Advice please - teen going off to London

(31 Posts)
woopdewoop Sat 22-Jun-19 16:25:20

Advice wanted please. My 15 almost 16 year old has asked me if he can go to London with a friend for the day during the summer hols. He wants to go shopping, be around the main streets etc. Probably go on the train or something. Is this something you’d let your teen do? He’s a fairly sensible lad but it’s been a learning curve this year with him in terms of managing independence/grown up choices/consequences type stuff. Any advice appreciated. We live about an hour by train from London

OP’s posts: |
Theworldcouldbemymollusc Sat 22-Jun-19 16:27:53

I would be fine with this as long as they kept in touch and weren’t planning on getting the last train home

Janus Sat 22-Jun-19 16:32:34

I have one in gear 11 and I’d be ok too as long as I thought they were both sensible (ie could work out what to dink’s got lost on the underground) and not catching a late train home. I’d probably try and get an underground booklet beforehand so I could show them how to work out a route. And insist they stay in touch!

Janus Sat 22-Jun-19 16:33:02

What to do is they got lost (that should say!)

Seniorschoolmum Sat 22-Jun-19 16:34:36

Yes, I’d agree to that.

However explain to him that if he carries his phone in easy view, the risk of being mugged is higher.
Send the two of them off with phone, rucksack, a-z for back-up and a plan of where they are going, rather than just wandering.
Agree which train they are getting home.

They should have a great time smile

TheCanterburyWhales Sat 22-Jun-19 16:35:13

Yes, I'm fine with it.
My only rule is that dd sends me a message every half hour or so or I'll ring all her friends and embarrass her. It works.

hopefulhalf Sat 22-Jun-19 16:36:23

DS is 15 I would be fine with this.


DeRigueurMortis Sat 22-Jun-19 16:36:50

I'd let DS do this at the same age.

However I'm not going to pretend I wouldn't be nervous about it!

I would however do a bit of prep.

Explaining how the tube works, getting a tube app on his phone, agreeing which train he would come back on (so no chance of missing the last train home).

I'd probably write my mobile number down and put in his pocket (in case of a lost/damaged phone).

I'm not paranoid honestly blush

BiscuitDrama Sat 22-Jun-19 16:38:00

I think you need to make sure he can in a way smile

How far is it from what he currently does? Is he used to city or big town? If not I’d send him to one of those first. If yes, then I’m sure he’ll be fine with advice as above re phone in view.

Loveislandaddict Sat 22-Jun-19 16:38:32

Yes, not a problem.

BigSandyBalls2015 Sat 22-Jun-19 16:38:48

Absolutely fine, we’re about 30 min from London and mine did this from about 13/14, London isn’t the unsafe place the media like to portray. Most trouble is gang on gang, not randoms.

Pipandmum Sat 22-Jun-19 16:40:01

Yes I let my 15 year old travel round London. I did tell him the route back but he insisted he knew what he was doing and instead of one tube change he made five!! Now he’s totally confident as he did eventually get himself home 🙄🙄. We live 80 miles from London by the way.

Lindtnotlint Sat 22-Jun-19 16:40:33

Tell him to download citymapper to his phone. Makes transport soooo easy.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Sat 22-Jun-19 16:41:46

I think it’s extraordinary if your DS is NT that you haven’t done this already! I used to live much further from London and my school friends and I would come up for an exhausting day from about the age of 13. You have to give your children wings!

PaquitaVariation Sat 22-Jun-19 16:44:00

Yes, I’d be fine with this because my dc know how to get around London and have spent a lot of holidays there. How comfortable is he with negotiating the underground/buses etc?

woopdewoop Sat 22-Jun-19 18:44:20

Thanks everyone that’s really helpful - appreciate you sharing your advice.
@WorkingItOutAsIGo it’s not “extraordinary” at all. He’s my first teenager, and hey, I haven’t done this before.

OP’s posts: |
woopdewoop Sat 22-Jun-19 18:45:51

@PaquitaVariation he’s not that confident but he’s not daft so I reckon he’d be fine as king as he knew where to get help.

OP’s posts: |
lljkk Sat 22-Jun-19 20:50:04

Is he used to going places on his own, will his phone be charged with google maps on it (does he know how to use a map applic), is the friend nice & reliable?

Where I live parents shudder nervously about letting their 15yos go to the little bad city without adult supervision (popn = 130k). It's too much cotton wool imho.

lljkk Sat 22-Jun-19 20:56:10

17yo DD (has been to London previously exactly once by herself, 2months ago), proudly took her 17yo mates to Oxford Street today, just to show the place off. It's the kind of materialistic zone that makes her love London. Proudly waving her travel card to travel around underground (which card I sensibly got as part of her open-return ticket purchase, while friends had to keep buying underground singles at the barriers).

All part of the learning experience, I suppose.

The number of people I see at station who can't figure out how the barriers work or where to find the train departure boards. People who rarely go on train & feel very nervous about it. And kids who don't know the walking route from train station into our local city centre. Good to raise kids to know what to do to deal with all that if you can.

Hercules12 Sat 22-Jun-19 21:00:57

dd has been going into london with friends since she was 14. it's been no big deal. we've been loads of time as a family before so she knew how transport worked already.

OhTheRoses Sat 22-Jun-19 21:14:44

Fine. I got home from work when dd was 12 and noticed a Fortnums bag in the hall. Asked where it came from and "oh I didn't want to be in when the cleaner came so I went to the West End. Bought sweets in Fortnums, went to the loo there for the handcream and perfume, schmurgled rpu d Waterstones and had lunch at the Japanese Centre.

TBF we lived in SW London and raised street smart London children and she was familiar with the tube and those places. A quiet child though.

SinglePringle Sat 22-Jun-19 21:16:48

I mean this without sarcasm. I’m eternally grateful I grew up just 15 mins south of London by train and am the daughter of a Londoner. I’ve been going into Town with friends since I was around 13 and know Soho / the West End / South London like the back of my hand. I now live in Chelsea and adore our Capital. We’re generally nice here, let you kid come meet us!

Aprillygirl Sat 22-Jun-19 23:08:19

Yes. You will probably worry a bit of course, but you've got to trust him to spread his wings sometime and he's plenty old enough now. Don't make him message you every half hour either, that's just ridiculous.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Sun 23-Jun-19 01:23:03

Woopdewoop - I understand it’s hard with our first - but I love the line that our job is to give our children roots and wings. If he is 15 now, and you consider all the things he needs to know how to do by the time he is 18, then it’s definitely time to get him used to travelling independently. And ironing shirts, sewing on buttons, cooking etc. One minute they are four and the next they are leaving home! My eldest was amazed when he went to uni by kids who did not know how to use a washing machine or an ATM. It’s part of our parental job.

I hope he has a great time and if there is anything you need to know to brief him in advance, MN is a great resource. We Londoners will happily guide you.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 23-Jun-19 01:44:20

Your daughter has to text you every 30 minutes TheCanterburyWhales? That is ridiculous, poor kid.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in