I am a single mum who doesn't drive and have a 4 yr old son in london. Any ideas for day out excursions?

(17 Posts)
multicoloredbleach Sat 26-Mar-16 09:17:55

I love to go to sea sides and visit castles, stately homes etc but it's been a long time since I did any and now that I am a single mum with 4 yr old I want to start making use of my weekends and half terms, end of term breaks with my son. He's also now very easy to take out...no nappies, bottles, talking and listenening and so on. We get up quite early and can both do a full ish day.

I would rather branch out of London but also happy to visit things, places in London. When I then feel a bit more confident I can book me and my son holidays abroad.

I know you can google this stuff but I always find fellow mumsnet first hand experiences and advice more helpful.

Toomanycats99 Sat 26-Mar-16 09:21:01

Horniman museum in south London is nice. It has a random selection of different rooms.

Toffeelatteplease Sat 02-Apr-16 10:38:22

Brighton do the Brighton pavilion

Battle (although more like an hour twenty) out of charing cross, Waterloo East or London Bridge. Do Battle Abbey and their audio tour of the 1066 battle site. Hastings is on the same line but a bit further.

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Apr-16 10:44:31

Warwick castle, Marylebone to Warwick and then it's a 20 minute walk for a four year old to the castle entrance.

Look out for two for one deals etc as castle is expensive.

There is a local M&S in town if you want to buy picnic food, plenty of pubs in the square to get food.

You can get a stamp to exit mid way through the day

Oaken tearooms is lively also.

Warwick castle has a lot of Disney experience as well as the original back drop of a mediaeval castle so a four year old should really enjoy it.

notagiraffe Sat 02-Apr-16 10:48:02

Yes, Brighton is easy to reach by train and the station is in the centre of town. You can go to the pier fairground, go round the amazing pavilion, eat fish and chips.

Hampton Court isn't exactly outside London, but he might love the Palace, and you can visit the maze, go for carriage rides in the grounds and hire boats on the Thames or take a bigger boat trip along the river. There's loads to do there - Tudor board games, dancing, fencing, people in costume and character.

Hastings or Margate for a seaside town day out.

Epping Forest for tree climbing, den building, a picnic and walk around the lake.

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Apr-16 10:50:13

As for holidaying I found camping in France really great as a single mum as there were lots of other dc to play with on the camp site. I could sit and read and dds would play etc and we would go to beach, sit by camp pool or go out for the day either in the car to see something and take a picnic ( French have lots of picnic areas) or go out on bikes. All made for easy relaxing holiday.

I took my own tent. Never booked ahead and moved around after two or three days.

You can though hire ready made put up tents and can have a week on the coast and then move inland and have a week somewhere else.

Loved Samur, castle and town great ( it's twinned with Warwick, incidentally) that whole area has plenty of castles and is great for cycling

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Apr-16 11:01:20

Would you be able to get to bletchly park by train to MK and then local transport? That looks an ideal trip for younger dc with code breaking...
www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/visit/findus/publictransport.rhtm

Toffeelatteplease Sat 02-Apr-16 11:03:16

Can I suggest if you want holiday recommendations you might like to start another thread?

Personally I found camping exceptionally difficult as a single parent and I wouldn't really want to drive on the other side of the road in France either!

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Apr-16 11:06:23

Toffee, op doesn't drive - I was thinking more along the lines of train and ready set up tent smile

tethersend Sat 02-Apr-16 11:16:06

Broadstairs is a fantastic seaside day out and only an hour and a half from St Pancras (also goes from Stratford). Much nicer than Margate IMO. Lovely calm bay, 1950s ice cream parlour, very pretty town.

Toffeelatteplease Sat 02-Apr-16 11:28:20

Paris (or Brussels) for the day! Longer travel than you want but entirely doable to do in a long day especially from London. (We've done from Ashford) Last year they did kids in the summer for a quid.

I didn't think the OP drove which makes camping an interesting choice. You would need to be very careful with your choice of campsite if you were reliant on public transport (unless you were staying on site the whole time). My main concern with camping was more leaving a child on their own if I needed the toilet in the night especially if the toilet block was a distance. For me a unit (caravan tent d&b youth hostel) with a toilet is an essential.

MyBootsAreMuddy Sat 02-Apr-16 11:28:25

Stonehenge? You can get a direct train from Waterloo to Salisbury, then there is a double decker tour bus that picks up from right outside the station www.thestonehengetour.info It does drop offs at Old Sarum, Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. We live not to far from Salisbury and have visited all 3 places with the Dc. Salisbury Cathedral has lovely grounds for a picnic and also 2 lovely cafes. There are some amazing sculptures in the grounds right now which are popular with the tourists.

MyBootsAreMuddy Sat 02-Apr-16 11:34:32

Forgot to say Salisbury Cathedral grounds also have 2 Museums and a National trust house you can visit too. If you were able to stay overnight somewhere then there is a little town called Wilton that is a short bus ride (10-15mins) that has a large stately home with an amazing adventure playground that us very popular with the local parents and children love it [http://www.wiltonhouse.co.uk]]. You will need to check the opening days though as they are not open every day.

MyBootsAreMuddy Sat 02-Apr-16 11:35:45

www.wiltonhouse.co.uk clicky linksmile

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Apr-16 11:58:23

I have also camped without using a car and been reliant on buses, trains, walking and it was fine toffee in fact Dutch campsites and resorts are even better than French places and very child friendly and cycle friendly to which is great with small child.

Tbh I just used to go to the loo in the night, but he block was never far. I guess you could be a weeshe

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Apr-16 11:59:47

Not be a weeshe, sorry use a weeshe

Starman16 Sat 02-Apr-16 12:15:26

Cambridge is 50mins (on the fastest trains) from Kings X - gorgeous city...lots of big, old buildings, tonnes of green spaces (some have cows grazing in the summer!) and great walks along the river. The Fitzwilliam Museum has free activity packs for children, there's also several smaller museums that are free entry. Station is a 20/30min walk into the city centre or a short bus ride.

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