Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Ceremony of the Keys. Big Ben. other things for London? Paris?

Ceremony of the Keys. Big Ben. other things for London? Paris?

Reply

Jan 4th, 2010, 08:46 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,582
I'm getting the sense that the Diana playground is just that... and not something to divert for ?>>>

I'd say so. It's a very upmarket version admittedly. It has a fountain (more a man made stream) and there's Peter Pan nearby. And a pirate ship....

http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/k...playground.cfm

It's your holiday, but i wouldn't go thousands of miles to see it.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 08:47 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,584
We will be in London for 5 nights in June and I've been wondering if play areas are as plentiful there as they were in Paris. Since we are staying near Waterloo station I have scoped out a playground in Jubilee Garden next to the London Eye.
DancingBearMD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 09:54 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 7,499
If you are going to be in Windsor, I'd suggest touring the castle and skipping Hampton Court. You could then go straight to London at a bit more of a relaxed pace and have more time there. How old are your children?
KTtravel is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 10:48 AM
  #24
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,913
"I'm getting the sense that the Diana playground is just that... and not something to divert for ?>>>

I'd say so. It's a very upmarket version admittedly. It has a fountain (more a man made stream) and there's Peter Pan nearby. And a pirate ship....
"

Now rightly so, our C_W doesn't hang around the kiddies much -- but the play ground and the memorial/fountain/Peter Pan statue are all different things in different locations.

The Princess Diana memorial (the stream/fountain thingey) is just across Exibition Rd near the Serpentine and Rotten Row.

Peter P is next to the Long Water near Bayswater Rd.

the Playground (w/ the Pirate Ship/etc) is at the very NW corner of Kensington Gardens just north of Kens Palace/the Orangerie. Many families w/ young children actually DO make a special detour to the playground. But it is probably 3/4 mile from the memorial and 1/2 mile from Peter Pan . . . .
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 11:35 AM
  #25
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,118
The flannerclan's views on this are:

- the Diana Playground. Kids love it. But it's a bloody long walk from anywhere you're likely to be. Unless you live in/are staying in Notting Hill, in which case it's fine. Unless Holland Park's nearer. However, there aren't that many playgrounds in the very centre, and if you walk to it from - say - Hyde Park Corner,there are lots of grey squirrels on the way and with any luck the walk will pretty well nacker the little sods as well. So it'll shut them up for the next day AND they'll see squirrels. Not proper red ones of course: uninvited American immigrants scared them all off. But next best thing

- Peter Pan: If you've had a CW education, or a mass education back in the days you bloody well enjoyed being taught The Classics whether you liked it or not, interesting. For anyone educated normally after about 1965...er, like, what's it for?

I'm serious. The Peter Pan statue is the kind of place children used to be told they'd like. One of the few good things about modern society is that kids aren't expected to take that kind of nonsense quietly any more. We've been told in no uncertain terms just what kind of care we'll get when the Alzheimers hits if we take them there again.

- Diana Memorial. Actually, if you're within a few hundred yards, worth diverting to see how pretty a runnel can still be made to look. Pointless for children: fascinating for grown up gardden designers
flanneruk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 12:42 PM
  #26
BKP
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,184
There's another playground in Hyde Park as well. It's south of the Serpentine, just a little bit east of the island in the middle. (I'm terrible with directions). We have visited that playground several times but have not made the walk to the Princess Diana playground. I don't think this playground is as "magical" as the other is supposed to be, but our 4 year old enjoys it and it wears him out!
BKP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 01:14 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,584
"- Diana Memorial. Actually, if you're within a few hundred yards, worth diverting to see how pretty a runnel can still be made to look."

Oh, I see.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image..._getty_416.jpg
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5192590.stm
DancingBearMD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 01:32 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,041
Surfmom, when I was in Paris in November, the gardens at the Palais Royal were under construction, and the pillars were behind a wall and inaccessible. I do not know when the construction will be finished.
Nikki is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 06:50 PM
  #29
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,886
You're Driving in London??! I am impressed. Driving in London is a nightmare. Have you done this before? A car is a bit of a detriment in the city; if you don't need it there it will simply be so much easier for you to rent the car just outside the city as you leave.

Another playground option if you're near Bloomsbury and the British Museum is Coram's Fields. Any adult can enter as long as they are accompanied by a child. (you read that right...no kiddie no entry). It's between King's Cross and Holborn. Here's the link:
http://www.coramsfields.org/

If you're over by the Diana Memorial stop into the Orangery at Kensington Palace for a reasonably priced cream tea in a stunning setting that's perfectly suited for all ages.

Lastly, everyone who sends off for Ceremony of the Keys tickets receives them but the ceremony takes place rather late at 10:00 p.m. (don't be late, they won't let you in and there are No exceptions!) It's an impressive, ancient ceremony done in the dark shadows of the Tower and it can be a bit overwhelming for some little kids.
Bowsprit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 06:53 PM
  #30
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,886
Should have written 'if you're near the Diana playground' stop into the orangery at K.P.' Not near the memorial. sorry.
Bowsprit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2010, 07:57 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,913
Bowsprit: "You're Driving in London??! I am impressed. Driving in London is a nightmare. Have you done this before? A car is a bit of a detriment in the city;"

They aren't actually driving in London at all (unless they decide to drop the car off in town).

They will only have the car for Windsor, Great Missenden and HCP

Surfmom: Where you drop the car mostly depends on who you rent from. On option would be to drop it off at LHR and do HCP as a day trip out from London by train. Or rental agencies do have locations scattered around London - just depends on who you are using.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 01:45 AM
  #32
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,582
There's usually things for rug rats on the south bank (where your hotel is) but they tend to be transitory things rather than fixed facilities.

