When KidRated heard me and Ellie were headed to London for the weekend back in February, they did everything they could to help us out! From sending us a London Pass to offering some words of advice when I got myself in a panic over travelling on the underground!
KidRated is a review site mainly for kids to review attraction in and around London (and also some other UK attractions) there are also a few reviews and videos for other stuff to! Like our Homemade Lemonade video, and their are a few more recipes and book and film reviews too!
So as we go through this list of things we did you will see some of them have a pic of Ellie with her fingers up...this is Ellie's K-Rating!
So what did we do in London?
On Saturday our day started with a trip to Ripleys Believe It Or Not (NOT included on the London Pass) at Picadilly Circus (a short tube ride from our hotel).
Ripleys is a walk round museum with 6 floors of weird, wonderful and some wacky exhibits! From the authentic shrunken headss to the genuine piece of Berlin Wall to the terrifying black hole,that makes you feel like your spinning upside down to the art piece of Jimi Hendrix....made of dung (yes really!), there is enough to fascinate the most unamused of you out there!
It was very busy, as soon as it opened there was a queue out of the doors arrghhh! And we weren't very impressed that as we got round to the Mirror Maze, we had to wait for it to open and after 10 minute of standing and waiting the queue was pretty large so didn't really make it much fun when you could just follow the person in front off you. I think it would work much better for it to be open all the time and only allowing a few in at a time instead.
Mine and Ellie's fave part was the Impossible Laser Race, where we attempted (and failed!) to beat the mission impossible race against clock! But it was great fun and we went round twice!
Ellie gave Ripleys a K Rating of...
After about an hour and half at Ripleys and a short wander around Piccadilly Ellie then decided that we should head back on the tube to find the London Eye.
Something me and Ellie were both really keen to do BUT we ended up not bothering...we both had so much we wanted to do and we really didn't fancy paying queuing for hours (I don't know if London is always as busy as it was but seriously it was PACKED!!!!) especially when we still had the London Pass to use! So we opted for a photo instead!!!
TOP TIP: If you are visiting London and want to go on the London Eye I suggest that you either need to be prepared to queue...both for tickets and then to actually get on the Eye OR pre-book fast track tickets online!
As we head over Westminster Bridge, which again was soooooo full of people and people stood still at that watching street performers performing tricks! It was so busy we were forced onto the road a couple of times and even witnessed a little boy around Evies age get thrown out of his pram and onto the road as his Mum tried to navigate through the crowds and ended up tipping him of the curb...though to be fair if he had been strapped in it wouldn't have happened!
Anyway where was I! After heading over Westminster Bridge we decided, when I say we I should add at this point the whole trip was Ellie orientated so we went where Ellie wanted when she wanted (so to speak!) so Ellie decided we should hop on the Thames River Cruise that was included in our London Pass as it would take us down the River whilst Ellie decided where we were going to go next...
Anyway back to the Thames River Cruise with City Cruises...with the London Pass you can hop on and off as you please (well at one of four locations!). With unique and amazing views as you go...as amazing as the underground is...it's hardly scenic is it!
Image courtesy of www.londonpass.com
As we traveled along the Thames the hosts pointed out the landmarks as we passed them and gave us a bit of history, which Ellie loved been the history buff she is!
Big Ben Behind Us
HMS Belfast and the Shard behind
The Tower Bridge
The Cutty Sark
Ellie gave city cruises a K Rating of...
We left the boat at the Tower Of London as Ellie was ridiculously excited about seeing it from the boat and wanted to get up close!
Again The Tower Of London is free to enter with the London Pass!
Ellie was really excited to get inside, she is a real history lover (like her Pappy!) and was really looking forward to seeing the various places inside. Again it was really REALLY busy and wasn't quite what we were expecting. I'm not sure what it is I was expecting but it just felt like something was missing, their didn't seem to be much of an atmosphere and the most exciting thing for me was the crown jewels, which I suppose is what every one goes their for as the queue was out of this world!! 2 hours to queue to see a crown....which was actually breathtaking...but could we take a photo to document this rather special occasion? Could we heck! YOUR NOT ALLOWED!!!!
