I booked the first cheap and well located hostel I could find and it turned out to be our pearl: The Travel Joy Hostel near Pimlico. To be fair; it´s a hostel for 16€ a night in a 12 bed dorm, you can’t expect Hotel Hilton. The rooms are basic, the facilities likewise but with a lot of charm, kid friendly staff, open mic nights and a cozy bar with excellent food and on top of it an outstanding breakfast with fresh smoothies, omelettes and pancakes. A great way to introduce a 8 year old to hostel life and he loved it, to say the least.
Where to go
Don’t be worried to travel on a low budget; strolling around the city is one of the best things to do in London. every corner offers something interesting, especially when being blessed with good weather: Anton was super excited about all the street performers we’ve spotted: painters, dancers, musicians, acrobats, magicians, floating Yodas.. literally everywhere! Not to mention the skaters doing their tricks at Southbanks! Being a skater himself, Anton had a hard time breaking away from there.
Camden wasn’t on our list originally, I thought it´s too crowded and loud for someone who is just about 1,30m tall but it worked out despite the fact that it was the first nice day this year and half London was up there. I am not sure if it´s suitable for smaller kids though: it IS loud and it IS crowded and my smaller son would definitely not have liked it but the big one was thrilled and proudly purchased a pair of leather gloves with spikes. Hell yeah!
Since our last vacation in Canada Anton is interested in taking pictures. To avoid conflicts about who’s cam turn it is, I gave him our old
The proud and objective Mom thinks this photo could be in a book!camera and it was enchanting to see him being super excited about it. He was very busy for quite a long time trying to capture squirrels bouncing and running around in St.James Park, We could have spent the whole day there! He really has to work on his tiptoeing abilities though, while his photographing skills are really not bad, not bad at all!
What to visit
We have been to the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum; both museums are free (as many others in London) and very kid-friendly. Besides from practical aspects such as facilities, big alleys for strollers and easy access due to elevators, children can try and experience a lot of fun stuff. Being the kid he is, he was of course most amused by the bench that made farting noises when one attempt to sat on it (I need a roll eyes smiley here) but he enjoyed as well the games and experiments related that the Science Museum installed. This museums offers a very high level of activities for smaller children but is interesting as well for older ones due to the really cool stuff they’re showing; satellites and astronauts for example.
Tip: Have you ever been to Carnaby? Make sure not to this miss this unique pedestrian area away from the crowds!
The Natural History Museum scared us off for a moment considering the high queue (my advise here; go either late or queue half an hour before the opening and you’re all good) but worked out fine in the end. This museum offers everything from skeletons to fishes, insects, birds, dinosaurs, stones, vulcanos, stars and suns, stones … short: everything that nature has to offer is exposed and easily accessible. As we are lucky and never experienced an earthquake (knock on wood), Anton and mewhere totally excited about
the room that (probably on a very low level) simulated the Kobe Earthquake from 1995. We had to go in there twice. And if we were not running out of time, it would have been thrice. My highlight there was the Dodo; even though it´s just a replica, I found it quite cool and weirdly touching.
Where to eat
One could probably name a whole list of super kid-friendly restaurants – I am sure there are plenty – that are serving super healthy hipster food, adapted to fuzzy eaters under 14 .. well.. fuck that. We had chips and crisps and sandwiches, slush ice and Burger King, cookies and more chips and it was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s /food topic covered.