Wednesday, 29 March 2017

#LondonWalks Kids Under 15 Go FREE #SchoolHolidays #Easter: 7. Day Trips From London

Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker





 "What London Walks would you recommend for children?"




The "walks for kids" question is one we're asked a lot. The wide-ranging answer usually goes something like this (this is how I put it in a recent email to someone who'd popped that very question):

Generally, it should be said that the walks are pitched at adults rather than youngsters – but there are quite a few that do work for kids.


The last word…



And what about some of the Away We Go! – Day Trips from London that we do? Surely some of them would also be to your children's taste. The one to Richmond & Hampton Court of course springs to mind. As does the Oxford & the Cotswolds trip. I'd be very surprised if that one wasn't also more or less right for them. I remember being very interested by my first visit to a "university town" when I was a youngster – probably because I sensed that I was getting a sneak preview of my own future.


I have to say I think it's as much a question of the guide as the content. Katy's great with kids. Ditto "the world's greatest guide"* (Karen). In which vein, we had a "herogram" in a while back about several of the walks in relation to the writers' grandchildren. She sang the praises of all of the guides, but the really striking thing about the letter was that Hilary's Christopher Wren's London – Bloody, Flaming, Poxy London (for the record it only runs in our Summer programme) came in for special praise vis-a-vis the writer's grandchildren: how super Hilary was and how interesting she'd made it for the children. Now on the face of it, you'd think if there was any walk that wasn't right for a couple of kids it would be Christopher Wren's London – but Hilary managed to bring it off. More than bring it off – she clearly turned up trumps! Let me see if I can find that note.

Here's what she says:

'I have just returned from a week in London with my two grandchildren, J.J. and Suzanne (ages 10 and 9 ). Today I am going through all the memorabilia/ tickets,cards,etc. I am on my way to buy binders for scrapbooks for each of them.

'I am writing to you to tell you how much your walking tours enhanced our visit to your lovely city. We had such a good time with all the tour guides, and they each made my grandchildren so much a part of each tourI can't begin to thank each of them adequately.

We went to Windsor/Eton with Chris Green on Monday and that was the beginning of a fantastic week. Chris went over the list of walks with me on the train to Windsor and made suggestions of which tours would interest J.J.and Suzanne.

We loved the tour of Christopher Wren's London on Tuesday with Hillary. She really took the children under her wing and pointed out things that they could relate to. We ended up at St. Paul's for evensong And sat in the choir loft with the boys' choir. Fantastic!!!

The next day we went to Shakespeare/Dickens London with Jean Haynes who Quoted from so many poets that I wake up at night aware of her words. Wonderful!

Later that day we met up with Helena and met an old friend from the Windsor tour. We went on the London Walk and learned so much about the places where we had already wandered on our own. (We had picked up your brochure at St. Martin in the Fields on Sunday when we first arrived).

On Thursday we went to Greenwich , again with Chris, and were in for another delightful day. My son came in on Thursday evening and we took off on our own on Friday , but I just wanted you to know how your tours and guides added to our trip. I wish we had had another three weeks to really 'do 'the city. It was a marvelous experience.

My daughter and son-in-law are planning to go to London this summer and I have already given them your summer walk schedule. I thank you so much for your expertise. One very satisfied tourist, Peggie O'Neill'

 ----------------



*I'm not making that up. The classy old American travel magazine Travel & Leisure crowned Karen with that very laurel – "the world's greatest tour guide."





Accompanied children under the age of 15 go free on all London Walks

Full Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



#LondonWalks Kids Under 15 Go FREE #SchoolHolidays #Easter: 6. Along The Thames

Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker





 "What London Walks would you recommend for children?"




The "walks for kids" question is one we're asked a lot. The wide-ranging answer usually goes something like this (this is how I put it in a recent email to someone who'd popped that very question):

Generally, it should be said that the walks are pitched at adults rather than youngsters – but there are quite a few that do work for kids.



In this post I'm going to suggest the Along the Thames Pub Walk

Now don't be shocked. People do bring youngsters on that one. It's the one pub walk we do where it really is okay to bring them...okay because the first pub has a marvellous riverside terrace (indeed, if it's low tide they can go beachcombing!), the second one is right next to a delightful and funky old (and extremely kid-friendly) cafe...and the one we end at has a great yard (the pub is the last remaining galleried coaching inn in London and the yard was the coachyard). 

