Family Trip to England

Mar 31st, 2008, 02:54 PM
  #1  
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Family Trip to England

I am taking 4 of my grnadchildren and my daughter to England this summer in late July. Any advice would be wonderful, including reasonable and clean B&B's, and must see's for the grandones. The ages of the children are three 11 yr olds, and a 3 yr old (who will enjoy whatever ).
Thank you for redirecting me to this as well j

TIGGS
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Mar 31st, 2008, 03:17 PM
  #2  
 
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I just returned on Thursday night from a London trip with my friend's 7 year old grandson and 8 year old granddaughter.

We stayed at the Premier Inn King's Cross which is quite nice but a little too far from the things we wished to see. She was more interested in spending less which is understandable. I would suggest two family rooms at the Premier Inn County Hall. Get the breakfasts. I believe you will only pay for the adults. Fill up those 11 year olds there.

Sights:

Tower of London - White Tower has the armory. They loved that.

British Museum - the Egyptian Mummy section was loaded with kids. Have the 11 yr olds do some research on things that would interest them.

Buckingham Palace/Horseguards - not the hit we expected.

Greenwich - enjoyable boat ride and fun having your picture taken with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and one in the western hemisphere.

London Eye

Churchill's Underground War Rooms - this went over much better than we expected.

Harrod's - food halls

Kensington Garden's - Princess Diana playground. We stayed until it closed.

Westminster Abbey - there is a children's trail.

Hampton Court Palace - they have light-hearted audiophone tours.

We had hoped to go to tea at the Orangery but the kids weren't the least interested.

Look for the HORRIBLE HISTORY series and the DEAD AND FAMOUS series. They dish all the dirt that make history memorable for kids.

Make sure the kids know your expectations before you leave. Ours tended to wander more than I liked but we got them in line by the end.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 03:37 PM
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You say "England" - Are you traveling around England - or just going to London? Makes a huge difference.

Also for a family that size - in London you will do MUCH better money and space-wise, renting an apartment instead of staying in a B&B or hotel.
janisj is online now  
Mar 31st, 2008, 03:56 PM
  #4  
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Wow, Babrbara, that all sounds perfect, Yes, the children are already doing some pre-discovery for the trip. They even had me trek them over to a local Barnes & Noble for Fodor's travel books, each 11 yr old chose a dfferent one to read and compare. The 3 yr old, of course, just wants to see a castle . I so appreciate those words of wisdom.

Janis,
Yes, mostly in the London area, sorry, but, we will have an auto for special long trips. I was hoping to take 2 full days to take them up to Hadrian's Wall, and sight see along the way and back again.

TIGGS
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Mar 31st, 2008, 04:27 PM
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whoa - Hadrian's Wall is at the other end of the country. It will take more than 2 days to go there -- Especially if you plan on driving, and more especially if you plan on seeing things along the way.

How long will you be in England altogether?

If you have 10 days/2 weeks here is an option (just one of hundreds of possibilities):

Stay 5 to 7 days in London in a flat w/o a car. Then take the train to York. Explore York for a day and stay the night. Pick up a rental car and drive up through the Dales and eventually to Northumberland/Hadrian's Wall. Stay the night. Explore the Wall/Roman Forts the next day. Stay the same place that night.

By now you've used 8 - 10 days/nights. Then you have choices -- drive back down the west side of the country taking 2 days/night to get back to London to fly home.

