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to take 4 dcs to london this sat and expect to see the poppies ? I suspect it will all end very badly

(24 Posts)
catfourfeet Wed 05-Nov-14 20:29:39


Had planned to go to London three weeks ago but it all fell through.

Now last chance I have is this Sat. They'll be WW3 if we end up in a 2 hour queue.

opinions please !

by the time Ive bought train tickets etc this will be a significant "event" for us as a family soI cant afford to "waste" the day as it were.
But I so want the dcs to see the poppies.


SavoyCabbage Wed 05-Nov-14 20:30:54

There's going to be at least a two hour queue on a Saturday surely.

plantsitter Wed 05-Nov-14 20:32:40

I wouldn't, and I have been twice in the last 2 weeks for various reasons (am Londoner though).

I didn't have to queue to see them but there were SO many people that it was not atmospheric at all and almost impossible to take it in tbh. Both outings turned into non-event schleps which was ok for us because we live here.

Maybe if you could do something beforehand and go at dusk... perhaps quieter then (no idea)?

catfourfeet Wed 05-Nov-14 20:32:44

I was planning to go either before 10 am or after 6pm

DoughnutSelfie Wed 05-Nov-14 20:32:47

Can you take another adult for shepherding purposes? Go v early, take the train rather than the tube or maybe boat up from Westminster way to the Tower

SaucyJackOLantern Wed 05-Nov-14 20:33:45

Classy use of WWIII there OP..... shock

catfourfeet Wed 05-Nov-14 20:33:59

no chance of another adult , dcs are 16,13,11,9

I thought about gettign the hop on hop off bus and also use the "boat trip" part of it to get to the tower.

DoughnutSelfie Wed 05-Nov-14 20:34:03

X post

catfourfeet Wed 05-Nov-14 20:38:25

plant sitter
thanks for the info.

Id imagined a relefctive "experience" for the dcs but from what Ive seen so far Im worried it will be more of a scrum, polite and repectful Im sure, but still a long old wait

26Point2Miles Wed 05-Nov-14 20:38:53

I went at half term with 4 dc. It was fine. Busy but we still saw what we wanted to. We walked from London bridge tube. 20 minutes max and a lovely approach over tower bridge

catfourfeet Wed 05-Nov-14 20:42:10

thanks for the info 26, that approach over the bridge sounds great

Finola1step Wed 05-Nov-14 20:45:50

I walk past it every day and yes it is busy, but not the manic experience the media is painting.

Top tips... Approach from the Tower Bridge side. Do not go to Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or Fenchurch Street. If you do, you will get caught up with the tourists, busy roads.

A boat ride would be lovely.

If it all gets a bit too much, head away from the Tower towards Tower Bridge. Do not go onto the bridge, walk around to St Katherine's Dock (which is very very close). A walk around the docks/ marina is lovely.

Finola1step Wed 05-Nov-14 20:46:41

But just to add. Yes, this weekend will be very, very busy!!

WooWooOwl Wed 05-Nov-14 20:47:47

It will be fine, especially if you're going early or later. If your going to get the boat instead of the train it is likely to be a much more pleasant experience.

We went last Saturday evening, and it was busy but there was space, certainly no queuing. You just walk round it as you want to, at least when Ive been, people haven't been shepherded into a queue and made to walk only one way past it.

MrsMot Wed 05-Nov-14 20:49:14

We took our four during half term - 14, 13, 10 and 6. We went via Aldgate tube and walked the last part. Head for the left as you get there, the path is anticlockwise at that section.

ChillieJeanie Wed 05-Nov-14 20:49:51

I went a few weeks ago and made sure I was there before 9am since I wanted to actually look round the Tower as well without it being horrendously busy. There were people around at 9am on a Saturday but not major crowds. Inside the Tower started to get crowded by about 11 or so, no idea what it was like outside, but when I left around midday outside was heaving.

The Roll of Honour will be read at 4.55pm followed by the Last Post, by the way. I've only seen the video of that when it had two of my relatives on the list but it was quite moving in itself.

catfourfeet Wed 05-Nov-14 20:51:13

thanks for the positive stories.

Im rather overwhelmed by the just going to LONDON aspect of it all, ( small town girl here) but I do rather wnat to "feel the fear and do it anyway"

(its not climibing everst I know , but for me its a "challenge" lol )

CleanHankie Wed 05-Nov-14 22:26:18

Just a heads up, it's The Lord Mayor's Parade this Saturday so road closures and possibly more crowds who will decide to visit the poppies before or after.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Wed 05-Nov-14 22:30:20

Came on to say about Lord mayor's show too. Procession starts mansion House 11am, tail end leaves 12. Front end arrives royal Courts (nr Aldwych) 11:26(!!), state coach arrives 12:39. Return starts from Temple Place 1:10 (tail 2:20), should all be over at Bank by 3pm.

EATmum Wed 05-Nov-14 22:35:43

We went last Saturday with 3 DC, and it was fine. We did get there for 9:30am though, which I'm sure helped. We knew we were asking for trouble rather going the Saturday of half term, but I think because we feared the worst, it was actually OK. And definitely worth seeing - I'm so glad we went. It was really moving. Good luck!

CromerSutra Wed 05-Nov-14 23:18:45

We are going this Saturday too, 4 of us. We will arrive in London before 8 am and go straight there. My experience of these things in general is that people don't actually get there much before 10 so early is best, in terms of the tube as well.

PeachandBlack Thu 06-Nov-14 00:29:37

I went today at around 5pm just as they were reading out names of the fallen. The queue at the barriers was around 5 deep at the part of the moat by the Tower entrance. Crowds started to move off after The Last Post and it was completely clear at the section by Traitors Gate. I recommend going as late as possible.

I blubbed for about 10 minutes before I'd even seen a poppy. The list of names was heartbreaking, many, many of them were Privates which really brought home how young some of these men were.

catfourfeet Sun 09-Nov-14 00:24:44

Hi all

just back from London. All went well , saw poppies in the evening, stunning , so glad I went.

I think I have overcome my "but its LLLoooooonnnnddddddoooonnn!!!" -phobia.

Myself and v the 4dcs took on the tube (or pipe according to ds3) snd WON , hurrah

for all the good advice

HappyAgainOneDay Sun 09-Nov-14 08:20:22

I'm so glad you went. If you had not, you would always have regretted it. I went last week and it was daunting for me as well because I hadn't been on any overground train for more than 20 years and our local station has been completely rebuilt so was a maze of unfamiliar things. I'm pleased that I went to see the poppies - and took decent photographs - and that I am in the (small) 6.5% of the population who were able to go.

I now feel comfortable again about travelling by train

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