London help please

(50 Posts)
3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 11:40:48

We are considering taking my 6,4 and 1 year olds to London for an overnight trip to London. The plan is to travel by train early sat am, visit the natural history museum, stay overnight, go on the London Eye, see the sights and then train home. A premier inn seems by far the cheapest due to having 3 children but where would be the best area to stay? I haven't really been to London since i was a child so please treat me a complete country bumpkin!!
Also would we be better with Bjcm pushchair or backpack carrier (or both!) For the lo?
All top tips gratefully received smile.

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3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 11:42:38

Oh and am i mad?! Please feel free to tell me i don't mind. Leaving ds3 with anyone, whilst probably the most practical option is not possible at the moment.

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Nonstoplaundry Wed 07-Jan-15 11:45:22

Would it be possible to stay night before for museum trip- As there is always a queue to get into NHM? Best to get there early, as early as is possible with 3 kids in tow! We stayed in the museum area for this precise reason - lots of good hotels nearby.
Also south bank area/ Waterloo good areas to stay for the London eye, and lots of other stuff to do also.
Have a good time!

Nonstoplaundry Wed 07-Jan-15 11:46:03

No not mad at all btw! It's perfectly manageable.....

dinkystinky Wed 07-Jan-15 11:50:07

Pushchair a good idea for little one - can use pushchair to carry stuff around for the day. It is definitely do-able with 3 kids and London is great fun with kids. I'd second staying near the Southbank if possible - lots of restaurants to eat at with the kids - but most areas will be v accessible. Check out airbnb.co.uk too for options to stay overnight.

Definitely go early to the NHM though - if you're planning to eat there, go to the restaurant/cafes by 12 too as they get rammed after that time. Basement in the science museum (round the corner) is fun for interactive play if the weather is rubbish too.

christinarossetti Wed 07-Jan-15 11:50:31

If you're planning to go to the Natural History Museum on a Saturday, aim to get there as close to opening as possible. Then you'll be able to see the dinosaurs and the big pulls without long queues and wander around the quieter bits when the museum starts to fill up.

Take a packed lunch (cheaper and less stressful than queuing with 3 children) - there's a nice tables to eat at with a coffee shop downstairs.

Choose where to stay by thinking about where you want to go on Sunday morning and ease of getting to it via tube. You can stay a way out and as long as you're near the tube or overhead, get into town in less than 30 mins.

I would use the stroller for the 1 year old. Easier for them to sleep in and handy dumping ground for bags etc. The tubes/trains are full of people with buggies, someone will offer to help carry it up stairs very quickly imvhe.

Have fun.

christinarossetti Wed 07-Jan-15 11:51:29

Ah, lots of minds thinking alike!

3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 11:52:11

It is possible but i am concerned about arring at Euston at 8pm on a friday night with 3 tired kidsand getting them to the hotel. Ifit would make a big difference to their enjoyment of nhm i would try it.

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christinarossetti Wed 07-Jan-15 11:52:50

Yes, Science museum, V & A and Hyde Park vvvv close to NHM.

christinarossetti Wed 07-Jan-15 11:53:57

How far away from London do you live, and how long will your journey be?

Sarsparilla Wed 07-Jan-15 11:54:39

Personally I would pick a fairly central hotel, based on which mainline station I was travelling to/from - I would pick one as close as possible. Then when I arrived I would put overnight luggage straight into left luggage lockers at the station if I couldn't check in straight away, and pick it up again in the evening before going to the hotel. Then the same thing the next morning - any luggage into the lockers before going out for the day, to be picked up again before the train.

I find a pushchair on the tube a bit of a pain sometimes - if the escalator is out of order or whatever. But I'd still choose one over a backpack carrier myself. If the worst came to the worst, would you be able to carry the pushchair in one hand and baby in the other up/down steps and trust your other two to walk up and down sensibly on their own? If yes, I would take the pushchair, if no, I might not risk it, and go with the back pack instead.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 11:55:03

Ah this is brilliant thanks everyone. Was hoping for pushchair votes as ds3 is a bit of a chunk to carry all day!

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Disastronaut Wed 07-Jan-15 11:58:17

It's worth booking Priority tickets for the Eye - the queues can be horrible.

I agree you should take the buggy, but remember, they're hard to manage on the tube, especially at rush hour. Hardly any stations have totally step free access.

Easier to put baby in sling & carry buggy up and down stairs. Well, easier-ish.

There's an aquarium really near the Eye, btw. Haven't been but it's meant to be good.

Have fun!

emeline Wed 07-Jan-15 11:59:53

You'll be fine with a pushchair. I would strongly recommend you go on a weekday. Your whole trip will be immensely more pleasurable without Saturday crowding.

emeline Wed 07-Jan-15 12:01:16

I've never been on the tube with a buggy and not been offered help, honestly.

Beinghere Wed 07-Jan-15 12:02:28

Left luggage lockers, do they still have them. Thought they went during the 80's. Must admit to having never seen them for a fair few years.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 12:04:11

Yes I can carry pushchair and baby no problem. Older two are pretty good at walking sensibly next to me.
The journey is 2 1/2 hours by train to Euston.
Should I swap the days? We could do nhm on Sunday and get there early?
I like the idea of leaving the luggage that would definitely help a lot, thanks.

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3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 12:05:49

I would love to go on a weekday but the oldest two are at school.

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HeeHiles Wed 07-Jan-15 12:06:59

I could tell you about the other secret entrance into the NHM........but I would have to kill you wink

HeeHiles Wed 07-Jan-15 12:09:45

There is a travel or premier inn - not sure but plenty of hotels around Euston and one near Kings Cross which is a few minutes walk along the Euston Road.

When are you visiting? Is it this weekend?

RiverTam Wed 07-Jan-15 12:12:09

yes, use the side entrance to the NHM (you go in next to the cloakroom which is handy), it's on Exhibition Road opposite the V&A. Nowhere like the queues that you get at the main entrance. I would book London Eye for Saturday and go to NHM 1st thing Sunday. Definitely take pushchair. Tube will be fine, people always help but not many stairs at South Kensington, for example. You won't need tickets for any of the children on tubes or buses.

I would choose a hotel close to Euston (if that's where you're coming in to). It won't be too bad even if you come in on Friday evening, it's not in the centre of town.

emeline Wed 07-Jan-15 12:16:09

Book the London eye for sunset slot!

3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 12:17:20

No in a few weeks hopefully. Kids don't know yet but the 4 yr old especially is dinosaur mad so trying to plan a surprise. It is cheaper to stay near nhm but I can't get my head around whether that would just be a pain for everything else. If we stayed right near Euston hopefully could leave luggage at the hotel on sat morning and Sunday afternoon.
grinheehiles pretty please ?!!

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3boys3dogshelp Wed 07-Jan-15 12:18:16

Cross posted rivertam thank you very much.

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Cantremembermyid Wed 07-Jan-15 12:21:01

why use the tube? much easier getting around on a bus if you have a pushchair + 2kids and you get to see some bits of the city as well

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