When we lived in Bucks we used to have day trips to London a couple of times a year, but we haven’t been since I was pregnant with Imogen. Partly because of the distance now we’re in East Sussex and partly because I couldn’t get my head around tackling the Tube with a buggy and another child. But we did some research and found a car park in the City that is only £2 a day on Sundays, and only 50 miles away from home, so we thought we would brave it.
Sophie put together a list of places she’d like to visit, based on things she’s been learning at school (Pudding Lane and the Houses of Parliament) and places she’d like to see (London Eye and Hamleys!), and we plotted a route in our minds to go East to West.
We left home at about 8.30am and parked up close to Tower Hill underground at about 9.45am. Then we headed for Pudding Lane, via the Tower of London and the closed Tower Bridge.
From here we walked to The Shard, where Sophie was amazed at how tall the building is, and how strong its pillars were!
We then crossed the River Thames over London Bridge and made our way along the South Bank, past The Globe, The Tate, the London Eye and all the performers. We made it to the Houses of Parliament in time to hear Big Ben chime for midday. Then Sophie’s desire to get to Hamleys started to get the better of her, so we had a quick stop at Trafalgar Square where we had lunch, walking up Whitehall and admiring the mounted police on our way. From there we went along to Piccadilly Circus and up Regents Street to Hamleys, where both girls were amazed at the amount of toys over six floors. We made a good start to their Christmas lists!
Having met the Lego Queen, we decided to walk back down Regents Street and then cut through to Green Park and go to see Buckingham Palace. We were lucky that the roads around the palace were closed for the Royal Parks Half Marathon, which made walking with Imogen easier.
When we got there we realised that there were no District Line trains running so decided the best way to get back to the car was going to be to walk as far as we could. With two tired girls we put them both into the buggy and pushed on (literally!) the north bank to get as far as we could before they protested too much and we needed to get on the Tube.
As we were walking back it started to rain, and we had to make a couple of stops for shelter to avoid getting too wet, but we were making good progress with them both in the buggy, and luckily they seemed to think it was hilarious!
We finally made it into the City, and having promised Sophie Old McDonald’s for her tea, spent a good few minutes looking for one, before we had to concede defeat and head to another alternative fast food place (this one does not come recommended, the service was slow and definitely not with a smile). But, powered by chicken nuggets and chips, we made it back to the car in one piece.
All in all, we had a lovely day and saw some wonderful sights, and I would definitely do the trip again, although possibly not with the additional three mile walk back to the car. My Fitbit stats for the day were impressive – almost 24,000 steps and four active hours. I had earned the ice cream we stopped for on the way out of London!