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London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

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London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

We are going to be in London for 5 days in July. We want to do they typical touristy sights (Tower, London Eye, possibly Bath or Cotswolds, etc.) but we also like to do things that are a little out of the ordinary (ie. in Italy we spent time with gondolier makers in Venice, visited a church beautifully adorned with monk's bones in Rome, went to watch a cheese maker in a small town and explored the Priscilla catacombs) because we like to see things that are part of the culture, cuisine, etc.

Can anyone suggest anything different to explore? I've searched through many of the "teen" day trips and have gotten some ideas, but they mostly seem to be repeats of the tourist sights. We also love things that involve wildlife, hiking or outdoor exploration as well.

Also, I went to a school near Staines many moons ago and thought it would be fun to re-visit with my kids, but I can't remember if there's much else there to see to make it worth our while. I believe it's near Windsor? Thoughts? Worth it?

Thanks so much!

London, England
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1. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

Have a day trip to Brighton (which the kids will like) and go Zap Catting.

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2. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

Which school was it? If it is 'near' to Staines rather than being in it it might be difficult to access by public transport. That's assuming it is still open. Howver if it is near to Staines Station you could break a journey to Windsor to see it.

I doubt you would find much else to detain you in Staines so pressing on to Windsor would be a good idea.

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3. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, just outside London, do "animal experiences" ... I can't seem to get onto their website at the moment though

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4. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

or you could visit the Secret Nuclear Bunker


it would be easiest if you hired a car, although it's possible to arrange by public transport

Guildford, England
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5. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

In London they might enjoy a RIB river trip (mine did).


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6. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

Check some of the London Walks...they have some very interesting themes.


If you visit Windsor, perhaps you'd like to go hacking (horseback riding) in Windsor Great Park?


I think they might enjoy a Saturday morning visit to Camden market--very funky and boho.

Since you have plenty of time, see if you can get tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. It's very cool, but you must write for them, and it would not be in place of a visit to the Tower itself, as the tourist areas of the TOL will all be closed when they lock it up.

Honestly, though, so much of London is extraordinary, that I don't think you have to try and find out of the ordinary things to do to be amazed and pleased.

Tour of Shakespeare's Globe

Tour of HMS Belfast

Imperial War Museum

British Museum

Sir John Soane's Museum

Foundling Museum


St. Paul's Cathedral--including a climb to the top, and a visit to the crypt

A verger tour at Westminster Abbey

Honestly, you won't have time to do it all!

I would also strongly recommend that you have said teens read up on these choices--just e-mail the websites to them. If they make the choices, they will be more invested in the vacation, and everyone will have a better time.

Denver, CO
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7. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

Paradise wildlife Park looks really neat (although i can't get on their site right now either.) How easy is it to get to from London?

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8. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

Visit Fullers Brewery?


Visit Lea Valley for wildlife, hiking, cycling, white water rafting.....


Visit Highgate Cemetary?


The Poppy Factory in Richmond?


London, United...
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9. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

> in Italy we spent time with gondolier makers <

Watching them make gondoliers strikes me as a rather intimate intrusion.

space coast, fl
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10. Re: London - Unique Family Activities w/Teens

Ha ha GN! Took me a minute to figure out the intrusion, but I guess I just skimmed right over that part knowing what OP meant. :-)

Cooks5, how about a day trip to Dover, and visit the Castle and underground tunnels.