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London with tweens

I am traveling with my sister and 12 yr. old twin girls to London in March. My daughters have never been and I would like recommendations for places to visit. We will be there for 6 days. Also any day trip suggestions would be great

Posted by
6343 posts

Don't know the status following the recent fire but Camden Market was always fun
Have they experienced museums? The British Museum with all the Egyptian stuff is intriguing. Same with the Tower of London. U could take them on the Jack the Ripper walk via London Walks. What do they know about London or England?
Stonehenge. Windsor. Oxford. Bath. Day trips. Seriously, it ALL depends on what you want the tweeners to experience. Ask them.

Posted by
3428 posts

Your girls will LOVE London if they are anything like our kids. We started them travling to Eruope when they were about that age. Definitely do the Tower of London. It can easily take 1/2 a day!!! The Beefeaters tell great stories as they recount the history and all ages enjoy it. And Windsor Castle is one of our favorites- only a 20 min. train ride away. The town of Windsor is also really nice. Do Windsor on the day you have theatre tickets-- I'd encourage you to consider Mama Mia. Canturbury is a relatively short train ride (1-1&1/2 hrs) away. It is something they really might enjoy too. Kew Gardens is wonderful and the girls would enjoy it. Though it is large, they have trams that you can ride. It would be a nice change from museums and castles, one day. Covent Garden Market is a great place to shop, window shop and people watch. It is different each day, with different merchants at the stalls and a different focus for the merchandise. Camden is Funky, but ok.

Posted by
54 posts

Hi Jean,
I'd do a day trip to Paris. Take the eurostar train from St Pancras early in the morning - (you can be in Paris by 10am if you take the 6:30), do Rick's historic walk, go up the eiffel tower, and an evening boat ride on the Seine. Then take a late train back to London. Buy the eurotrain tickets ASAP as prices go up as the date approaches. Kids get a discounted ticket. The girls will love Paris. Have fun!

Posted by
2658 posts

At the age of your girls I would take them to see The Lion King instead of Mama Mia. They would enjoy it much, much more. The customes are fantastic. Also, if they read the Harry Potter books, take them to Kings Cross so they can see the sign 9 3/4 for the platform in the books, you could take their pictures standing there.

Posted by
11832 posts

For Harry Potter fans, Christ Church at Oxford has some familiar sites.

If they like Alice in Wonderland, the original manuscript is in the Treasures room at the British Library.

There are so many great plays, you really should see at least one.

There really is so much to see. Ask you sister what they enjoy, then let us know. We can give you some more ideas.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the great ideas. We know we are going to hit the main attractions. Does anyone know if it is hard to see the China Terracota Exhibit at the British Museum? Do you have to stand in line long for the tickets

Posted by
1304 posts

Last week a friend started queuing at 9 for the Terracotta Exhibition, got to the front of the queue at 11.30 and was offered tickets for 10.30 that evening. In his opinion it's going to get worse from now on, and the only way to have a chance of getting a daytime ticket is to get there at 7!

Alan

PS Brighton - 50 minutes from Victoria - is a good day trip. A pier with rides / fair stalls plus the Pavilion, possibly Britain's weirdest historical building. A nice picture here

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41440000/jpg/_41440167_a_brighton_pavilion.jpg

Posted by
30 posts

Wife, 10 year old daughter and I loved the tour of The National Theatre. (Situated near The London Eye)

Go behind the scenes of the 3 stages and see the workshops.

90 minute tour (max 10 per group)at a very reasonable cost: You can get a family ticket for £13 (2 adults and 2 children)

We saw Simon Russel Beale having coaching lessons!!

Best book ahead though.

http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/Backstage%20Tours+18.twl

Gary

Posted by
805 posts

A good thing for kids (or adults) of all ages in the London Eye (http://www.londoneye.com/) which gives you a 30-minute ferris-wheel overview of the city. Since London has a low height restriction on most buildings, you can really get a great look. It is worth booking ahead as it does sell out.

Posted by
32 posts

Jean...

I'll piggy-back Claudia's suggestion about the Jack the Ripper walk. My wife and I spent some time in London in May 2006. She had been before and joined a paid, guided Ripper walk. Apparently, you don't actually see the real sights - just places that would've looked like Ripper sights in 1888. We found a self-guided Ripper walk (I bought it for 2 pounds at the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street) and we did the walk the following day. It took about 4 hours once we took the Tube to the starting point, but it as well worth it - you end up across the street from the London Hospital. The book walks you through every site - literally step-by-step - and has great explanations during the tour.

Whatever you do, AVOID THE LONDON DUNGEON. It was was worst waist of money and time I've EVER experienced on a vacation. It's marketed as a something that it's not.

Posted by
11 posts

My daughters are similar ages...if I took them to London they'd definitely want to shop (or more accurately put they'd browse, the Pound owns the American Monopoly-money dollar)! That said, I'd take them for sure to Harrods and probably also Harvey Nic's. I think they'd be jazzed by Oxford Street too. I'd also suggest Covent Garden also.

Definitely the London Eye. Also I would also want them to see the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms and be aware how lucky the world was that Churchill was there to help destroy Hitler.

Fun and less expensive restaurants: Yo!Sushi and Wagamama noodle restaurants, both with multiple locations.

Finally, the girls would enjoy afternoon tea. I haven't done that myself while in London but Rick has several recommendations in his London guide.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
11 posts

Take a stroll through the "grocery" in Selfridges. We had some fun "yuck" moments looking at some of the items for sale. Couldn't imagine eating some of that stuff but it was entertaining to browse. Then head to the gelato counter. Good stuff!

Posted by
261 posts

Check out the "Ceremony of the keys" at the Tower of London. You have to request tickets in advance, but you and about 50 other people get to watch them lock up the tower at 9:30 at night. My kids thought it was best thing we saw in London.

Also,watch travel videos with you rkids before you go. Let them tell you what looks interesting.