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London with kids - 4 day Trip Report

Roeselare, Belgium
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London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

I’ve always enjoyed and raved about TALF, but this will be my first try at a report of my own, so please bear with me on language mistakes, or if I drag on too long… Countless forum questions involve travel with children, so I hope that sharing our adventures can be like a payback, helping other families. Back home since a week now and still buzzing with enthousiasm, I intend to ‘process’ our memories gradually over the next days.

Starring: husband, myself, 2 boys aged 4 and 7

. The adults: theatre fans, regular visitors, acquainted and affectionate with London.

. The kids: second trip, previous visit being 2 years ago (when lucky enough to spend a full week)

Here’s our itinerary as drafted in advance:

Day 1: Bankside, Natural History Museum, Diana Memorial Playground

Day 2: Maritime Museum, Greenwich Park & Playgrounds, Covent Garden, Matilda

Day 3: Saint Paul's, London Eye, British Museum, Coram’s Fields, Thames Clippers

Day 4: Imperial War Museum, Olympic Park

Edited: 10 May 2012, 19:57
Roeselare, Belgium
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21. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

@TMBHL_on_the_go: hey, after today's breakfast I stumbled upon your own completed trip report. What a great lazy Sunday morning read... Thank YOU for sharing so many useful details. Made me feel as if we were right back in England ourselves! I remember already reading and using parts of it back in April in preparation of our own journey, but I can only dream of the energy to stack that much per one day. You really must be a well drilled team! I'm sure all of you are still enjoying and recovering from all those adventures and impressions. I sure hope you get to visit London again in the future and treat us to many more reports...

London
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22. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

Enjoying your trip report. For your next trip, the queues at the side entrance of the Natural History Museum are usually much shorter. This takes you straight into the earth sciences bit with the impressive escalator ride up through the earth.

Roeselare, Belgium
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23. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

Thank you very kindly NorthWestLondoner, that's very useful to keep in mind. Unfortunately, we were planning to use that exact side entrance, but still the crowds were huge: it took my guys over an hour to get in. (Probably just our unlucky combination of horrible weather + weekend, like adamhornets said)

Wagga Wagga...
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24. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

Hi Monikavn,

Thanks - we'd love to be back visiting London soon - boy I wish writing trip reports on TA was a paying gig!! They are lovely to do to re-live the trip, I'm wishing I hadn't done ours so soon and that I had more time to savour it now.

We're certainly still enjoying our memories - just finished watching part 1 of a 3 part series on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, with wonderful footage of the Houses of Parliament (kids spent most of the time saying "we saw that painting, we saw those chairs...") Last night we watched "The Three Musketeers" with lots of Tower of London shots and more "we saw that" moments....love it :-)

I did chuckle at your day 3, felt like dejavu for me with your 8.30am start at St Paul's and giving up on the crazy long queue for London Eye. Looking forward to your day 4.

Roeselare, Belgium
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25. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

That's funny... Yes, it's always exciting to recognise places you've walked by on your trip! - And if I didn't love my work as much as I do, I would second your idea of creating a new job: just travelling and writing trip reports about it for a living sure sounds tempting enough!

Helsinki, Finland
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26. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

What a lovely trip report Monikavn. Thank you for sharing. I love London and it has been so great to read your report and see London through the eyes and comments of your children. Those who say big cities are not for the children, oh how wrong they can be... if you just plan the trip to be suitable for the children.

Monza, Italy
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27. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

@monikavn: I agree with you: mom are super-negotiatiors ;-)

I'm surprised as well about kids memories, they're always so full of details. They must have a small camera hidden in their eyes...... :-)

Thanks for this trip report with so many details. I took note about the British Museum and the Egypt family trail. We still haven't visited it and I'm sure my son will love to see it next time; at school they're studying the Egyptians.

I must confess that I'm completely ignorant about Matilda but now I'm curious and later on I'll google a little bit and find out about the story.

Edited: 14 May 2012, 19:27
Roeselare, Belgium
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28. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

thank you very much MaijaH, we share that exact same opinion. The boys' views help us to appreciate the city on a different level too. It's lovely to bring them along, as London has much to offer for kids. But it goes without saying that a theatre break in London without them is much more relaxing :-)

Edited: 14 May 2012, 19:46
Roeselare, Belgium
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29. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

Yeah, Londra92, you should definitely give the British Museum a try. However, if we compare our 2010 visit to now, now was so much better enjoyed by both young and old. That previous time, we were kind of wandering around aimlessly, just overwhelmed by the size of the building. We now found it works much better to take little bits at a time! You can find the different trails on their website. They make it a lot more fun for the young!

For Matilda, just check in any library for Roald Dahl. Matilda's one of his most famous children's books, on the list of most primary schools over here, a sweet story with a very unlikely heroine. The Royal Shakespeare Company had made a lively stage adaptation for their 2010 Christmas season in Stratford-upon-Avon. But this turned out to be such a success that it is now selling out in London, next year opening on Broadway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZsmXBBKvTk

Nijmegen...
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30. Re: London with kids – 4 day Trip Report

Thanks for writing day 3, am again glad you had a good time.

And I'm glad you share the Matilda live, I still cant hear When I Grow Up without welling up...