It’s absolutely FREEZING outside and rather than hibernate, we decided to embrace it and what’s more, we left Buckinghamshire behind us on Saturday (February 11) and took the Tube into central London. Covent Garden to be exact because as well as being home to Theatreland and the Opera, it also houses the London Transport Museum.
They kindly sent me free tickets and asked me to review them on WycMum blog so here we are! The journey itself was easy and lots of fun – park at Ickenham station (£2 all day on a Saturday) and get the Piccadilly line straight to Covent Garden, easy if you have a toddler with a pram!
After a quick coffee stop, we queued for about 5 minutes before we were ushered into the warmth of the London Transport Museum, ideally located near the market. We proceeded to pick up our trail card for Yara so from the get-go, you could tell this place has kids in mind.
We went through the history of buses and trams in the capital and Yara got to climb into an old horse and carriage, which she enjoyed. It was busy but it didn’t feel busy because the place is so big and airy and there were so many different things to see so you didn’t have to wait for anything – handy because Yara has ants in her pants and wants to see everything NOW!
There was a whole section where the kids could go on a bus and pretend to be the driver, which was a cute photo opportunity. But more than that, they had lots of areas with toys and pretend play, like serving tea and coffee on the ‘Thames Nipper’. These little corners for the kids to play in really gets the 5 stars because it kept Yara entertained for ages, especially as she had other children to play with.
For the parents, there was a lot to read up on and the facts were very interesting although some touch screens were very outdated. One thing that London prides itself with is multiculturalism and this has been beautifully displayed at the museum; such as a trail and descriptions of the Caribbean recruitment of staff on London’s transport system. Women are also celebrated here so it reaches out for half the population! I’m guessing there’s even a nod to Buckinghamshire with a train named after John Hampden.
After a quick bite – and here I should add that the cafe was overpriced, as with most large museums in London, so just be aware of that – we joined the museum team for a kids story time. The lady telling the story was brilliant and BRAVE to deal with so many kids (I actually felt a bit sorry for her!). Then the kids all had a go at digging and building a tunnel using sand and straws. Yara was quiet for about 45 minutes, having befriended a little boy and they were having so much fun that I ended up having a cup of tea and a chat with another mum. It really was heaven!
On the way out, the museum has a fantastic shop but it was very crowded. The products they stock are naturally transport related but who doesn’t love the iconic logo of Transport for London?! Of course, they also have cute toys so it can be dangerous as your kids will be swept away by that, as Yara was.
The mummy I chatted to earlier said she booked her ticket online and that ticket allowed unlimited free entry for a whole year, which I think is probably the best deal I have heard of! So if you haven’t been to the London Transport Museum, get down here and let history take you on a journey of days gone by….while your kids pretend to be a bus conductor 😉