My 8 year old nephew in visiting London for the first time. Having no kids myself, would you have any ideas about activities that may interest him? He only speaks French so I have only planned a visit to the Natural History museum and the aquarium for the moment but what else could keep him entertertained for 4 whole days?
Tower Bridge is a thrill in any language! And you can get a combined ticket to visit the Monument at the same time. Also The Tower of London has some great stuff - cannon, ravens, armour, crown jewels etc. At More London there's the fountains that all the kids enjoy running through. Or Southwark Park is pretty nice and it has a good kids' playpark. And on the Southbank is a carousel and lots of mime artists, etc. Don't have children so don't know about the practicalities of it all!
Hi Connie - these people are based near Tower Bridge and do French speaking guided walks in SE1 and across the river to the Tower and St Pauls www.o-toursdelondres.fr - if you call they speak English too! 07505 330 821. Not sure how they cater for 8 year olds though.
Otherwise there might be some productions at the Unicorn Theatre that aren't spoken word? Worth calling them. Pirates at The Golden Hinde might also be of iterest to him?
How about the new cable car in Greenwich? London Zoo? London Dungeon? Tour of a football ground if he's in to football? Trip up the river on a Thames Clipper?
Or - fail safe - take a trip out to Legoland in Windsor. Perhaps not the cultural London experience you were thinking of though?!
I would avoid anywhere where you have to queue for admission. This time of year it's unbearable.
'Touristy' places like Madame Tousauds, The Planetarium etc., as amazing as they are, could be a nightmare.
Some good suggestions from the above members. Stick to the open air 'sightseeing,' (weather permitting.) London is a beautiful, magnificent capital. The Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey etc., are all amazing sights to behold from the outside, without queuing for ages to get in. How about watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, followed by a picnic in St Jame's Park and a stroll through the Horseguards?
I was lucky enough to be born in London and my childhood memories of being taken by my parents to all the wonderful sights it has to offer remain with me all these years later.
If the weather permits: Peter Pan playground is free and in Hyde Park nr Lancaster Gate; pedalo or Lido in Serpentine too; open top buses are a good way to see London; the Scoop are playing films too in September I think - check out listings [great atmosphere/experience]; Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green is good too ... have fun!
I'd go for the zoo as The Dentist suggests. I'm not sure about the Dungeon though. People tell me they enjoyed it even when they found it hard to understand but I think there's such a lot of dialogue it would be wasted.
Go on the new cable car! It's cheap (£3.20 on your oyster card, and that's the adult fare) and it's really good. Jubilee line to North Greenwich and then DLR back. Try to be at the front of the DLR. I know I'd have been excited at 8 years old to be on a train with no driver. I still am.
For the aquarium or any other merlin place, there are 2 for 1 vouchers on loads of Tesco products that are under £1. The adult ticket is the one you'll have to pay for.
We've recently done The Bank of England museum, (it's free and more interesting than it sounds) DLR to customs house then the Emirates sky lift across the river to the Dome (you can book to walk over the top of the Dome) followed by the KPMG fast boat back to Bankside. Guaranteed exhaustion of for kids and adults.