A couple of weeks ago, Mr Smith and I enjoyed a lovely kid free trip to London! It was a very much overdue trip in celebration for his 40th, which was back in 2020 (and we all know why that didn’t happen then). It was nice to travel together, eat and talk in peace, and just do some out of the ordinary things.
We may be biased (being Brits n all), but London is an amazing place, that no matter how many times you go, there are always new places to discover and things to do that perhaps you have never done before. We also loved that because we had been so many times before, there wasn’t the same rushed and busy feeling we get in new cities – of wanting to make the most of it and explore as much as we can – and so it was much more relaxed too. We had a great balance of doing some fun new things, a bit of shopping, and then some simple walks along the Thames and swimming in the hotel pool.
Where we stayed…
This time we stayed at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, which is situated right near the Tower of London and is accessed from Tower Hill tube station. It was such a lush hotel, with great facilities (including spa and a pool which we made the most of), and the suite we had was stylish, roomy and comfortable. It was great to stay in the thick of things and not have far to go on the tube to see the sites and do things we wanted to (and all the staff we so lovely).
The iconic shard is such a popular thing to see and experience when in London, but it’s also something that we have never done! I wanted to take Nathan to do something memorable for his 40th and so bought him this experience, along with food at Gordon Ramsey’s street Pizza (and then obviously we made it into an overnight trip with other things as his whole birthday treat).
We both flipping loved it so much. What amazing views of London and what an exciting perspective to have. It felt exciting and special, cool and amazing – just watching the world go by beneath us. I couldn’t get over how small everything seems from such a height, and could only describe it as toy like. Sites like the millennium wheel, Big Ben, St Paul’s and Tower bridge, looked like a model train or Lego land. But yeah – definitely worth it to be on top of the world together and see London at your feet!
Emirates cable car in Greenwich….
Another exciting activity I found for us to do in London was the Emirates Cable car. You can easily get to it on the tube by travelling on the Jubilee line to North Greenwich (4 stops from where we were staying at Tower Bridge), walking past the Millennium dome, and the you will see it. It takes about 10 minutes or so to go across the 1km stretch of the river, and it is the highest observation point over the Thames reaching heights of 90 metres (300ft). I don’t know why I thought I could cope with this, but as it went up and up, I honestly felt so nervous. But it was absolutely brilliant and another amazing way to see London. It was different and fun to do together, and definitely something that I would take the kids to do too.
I would book online though as then you don’t have to que – we did it while in the line and then we just skipped through. I think it was £10 return each, but worth the experience for sure.
We also spent some time shopping in the millennium Dome and down Oxford street, having a sunset walk along the Millennium Bridge (from St Paul’s across to the other side) and down the Thames by the Globe theatre. We chilled in the Hotel pool and spa facilities (included in the room price) and visited Covent Garden. The food and eating experience at Street Pizza in St Paul’s was brilliant and delicious, in fact if you want somewhere chill and cool to eat in London (that’s not too expensive) then check it out – it’s bottomless pizza for £16 each and is so delicious (especially the buttermilk dip).
If you’re in London this Summer (with or without kiddos), then these activities are so much fun and such a fascinating way to see London.