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Day trip to London with baby - any tips?

15 replies

Lois · 07/08/2002 10:38

Desperate to see the Matisse Picasso I'm planning a (for me) very ambitious day out to London with my 10 month old ds (with dh playing sherpa). The plan so far is to drive to Stanmore then get the Jubilee Line to Southwark and walk to Tate Modern. Ideally we'll carry him in the backpack , but could we take his pushchair on the tube? My other idea was to take his group 0 car seat so he has got somewhere to sleep.

Does anyone have any comments on this? I'm sure all you London mums would think of doing a trip like this

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Tillysmummy · 07/08/2002 10:47

Lois, should be no problem. I would definitely take his push chair so it makes it easier for you to save carrying him gives him somewhere to sit and eat as well as sleep if he's tired. You can put the pushchairs up in the tube etc only time you have to carry it is getting down to platform and up to exit because of stairs and escalators. Other alternative is to take the overland train from Radlett, the Thameslink, it stops right over the bridge from Tate Modern (is it Blackfriars ? Can't remember the station !) Stanmore is quite a good station but Jubilee line can be slow.

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bossykate · 07/08/2002 11:01

hi there

have just been to the exhibition with ds (1yo). you could take the pushchair on the tube, escalators are generally easy to manage and if your dh is with you, you won't have any problems with the stairs. i wouldn't bother bringing the carseat - he could presumably get some sleep in the pushchair? personally, i would go to london bridge tube as there are lifts between platform and street level (follow signs to borough high st exit), but it is a slightly longer walk from there to the tate. i find tate modern is pretty baby friendly - e.g. baby change on all the gallery floors. i am a "friend" of the tate, which means i get to use the members room (essentially a large, uncrowded cafe bar with a great view). the staff there are really welcoming to babies and small children, they have high chairs etc., and there's lots of scope for mobile littlies to move around without endangering themselves or others too much. lots of babies when i was there last. thought you might want to consider joining - but obviously depends how much use you think you would get out of it. the ordinary cafes are also supposed to be child friendly, but are quite packed usually. once you are at tate modern, you could have a wander around e.g. borough market, south bank, millenium bridge, st paul's etc if you have the energy. walking along by the river is in itself very pleasant.

let me know if you have any other specific queries and i'll do my best to answer.

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Azzie · 07/08/2002 11:30

Lois,
Re the Tube - our favoured mode for days out in London (first tried out when dd was 12 mths and ds was 3 y.o.) is to take backpack (easy to carry on escalators, Tube etc) plus folding stroller. Baby rides in backpack, stroller is carried folded on Tube (and is therefore no problem), and toddler walks; when baby gets tired she goes in stroller for nap; when toddler gets tired baby goes in backpack and toddler goes in stroller for a rest. Works a treat for us.

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aloha · 07/08/2002 12:34

Tate Modern is fantastic for babies. Welcome everywhere, changing spaces, good cafe, big lifts with priority for pushchairs etc. We also went round the Globe, which was fun too, esp for my 10yr old stepdaughter. Lots of pubs serve food and have outdoor spaces by the river, which is great for you, dh and baby. Take the pack and pushchair and have fun.

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slug · 07/08/2002 13:37

The Tate Modern is really easy for babies. I take the sluglet in the backpack because it means she is up high enough to see the artwork (she loved the Andy Warhol), it's easier to move around, more considerate to the other patrons, especially if there's a crush, and she is quite used to sleeping in it.

Make sure you book tickets in advance as it's been extremly popular and you don't want to be standing in line if you can avoid it.

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Fionn · 07/08/2002 13:37

Have to add that my request for a Mothers' Room at Tate Modern so that I could breastfeed my 3 month old was greeted with blank looks. Considering everything else about it is so child-friendly, I was surprised. They obviously didn't have any ex-breastfeeders on the planning committee!

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Lois · 08/08/2002 19:34

Thank you for all that info. Is there plenty of parking at Stanmore and how long do you think it might take to travel from Stanmore to London Bridge?

Membership of the Tate would be too pricey for me, Bossykate, as I'm lucky to get to London once a year. Shame though as the members rooms sounds like the ideal oasis on a day out. I was thinking of booking a table at their restaurant - is it any good?

The breastfeeding problem could be tricky. I'm quite happy to feed anywhere - the busier the better and I don't think people notice, but dh isn't keen on me feeding in public. Still today was my first day back at work and ds has been fine on just 2 feeds so maybe we'll be OK.

I can feel a grand day out coming on

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bossykate · 08/08/2002 20:01

hi lois

try www.thetube.com - should have info on journey times, parking at stations etc.

the restaurant at the tate is supposed to be good - wise idea to make a reservation if possible. it will probably be busy - so no one will notice if you bf. tell your dh - if you don't want to know the score, look away now!

have a lovely day!

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aloha · 08/08/2002 22:05

Oh, the Tate's packed with breastfeeders! Go for it and ignore dh! I found the cafe easy to find a seat at - but if you don't get it the Globe next door has a cafe too. Nobody bats an eye at b/feeding I promise (& I've done it at both). This is arty South London and here, boobs are for feeding, not looking at (unless they are a bit wonky and painted by Picasso!)

Have a fab day and whip em out for art's sake.

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jemw · 08/08/2002 22:30

Bit late replying on this and think some things probably already said. We often take the children down there, its all v child friendly.
Agree with other messages, tate modern great for kids and babies, I breastfed there with no problems, some seats on top galleries that overlook the main hall were useful as ds played with toy cars on floor quite happily whilst I b/fed dd.

Also second the recommendations for globe cafe, though they only have a couple of high chairs so can be a bit hit and miss.

Borough market good and walk down the river to the eye always enjoyable. Theres also another small gallery just past the tate opposite the pub on the riverside, it sometimes has exhibitions on and pictures/prints etc for sale.

Have a good day!

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florenceuk · 09/08/2002 10:21

Just to add - you MUST book in advance if you don't want to queue for ages and not get admitted until the late afternoon. Plus you cannot book online - the system is crap. So ring Ticketmaster and book for a particular time. We wanted to go on Saturday so we booked 3 wks ago to go next weekend, entry at 3.45pm(!). We are taking the Hippychick and the pushchair - the HC keeps DS nice and close but still gives him a view.

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CAM · 10/08/2002 16:11

Yes Lois, the exhibition is well worth a visit, we went in June with dd. Have been taking her to London galleries since a few months old, she is now 5 years and loves art. Tate Modern is easy for kids in every respect, nice walking along the river too. Enjoy your day.

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Philippat · 12/08/2002 15:39

Don't ever feel embarrased about breastfeeding in an art gallery/museum, there are usually plenty more breasts on display!

Seriously though, I've been working in galleries for more years than I care to remember and we are all very supportive of mums and kids coming in. Almost every day I walk through the galleries here and hear some mum going 'sshh' or 'don't run' to her children and I always try and change her perception of what an art gallery is for. We're not libraries, we don't want a quiet, totally no-touch environment and we all want to encourage young people into exhibitions. And many of the staff there will also have breastfed their children in the gallery! (that's the advantage of working in a largely female profession).

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Lois · 13/08/2002 17:25

Hi everyone

Thank you so much for all the info and the support for breast feeding in public but our trip is postponed as ds has the dreaded lurgy so south london will just have to wait for the delights of my cleavage.

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bossykate · 13/08/2002 19:58

shame. never mind, we are here if you need more ideas. hope he is feeling better soon.

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