The pubs aren't the reason for bringing the kids on that one of course – but the point is they can be accommodated on that walk because of the terrace, cafe and yard. The reason for bringing them on that walk is that it's a great walk – I can personally guide 52 different London Walks and that's my favourite walk of all! There's a great deal on it that appeals to all ages – e.g., the stunning replica of Sir Francis Drake's 16th-century ship The Golden Hinde, the great views across the river to London, the brilliant replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, etc. Indeed, everybody is also taken with – repelled by but taken with if that's not too much of an oxymoron – the shrivelled corpse in the iron gibbet at the Clink Museum. It ain't real, by the way...well the gibbet is, but the victim isn't. But it's awfully realistic!







Accompanied children under the age of 15 go free on all London Walks

Full Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



#LondonWalks Kids Under 15 Go FREE #SchoolHolidays #Easter: 5. #Greenwich & #Westminster

Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker





 "What London Walks would you recommend for children?"




The "walks for kids" question is one we're asked a lot. The wide-ranging answer usually goes something like this (this is how I put it in a recent email to someone who'd popped that very question):

Generally, it should be said that the walks are pitched at adults rather than youngsters – but there are quite a few that do work for kids.


I think another one that works for kids is the Historic Greenwich walk (it goes on Monday mornings). It of course starts with that wonderful boat ride, which is always fun. And Greenwich is so compact the walk down there is eezy peezy time-wise – and there's a great deal to see. 







Ditto the Old Westminster Walk (which we do every Tuesday afternoon, every Thursday afternoon, every Saturday morning and every Sunday afternoon). 









Accompanied children under the age of 15 go free on all London Walks

Full Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.




A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



#LondonWalks Kids Under 15 Go FREE #SchoolHolidays #Easter: 4. Past The Palace

Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker





 "What London Walks would you recommend for children?"




The "walks for kids" question is one we're asked a lot. The wide-ranging answer usually goes something like this (this is how I put it in a recent email to someone who'd popped that very question):


Generally, it should be said that the walks are pitched at adults rather than youngsters – but there are quite a few that do work for kids.




Other London Walks that I think work for kids – well, for a lot of them – are Angela's and new dad Liam's Old Palace Quarter Walk, which goes every Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon. 

And sure enough the Friday afternoon walk is also fronted by guides who are great with kids – Hilary and Kim. I think the general principle – apart from having a guide who likes children and is comfortable with them and goes out of his or her way to include them – is that walks where there's quite a bit to see – where there are lots of visual "hands ons", so to speak – are usually a better bet than walks where things have to be carried for the most part by the story telling. And some of the visual "hands ons" are pretty special on this pretty special walk. 

You've got that secret passageway they go along at the beginning of the walk; and the child thief bar; and boot scrapers and link extinguishers; and the lion door knocker that Winston Churchill looked at when he was a child; and the only chance a child will ever get to be a gas lamp lighter; and a former stables; and shops that are like the inside of a toy chest; and a hidden, real duelling ground; and real soldiers (guarding St. James's Palace) – and quite often we catch the up-close-and-personal changing of the guard ceremony there, which is always fun. Well, you get the idea.







Accompanied children under the age of 15 go free on all London Walks

Full Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



#LondonWalks Kids Under 15 Go FREE #SchoolHolidays #Easter: 3. #StreetArt Tour

Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker





 "What London Walks would you recommend for children?"




The "walks for kids" question is one we're asked a lot. The wide-ranging answer usually goes something like this (this is how I put it in a recent email to someone who'd popped that very question):

Generally, it should be said that the walks are pitched at adults rather than youngsters – but there are quite a few that do work for kids.


How's about the Street Art Walk! It's the "gallery tour" that's pretty much guaranteed to work for kids. You take them to the National Gallery or the British Museum or the V & A and a lot of them at any rate are going to do some serious foot dragging. 

It can be pretty trying – a trial of your force majeur against their squirrelley impatience. Not a lot of fun for either "combatant." Head to that outdoor "gallery" though and it's a different ball game. 

The art's fun. It's colourful. It's brash. It's bigger than life. It's super accessible. A lot of it's cartoon-y. Kids love it. And guide Pepe's got the knack – he's good with kids. 







Accompanied children under the age of 15 go free on all London Walks

Full Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.






A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.