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Day out with DC - advice please

29 replies

Bemyclementine · 19/07/2023 21:18

I'm taking DC 7 and 8 for a day out to London next week. They have never been, I have rarely been. We will get the train into Kings Cross.

I don't want to try to cram too much in, and I am on a budget. I think k they will want to see some sights (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, The Shard are ones they've shown an interest in).

I was considering a museum, probably natural history museum, or HMS Belfast. The tour buses seem expensive but thought maybe a boat trip if we don't do HMS Belfast.

I don't want to do Hamleys/lego/M&M shop (anything £££).

Does this seem feasible? Can anyone help me plan it?

Can I walk from Kings Cross?

OP posts:
justasmalltownmum · 19/07/2023 21:21

For a boat trip, take the Uber boat.

JorisBonson · 19/07/2023 21:22

There's tube strikes all next week so may make your trip a little difficult.

cocksstrideintheevening · 19/07/2023 21:23

Tube strikes all next week

Bemyclementine · 19/07/2023 21:24

Bugger. Should I postpone then? It's dc1 birthday treat.

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JorisBonson · 19/07/2023 21:25

There's little to no service for most of the week but your call really. You can do buses etc but the roads will be heaving.

idontknow54789 · 19/07/2023 21:25

You wouldn't be able to walk from Kings Cross but your kids are free on the tube so would only be paying for yourself. Or even less get a bus, then you can see a few sights. Have a look at the Sky Garden - it's free to go to the top, nice views etc. it does get booked up though so book soon. From there you could walk down to the Tower of London - it's £££ to go in though and is really a whole day out - still nice to look at. Could get an Uber boat from there to Westminster, see Big Ben then walk to Buckingham Palace. The museums are good but I'm not sure you'd have time. British Museum isn't far from King's Cross. Science and Natural History are a bit further and might take a bit longer.

idontknow54789 · 19/07/2023 21:28

Sorry I didn't read the next week bit. Yeah - from King's Cross you couldn't walk to Buckingham palace etc. There's some nice things round that area but not really the 'big' sights your DC are probably looking for.

Lira715 · 19/07/2023 21:33

We always get the tour bus tickets you can hop on and off all day and kids love sitting upstairs on the open top and listening to the commentary. We did the shard too which they enjoyed but for price and then cost of the ice cream they sell at the top it wasn’t that cheap. Uber boats good too. Hamleys is good if you can avoid having to buy them toys … there’s games they can go on and lots to look at and a little cafe which wasn’t expensive. Rainforest cafe was a hit with the kids too little overpriced for the food as it’s not amazing but kids liked the novelty factor.

Bemyclementine · 19/07/2023 21:34

@Lira715 which tour bus did you use? I'd heard the rainforest cafe was a good one fir the kids.

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cocksstrideintheevening · 19/07/2023 23:35

The rainforest cafe is shit. The food is bad, there is no lift so you can't bring buggies down, it's £££££££ and full of kids screaming when the thunder goes off.

Davros · 19/07/2023 23:38

Don't go to NHM from Kings X and if you want to do the main sights in the centre, it's totally off your path. I think own top bus tours are worth every Penny and see if you can get a deal

DaisyThistle · 19/07/2023 23:46

IMO Science Museum is better than Natural History as it's much more interactive. DC happily spent hours in there at that age. We used to take the Clipper boat (cheap commuter boat) from London Eye - great way to see Big Ben, the Tower and Tower Bridge. Then get off at Greenwich and look around Cutty Sark, ride pedaloes in the park, have an ice cream, climb the hill and stand on the meridian line, have ice creams in the playpark. They can be amazed that they can walk under the river via the foot tunnel (also free)

Or Buckingham Palace and then watch the very tame pelicans in St James.

dreamingbohemian · 19/07/2023 23:53

There's train strikes next week too! You might want to postpone.

Businessflake · 20/07/2023 00:12

From Kings Cross you could get the Thames Link down to Blackfriars. From there you can easily do St Paul’s, along the Southbank, Tate Modern, along to HMS Belfast. Get an Uber boat back towards Westminster, walk over to Buckingham Palace. Loads of options if you stay pretty central, use the boats and the Thameslink.

I wouldn’t cancel.

