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Family Travel In London


Libspero
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Libspero

Hi guys

We need to travel down to London to get some passports..  so will be spending a day down there.

I've got the trains and hotel sorted,   but how does the Oyster system work these days?    Can you get an off-peak family ticket?   

Is it easiest just to turn up at a subway station and buy something or is it better to organise in advance ?  Probably a stupid question for locals,  but I've not been to London for years.

 

In terms of attractions,  we plan to do Buckingham Palace and Downing street (we'll be walking past anyway)..   but are there any other things that would make a good day out ?  I see there's the imperial war museum nearby as well as the British museum.   Any suggestions / recommendations for a family with a 5 and 6 year old very welcome.

Cheers,

 

Libs

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1 hour ago, Libspero said:

Thanks Eek..  really helpful post.

Do you use your card at the turnstiles, or do they still have the old ticket machines?

You put your card on the card reader at the turnstiles (but as I said with your children I would just head towards the wheelchair access one. 

There are ticket machines but you really don't want those if you can use a credit / debit card or anything else (and the queues at main stations are often full of clueless tourists). 

As for museums I'm unsure as to what to recommend due to their ages. The interesting bits of the natural history museum felt busy last year when it has restricted entry due to Covid, I dread to think what it would be like this year.

Strangely the V&A may be a good bet - V&A · V&A Trail: Explore As A Family (vam.ac.uk) has a good overview of what you can see in not very long..

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Bobthebuilder

The Thames Clippers are good fun. You can catch it at the eye and ride down the river to the Tower or beyond. Good way to see London from the river.

You can use a debit card instead of an Oyster, makes it a bit easier for a one off.

Near to st James Palace is the tiny Crown Passage, a great little unknown alley that has a great pub, The Red Lion and a working man's café as well. Great spot for a greasy spoon among all the royalty.

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Wight Flight

I would second the boat trip from Parliament Square to the Tower, and possibly a trip round the Tower. Depends how much time you have and money you want to spend.

 

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Children (under 16) travel for free - you just need to use the wider gates at tube stations and get them to walk in front of you.

You also don't need oyster cards (as others have stated) a debit or credit card will do but always use the same one as the system automatically calculates the cheapest option at the end of the day.

Oh and if you aren't in a rush use the bus rather than the tube - its more fun watching the world go by. The bus apps (and London Transports own website) will tell you how to get from a to b via bus or tube.

 

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Libspero
11 hours ago, eek said:

You also don't need oyster cards (as others have stated) a debit or credit card will do but always use the same one as the system automatically calculates the cheapest option at the end of the day.

Thanks Eek..  really helpful post.

Do you use your card at the turnstiles, or do they still have the old ticket machines?

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Libspero

Quick thanks to all,  and especially @eek.

As you said,  tubes were easy,  just present bank card at disabled turnstile and walk straight through with no hassle. Kids go free,  you get charged automatically at the end of the day.  Think it was about £8 all day per adult in the end.

Now is absolutely the best time to visit London.  Museums,  empty,  streets, empty,  sights,  empty.   We took a tube at 5pm (rush-hour) midweek and there were about 5 people on the platform.

We did British museum (ok), war museum (excellent), Buck House, No.10 and Westminster.  Considered a river taxi as recommended but couldn’t get to an entry point in time so had to bin it off.   Otherwise a really great day out.  Plus got all the Embassy stuff done too.
 

Thanks for all the help / suggestions 👍

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