A Day Out in the Big City

I want to impress upon my son the significant of London because it’s the capital city and it’s where both his parents are from. London offers so much; history, culture, politics. It’s vibrant, busy, exciting. It can be overwhelming, confusing, too crowded but if your familiar with the city it’s less so. My Dad lives in London which gives us easy access to the centre.

We used to rush through central London, tube travel with a push chair is less a negotiation more of a frustrating challenge. My mum’s illness meant spending time at home with her.

We no longer have a push chair. The tube is very exciting to my 4 year old. Londoners walk fast, we take the scooter and match them, nipping through the crowds in busy tunnels. The scooter neatly separates into two pieces and isn’t in the way once we are packed sardine style in the carriage.

From a mother’s perspective

This half term my aim was to give my son good view of the city. Show him London. As a child I was taken on day trips to all the London sights. I remember a long day at Westminster Abbey. I never had a Bus Tour, they’re for tourists. Noo is a tourist. An open top bus tour gave him a good view and a grand tour of the major sights at a speed that suited the concentration span of a 4 year old. I relished seeing my city from the fairly cold comfort of a bus whilst listening to the details of it’s history. I now know where Joan Collins lives (not sure if Joan would appreciate that), how many guards indicate if the Queen is at home (two) and where gallows stood for 500 years (Marble Arch if your interested in the history of hangings).

One small boy’s view of London

At Tower Hill we took a boat back up river (thrown in with the price of the bus and under fives went free) and spent the final part of the day on the South Bank enjoying the street performers and a carousel.

I imagine that as I write this Noo is at school telling his teacher about the thing that impressed him most. Not Buckingham Palace or Big Ben but about an actual ‘talking cat’ on the South Bank.

We finished the day with a turn on the London Eye. It’s a wonderful experience being slowly lifted above the river, above the buildings until all London is laid out like a pop up map. A memorable day and yes, we spent a fortune, but it was worth it.

What’s your view of London?


  1. Perfecting Pru

    What a great day out! I did the bus tour a year or so ago and loved it. I found out more doing the tour than I would have done in the books. I still find that there is nothing nicer than wandering around town and taking in the sights.

  2. Older Mum (@Older_Mum)

    What a great day out for Noo – I’ll bet he loved the London Eye. I’ve been in London now for over a decade – it’s great in your 20’s and 30’s – but I’ve grown tired of it now and looking forward to moving away, but not too far, I always want to be able to pop back!

  3. Head in Book

    London is beautiful in that weather – looks like the perfect day for a trip & your photos are great.

    I got used to London in my twenties, visiting friends and on work trips, and became much more at home (though I’ve never lived there). Shamefully, we’ve yet to take the children – it’s a long way from home, and we have always been pushchair-strung since No1 arrived nearly 7yrs ago.

    We did consider going this half term, but chickened out – you’ve inspired me to make more of an effort soon though.

  4. sarwah2012

    I lived in London, and for the life of me, if you had not said in the title where it was, I would have thought, Wow I need to visit that place! Amazing as a tourist, you see it differently compared to when you live there. You just take it all for granted!

  5. Midlife Singlemum

    I’m looking forward to days out in London when we go next year and DD will be 4. My nephews used to love the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. They have special tours for under sixes and tickets that you have to get punched on the different buses and trains.

    1. helloitsgemma

      I think 4 is great age for London. Big enough to appreciate it. Lots of things are free for under 5s and if you can avoid the school holidays you get a much better experience. The amount of people and the queues are crazy.
      Thank for the great tip – I’ve added that to my list of places.

  6. I Heart Motherhood

    sounds fab, I love taking Isla up to London but we’ve not really done the sights as such yet, so I think it’s something we’ll do next summer. I remember taking my God son when he was about 3, 10 years ago and he loved sittingon the top deck of the bus. Funny how even what we think is mundane (the transport) is so exciting to them!

  7. Anya from Older Single Mum

    Ah, this makes my heart ache. I lived and worked in London a while ago and miss it. We did a similar day out during the Summer Hols and I learned heaps. My 7yo was more taken by the tube than anything and we have yet to do the Eye! Glad you had a good day out – there’s not too high a price to pay for that!

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