Browse Tag by Days out with the kids
Travelling with 5

Days out in London with the Kids

Days out with the kids in London - A Free From Life

An inset day is a great opportunity to take advantage of our nearness to London and go for a slightly less busy day out. Now my children are all at different schools, it’s also meant that their inset days have differed, allowing us to make the most of rare one-on-one time.

Back in September I wrote about my trip to the Warner Bros. Studios and the making of Harry Potter. That was my eldest daughter’s day out of choice. My middle daughter chose the Tower of London and so before the October half term, we made our way up on the train one cold and rainy Thursday. It was such a wet and gloomy day, there was fog hanging so low that you couldn’t see the top of the Shard.

Days out with the kids in London - A Free From Life

It was a shame that the Tower has a lot of outside space to see. Not a shame in itself, but a shame when you are huddled under your jacket and keeping your head low. But as my daughter informed me, it’s only rain, it won’t kill you, so we ploughed on.

Be prepared for a lot of walking when you visit the Tower of London. It’s a huge space, almost like a village within the city, surrounded by fortification. Within the ancient walls are numerous buildings of interest, reflecting the military history of London, individual towers that housed prisoners of all ranks and of course the Crown Jewels. This was the part my daughter was most looking forward to seeing and very impressive they were too.

We finished our day out by warming up and drying out in The Perkin Reveller restaurant, where we also enjoyed a lovely lunch before making our way back over Tower Bridge to the station.

Days out with the kids in London - A Free From Life

On the other side of the October half term break, I took my six year old son up to the Monument and St Paul’s. Having studied all about the Great Fire of London at school, he was interested to see where Pudding Lane was and even though it was another cloudy and miserable day, still insisted on climbing the 331 steps to the top of the Monument. Though not a great view from the top that day, plus it made me feel a bit sick going up there to be honest, at least we got a certificate to say that we had done it!

Days out with the kids in London - A Free From Life

My son thought St Paul’s Cathedral was amazing and insisted I take photos from every angle. We walked around Patter Noster square too before heading to Leon for lunch, where he enjoyed a gluten and dairy free lunch and an almond biscuit.

Days out with the kids in London - A Free From Life

It’s wonderful when you can take your children to see something they have been learning about in school. It reinforces their knowledge by bringing it to life – like a living history lesson. That’s one of the great advantages of living so close to the Capital.

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Travelling with 5

Visit to Nostell Priory – National Trust, West Yorkshire

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

On last week’s visit to see my family in West Yorkshire, we were hoping for better weather than what we ended up with. I took my National Trust membership card in the hope of getting out and about to see some of the local area and I thought that I wasn’t going to get to use it at all. Luckily though, the week got better as it went on and we finally made it to the nearest National Trust venue which was Nostell Priory.

As I have come to expect with any National Trust property we visit, Nostell Priory is stunning. An 18th Century manor house, it was never actually a priory, but built on the site of one and the name retained. Overlooking acres and acres of parkland (300 to be precise), this is truly a magical setting.

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

I’m so glad my children are interested in these types of places now they are older. They couldn’t wait to go and explore the house and the staff are always so encouraging and welcoming to their younger visitors. First stop for us was the servant’s quarters, where my younger two couldn’t resist getting dressed up for the part.

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

How chuffed they were to be allowed to keep their costumes on as we ventured on our tour of the rest of the house. This amazing doll’s house was a source of fascination, especially after we were told to look for the white mouse, which is apparently moved around in order to keep visitors guessing. We couldn’t find it without the help of one of the volunteers, not surprising though considering how tiny this little thing was.

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

Nostell Priory were running a bear hunt whilst we were there. The children were told that all the bears had escaped from the nursery and were hiding around the house. We had a list of their names and when we spotted one, we had to work out which one it was using the clues from the room we found it in. Now this was not an easy bear hunt and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of each room guide. What resulted, was us learning a lot about the house and it’s previous inhabitants along the way.

On completing the bear hunt and returning the costumes, we ventured in to the courtyard. I was ready for a coffee by then, but my little ones spotted the stables and wanted to go and have a look. We learned about a day in the life of a stable hand and they even did a spot of grooming themselves.

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

No visit to a National Trust property would be complete without a stop in the café. It was late in the day by the time we got there, with most things being sold out, however, I couldn’t resist this beetroot and mozzarella scone. Hmmm, some inspiration for my own baking there I think. Sadly, it wasn’t gluten and dairy free, but on a separate table was a nice selection of free from cakes, so my son was able to choose something that he could eat (for a change). National Trust, you made a six year old boy very happy!

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

Last stop was the gardens at the back of the house, which contain an adventure playground. What I loved about this play area, was the way it blended in to the surrounding woodland. As much as possible, the equipment is made of natural materials, so it complements rather than spoils, the landscape.

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

We had to drag the children away from this as it was nearing closing time by then. They didn’t want to leave, but they were pleased to be able to write a note to say what they had enjoyed most about their day, leaving behind a button to show that they had had a great time.

Nostell Priory National Trust - A Free From Life

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