Thursday 6 December 2012

Family Days Out - A day trip to London

Jasper reading the Kids Club Pack
We, like a lot of families, love planning Family Days Out.  We were so excited therefore to be picked to experience a day in London, courtesy of - a great place to go to look for money-off vouchers and days out vouchers!

We were given a family ticket for The Original Tour, the hop-on hop-off open top bus tour with commentary.  Not only that, but we also made full use of the free boat trip up the Thames, AND *excited face* a free Jack The Ripper tour - something that has been on our radar for a long time!

We started the day by getting the tube into Marble Arch to pick up our tour.  The guides are very informative and, having chosen the live audio tour, we were on and rolling in around 5 mins.  The kids got stuck into their free Kids Club Pack, whilst we listened to the commentary.  In hindsight we should have chosen the audio tour, which we did on the way back, as the kids donned their headphones and paid a lot more attention!

We decided to head to Westminster Pier to grab some lunch and pick up the boat.  Some of the facts we learned along the way were....

* there are around 7000 pubs in London
* bearskin hats worn by the Royal Guards cost £5000 each
* if you are in London for the day you will be caught on camera around 300 times

Fun on the merry go round

Those of you who know me know I'm not a lover of boats, so of course the kids were very excited by "scared mummy" - how cruel they are!

Whilst strolling along the South Bank we discovered a spectacular German Christmas Market, complete with merry-go-rounds, French Crepes for the kids(?), Kangaroo Burger for Chris, and some hot chestnuts for me - jubbly me old China (sorry)!

Not my cup of tea, but definitely Chis's
Chris being Skippy!

There was also the most amazing Battle Of Britain monument, which tributes to the many that lost their lives in it.  Including a Pilot P/O R. A. L. Robb - a distant relative perhaps?
Amazing tribute...
A distant relative?
Scarlett oblivious to the meaning..

Traitors Gate
I managed to endure the boat trip and put my brave face on, but I will say it was actually very pleasant, it was a clear, crisp, blue skyed Winter's day, the sea was calm, the kids were excited and it did make me smile.   We also learned that Waterloo Bridge is known as "Ladies Bridge" as it was completed by ladies during the Second World War, when of course the menfolk were off fighting for King and Country!

Whilst cruising down the Thames we also saw a lot of the famous sites, The Shard, The Gherkin, Traitors Gate at the Tower of London amongst others.   We also saw the Lions Head with Rings in their mouths, the subject of the rhyme "if the lions are drinking, London is sinking" a reference to the height of the Thames.

Original Roman Wall round the City
It was whilst on the boat that I spotted the Free Jack the Ripper walking tour.  It started at 3pm which meant that after the boat, we could grab a quick drink in a local pub, then off to the meeting point.   It was just as amazing as we thought it would be, taking us around the streets where the Ripper would have walked, and showing us some places where the bodies were actually found.   We also saw some of the original Roman wall separating the City of London, which I never knew existed.

We even saw the home of the original "Fagin", a character called Ikey Solomon - OMG, being huge Oliver fans we were totally blown away.   We also saw the site of an original women's Workhouse - just terrible what some of these unfortunate women had to live through!

Whilst I'd love to tell you more about the walk I really don't want to spoil such a wonderful 90 minutes walking round Whitechapel, some of the theories were new to me too, with fab pics and scene setting by a passionate narrator!  A must if you can catch it!

London certainly delivered!

Here are a few more pics of our wonderful Capital :)

Boadicea ;)
Houses of Parliament
Emmeline Pankhurst
Replica of Shakespeare's Globe

Tower Bridge
Christmas lights in Oxford Street

What a fab day, will certainly look out for more money off vouchers for family days out!

Thanks you

Annie x


  1. Looks like you had a lovely time, would love to do a jack the ripper tour leyla

  2. I do like a day trip around London. Was ice skating at the Tower of London last week. It's well worth it.

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