London with 4 year old - trip report

Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 05:04 AM
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London with 4 year old - trip report

Hi, just came back from 3 days in London with husband and our four year old daughter and thought others might find our trip report useful.

I had booked the Harlingford Hotel, based on the reviews on Tripadvisor and the hotelís own web-site... well, we got a very depressing triple room under the roof, with the smallest bathroom ever seen. But we unpacked and went out to look at the city and especially the Disney Store in Covent Garden, which my daughter had looked very much forward to (we donít have a Disney Store in Copenhagen, where we live).
After having spent some money on various Disney items we had a smoothie and an sandwich and went for a walk in Covent Garden, Soho and areas around, looking at people and artists perform-ing in Covent Garden. At about 19:00 we went to Wagamama for dinner. This is a very kid friendly restaurant - they have a special kids menu and provide kid friendly chopsticks, and most important - the food is good and comes very fast!

After dinner our daughter was very tired so we went back to the hotel. She fell asleep immediately, but I and husband were unable to sleep. The walls were paper thin, the room cold and depress-ing... and lots of noise from other rooms. At half past midnight we had had enough, called the re-ception and asked if it was okay for us to check out next morning, called the Royal Horseguards Hotel and booked a room... and finally got a few hours of sleep.

Next morning we packed our suitcases, had breakfast and went to RHG. I feel that I should men-tion that the staff at Harlingford was very helpful and friendly and made absolutely no fuss about us leaving before time.
The room at RGH wouldnít be ready untill 14:00, so we went to Trafalgar Square to pat the lions, and then to Hamleyís - another highlight! After making a tough decision between a doll and a teddy bear (teddy won!), we went for a coffee and a muffin at a nearby cafe, and then went to Natural History Museum. Huge success! The museum itself is beautiful, and the dinosaurs scary but amaz-ing! We liked them and the blue whale best. After having looked at the animals, rocks and bones for an hour or so, daughter was very tired and fell asleep in the pushchair while we walked towards Harrods. We found a small pavement cafe behind Harrods, our daughter slept while dad sat out-side with a glass of wine and mum went to stock up on her favorite Jo Malone perfume! At 13:45, we took a cab to RHG, where we found a beautiful room waiting for us. We simply couldnít believe our luck - spacious, two french windows overlooking the Thames and London Eye, huge bathroom with tub and all the amenities - safetybox, minibar in which to stock our own drinks and so on... and we got it for nearly the same rate as the triple at Harlingford!
Mum went to nearby coffee shop and bought sandwiches, muffins, coffee and juice for everyone and we spent the next three hours in our room, admiring the view, playing memory games, draw-ing, reading and relaxing. After having gained our strength we went out at about 18:00 and decided that we wanted to try the London Eye. Good decision - no waiting in line at this time of day.
After the amazing tour we went to nearby playground and then had dinner at Hamburger Union in Covent Garden. Mum not the burger type, but these burgers are great! After dinner we went back to hotel, read a chapter of Paddington and fell asleep...

Next morning we had great breakfast and took the tube to Portobello Road, where we spent a cou-ple of hours looking at all the stalls. After that, we took a walk to Kensington gardens, and the Prin-cess Diana Memorial Playground. In my opinion, it would be a shame to go to London with children and not visit this playground. It is simply fantastic. A big pirate ship in a sea of sand, tipis, swings and lots of other things... and it is all beautiful, not a primary color in sight! it is the best playgrpund, I have ever seen.
After having played here for a couple of hours we took the tube back to the hotel, where dad and daughter relaxed while mum had an hour of shopping in Covent Garden...
For dinner we went over the bridge to Royal festival Hall and the Giraffe restaurant - a very kid friendly place, food was good and came fast!

Next morning we packed our suitcases, had a huge English breakfast and checked out, went for a short walk by the Thames and our daughter got half an hour at the playground before we took a cab to the airport. We all agreed that we had had a great time here and canít wait to go back.

No problem being in London with a four year old, lots of things to see and do - just remember cray-ons and a coloring book for restaurants!

I love London and since my teens I have come here at least once a year to shop and pick up new trends and just the atmosphere in this wonderful city. Husband and I are both food lovers and usu-ally do a lot of restaurant research and booking, but this time we had to be more ďfamilyĒ minded. We both agreed that this London trip with our daughter was the best we have ever had... Mum didnít get to the Orla Kiely shop, but it really didnít matter...

katrine is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 06:08 AM
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Nice report Katrine. These are the things we do with our children in London. Near the London Eye is also the Aquarium, that the kids like. Now that they are a bit older they don't mind shopping with mum, so I get to do my shopping as well! And Wagamama is one of their favorite restaurants.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 06:27 AM
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good trip report. Like many things in life, your sucessful trip to London with a young child seems to be a mix of good planning and good luck (plus, it would seem a "good kid" too).

The Diana Memorial playground would be one of my favorite places to visit in London too if I were young enough to gain admission!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Sounds like it was great. Might be fun to take a trip with a 4 year old, you get a totally different perspective of the world!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 05:31 PM
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Katrine, I enjoyed reading your report. My husband and I are taking our children to London next Spring for 8 nights. They are 3 and 5. I am glad you had a wonderful time. Thanks for the suggestions, I took some mental notes.
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