We did it on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Fall. The tour was hop-on, hop-off, so we did: we were able to see tons of sites in a short time and in between stops, we listened to a guided audio tour via headphones provided on the bus. It was really relaxing to sit in the sunshine on the top deck and listen along as we drove through the city.
More details and lots more pictures coming up…
We got off to see a few sites, but my favorite was St. Paul’s Cathedral; it’s massive and breath-takingly beautiful. Since it was a Sunday, the church wasn’t open for touring (they were holding services). Just a good reason to go back again to see the inside.
The tour package also included tickets for a boat cruise on the Thames, so we took the bus in one direction through the city (hopping on and off a few times), then cruised back on the river for a different perspective. Really, really cool.
From the water we saw Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, which I loved. The guide on the river tour was so funny, and in typical British humor referred to Shakespeare as a “reasonably well-known actor and writer whom you may have heard of”, which made me giggle and made the kids confused. (Doesn’t everyone know Shakespeare, Mom???)
We got off the bus for the final time as it got close to Kensington Park so we could check out the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. It was AMAZING. Pretty much everywhere we’ve gone so far, we find a playground (play to your audience!), and this was one of our favorites.
The playground is gated with a guard at the entrance, so only families with kids can come in, and children can’t get out without their parent. I love that because the playground is BIG — it would be impossible to see the whole thing from any one place, so knowing my kids were safely inside and couldn’t wander off, and that no one without children could get in, made me feel better about letting them run free.
The Diana playground is Peter Pan-themed, with a giant pirate ship, a mermaid lagoon water feature, and an Indian village.
It is beautifully done and my children absolutely loved it. There is also a snack bar and public bathrooms available, which means you could pretty much spend a whole afternoon there without needing anything.