London Journals

Footloose Family in London

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A March 2002 trip to London by Idler

Bungee trampolines  in front of London Aquarium Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: A whirlwind two-day stopover in London with our curious eleven-year-old son in tow. Our goal was to introduce London to our son, so his interests - ancient Egypt, London transportation, music, and amusements - were given priority. The bottom line: London's a great place for kids and the young-at-heart.

Footloose Family in London

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Overview

Bungee trampolines  in front of London Aquarium Photo, London, England
Quote:
See London from atop a double-decker bus, winding through charming parts of the city out to the suburbs and back. Browse through antiquarian booksellers off Charing Cross Road. Take in a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta performed by the D'Oyly Carte opera company at the Savoy Theatre. Get a panoramic view of London from the London Eye, then walk across Westminster Bridg...Read More

Royal National Hotel

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Hotel

Royal National Hotel Photo, London, England
Quote:
This large (over 1000-room) tourist-class hotel is in a good central location. To be honest, I'd never stayed in one of the big London hotels before, having always stayed in small hotels and B&B's, but our hotel came free as part of a British Airways flight package, so we selected from the hotels they offered. The Royal National sits smack in the center of Bloomsbury, only a few blocks away from the British Museum. The location makes it a great base for touring central London. Our triple room was quite pleasant, with comfortable beds, a spacious bathroom, coffee & tea maker, and more space than we had exp...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 6, 2002

Royal National Hotel
BEDFORD WAY
London, England
44 207 637 2488

British Museum

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Attraction | "Walk like an Egyptian in the British Museum"

British Museum Photo, London, England
Quote:
"Come on, Mom!" My eleven year old tugged impatiently at my arm as we ambled at parental pace through the awe-inspiring open space of the Great Court of the British Museum. His impatience was pardonable, given how much time he’d already spent studying and preparing reports on ancient Egypt for school. Now here he was primed to see the Rosetta stone, mummies, hieroglyphs, and all things Egyptian. The British Museum, which houses one of the best collections of Egyptian artifacts outside Cairo, was the perfect place to take him. The scope of the Egyptian collection at t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 10, 2002

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London, England WC1B 3DG
+44 (207) 7323 8299

Sir John Soane's Museum

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Attraction

Sir John Soane's Museum Photo, London, England
Quote:
Tenacity pays off. On a prior London visit, I had briefly visited Sir John Soane’s Museum off Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Regrettably, I’d come shortly before closing time, so I enjoyed only a cursory visit. What I saw, though, made me determined to come back. "It’s my turn to pick!" I announced after my husband and son had each chosen a place to visit in London. Neither seemed particularly enthusiastic about seeing Soane’s Museum, which made their later unfeigned delight all the sweeter. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2002

Sir John Soane's Museum
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, England WC2A 3BP
+44 20 7405 2107

South Bank Across Westminster Bridge

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Attraction | "From South Bank across Westminster Bridge"

South Bank Across Westminster Bridge Photo, London, England
Quote:
I would like to say that I’d planned it this way, but I didn’t. My husband and son had never seen or been on the London Eye, and I knew that both of them would enjoy it as they both love big, high-tech structures AND ferris wheels, and the Eye is the biggest wheel of them all. What started as a ride on the Eye, though, evolved into several pleasant hours spent on the South Bank, followed by a leisurely stroll across Westminster Bridge, where we milled around with all the other tourists gawping at the Houses of Parliament, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 8, 2002

South Bank Across Westminster Bridge
Waterloo or Westminster Tube Station
London, England

Hampstead Heath

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Attraction | "On board the Number 24 bus to Hampstead Heath"

Hampstead Heath Photo, London, England
Quote:
London by Bus "I want to ride on top of one of those double decker buses!" This was my eleven-year-old son's announcement on his first morning in London. After briefly consulting a route map by a bus stop near our hotel, we decided to board a number 24 bus. We had planned to take the bus south towards Westminster, but somehow boarded a northbound bus instead. However, as it turned out, we were glad we did, as the route took us through a nice variety of places, from bustling Tottenham Court Road, through picturesque Camden Town, and te...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2002

Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Lane/North End Lane/Heath Road
London, England NW3
+44 20 8348 9908

D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

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Attraction | "D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy Theatre"

Quote:
I ask you, what could be more British than Gilbert and Sullivan? Their deft operettas have worn well through the late 19th, 20th, and into the 21st century. Gilbert and Sullivan societies ("Savoyards") seem to pepper the globe, having been established everywhere from Tasmania to Nova Scotia. While I'd seen a number of G&S productions in the U.S., I'd never had the opportunity to see one performed by the original light opera company that Gilbert and Sullivan wrote for, the D'Oyly ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2002

D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
6 Sancroft Street
London, England SE11 5UD
+44 (0)20 7793 7100

Cecil Court

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Attraction | "Cecil Court: A bibliophile's wonderland"

Cecil Court Photo, London, England
Quote:
"What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?" - Lewis Carroll Alice would have approved of Cecil Court , a quaint pedestrian passageway tucked between Charing Cross Road and St. Martin's Lane. Here book and print lovers can browse through over a dozen shops devoted to antiquarian prints, theatre memorabilia, first editions, children's books, antique maps and atlases, travel books, the occult, Italian books, military and naval prints, stamps, and Victoriana. This charming collection of old bookstores has been ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2002

Cecil Court
Between Charing Cross Road & St. Martin's Lane
London, England

The junior traveller and parent Photo, London, England
Quote:
I never thought I'd be saying this, but here goes: one of the best parts of this last trip was being around my son, who's eleven and has developed into a heck of a traveler. It wasn't always this way. No, in fact, up until he was around eight I refused point-blank to take him on anything longer than a day trip or visit to nearby relatives. Even then, each time we'd return from a day in D.C. or a visit to my sister's in Virgina, I'd return dead tired and thoroughly fed up, and for good reason. As an infant and toddler, my son virtually never slept in the car (oh, except once, coming back from an eight-hour drive to a family reunion, when he fell asleep during the last half hou...Read More