london with my 6th grader

Old Jan 12th, 2001, 11:25 AM
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london with my 6th grader

going to london with my son on march 1st for 5 days - any suggestions for must sees for him. any advise on greenwich? we want to see the time museum there... also, any great books (historical fiction or novels) to wet his appetite?
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 12:21 PM
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Being british I,m not sure how old a sixth grader is but the most fun way to get to Greenwich is by boat from Westminster; get a guided trip with a commentary to tell you about all the places you pass en route; e.g. The Tower, Wapping Old Steps where they used to hang Pirates, etc. Lots of gory London history! Greenwich is great; as well as The Cutty Sark and the Naval Museum there's the Museum in The Observatory at the top of the hill, with the Meridian line and a Planitarium. Best free fun in London: take a bag of peanuts (in their shells) and go feed the sqirrels in the flower gardens, next to the Park Gates onto Blackheath. Some of them don't just take the peanuts from your hand, they even clib along your arm or up your leg to take a nut! Finally, if 6th grade is young enough there are donkey rides on the heath just outside the park gates; my grandma rode those donkeys as a girl at the start of the twentieth century and their descents are still there.
The market back down by the river has interesting shops - follow the signs, it's inside a close of buildings between the Cutty Sark and the Park.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 01:01 PM
Chemical X
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Me and my wife went to london in '97 for
a quick 5 day/3 nighter. 6th grader I think is about 12? Would probably enjoy
The Wax Museum (Madame Tousseud's?), the Tower of London (on the river, jewels, big ugly ravens in the courtyard), the Jack the Ripper walk (ask around), a river trip, St. James Cathedral (Diana & Charles got married there) and of course Westminster Abbey. Go to Trafalgar Square, thousands of pigeons. Try to see Phantom of Opera musical. Stay clear of museums, unless the child is interested. Go to Scotland Yard and Sherlock Holmes museum. Big Ben. No book info, but go to the library in preparation, you wont have to buy anything.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 01:21 PM
Beth Anderson
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London Walks does a great Greenwich trip. 5 pounds plus boat fare (Thames ride). I think I got a discount on the boat ride with them. It's about 2 & 1/2 hours long, very entertaining. I think a 6th grader would find the tour entertaining too.

Try "Longitude" by Dava Sobel. It's about 180 pages long, maybe read it first to see if he would enjoy it? I don't think it is too technical for a 6th grader. It's a story about the quest for Time - the Longitude race.


ps. He'll have lots of fun at the Royal Observatory! You can get a pic of him standing over the Meridian Line - one foot in the East, one in the West!
Old Jan 13th, 2001, 07:05 AM
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Hi Mimi - I'll be taking a 9 and 11 year old to London in March. I managed to get tix to Lion King and Mama Mia. We'll also be taking day trips to Hampton Court Palace and Warwick Castle.
Then we'll also be going for fish chips at Geals and North Sea Fish restaurants. We'll also take in the tourist sight in London and will be visiting the Science museum and the museum of natural history
Old Jan 13th, 2001, 10:16 AM
Ben Haines
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With the e mail vcopy of this message I am enclosing a note on London for a boy aged 12. Please write if I can help further. Welcome to London

Ben Haines
Old Jan 13th, 2001, 10:36 AM
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I disagree with the recommendation to avoid the museums. My boys were 14 and 11 when we went. They were not real keen on seeing the rosetta stone and the Elgin Marbles but they went and were so glad they did. It comes up frequently in their social studies classes. Other things the boys enjoyed were the transport museum, the Imperial war museum, riding the Tube (longest escalator in the system is at the Angel station--check it out). The Tower and Tower bridge. Have him read a biography of Henry VIII written at his level before going, for a start. My boys don't read much so most of my reading recommendations would be directed at girls.
Old Jan 22nd, 2001, 09:34 AM
David White
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If the weather is decent enough to take the boat, you son will probably enjoy this way of getting to Greenwich. The Docklands Light Railway is another good way to is an automated, above-ground commuter train that passes through Canary Wharf and eventually arrives right next to the Cutty Sark--a famous clipper ship drydocked at Greenwich.

The Nautical Museum at Greenwich is fun for kids--lot's of interactive exhibits. Your son will probably also get a kick out of visiting the old Royal Observatory where he can stand with one foot in the western hemisphere, and one in the east. The whole concept of the Prime Merridian...and Greenwich Mean Time...makes the Royal Observatory an interesting site.

In London, there are dozens of "must see" sights for 6th graders: Tower of London, Science Museum, Cabinet War Rooms, Changing of the Guards...just to mention a few. There are so many things for kids here that I've written a book called LET'S TAKE THE KIDS TO LONDON. I wrote it after taking my kids (now 13 and 17) to London many times. You can order it from:

Also, feel free to look at my website for more information:

Hope this is helpful.

Old Jan 27th, 2001, 08:14 PM
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A highlight of our trip to London two years ago with our sons (10 and 15) was the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. This is the traditional closing of the Tower by the guards and has been done (so they say) the same way every day for several hundred years. You need to get tickets which can be obtained by writing to the Queen's Guards. The information is on the Tower of London web site.

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