As part of the run up to the Olympics I wanted to be part of all the excitement by taking a trip into London to see the giant Olympic rings, that have been suspended from one of London's most stunning pieces of architecture (one of my favourites), Tower Bridge.
We were also very kindly offered a review from www.superbreak.com so to tie in with our trip into London we picked some tickets to the London Dungeons. The review will follow in the next few days so keep your eyes peeled for that as it is a fab attraction.
I home school my 12 yr old so any day trips we take I like to incorporate some learning. I decided to include some study about Bloody Mary, The Great fire of London, The plague and to show her The Chambers in City Hall. I downloaded lots of free teaching resources that are available online.
I have included a map detailing our walk and places of interest along the way.
1. We start our walk at Tower Hill. Across the road from the station is The Tower of London. There are public toilets here but they do charge 50p - there is a change machine. The lavs are very clean & there is a loo attendant.
We decided to get our lunch out and take tea at the Tower. At this point you could skip the walk and 'Lose your head' by spending the day exploring the mysterious Tower. Last week there was a special ceremony at the Tower as all 4700 of the Gold Olympic medals have been locked in the Tower vaults until the Games start of Friday. If its good enough for the Queen, then ts good enough for the athlete's.
Entrance to HRP the Tower of London
Adult - £20.90, Child - £10.45, Family Ticket (2 adults & 6 kids) - £55.00
Pop over to their website because they provide further information about special offers and free exhibitions etc, plus if you book online its cheaper.
2 - If like us, you skip The Tower then, You continue your walk along the river which is full of great photo opportunities and some lovely spots to take a seat and enjoy the view (Shown on the map by red stars). Number 2 on the map is St Katherine's Dock - The site of the docks has over a 1000 years of dramatic history and is a really nice spot to wander around.
3. Climb the steps and make your way up to Tower Bridge. As you cross the bridge take in the glorious views of London and The Thames and enjoy the stunning architecture of the this magnificent bridge.
4. Once you reach the other side of the bridge, make your way down the steps to the footpath that runs along the river. This is Potters Field Park and it is another nice spot to sit and get your flask of tea out before making your way in to City Hall. This s also the best spot to get a good photo of the Olympic rings on Tower Bridge.
Once inside City Hall make your way up the unique winding path up to the 2nd floor where you will find The Mayor of London's Chambers and an exhibition of photos from the last time the Olympics was hosted in London back in 1948. This is a lovely modern building with a really nice view of The Thames. There are also some toilets on the 2nd floor.
5. Continue along the river until you reach HMS Belfast. You can admire this WW2 warship from the Quayside or board and discover what it was like to live and work on board a warship.
Entrance to HMS Belfast: adults £14.00, Child (under 16) Free.
6. Either continue following the map to the London Dungeons or carry on to London Bridge. We visited The Dungeons and thoroughly enjoyed it.
7. After the Dungeons we were a little peckish, it was raining so we looked for shelter to enjoy our flask of tea and packet of rich tea. There is a great spot just past HMS Belfast (marked by a star). Here you can make your way to The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. The view from The Shard is available to the public from Feb 2013.
8. After our tea we made our way to London Bridge, which we crossed and enjoying the views of The Thames and St Paul's in the background.
9. Lastly we visited Monument and admired Christopher Wrens flame topped reminder of The Great Fire of London of 1666. If you are brave enough you can climb the 311 steps to what was once the highest viewpoint in London.
Entrance to climb Monument: Adults £3.00, Child: £1.50
You don't need to spend a fortune to have a nice day out with the kids in London, you can avoid the attractions and still have a great day. Just pack some sarnies & a flask of tea. I'm lucky that I live very close to the city and I love spending the day down there, just walking around, taking in the sights as I remember my childhood and my days of swinging off the back of the old routemaster buses. The atmosphere is buzzing at the moment because of the Olympics and its fab!