AlphaAlpha · 20/07/2023 00:26

Don't forget the Harry Potter 'platform' and shop at Kings Cross station! Whiles away half an hour or so 😬

Lira715 · 20/07/2023 05:46

Bemyclementine · 19/07/2023 21:34

@Lira715 which tour bus did you use? I'd heard the rainforest cafe was a good one fir the kids.

we used big bus tours there was 2 routes and price included a river cruise too. Tickets seemed expensive at first but we literally hopped on and off all day kids loved the headphones and would have happily sat on for the whole route. We used it like a taxi to get around , only taxis we had to get were to hotel from St Pancras. We stayed overnight though so had a 2 day ticket but surely you can get a one day that would be cheaper.

TheYear2000 · 20/07/2023 06:10

You could walk to the British Museum from Kings Cross and see the Egyptian mummies? I have done the walk with children and it's perfectly doable (10-15 mins). And most children love the Egyptian section!
From the British Museum you can walk to Covent Garden in 10 mins and see the street performers and have some lunch. You are then about 10 mins walk from the Thames- and 20 mins walk from the Southbank on the other side of the Thames. You could either get a boat or do something fun on the southbank. London is doable without the tube/bus if you plan to stick central or just to certain areas- and maybe plan to get an Uber back to station or do a circular route so you end up back at Kings Cross.

magnolia1997 · 20/07/2023 09:23

The boat trip us really good for seeing lots of the sights. I used Tesco vouchers for free tickets.

Davros · 20/07/2023 09:25

TheYear2000 has it, great plan

Bemyclementine · 20/07/2023 18:17

@TheYear2000 thank you, I will have a look at your suggestions later when the DC are in bed.

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Hbh17 · 20/07/2023 18:25

Don't go when there is a Tube/rail strike!
All the things on your list will take far too long - Tower of London alone will take the best part of a day. And it's a very long way from the NHM.
You need to think very carefully and maybe plan to stay overnight and then you can do things over a couple of days. Look at visiting attractions that are near to each other on separate days.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo · 20/07/2023 18:33

If you follow @TheYear2000 plan, you could visit tower bridge. Not too expensive, takes an hour or so, and good views of the tower, shard etc.

londonmummy1966 · 20/07/2023 18:47

I'd postpone as it will be a PITA to get around as the traffic will be a nightmare. Once the tubes are back then I'd do the following-

Tube Kings Cross to Green Park (Victoria Line) walk through Green Park to Buckingham Palace (could visit the museum in the Royal Mews that has carriages and carriage horses etc to see but is not a long visit)

Walk along The Mall from Buckingham Palace and down Horseguards to Parliament Square (Churchill War Room museum is on Horseguards)

Uber boat from Westminster Pier by Big Ben to Tower Pier - walk across Tower Bridge and then walk west along the south bank to London Bridge passing the Belfast - you can pick up things to eat at Borough Market or book a table at Padella which is a good pasta restaurant on the edge of Borough Market

Walk west along the south bank from Borough Market past The Globe, Tate Modern, Oxo Tower (has a couple of nice gift shop type places) to Waterloo (Festival Hall is a good loo stop if you need it). Northern Line from Waterloo to Leicester Square and change to Piccadilly Line for Kings Cross.

Result - relatively cheap day seeing lots of the big sites and well exercised DC who might even sleep on the train on the way back.

Solasum · 20/07/2023 18:49

On a non tube strike week,
get the Victoria line from Kings Cross to Green Park (you can pay with a contactless card for you, the children are free and go through the wide gate with you). Walk through green park to Buckingham Palace. Then walk down the Mall to Trafalgar Square, along Whitehall to Parliament square to see Big Ben. Get on the Uberboat at Westminster and go to Tower Bridge for the Tower of London. Plenty of places to eat round there and in St Katherine’s wharf. You could then cross the river via Tower Bridge and walk along to the Shard. You can get the Northern line from London Bridge to Kings Cross.

Bemyclementine · 20/07/2023 20:52

I had written NHM off when I realised there were tube strikes. I had thought we'd walked past it when doing a bit of sightseeing with my mum but I think I've got confused!

I'm really torn, I have next week off work and it's DC1 birthday. He's been desperate to go to London so this was going to be his main present. (Not on his actual birthday though).

I can't stay over, unless someone knows of very cheap family friendly places!

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