Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Day in London with the kids on a budget - Kensington Gardens

What you need:
Family & Friends railcard
£20 fare for 2 adults, 2 kids
£4 for kids to have an ice cream each
A Picnic & Drinks
Bag of monkey nuts (for the squirrels)
Flask of tea for Mum
Downloaded Park map from here
Its half term and we wanted a nice day out with the kids on a budget. We have a Family & friends railcard so we decided to go into London and visit Kensington Gardens. We only paid £20 for our rail ticket and that was for Me, Papa and two kids.



Every year we renew our railcard and we always shop around online for any voucher codes to get a discount before we pay. For this years renewal we got the card for £19.50 instead of the usual £26.




We got the tube to South Kensington and from there it is a ten minute walk along one road up to Kensington Gardens. As you walk you will pass The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and The Victoria & Albert Museum that are all free entry.
As you approach Kensington Gardens you will see Hyde Park on the right so you have the choice of two very large parks. Decide which one you wish to visit and download a detailed map before you leave home as this will make your visit much easier and mean you can plan visiting all the parks attractions. We failed to do this so didn't get to see a few of the memorials that we would have like to have shown the kids like The Peter Pan statue, The Italian ornamental garden and The Diana memorial fountain.


The first monument you see as you enter the park is The Albert Memorial. This is Queen Victoria's memorial to her beloved Albert who she lost to Typhoid in 1861. It really is a breathtaking monument and a lovely place to sit upon its steps as you people watch, eat lunch and admire The Royal Albert Hall that sits directly opposite



After lunch we began walking through the park heading towards Kensington Palace, Our Granddaughter was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Queen...All little girls want to see the Queen don't they. The first thing we noticed was how beautifully maintained the park is as several gardeners were working their magic.



We found the palace which you can pay to enter and even though admission is very reasonable have a look around we were on a budget trip out so took a walk around the palace gardens instead.



The Palace gardens are free to roam around and especially pretty (even in February) was the Sunken garden. I would love to visit this again during summer months as it is a really nice spot and I bet is gorgeous in full bloom.





The park itself was brimming with wildlife, lots of birds and squirrels. We spent a good couple of hours feeding the pigeons who are really tame and even took food from Papa's hand which thrilled the kids.



Everywhere you look there are squirrels so make sure you take a bag of monkey nuts as they will take these from the kids hands.



Walking around The palace orangery was tranquil. The immaculate gardens are delightful and if you fancy it you could pop inside and take afternoon tea between 3-5pm. However, I have been told its a bit pricey inside so probably not a good idea with the kids.


Dotted around the park is lots of interesting sculptures that the kids enjoyed exploring, especially this puppy bird table.



All the kids ranging in age from 5 up to 14 years loved the pretty walk through the park, even in winter the colourful crocus in bloom caught the children's eyes.


As you walk you approach The Princess Diana memorial playground there is a really old tree and as you look closer you will see it is inhabited by lots fairy folk.

I must say the Peter Pan Themed playground is out of this world and offers hours of fun for the kids. It is dominated by a giant pirate ship and surrounded by a children's wonderland with so much to explore. It is fully secure and during busy periods has a guard at the gate checking children are accompanied and lone adults are not allowed entry.



We struggled to get our five year old Granddaughter to leave as she made her way around underground tunnels, a sandy area, swings, slides and Teepee's.


There is also a little cafe at the playground quite reasonable for ice cream at £1.80 each although a cuppa was a bit overpriced at £2 go so take a flask of tea with you.
As we left the playground we walked towards the lake as we spotted Geese and swans. We fed them our left over sandwiches from our picnic.

All in all a Fab day out and we will be returning again in the summer. I definitely recommend you give it a visit




3 comments:

  1. That sounds (and looks) like a great day out (made me a bit homesick though!), and the crocuses are out!!! Emma

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  2. What a great day out, I never knew there was so much in the parks. I don't have children so when I go to London it's to shop or see live bands :)

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  3. I love Kensington Gardens. I used to go there when I was little and we still go there now with our daughter. The "Pirate Ship Park", as my daughter calls it, is utterly fabulous isn't it?

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