lesser-known London

Apr 19th, 2003, 08:46 PM
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lesser-known London

My family and I are headed to London for our 6th time in May (and our first time since 9/11 -- our kids are very excited. They apparently thought we wouldn't ever be able to travel again after that horrible day.)
Anyway -- we have a list of favorites we're planning on re-visiting, but I'd like your suggestions for lesser-known attractions.
As qualifiers -- our children are 9 and 10; we've done almost all the big, typical tourist things; love history; and love London's parks.
annettetx is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 01:01 AM
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Have you been to the London Zoo? Also, I remember rowing on the Serpentine in (I believe) Hyde Park when I was there years ago with my family. Have you seen The Mousetrap play?
KathrynT is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 01:41 AM
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I am surprised how many do not include the Geoffrey Museum. Have you been to Kew Gardens? Possibly the Tates have changed since your last visit and there is the London Eye of course.
Alexandra Palace? Finsbury Park? [the park; not the underground station!]
davidx is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 03:03 AM
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River tow paths near Richmond - walk down to Ham House (National Trust property) get the small boat across to Twickenham side and see Marble Hill House, or keep walking all the way down to Kingston. Plus Richmond Park (London's biggest park)- perhaps take the kids horse riding from one of the two riding stables at Roehampton and Stag Lodge - Mid-week the Park is quiet. Also Isabella Plantation in middle of park should be spectacular colour at that time - with hundreds of rhododendrons.
Travelnick is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 03:49 AM
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They're probably old enough to enjoy Sir John Soane's home, turned into a museum. If they enjoy history (particularly antiquities) and understand that this was the man's actual home, they'll get a big kick out of it. Don't miss the Egyptian sarcophagus in the basement, he outbid the British Museum for it. www.soane.org

Even if you've been to the Cabinet War Rooms before, it's worth another trip -- they've added rooms in the past two years, and your kids have aged enough to enjoy this (and many other places) in a whole new level.

My kids enjoyed both ot he above places all teh more because they were "real," not originally built as museums. And if you haven't been to the Museum of London yet, be sure to put that on your list.

Are you planning any trips out of the city this time? If so, Warwick Castle would be at the top of my recommendations.
Anonymous is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 04:56 AM
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Have u been to Greenwich? Also why not get out of London, esp if you have been there 5 times before! Go north - see York - wonderful York Minster, train museum, Viking museum and some gt countryside round about. A side trip to Whitby perhaps. Or go even further north and check out Durham and Northumberland. Or go west to Dorset/Somerset. Or Wales.

I've nowt against London (lived there for a while) but England is really somewhere else. (Wales, of course, is not England!!). Just trying to say - it's only a small island but so much else to see.
alice13 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 05:01 AM
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Another lesser known private home to visit is Leighton House. Here's a website that describes it and some other places nearby like the natural history museum and the science museum


Have you been to the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street?

If you like history, you might want to have a look at this website

Finally, you might want to do a text search here for london AND kids. I believe there have been some good previous threads.
mclaurie is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 05:37 AM
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Hampstead Heath?
The village is lovely and the park is huge and the view of London is amazing.
A boat up the Thames to Hampton Court. The narrative of the homes on the islands that you pass along the way is interesting and it is fun to go by boat and come back on the train. Be sure to let the children get lost in the maze
Go to a flea market, like Bermondsey, the kids might like the treasure hunt.
Scarlett is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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Having been to london A few times myself,when I need a new idea for something to do I always fall back on a London Walks Tour.You can go on one in London itself,or try one of their Explorer day, out of London trips.
Heres a link.
Lovejoy is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 02:23 PM
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How about:

Mudchute Park and farm on the Isle of Dogs?

the foot tunnel from Island Gardens to Greenwich?

Dulwich Picture Gallery - the oldest public picture gallery in the country?

Wallace Collection for the armor?

Little Venice for the canal boats?

the London Canal Museum?

Florence Nightingale Museum?

Museum of Garden History (Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty buried there)?

Brunel Engine House (limited opening) - Brunel was the engineer for the first underwater tunnels in the world?

A session at the Old Bailey?

The Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House?

I wouldn't go to London without my Michelin.

Lucky kids.

jsmith is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 08:10 PM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions! You all made me feel like a great traveller, since we've done a lot of them already. We actually lived in Twickenham for 8 weeks during one of our visits, so we've explored Ham House, Marble Hill House, and Hampton Court Palace extensively. (Ham House is one of my favorites -- I'll never forget the garden fully abloom with lavender in the middle of the summer!)We never did make it to Richmond Park, though, so I'll add that to my list. (I'm already planning on seeking out the old gates to Richmond Palace while we're there.)
Anon-- I had heard about the addition to the Cabinet War Rooms, and wondered if it was enough of an addition to warrant a second visit. Thanks for the advice!
We are getting out of the city this time around -- taking the overnight train to Inverness and then driving back to London via Edinburgh, Hadrian's Wall, and York.
We all absolutely love poking around the markets -- haven't been to Bermondsey before. Don't you have to get there REALLY early?
I hadn't heard at all about the Brunel Engine House. Wasn't he one of the Top Ten Britons on BBC recently?
We don't leave for 3 more weeks, so I'm still eager for suggestions!
annettetx is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 08:50 AM
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I've read Bermondsey Market opens at 4 or 5 am on Fridays (2 different websites) and is mostly finished by noon. There was a quote that by 9am, when the tourists arrive, the bargains are gone
mclaurie is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 09:25 AM
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We arrive on a Thursday. Hopefully, we'll conquer jet lag enough that we won't be awake at 4 a.m. on Friday morning!
annettetx is offline  
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