Saturday, 23 August 2008

London Fun - Dungeon Rating?

Friday, 22 August 2008

London Fun Or Fright - Dungeon Review - Enter at your peril

London Dungeon - Review - Enter at your peril

London fun or London frights? Or both? Next on the kids wishlist for London attractions is The London Dungeon. Only one problem - I genuinely don't think I can go in with them!

Like the lady in this London Dungeon review (which incidentally is one of the best I've ever read) one of my kids is still in the Juniors at school. However he is undeterred - I am more dubious as to whether this really will turn out to be a fun London experience. He always wants to watch sacry programmes and films on TV - then sometimes has sleep problems. Then of course there is the cost. You pay less for the London Dungeon with the discount tickets, but there is a substantially longer wait.

Added to this is the experience of my friends. The mum in the party most definitely did not have fun. Not realising the psychological nature of some of the gory experiences, she had taken her daughters friends there as a birthday treat - only to find herself worrying about their parents reactions afterwards! The kids,however,loved it and there were no repercussions.

I might not be so lucky - so there's only one solution. I will take them, the older son can look at all the live rats and simulated dead bodies - the younger son and I will wear blindfolds! And peep out occasionally!

Just one question - can we opt out of the so-called London fun experience of being dropped 8 metres? For me, this will not be fun! Presumably, you can walk round it - as there must be some kids who do not meet the height restrictions.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Planning Autumn London fun with The Friday Night Skate

London fun means anything 'skate' in the eyes of our two sons! On seeing that link to The Friday Night Skate in Hyde Park, they would've headed out the door with their ton-weight skates on their backs, had they not been stopped. 'Forget trivial details like toothbrushes,train tickets and London accommodation - let's just go!'

Sadly, it will be a few months before we save up enough pennies from the credit crunch to make our next London fun trip. I have no doubt as to where our first destination will be - Hyde Park. From here at 7.30 the great Friday Night Skate departs at around 7.30 for those old enough to skate unaccompanied. For those younger than that, well - Dad could always get those rusty old roller-skates out and tag along, or even fork out for a new pair of heavy-duty state-of-the-art, seemingly indestructible in-line street skates.After all, it's one way of getting a disintersted son to see the architecture and ambience of this historic part of London.

A walk through Hyde Park is a more sedate tourist activity for the rest of the party to enjoy while the intrepid skaters fly off, heads into the wind and ears tuned in to the roar of the skate music broadcast from the lead vehicle. Younger skaters unable to cope with the speed and rough terrain may have to confine themselves to the smoother ashphalt and quieter pace of Hyde Park until they are older.

Either way, if kids or dads are tempted by a skate impulse buy - think twice if you are a London visitor who is expecting to leave on a flight on a plane. Think of the luggage restriction - and the weight!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

London Fun At Technorati

Technorati Profile

London Fun Walk Idea - Trafalgar Square

London Walk - Fun In Trafalgar Square

A London walk in Trafalgar Square might not look, at first glance, as if it would take very long, but if you stop to look and learn about all the London landmarks there it can take the best part of a morning or afternoon, particularly if a tasty picnic lunch there is planned too. I designed this London fun facts in Trafalgar square list with the help of some research from Amazon books about London and websites such as Visit England, BBC and Transport for London.

Sometimes kids have more fun learning about history if they can do it in an informal, casual way. Here are some interesting historical titbits to have ready for telling, when they reach the attractions of Trafalgar Square. The landmarks, sights and monuments can be explored as a treasure hunt style quiz - or as a more freestyle walk.

1. Nelson's Column. Have them try to look at Nelson's bad eye! They (and you!) might be surprised at what they see, or don't see. Is there an eye patch there or isn't there? One story goes that Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson's eye condition was not an unsightly one and that he never needed an eye patch. Offer an incentive to those who can research the answer!

2.The Police Box. Can the kids find London's smallest police station? Then can they spot something on its roof which legend says was from Nelson's flagship 'Victory?' (Lamp)

3.The statue of Charles 1st marks the spot where the old Charing Cross once stood. Have the kids find the spot from where all distances from London are measured. (It's on a plaque in the ground underneath.)

4.Which monument has ships on top of it? And which one was erected in honour of Queen Victoria? This answer is Admiralty Arch.

5.Which statue was a competition-winner, is the tallest Corinthian column in the world and is made from Dartmoor granite? Which big cats date from 1867 and were designed by Landseer? (The lions.)

6.Where are the names of all the poor foot-soldiers who had some of their paltry pay taken away to pay for a statue in honour in of Sir Charles James Napier? (They are named underneath.) What does he carry in his hands? (Scroll and Sword.)

7.Can they find a Triton, a Mermaid and a Dolphin? Can they find out what these mysterious creations represented? Why were fountains placed there anyway? (To break up the space due to the fear of riots in olden times.) Why is the water in the fountains so blue? (The blue tiled lining reflects light.)

8.Can they find something made from bronze under the North wall? (They are the official imperial measurements of one foot, two feet and one yard.)

9.Which statue is a bit of a 'poser?' all togged out in his Roman gear? (George 1V, the Prince of Wales 1762-1830) He presents himself bareback, riding without stirrups in a rather overdramatic and pretentious pose! Do the children think he was ever an expert rider - even without stirrups?

10Which statue do they think was designed from a photograph? Do they think its is better than the others? (Sir Henry Havelock - The Indian mutiny of 1857.)

If another London walk appeals after this one, then there are plenty more London walking tours starting from right here in Trafalgar Square!