Sunday, 17 April 2011

Family trip to London

Those of you who read my blog regularly might remember that back in October I made this 3D mini-book about how much I wanted to go to London for a short break:

We got to go at the end of March for 3 nights. We booked into a Travelodge, getting a good deal on an advance booking. We had booked to stay at the new Ealing hotel, due to open at the beginning of March, but they put back the opening - so they transferred us to London Southwark Travelodge for no extra cost. We were lucky - this one was much more central!

It also had a convenience store right next door, so we were able to pop and buy milk each morning to eat cereals in our room with the plastic bowls and spoons we'd taken - saved us some money!

Our first day we spent at London Zoo (ZSL), as we had a voucher for 2for1 entry because we travelled into London by train. I was excited to take my daughter there as she hadn't been to a zoo yet, but though she enjoyed certain animals (especially the tigers) she did spend a lot of the day chasing around the pigeons and asking to go in the playpark! Oh well, she had a good time I think!

Butterfly landed on hubby in this one:

The next day we went to do some sightseeing. First we went to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace, but it was super busy so we couldn't see much - I only managed to get this photo by being pushy and shoving my way through to the front for a minute:

After that we went to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey (from the outside - we couldn't afford to go in!)

And we had a yummy lunch in a Yates restaurant. We saved money on lunches and dinners for the week by getting hold of a TasteCard free trial - it's a card that allows you to get 50% off food or 2for1 meals in loads of different restaurants. You have to pay if you want to have the card for a year, but the month free trial was perfect for us for now! We also converted some Tesco clubcard vouchers (supermarket reward scheme) into restaurant vouchers so we used those for a couple of meals too.

And that afternoon we went to Hamleys toy store and spent almost two hours watching all the demos and playing with the toys!

We also had a short wander in Covent Garden - but by that time we were all getting very tired! (We were back in our hotel room by 8pm each night - utterly exhausted!)

The next day we spent all day at the Natural History Museum which was fantastic. None of us had ever been there, so me and hubby enjoyed it as much as little madam! She especially loved the dinosaurs, she kept asking to go back and see the roaring T-Rex again!

This was in another tastecard restaurant, GBK, where my daughter had her first strawberry milkshake - she was very excited about it:

And finally the train journey home:

We kept little one amused on the train with a sticker book and some sweeties. Otherwise she just want to run up and down the aisles!

It was a lovely, though very tiring, trip. I don't think we shall be going to London again for quite a while though so I enjoyed it! And I kept a diary for my daughter, sticking in bits of memorabilia and leaving space for photos, and she did a few drawings and stuck her stickers in too. So even when the memory fades she'll always have a record of it.

Sorry this was such a long post - though I assure you I could have added a lot more photos! I will make sure my next post is full of some crafty items I promise! x


alexa said...

Lovely to see your happy photos, and admiring your resourcefulness to ensure you all did as much as possible within a limited budget. I was sad to read that it costs to get into Westminster Abbey. That doesn't feel quite right, really...

S said...

Thanks for sharing; I enjoyed your photos very much.

Gez said...

Wow! Love your 3D card. How clever! Your photographs are super! What a happy time for you all :) Can't believe the Lego Buzz! must show my 10yr old!
Thanks for calling by my blog. Happy crafting. Gez.xx

Meghann said...

Looks like a fun trip! Wish I would've gotten to the Natural History Museum. Someday, I guess!

Rachel B said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip Jen and you are looking radiant in your pregnancy :)

Lizzie said...

Looks like a wonderful short break! We have been to London for a long weekend, twice now. The second time was last November.

We stayed at the YHA hostel in St.Paul's (it was the old choir school and a lovely building). They have family rooms now - we were lucky enough, this time round, to have a newly refurbished room, which was right up in the roof - a great room, with a fab view!
You might enjoy the posts I put on my blog:

London is definitely a place where you need to stay a few days, in order to really have time to enjoy it. The first time, we didn't plan it so well and went to Greenwich in the afternoon, after a busy morning - we were soooo tired that we didn't even get to the Park, let alone the Observatory; we made sure we planned it well this time. We also went to the London Aquarium on our first trip - that was great (they no longer have much in the ZSL aquarium - I think it may have all gone to the London Aquarium instead). It wasn't cheap to get in but, like you, we got some 2-for-1 vouchers and saved on one entry ticket.

Glad you had fun (so did we!).

Jess said...

"It was a lovely, though very tiring, trip. I don't think we shall be going to London again for quite a while though so I enjoyed it!"

London is a very tiring city, there's no doubt about that. That's why I tend to go to Covent Garden first, whenever I go to London. I don't want to find myself too tired to enjoy it. Last December, my mum and I booked into
serviced apartments in Covent Garden for a weekend and it felt like we'd had a week's holiday. It was always so busy and vibrant, you can't get a better atmosphere anywhere in London.

I haven't actually been to the Natural History Museum either. Should make an effort to get there as several people have told me it's well worth a visit.

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