It repays a wander about anyway and there's lots of things your kids will probably like there (skateboarders, pakoras (if that's what it's called or do I just have rubies on the brain, but i mean that running around jumping of walls and stuff), but there's always activities for kids on somewhere.

There's also Archbishop's Park by (suprise suprise) the Archbishop's palace:

http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/E...ishopsPark.htm

Which is a standard london park - ie rather nice.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 03:01 AM
  #33
BKP
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,184
surfmom -- if you go to the Imperial War Museum, which I think you should, there is also a playground just east of it (it's on you're left if you're looking at the entrance of the museum). It's nothing special, but if some of the adult members of your party want a little more time in the museum you can take turns watching the children at the playground.
BKP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 03:30 AM
  #34
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,886
janisj: I was looking at this:

<<< Th:arrive 11am Heathrow. rent car. drive to hotel, change clothes (important for my sanity). drive to Roald Dahl museum in Missenden, back to Windsor for dinner and see the castle from outside.>>>

I took it to mean they were drving from Heathrow to the hotel, (is the hotel in Southwark or Windsor? didn't pay attention...) then to Roald Dahl museum and back to Windsor. I guess I'm confused! Anyway, picking up a car outside the city proper to drive to Windsor is certainly more do-able.
Bowsprit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 06:57 AM
  #35
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,125
There's a Legoland on the southwest fringes of Windsor. Hard to image going to Windsor without taking your kids there. But I've been known to suppress the existence of nearby amusement parks when traveling with my young son.
Mimar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 08:06 AM
  #36
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,202
thanks all for the good thoughts!

dropping off the car. I'm a bit in the dark here. We will pick up the car at Heathrow when we arrive and spend a day or so outside the city center.

I haven't figured out the drop off thing yet. I guess my options are:
=> back to Heathrow. take public transportation (or taxi) into central London.
pros: easy, convenient, no separate drop off fee (do these exist?)
cons: cost of fare into London (probably a taxi since we are 5 people)

=> drop off in central London near hotel
pros: gets us to hotel. no hassling with airport, etc.
cons: drop off fee ? driving in central London

=> drop off somewhere in-between
pros: if we drop off near a train station, could take train back into central London, eliminates driving in central London.
cons: drop off fee? don't know location. dealing with gear into central London

I still have to figure out the nitty gritty details like above.

kids will be 6, 8, 10. I would rather skip Legoland. I think it *could* be really cool, but given our limited time, I'd rather not spend the time there. I was at the one in Denmark (?) about 20 years ago and it was very cool... ok, maybe, I'll reconsider.

>>I just have rubies on the brain<<
which means what ?

For now, I think our plan will be to skip the Diana playground unless we are nearby and it is a close diversion. Sounds like the one at Lambeth is right around the corner from our hotel... that will be great! I'll also check out the one near the Imperial War Museum... if nothing else, it could be a snack break place.
surfmom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 08:07 AM
  #37
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,202
oooh, I just realized that our hotel is almost adjacent to Waterloo Station... if I could arrange to drop off the car outside central London and we take the train into Waterloo, I think that would be do-able.

How do I find out where to drop off the car near a train station that would go into Waterloo ?
surfmom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 08:24 AM
  #38
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,584
surfmom, you're staying in the same location we are in June (specifically, we'll be at the Union Jack Club). There's a train from Hampton Court to Waterloo. The playground next to the London Eye appears to be the closest; the ones at Lambeth and the Imperial War Museum are about equidistant.
DancingBearMD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 08:38 AM
  #39
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,913
Surfmom: OK -- please clarify, there seems to be some confusion and hand wringing about the car. I know you are eventually staying at County Hall, checking in on Friday. I assumed you are staying in/near Windsor or LHR on Thursday night. Right? Otherwise -- IF you are staying at County Hall Thurs night too - going to the hotel and then out to Great Missenden makes no sense whatsoever. None.

But since you specifically mentioned hotels on Thurs and Fri I took that to mean two different hotels. Help us out here.

A problem w/ dropping the car and taking the train to Waterloo is finding a rental location somewhere nearish HCP that will allow one way rentals. Assuming you collect the car at LHR, you'd have to find a suburban drop off point.

You are probably safe skipping the Diana Playground. It is mostly geared to toddlers through about 7 yo's so your two older kids are close to being 'aged out'. It is great fun for young kids though.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2010, 09:55 AM
  #40
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,202
dancingbear, I didn't know there is a playground next to the London Eye! cool... that can be 'home base' at the end of the day to burn energy.

janis, you are my London expert. thanks for coming to help : )

We are renting a car when we arrive on Thursday. We are not heading into central London immediately - I thought it would be easier to stay outside London for a night and knock out those things that we would otherwise do as day trips.

So, yes, two different hotels.

Thursday night, we are planning on staying at Oakley Court outside Windsor.

My thinking is that we could hopefully check in when our flight arrives and freshen up. Head to Missenden for the Roald Dahl museum. Eat lunch at the Twits Cafe (for all you Roald Dahl friends). Expect to spend a couple hours there max. Then head back to Windsor and see the Castle from the outside, dinner, bed.

Friday morning, drive to Hampton Court. I think the kids would like the maze and the historical part of it. After a morning there, head into central London.

Should we skip Hampton Court and only do Windsor Castle ?

So, we will be departing Hampton Court and heading into central London. In a perfect world, if there is a car dropoff next to a train station that goes into Waterloo, that would be the easiest. But it usually isn't quite that easy ...

thanks!
surfmom is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:11 PM.