If you have a bit more time, add another night in York on your way north and explore the Moors/and the North Yorkshire Moors steam train (MAJOR Harry Potter connections)


janisj is online now  
Mar 31st, 2008, 04:30 PM
  #6  
 
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My sons both enjoyed Warwick Castle, look up the website, it is a great day trip, the 11 yr odls will love it,, promise. There are knights and horses in armour, there are jousts( complete with trumpet blasts, full regalia , the banners waving, , and giant catapault shows, there is a water wheel mill,ramparts to climb, there is even a small dungeon.
If you can, bring a picnic, there are food stands of course but expensive and all greasy fried foods.
The three yr old will have lots of room to run about.

bozama is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 05:47 PM
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we stayed in an apartment in the south kensington area with my two kids last march it is the way to go- much less expensive, breakfast was included and fine, and plenty of space in the apt vs a small and expensive hotel room we liked the residential feel of the area- quiet well located near great tube stations, and lots of food choices
4bams is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 04:15 AM
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TIGGS,

As janisj mentioned, you might look for a flat instead of B&B. Most B&B rooms are for 2 peoples, and not sure how you're going to split up 2 adults with 4 children. Or search this forum for hotels with family rooms.

As for children's attraction, are you and your daughter able to split up--I'm concerned what interests 11yo will be different from 3yo's.

Barbara_in_CT gave you a good list to work on. I would add Regent's Park (rose garden, duck ponds, good playground for 3yo, can take a canal boat to Camden or to Little Venice). As for castles, I recommend Hampton Court Palace--easily accessible by train, good guided tour (often in historical costumes), don't miss Tudor kitchen tour.

Hever castle is also nice but you'll need a car or better yet, arrange a taxi from a nearby train station. Leeds Castle is easier to access--National Express Coach from Victoria. For both castles, you might want to check the website to see if they have discount tickets available on the web.

I think you should SERIOUSLY reconsider AGAINST hiring a car in London. You're probably staying inside the congention zone, petrols are expensive, you'll need a van to carry all six of you.

No need to go all the way to see Hadrian walls--you can see a part of Roman Walls in the City (some near Barbican, St Pauls, London Tower). Also you might want to consider historical walking tours for the older ones.

Places I won't bother are Mme Tussauds, London Dungeon, Hamleys.
W9London is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 05:36 AM
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I would second the Warwick Castle suggestion. You can go there by train from London. My nephews 10 and 12 loved it--the pageantry, the dungeon, the grounds and the fish pond one of them fell into. Nice cafe for lunch.

They both were impressed with changing of the guard, the Tower, Westminster Abbey, the London Dungeon (a bit hokey, but fun), the London Museum, the boat trip down the Thames to Greenwich. The last was a number one choice on their list of things to do from their research.

Windsor Castle was a hit. We saw the changing of the Guard there as well with a lot fewer people. Queen Mary's dollhouse was fascinating to the boys as well as to me.

In London the only thing they wished we had skipped was going up into Tower Bridge to see its workings.

We spent five days in London staying with friends (lucky us!) and then took a rental car for the rest of our trip--10 days (15 total).

Castles were toward the top of their lists so it was out to the border of Wales, and castles we did see! Goodrich, Skenfrith, Penhow, Chepstow (and a medieval reenactment), Caldicott, Caerphilly, Castle Coch, Raglan. We also went to a maze in the area. Also some Roman ruins (in Newport, I think) of an arena.

Also if you are interested in Roman ruins, St. Albans is a short train ride from London and has some as well as a museum of Roman finds.

On our swing back to Gatwick we visited Stonehenge (second on the list) and Salisbury Cathedral (surprise, the boys were fascinated).

Arundel and Bodiam castles are along the south coast.

Also for train lovers (#2 nephew) is the Hythe, Romney and Dymchurch railroad (not sure I have the names in the right order). There is a miniature train which one can take for a short ride. At one end there is a toy train museum with a huge set up of trains and country side. the trains are running and it was fascinating to watch them go through their routes, especially where routes crossed and one train would have to stop for another.

When we had the rental car, we stopped at a grocery and stocked up on Bread, cheese, peanutbutter, jelly, juiceboxes, fruit, biscuits (cookies) and paper goods so we could stop when anyone got hungry and make a quick lunch or supper. also picked up a ball for the boys to kick around in parks or grassy stopping areas. We also ate in pubs and restaurants, but it was great to have the makings of a picnic when hunger struck out in the middle of nowhere.

Hope you have as wonderful a trip as we did.
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