24 hours in London with little ones
24 hours in London with little ones: In March we visited London for our monthly weekend away. If you are regular readers of Mudpie Fridays you will know that I am trying to make sure we get away once a month. So far we have visited Cambridge and Warwick. Working in London it wasn’t really the top of my list but since we were approached by Travelodge to stay in one of their hotels, I figured why not? Currently they have a number of ideas for Family Breaks in the UK on their website with some great destinations and ideas for things to get up to. Just what I need since I still have another nine to plan for this year!
Anyway back to London, I am so glad we did visit last weekend as we had a great time. The experience has left me wondering why we haven’t done it before and secondly we are going to make a conscious effort to visit more often. To become tourists in our own city. We decided to stay in the Travelodge London Excel as it meant that we could drive in and not need to worry about lugging everything on the train. I have still not managed to prefect the art of packing light!
Morning & Lunchtime: Having stopped in the hotel for a coffee and milk stop we decided to walk 5 minutes to the DLR station Prince Albert. I was a little worried about taking a buggy on, but since the DLR has plenty of lifts and we had our Baby Jogger City Stroller it was a breeze. The weather was glorious so we decided to make the most of it and test out the view from the cable car ‘The Emirates Air Line’ which is a couple of stopsMonkey was ridiculously excited by it, and I was pleased to find out that the journey time is extended during the day to ten minutes each way. Instead of the usual five for commuters. We went round once but to be honest I think we probably could have stayed on twice if we wanted.
The cars leave every few seconds in a continuous stream, being that we had a buggy we waited until there was a completely empty car. Which was a bonus as it meant we had one to ourselves so we could move around and take in the views.
Afterwards we decided to stop for a bite to eat. We had brought a picnic and sat on the benches in the sun. Although there were a number of pigeons what wanted to join us! It makes a change for me to be that organised, if you aren’t then there are a couple of restaurants and a small supermarket near the entrance to the cable car.
Things you need to know:
- Opening Times: The cable car opens at 7am Monday-Friday, 8am Saturday and 9am Sunday. It closes at 8pm during the winter months (October to March) and at 9pm during the Summer Months (April to September).
- Prices: We got a discount because we had brought travel cards which meant a return trip cost £8.40 each, Monkey was free because he was under the age of 5. More info on prices can be found here.
- Address: 27 Western Gateway, London, E16 4FA
Afternoon: Since the weather was still glorious we hopped back on the DLR and headed towards the Olympic Park. I have always wanted to visit as I was pregnant with Monkey when we hosted the Olympic Games. Right next to Stratford station the park is a short walk through Westfields. Our first stop was one of the play areas, it was a little different to others we have visited as there was a lot of concrete and not much grass in the actual play area. That didn’t stop Monkey having fun. The park is so huge we thought that it was the main play area. Turns out there is another one but we didn’t quite make it that far.
Instead since Hubby is a West Ham fan we decided to go and look at the stadium and more specifically the shop. They were running a promotion which meant that if you brought a shirt then you could have a name and number put on for free. Which we did – three times over! It did take quite some time, thankfully there was also a cafe to wait in…
After we walked around the park area, taking in the sun and playing on whatever we could find. There was a number of large sun beds which were especially appealing. There is also an attraction called Arcelormittal Orbit – the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide and the UK’s highest freefall abseil. It looks like great fun, although Monkeys is about twenty centimetres too short, probably just as well as I am not sure my nerves are up for it.
There is so much to do, I think you could easily spend a whole day there. We will definitely be back as I want to see the Olympic Rings.
Early Evening: Deciding to eat out we stopped in one of the restaurants in Westfields – The Cow. Its a busy pub downstairs but thankfully they have a quieter room upstairs which is perfect for eating with children. In fact there were a number of families doing the same. The children’s menu isn’t bad and they had a good choice for adults. It came out hot, and the staff were friendly and accommodating. If you are thinking of visiting then you may want to book, as it filled up pretty quickly. The only thing I will say is that the wine is not cheap, but then its been a long time since I had had a drink in London so maybe £9.20 is the going rate for a large glass of Sauvignon now? If you want to check out the menu before visiting its available on their website.
After eating we just jumped back on the DLR and got back to the hotel quickly and easily. Our stay in the Travelodge Excel was perfect, ideal for a little family break. You know what you are going to get with a brand such as Travelodge, a clean modern room with comfortable beds and food on site if needed. We had their breakfast and it set us up perfectly for our Sunday adventure – Duck Tours!
If like me you are after some inspiration then do check out their Family Breaks web page for a great list of destinations and things to do at them. I know I will be since I am looking for inspiration for our April getaway.
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This is a collaborative post, our accomodation was paid for by Travelodge as ever all words and opinions are my own.
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