Tuesday we left home at 9am and headed to Osterley Park NT (post to follow) it was choice of Osterley, Hughenden or Ham House, in hindsight I wish I picked somewhere else. We mainly spent Tuesday driving, visiting and settling, we left Osterley at 2pm and headed to the Airbnb which took just over an hour, there was a lot of traffic heading into where we was going, but it all worked out fine with Ridley’s nap and finding the location and parking just opposite the house. The host was there to meet us and all was fine, it took us a while to unpack everything from the car (one of the worst bits right) we popped out to get used to our surroundings the kids were everywhere touching everything which we’re constantly like don’t touch that, don’t break that, Ridley stop pulling on those wires (safe wires before anyone worries) and Ridley please stop climbing onto the glass table! Tuesday night we didn’t get up too much we went for a walk around the neighbour and picked up a burger for dinner and then some supplies for the week from the local Sainsbury’s. The kids went to bed relatively easily and we watched TV and chilled, I was pretty knackered from the driving.
The next day was papas birthday 🎈 we’re always up early nowadays anyway which was lucky as our train was at 9am, we had breakfast and then left for the walk to the station, of which I was hoping Ridley would fall asleep on the way. I think we left a bit late so Rue actually sat in Ridley’s buggy to speed the walk up whilst Ridley was in the carrier. We decided to get the train as I wanted one day without having to drive 😉 and for the experience, might sound crazy two kids on rush hour train in London but it was no problem at all and we had to stand all the way for an hour with one change. Rue was as good as gold, the whole trip actually. He loved being on the train and wasn’t at all phased by the amount of people or lack of personal space. I think I was more unhappy about the lack of personal space whilst carrying Ridley which by the way knowone even blinked an eye at or tried to not stand on top of us, one kind young lad offered me his seat which I declined as its easier to stand whilst carrying but knowone else did. That’s one thing I did find in London there isn’t a lot of manners and I like to think I have manners and I’m trying to install good manners into the boys.
Kew was a short 5 minute walk from the train station to the front door, down a very to do street with lots of houses to nosey at! Once you get to Kew its almost instant that your into actual Kew, there isn’t a massive walk to the check in desk or anything like that. Also I was very impressed that there wasn’t any queuing at all! And that wasn’t because it was quiet, there was lots of people as we was walking down but the check in was super easy, I brought the tickets the night before online and was sent a PDF which they scanned and off we went with a map for us and a map for Rue (which he didn’t put down for roughly 20 minutes and acted as our tour guide, it was very sweet and people were commenting on him) one good thing for him to get started was the colourful dragon event they had on, there was one close to the entrance and then the map showed us where there was more which he loved. I can’t recommend Kew enough, admittedly it is mainly grassland and massive glass greenhouses (that you can go up the top too) but we never felt bored or that there wasn’t enough to do. I’d go back tomorrow if I could but obviously it’s a bit far, actually I think its roughly 1hr and 30 from us so it is totally doable in a day. We ate at Kew because we weren’t going from home and we was on the train I didn’t fancy carrying a picnic as well (not an octopus over here right?!) the only thing that I think let it down was the catering, I think there was four catering outlets (a convenience snack area in the shop, the orangery proper eating area, maybe a proper restaurant and then a pop up snack area which I think wasn’t a permeant feature) we tried out the convenience snack area first and was really disappointed, lots of seating outside and very little inside, mainly selling sandwiches and tiny sausage rolls for £5.50 neither of which is enough to keep you going for the amount of walking we did, plus it was papas birthday. We headed to the Orangery which was bit of a walk, I think I struggled more than Rue as I wore sliders but hard sole sliders. The Orangery was a much better choice for lunch and WM and I had an expensive feast the only let down here was there was nothing at all for children. At all. Luckily I had packed a heap worth of snacks for the kids of which Ridley had eaten most of before lunchtime arrived so Rue shared WM’s chicken.
Thursday we was originally planning on going to Hitchin Lavender and then I decided that wasn’t the best use of our time and we managed to visit Snowshill Lavender couple of weeks previously and then we thought about going into London driving to go to The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum which I think both would have been great for Rue but I couldn’t see anything relevant for Ridley, the youngest activity at the Science Museum was for 3-6 year olds plus parking was none existent. We did a little search the night before and I came across the various museum options in Greenwich, a quick tripadvisor search and a text to a friend who confirmed The Maritime Museum was a good shout. We totally took a risk with driving, I was hoping it wouldn’t be long and it took us 40 minutes again in rush hour, we love the rush hour vibes! I was so surprised I thought it was going to take a lot longer! And parking we didn’t really have 100% planned out but we winged it and found parking right by the Royal Observatory which is right above the Maritime Museum and bonus was £5 for four hours! It was just a lush day, you know those days you have that are just amazing it was one of those, not all days are like that with two little ones. We went straight to the Maritime Museum which we really enjoyed, they have this water feature out the front that kids can gently walk through which is fab on a hot day. There’s a decent gift shop (we brought a constellations print for our bedroom & a little something for Rue’s Christmas stocking) and restaurant as you enter, what really sold it for me was the play area for ages 1-5 which was a massive hit for both boys, which is probably the first time I can properly say this. We looked around the whole museum I think there’s three floors in total and the top one has a mini café eating area along with a giant world globe on the floor with moveable boats which was pretty cool, it was very hot up there as the roof is glass. We stayed for a while and then decided to move on for some lunch, there was a Nandos relatively nearby and I can’t remember the last time I had one so was keen to find it, we found it and luckily ordered just in time as there was a university that was nearby and everyone came in wearing their graduation gowns and it became insanely busy. Nandos is right by Cutty Sark which we walked passed but didn’t go in, I think there’s a fairly high admission price (Adult £12.15 | Child £6.30), or high for me anyway, and Rue was mesmerized from the outside and we’re still at that age where we can get away without doing or buying everything!
We took a stroll back up to the Maritime Museum and sat by ‘Queens House’ and had a little relax, is was a really lovely setting and the kids were quite still 😉 we then walked back up the hill which was bit of a killer and headed briefly to the Royal Obeservatory we didn’t spend long here at all it was merely to get an idea if it was relevant for the kids in the future, WM is a huge space fan so was totally up his street but we didn’t know if it was for the kids. We took a look at the photo competition and some of the entries were amazing, I was in my element looking at all the detail! So if your in London and near Greenwich its most definitely worth a visit, theres so much to see and do and most of it is free, there’s a little high street with independent eatiers or more established chains, some our right on the river bank which where sat for lunch WM had an amazing view of the river and London, some of the restaurants have top deck eating areas which Rue and I went up to and had a look over London together, doesn’t sound much but actually a really special moment. We walked back through part of the university with people milling around and it just felt like such a different atmosphere, I really really enjoyed the day and it was so smooth!
London we love you!