Travelling with kids in London(13 Posts)
So .... planning our first visit to London with the dc (8 and 5). We're staying in Greenwich, and the one thing I can't get my head around is actually the physics of travelling with the dc (I've been to London and have tubed etc round and about but not with wee people!).
So - TfL says that under 11s travel free if accompanied. What does this mean? Do they need their own, free, ticket to get through the ticket barrier thingy?
Do dh and I need Oyster cards for 2 full days in London? Or would a day travel card suffice?
I've looked at threads on here about things-to-do-with-dc-in-London and river boats from Greenwich to Westminster are mentioned. How do they work? What ticket do you need?
Also, is the DLR cool?
BTW - dc are excited to finally get a chance to go on the Underground and ds wants to see Big Ben and the London Eye. Probably going to do Nat Hist museum and maybe a Diana fountain or playground (know they're different) ... and a trip to Hamleys, obv. But any obvious free activities would be gratefully received ...
Thanks for the advice ....
I live here but confess I'm not brave enough to take my DS (23mths) up into town yet! But I've heard the Diana palyground is fabulous, and the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood is supposed to be fab too.
I've recommend you and DH get Oyster cards and put enough money on the to cover two days worth of travel cards (you'll need to check on the website how much that is). It's cheaper to travel by Oyster, and it never collects more than the cost of a travel card no matter how many journeys you make.
I'm not sure but I don't think your children will need a ticket, I know I just push DS through the barriers in his pram!
Thanks ACCF for replying - what I was worried about was that I'm used to going on my own and sticking my ticket into the barrier, it being sucked in, the metal bit turning and me collecting ticket on the other side. I didn't know how to get the dc through .... ds is waaaaay too big to carry through!!
Thanks for the Oyster advice ... will investigate. Would we need one each (ie we couldn't share one?)
you need one each - but you can just pick up I think at the tube station - cost I think 3 pounds deposit - but SO much easier - and you can keep any money left over till next vist
also the tfl website has a great travel planner - makes it quite easy to travel by bus which I always found too complicated before
Yup you need one each. You can put them in your purse / wallet then just flash that over the top of the reader. You can just make sure that your DC's are in front of you (one each) when you do this and go through at the same time probably?
Each of the stations will have a larger turnstile to the far side where you can either touch in/ out with your oyster card or show ticket etc and you can all go through at once without worrying about getting stuck - it's specifically for people with children / luggage etc
Your children wont need a ticket - my DS is 11 and we've never needed one. You and DH will need one oyster each. DLR etc should be covered by this.
Thanks all. ...... So, is the DLR cool (or have I imagined that) and are the river boats worth it?
As long as they look definitely under 11, you just go to the staffed gate and get waved through - if you are using an Oyster rather than a day travelcard, then remember to touch in and out for both adults when you do this. If you get a day travelcard then you don't have to.
Greenwich is on the National Rail route to London Bridge+Charing Cross, takes 10-15 minutes. There's also Cutty Sark on the DLR, and North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line, so it's really easy to get places. For the boat rides, check times on tfl.gov.uk Journey Planner, and if you have a Travelcard/Oyster you get 1/3 off the fare. Great if the times are when you want to go!
It's worth going on the DLR simply because it's driverless and you can sit at the front and it feels like you're driving - as it's mainly on elevated tracks it feels like a flat rollercoaster! Great fun even for adults!
Science Museum is next to the NatHist and also free, as is the V+A which is less interesting to kids but has a great fountain/paddling pool in the courtyard next to the cafeteria.
Also there's the Coram's Fields adventure playground which is free near Kings Cross, with wonderful Austrian food in their cafe.
tfl.gov.uk is your friend!
Without a pushchair, travel really is easy - just take your time and don't get flustered by the crowds.
Ok, totally sold on DLR now!
Dc both obv under 11, so that's good.
Dh and I have both "done" London a few times, but this is our first time en famille.
Thanks for the heads up on Coram's Fields - could be v handy for the day we go home (from KX).
Ww, sounds v exciting. We loved science museum and nat history... But only did the moset kid friendly parts of both. Having said that our dc were 2.5 and 5 when we went. LOVED the interactive stuff at the science museum and the explorers back packs at nat history are a must. We loved the diana water fountain bit... Were there on a hot october day!! As for the playground... Be prepared to queue....AND WATCH YOUR KIDDOS AT ALL TIMES... Hopefully you ll have no need to make a 999 call like dh did . When you off?
Another vote for Coram's fields, if it happens to be on your way-ish / need a good place for a 2 hr chill out. It feels pretty safe, easy to keep an eye on your children and bits that are good for littlies and for older kids. Not so great if bad weather. You can walk there from the British Museum.
The Princess Diana I actually found a bit stressful because there were so many children, and different areas of the playground it was hard to keep an eye on my children (but mine were younger than yours are).
Museum of Childhood is good for wet weather days. They often have activities on too, so it is worth asking at the information desk when you arrive.
Personally I find the DLR not so exciting, but maybe that is because I have all girls and they don't have the 'train gene'.
London does include lots and lots of walking even if it doesn't seem like it (eg just walking around the Museums can add up for little legs) so be sure to book in rest stops etc.
Not free, but my dc like going to Wagamama's - a Japanese noodle bar with lovely but also semi-affordable (for London) and nutritious food. They have branches all over.
Maritime museum in Greenwich is also good, but I am sure you have thought of that.
Museum of London in Docklands is good if you're in Greenwich - it's just over the river in Canary Wharf, but there is a charge for adults.
DLR is good fun for kids and included in your travel card - boats are also great fun but cost extra, so probably best to do just the once.
I personally don't rate Coram's Fields, it's not that much better than a normal large playground. Diana Playground is pretty special though (although agree it can be stressful with toddlers, they do keep getting lost).
Thanks all ... man, ja9 - what happened??? Eeek. Hopimg the weather will be kind.
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