10 days with a 10 year old!?

Jan 23rd, 2005, 07:07 PM
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10 days with a 10 year old!?

my son and I are making his first overseas trip this june to england. I was thinking about 6 nights in london, but would love ideas about where else might be close and good for kids.
I'm not brave enough to try driving, but know that he would love to explore ruined castles.
thank you all for any and all ideas!
nancita is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 09:09 PM
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Is there some reason he would want to explore only ruined castles - and not intact ones?

The Tower of London is a whole complex of castles/towers etc. Windsor Castle is an easy day trip - only about 30 minutes from London by train. And Warwick Castle (easily doable by public transport or a day tour by bus) is huge and impressively dark and dank (he will love the dungeons). but these are all intact. Have never seen a ruined one myself - although I'm sure there are some.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 24th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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We recently returned with our 10 and 13 year-old kids. We only had time for central London, but I have been elsewhere in England many times. I'll second Warwick castle as a fantastic option for your son (and for you too!) if he has a fastination with castles. You really need to have a car to see many of the ruins. If you are willing to drive through the country, they seem to be everywhere.

We spent 4 days in London and had time to see all the highlights on our list. I am sure you will have a great time!

Davelw is offline  
Jan 24th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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My kids went to Warwick Castle when they were 5 & 7 and loved it. It may be a bit "disney" like with characters in period costumes, reenactment of sword fights with knights in armor on horse back. Lots of hand-on activities such as cross-bow shooting and medieval games. There are also various medieval armor and helmets to try on and they are heavy! The castle itself is beautifully preserved and the route nicely guides you through the inside and outside of the castle. We had a wonderful day there. It was a easy and relaxing ride from Paddington station in London. The castle is a 10 minutes walk from the station. You won't need a car for this.

Windsor Castle is closer but being a working/living castle, only portion of the castle is open to public. However, Legoland is next door so you can combine that if he is "castled" out.

Of course, Towers of London is not to be missed. They have a free kid's activity package you can get at the entrance. It comes with a map that the kid will have to collect stamps for thru out the site. When completed, he gets a trinket when he turns it in. A good way to get him explore the site.

My kids enjoyed the ride up on the London Eye and, believe it or not, they love the British Museum, especially the Egyptian stuff. Way cool!

My kids are Harry Potter fan and were delighted with all the paraphernalia at platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station.

carcassone is offline  
Jan 24th, 2005, 08:28 PM
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I'd suggest Hampton Court, it would be great.

I also think ruined castles are highly overrated compared to un-ruined one.
Christina is offline  
Jan 24th, 2005, 08:34 PM
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Maybe that 10 year old is a real hell-raiser, and they don't want to have to worry about the breakage, so an already ruined castle is safer?
Patrick is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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Hi nanc,

A really great ruined castle, reachable by train, is the one in Caerphilly, Wales.

You can also see Cardiff on the way.

ira is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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Some other castles nearer London - Corfe Castle in Dorset, scenic and ruined, nice village, not far from Bournemouth - busy seaside resort with all the usual tacky entertainments.

Arundel in Sussex - as much a working country residence as a castle.

Carisbrooke and Yarmouth Castles on the Isle of Wight - Carisbrooke is more impressive (haven't been for a long time, but they had a well where a donkey-powered wheel raised the water, and which featured in a children's adventure story from many years ago called Moonfleet; King Charles I was imprisoned there for a while too).

Bodiam near Chichester - just walls surrounded by a moat.

Richborough in Kent - not so much a castle as a Roman fortress - again, massive walls but not much else in the way of structure.

Could I suggest he might like to try and research some of these for himself on the internet..?
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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And here's the very thing:
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Hi Nancy.
How about taking the train to York for a couple of nights. It's about 2 1/2 hours by train, accommodation is plentiful and there is plenty in the city for both of you including The Castle Museum (not a castle but fascinating), The Yorvik Centre where you take a mechanical train and experience the sights and smells of a viking village and the BEST Railway Museum in the world. You could also take day trips by organised tour or by bus to some of the fascinating places in the area like Whitby on the coast with it's ruined Abbey (close but not a ruined castle!) and great fish & chips.
Good luck and have a great trip!
Adam C
adamhornets is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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In London, don't forget:

-- the Science Museum--I could hardly drag my son (now a teen) out of the place

-- Greenwich, especially the updated nautical museum, the Cutty Sark, and the Royal Observatory...even just riding there from central London on the Docklands Light Railway is a hoot.

For ruined castles, Bodiam in Kent, south of London, is superb. There is also a restored steam railway nearby, if your son is interested in trains. The only challenge is transportation...you can take a train from London to Hastings and a bus from there, I believe. Check the National Trust website (www.nationaltrust.org.uk for details.

If "ruined" is not a requirement, then Warwick Castle, which others have mentioned, is a good choice.

Dave White
[email protected]
KidsToLondon is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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I loved this thread! The whole ruined vs. unruined is a riot. I agree about Hampton Court and Warwick Castle...another fabulous one is Leeds Castle (unruined) but I'm not sure how you get there without a car although I'm sure it could be done. How about Stonehenge? Bath? Both are great for kids! Be sure to allow time in London for just hanging out in the parks, i.e. Kensington Gardens. My kids loved ice cream at Harrods; they loved Harrods, actually. Can you still feed pigeons at Trafalgar Square?? That was a big hit with mine at that age, as was climbing those lion monuments there. Agree about Greenwich, too. Also consider Cabinet War Rooms. Don't forget to do a tour on a double decker bus.
peggi is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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How about a ruined castle and a complete one in a day! Kenilworth Castle in the morning, bit of a ruin these days, then on to Warwick in the afternoon. They are just six miles apart and, in fact, once owned by the same family.
Take the train to Leamington Spa or Warwick from London Marylebone then local buses from there.
henneth is offline  

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