The crown jewels live in here!!!
In all poor Ellie was left a bit disappointed by The Tower Of London, I think she had bigged it up so much and it just didn't live up to her expectations bless her! Though I learnt a lot from Ellie as we wandered around as she told me all the facts she knew!
Ellie gave The Tower Of London a K Rating of...
After we had done here Ellie decided she wanted to have some food...as it was now way past lunch time and quickly heading towards teatime we opted to share some 'Fabulous Fish and Chips' from a little hut nearby....but actually when you live at the seaside and are used to real fish and chips....there was absolutely nothing fabulous about this fish and chips let me tell you!! We then headed to the tube as Ellie needed to see Harrods and M&M World (obvs!) and, of course, you cant go to London without seeing Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square!
So as we headed over to Buckingham Palace Ellie started getting really really excited...I'm sure she thought she would see the Queen looking out of the window or something!!
Then as we got closer...''Is that it? I thought it would be posher than that!!'' she stated! Ha ha ha that girl!!, She never fail's to make me laugh!! But actually she was right it wasn't like I expected either...it didn't look as decadent as I thought it was going to! So we hung around a while taking photo's and just gazing...and then i realised that all barriers were around the edges of the road so I was 100% sure we had missed something cool! The Queen wasn't home (it wasn't the Queens flag flying!) I was determined to find out what it was and send 15 minutes Googling like mad...and then found it...Guttingly we had missed The Changing Of The Guard! I hadn't even thought about it when we had been planning on coming to London so hadn't even looked into it! It's a definite for our next trip though for sure!!!
After Buckingham Palace we headed back to the tube to go to Leicester Square (though if I had bought a map we would have been quicker just walking down The Mall!!!) and find M&M World. I had totally unestimated what it would be like....its huge and it was sooooooooo busy you couldn't even walk around! Ellie wandered around for ages trying to decide what to buy (at one point as we walked past the tills Ellie heard one shoppers bill come up to £170..ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY POUNDS ON M&M MEMORABILIA!
Dotted around the store are various M&M model/statuettes to have your pics taken with, Ellie had a ball! She eventually chose a few goodies and we headed to the queue (yep another long long queue!) and Ellie remembered that she had seen that you can get discount with the London Pass! Huzzzaah!!! By the time we had finished in their it had gotten dark and was raining *sob*
Although we couldn't stand around to do a K Rating (seriously the outside of the store was as busy as inside!) Ellie really wants me to tell you that...
Ellie gave M&M World a K Rating of...
After M&M world we headed round to Trafalgar Square (yes in the rain!) for our last stop before heading back to the hotel as it was now dark, rainy and by now time was getting on and belly's were getting hungry after just sharing a tray of fish and chip all day!
Their was lots of Chinese New Year celebrations going on and it had a great spirit about the place Though I was gutted we couldn't get very close to the lion as their was a massive stage surrounding them!
We then spent some time wandering around for food with nothing really inspiring us so we jumped on the tube and headed back to the hotel...Ellie was very eager to have a room service tea!!
TOP TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR LONDON PASS!
* If you don't know your way around then buy a map!
* Find out what the kids want to do and plan your day around that rather than letting the kids say what your doing next, that way you will get more out of your day and more out of the London Pass.
* Find out IN ADVANCE your closest tubes for each attraction, find out IN ADVANCE what line (and direction) you need to be on.
* Check out the London Pass website for offers you can use the card for. (For example we used the card in M&M World to receive a discount)
*If you are visiting for just the one day during a busy time the fact there are so many queues means the pass may not be worth the money. When you take into consideration that you will be visiting places for between 1-2 hours per visit then adding on long waiting times...
* Invest in a 1 Day Travel Oyster Card, so simple to use and a whole lot easier than they make it sound! And at the end of the trip you can hand your Oyster Card back in and recieve £5 back. AND children under 11 travel for free!