 3 under 17s it would cost £43.50 total. I would suggest buying tickets online or in advance if possible to get best offers and save queueing times. Just outside the castle is a bus stop with regular buses to Legoland Windsor if you are looking for something a little more theme parkish for children.
Legoland Windsor is rather a cute Park. As with a lot of other Legolands across the world, the park's attractions consist of a mixture of Lego-themed rides, models and building workshops for all ages. There is the option to purchase 'Q-bot' passes so you can skip queues for rides though this comes at an added cost and I would say it's best to start as soon as the park opens at 10am as there is so much to see and do for everyone you want to make most of the cost and enjoy as much as you can. If you go by car there is additional parking costs so maybe look this up before you set off.
A full week
This is only a few of the many places to visit in London, so whatever you choose to do have fun and enjoy yourselves. It is possible to buy an Oyster card for a week from any of the underground stations so you can travel cheap to all areas of London. If you have time at the end of the week make sure you check if there is any money left on your card and the staff are quite happy to refund the remain.
Thank you for reading!