Get an exclusive 7% off your next luxury holiday cottage with cottages.com - Use the code PART07 at checkout
This is a Premium feature
May Trip to London with toddler- advice please(9 Posts)
Hi all, we've booked a trip to London for 3 nights in May, me, DH and 2 year old DS. We're staying in Park Plaza at WestM, hoping this will be a good base.
I wonder if anyone could give me some advice on the following?
I'm thinking one of the hop on hop off bus tours for 48 hours for the further away attractions.... we'll have buggy with us at all times so I'm thinking tube might not be as handy for us. Anyone recommend any of these tours in particular?
Nice and reasonably priced restaurants in Westminster area that won't mind a v chatty 2 YO.
What attractions are really worth it? Anyone been to the Shrek place? And any of the museums that are possibly free that would have something of interest to LO?
Tia for any advice
Order the Step Free Access map from the TFL website, which shows all the stations you can use easily with a pushchair.
The Transport Museum goes down well with young kids imo.
For food I'd stick to the Southbank- close enough to Westminster and has a Giraffe, or wahaca which is quite fun, also free toilet facilities in the Royal Festival Hall which is a godsend when you're out for a wander- there's a small playoark and a merry-go-round there too. I can't comment on Shrek as never done that one. What further away attractions did you have in mind? TBH most are walkable with a buggy or just take a regular bus. You can also check on the TFL website what tubes are easy with a buggy- i.e. Step free or with lifts.
If you arrive at Kings Cross, Coram's Fields is nearby where you can let your son run around a bit after a long train journey.
You will definitely need a buggy because London is exhausting for a two year old but use a very basic umbrella style buggy that can be folded quickly and simply. All buses have space for buggies - but central London buses get very crowded and you will frequently have to fold the buggy down. Journeys on buses can also take a very slow and long time. Sometimes taking the tube is much much quicker - but again it is easier to fold a buggy!!
Also I don't think a open top bus tour would interest a two year old that much. Slow journey with a grown up talking about history. The Transport Museum in Covent Garden is so much better for that age.
Also Central London gets very very busy and can be overwhelming for little ones. One of my favourite 'calm down' places is the large Waterstones on Piccadily. It's quiet and cool with a massive children's section. If you happy to pay a few £s for a book or toy (and they have loads of London themed items - ie books like Topsy and Tim Visit London) then it's a nice place to take a break!!
I'd definitely recommend Bill's restaurant in Victoria. bills-website.co.uk/restaurants/london-victoria/#menu
The Science Museum is probably the best for toddlers.
The Pattern Pod is located at the very rear of the museum, on the ground floor and offers a wonderful experience for small children. The exhibit is officially designated as being for 5 – 8 year olds, but there are many interesting, hands-on things for your toddler to investigate including dress up clothes for children to try on and play around in. There are tiles that children can insert into a special display that projects different patterns on the ceiling, pattern puzzles and a pattern making art program plus much more.
The Garden is a real treat to take your children to, its well-hidden in the basement so ask about it if you do not find it on your own. The first thing you notice when you walk in are small children wearing orange protective aprons playing in the most elaborate water table you have every seen. Filled with small boats that float down a cascading canal, children are able to work different levers and pumps to direct the water and boats. It is really great fun.
Further along is a play area that suggests a building site, with giant blocks you move around a small climbing frame using wheelbarrows, bag and pulley rope, a chute or any other imaginative ways toddlers can derive.
There is an area of soft toys, an amazing multi-sensory room, puppets… I know I am missing some things, but you will have to see for your self.
The picnic areas are right outside The Garden, basically a large area of steps to eat on, or you can go to any of the cafes or restaurants.
The Transport Museum is Mecca for all children. Spread over three floors, the museum has different models of the various means of transport through the ages for children to climb into and explore. Especially on a rainy day, it is well-worth the admission cost. There are two designated children’s play areas, one with dress up with a model bus to drive and the other is for even younger children with life-size model wooden boat, bus, taxi and tube car to play on in addition to a large model city with trains and buses to push along.
The Kids Zone at the National Army Museum is one of the best indoor play spaces in London AND its free. The only drawback, the entry is limited to 30 children, so there is a slight gamble that you could show up for the timed entry and it is filled and you have to wait for someone in the session to leave early from it. The Kids Zone has two enormous soft climbing frames with tunnels, slides, netting, rolled cushions, but much of it hidden, so an adult needs to accompany if your LO is not very steady yet. The Kid’s Zone also has dress up, a play kitchen, trains, cars and books.
As a bonus, outside the museum are picnic tables for you to bring your own lunch and eat outdoors.You are just a few blocks from Duke of York Square and the Kings Road, so you can easily mix a shopping trip in as well.
Thanks all for your advice and taking the time to reply!