London with a 13-year old

Mar 7th, 2000, 10:43 AM
  #1  
Rita Weinberg
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London with a 13-year old

Would like suggestions on top London places to take a 13-year old boy. How about escorted day tours? Palaces/Castles? Best location to stay?
 
Mar 7th, 2000, 12:30 PM
  #2  
Lori
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I think it would depend a great deal on the 13 yr. olds interests what places you'll take him too. I would think The Tower would be a good bet, also perhaps the new London Eye. I can't imagine any 13 yr old being thrilled to death with an all day escorted tour, but you can take a train ( 1 l/2 hrs) from Marylebone Station to Warwick Castle - it's a great one for visiting! Most of what you plan will depend on his interests, so get him involved now in planning. If he plans it there is a lot less opportunity for griping later on that it was 'boring', 'dull', etc. As for places to stay - London is full of them, it depends on your budget really. Everything is pretty close via the Underground.
 
Mar 7th, 2000, 01:37 PM
  #3  
elvira
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Rita, if you do a search on this forum
london children you'll find a cornucopia of info (I've copied some of them for us, grownups with child-like mentality....)
 
Mar 7th, 2000, 04:59 PM
  #4  
Michele
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Rita: I'm planning a trip there this summer with my 12 yo daughter. She liked the description of Madame Tussaud's and the ride afterwards, the Tower (and all the gory details about those beheaded there), riding on a double-decker bus, a cruise along the Thames, a theatre show, the Globe, the palaces, the Natural History Museum...she was much less interested in the churches and the portrait museum.

I have heard that the London Dungeon is quite the tourist trap. You might consider a spin on the London Eye.
 
Mar 8th, 2000, 04:30 AM
  #5  
Mary
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We were in London with our 12 yr. old daughter. I suppose you'd have to know the individual child but the Tower is a safe bet (get there early to avoid the huge crowds). We went to the British museum to see the Elgin Marbles and let her select what else to see and when to leave. The wax museum was a hit, but as one of the other posters pointed out, she couldn't fully appreciate the majesty and history of Westminster Abbey. Maybe next time. We didn't even try an art museum. Our goal was to get her appetite whetted for travel and to begin to see the world. Coming from a small southern town, she loved looking at the "freaks" at Piccadilly Circus.
 
Mar 8th, 2000, 04:51 PM
  #6  
Barbara
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Rita, I suggest The Imperial War Museum. Boys would love the "trenches" of WWI and "going to the Bomb shelter" for WWII. The maze at Hampton Court might be a big hit and it is very easy to get to on the train from Waterloo station. Not living in a city with a subway system my son just enjoyed riding the tubes, especially when he was in-charge of the maps and navigation.
 
Mar 9th, 2000, 07:06 AM
  #7  
Ann
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Rita, I think a good plan is to give him a book with loads of photos, and ask him to come up with his own suggestions. I did this with my 16 year old daughter. She had a few "musts" for herself, and blended with what my husband and I wanted to see at other times. Her #1 turned out to be a tour and performance at the Globe Theater (all those English courses paid off!!!). She went to the London Dungeon with a local friend's son
so we were spared. She agreed that it was a rip-off, and they then spent a few hours in Harrod's. This was her most favorite spot of all (remember...16 year old female) and our friend's son had never been there in his life (takes having visitors to your own home town to get you to see the local sights, right?).

You might get a copy of "London for Families" by Larry Lain. I found it very helpfull and filled with usefull, practical information.

Most of all, let your son feel like he has some control over what you do, even if it's just a few of many things. Have a great time.
 
Mar 9th, 2000, 07:32 AM
  #8  
Patrick
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Just one bit of unsolicited advise about riding the underground --nearly everybody seems to have one case of getting separated, usually because they are not ready to push their way on or jump back when the doors start to close. If you get separated, the plan is always for the person who got on the train to go to the very next stop, get off and wait there. I have heard stories of people who circled back and kept missing each other for hours. I don't mean to frighten you, the tube is really easy, but best to have a plan first!!!
 
Mar 9th, 2000, 09:29 AM
  #9  
Bill Irving
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Good idea about the tube. Also, we went to London with our 11 & 7 yr old sons. When we went somewhere on the tube, I let my older son plan the route on the tube & to look for the tube stations. In this way, he had no prbolems in using the tube to find the tube station & how to get back to the hotel on his own, if need be. The kids really like the Rock Circus - a wax museum dealing with the history of Rock & Roll, also contains listening posts for many CD recordings of the musicians. The also liked going to the top of St. Pauls Cathedral. Taking a boat trip on the Thames to Greenwich & going up to & touring the Old Royal Observatory. The various different types of food, icluding English food always interested the boys. Enjoyed the Tower of London & a day trip to Bath. I know they would enjoy Warwick Castle, & to get away from London for a day, a trip (tour) to Dover Castle would delite a 13 yr old.
 
Mar 9th, 2000, 06:03 PM
  #10  
Yitz
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Hi,
You may want to look at Apartment Hotels
try these web sites
www.London4Rent.com
www.vacationspot.com
 
Mar 11th, 2000, 02:58 PM
  #11  
Linde
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We took our 13 year old grandson to London over the Thanksgiving holiday and he loved it. His 2 favorite things were riding the Tube and seeing the musical "Starlight Express"(awesome).He really enjoyed being our navigator on the Tube.I think he was bored at the British Museum. He liked the Natural History Museum better.
 
Mar 11th, 2000, 09:00 PM
  #12  
anna
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Even if he doesn't want to see it, show the kid the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. He will eventually be glad he saw them. Standing on the Prime Meridian was a thrill for our teen, as was watching the tower bridge open up (check at the bridge for schedules), Listening to the yeoman warder tour at the tower, the Crown Jewels, riding the Tube, buskers in Covent Garden, Hambley's toy store, and the London Transport Museum (cool tube train driving simulator). You might try to pop in for a brief look at Parliament. Our kids weren't impressed at the time but they remember it fondly whenever they see it on the evening news. The guidebooks all talk about long lines and needing to get there early and wait, but we were there just after Westminster Abbey closed on a Wednesday night and walked right in.
 
Mar 11th, 2000, 09:09 PM
  #13  
Ben Haines
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You've had much excellent advice, especially that of using a book and travel materials to let the lad choose his own ideas. If he'd like advice from London tailored to his tastes would you or he please answer what he chooses of a rather long questionnaire hat I am sending you with the e-mail version of this note ?

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London
 
Mar 13th, 2000, 08:16 AM
  #14  
David White
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Rita,

Much of what you've received from this posting is good advice. I've been to London numerous times with my two kids (son age 12, daughter 16), so I have some first hand expertise on the subject.Why not take a look at my website:

www.KidsToLondon.com

then email me if you have specific questions.
 
Dec 27th, 2000, 02:15 PM
  #15  
Topper
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To the top for Deborah.
 
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