First of all, all these London posts are horrifically overdue. I'm talking a year overdue. We visited London for the first time together in Easter 2016, so that's why Smix looks younger in the photos.
All my photos were stuck on my old iPhone 4, and I've finally got the first visit transferred to my iPad Pro to actually be able to share them. Then I've to try to get August 2015's visit moved over too!
Anyway, the reason I wanted to blog was to share with you the things we got up to on our visit. A family friendly guide to a break in London, what's worth spending money on and what's a rip off? Will your child even be interested in the event or tour you've booked? If it's the London Duck Tours, then the answer is yes- they'll love it.
I had been to London a handful of times over the years, but this was Smix's first time there, so I thought starting with a tour to see the sights would be handy.
We got our train from Gatwick airport into London, then to Waterloo, the nearest station to the Duck Tours terminal. It's on the road beside the London Eye, so if you just leave the station and walk towards the Eye, which you can't miss, you'll find the Duck Tours.
They advise booking online, which means you will definitely get a tour on the day of your visit, however if you want to try last minute you can always purchase a ticket at the depot. Prices are adult £27, child £19 or family £79. The tour isn't recommended for under-3s, but at the same time there was no reason I saw that a sleeping baby couldn't come on board, and it's up to yourself to decide that sort of thing. Luggage and prams are stowed at the depot for you to collect on your return.
Your duck tour lasts about 75 minutes, with 30 minutes on the river. You have a driver and a tour guide. Our tour guide was very jolly & joked with us during the tour.
You'll get to see many of the best tourist sights, including Westminster, Big Ben, Trafalger Square and The Ritz. Smix was excited because the guide pointed out a location from the Paddington movie.
Then it's time to hit the water. This is the exciting part. You approach the muddy, brown water beside the huge MI5 & MI6 buildings and splash!
You drive slowly through the water past the huge MI5 building. If you are a major James Bond fan, there is a special Bond themed tour you can take with them too.
You won't get wet, but if you are wary you can zip close the windows beside your seats. You can get some amazing photos of the sights from the river, that you wouldn't be able to photograph otherwise.
The tour concludes with a sneaky peek at Buckingham Palace from the side.
So is the tour worth going on? If you have kids aged six and up, it's a total yes. You cover many of the big tourist spots that a regular bus tour would hit, but you have the added novelty of taking to the river. The tour guides are funny, engaging and make the trip educational for all.
I would definitely recommend Duck Tours, and I would most likely go again if Smix wanted to give it a whirl around river next time we visit too.