From pretty squares, to world renowned historical landmarks; from irresistible tourist attractions to swish, trendy restaurants. London has it all. But, how easy is it to visit these places with a baby in a buggy, an excitable toddler on reins and an inquisitive five year old? Sarah Peters dons her walking shoes, grabs a change-bag and heads off into the heart of tourist London to discover how child-friendly our capital city really is.
Getting to central London
Train: The key to train travel is to take it slowly and do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Beware of moody commuters if you travel during the week and watch-out for dithering tourists who always seem to get in the way.
Tube: Not easy with a pram: in fact nigh on impossible unless you are of an athletic build and a strong constitution. Very few central stations have no steps – there is a step-free map on the website. But, it is fun when you get down there and kids love the "mind the doors" refrain, whooshing through dark tunnels and the general atmosphere of a slightly grubby, but exciting underground train.
Bus: London bus drivers range from grumpy to mute. Make sure you secure brakes on the pram during the ride as twisty corners are often taken at quite a pace.
Car: Beware the congestion charge. It operates Monday to Friday. Parking in central London is far less frantic at the weekend and on Sundays many car parks offer a flat rate or free on-street parking is permitted. Just check the signs to make sure you won’t return to your car to find it clamped, or worse, find it not there!
River taxi: Sloping walkways make access to the river taxis boats very easy and the stewards are a friendly lot: always willing to lend a hand to a help buggies and children over the threshold. There are plenty of stops along the river and the views of the city are probably the best you can get. It’s a cheap ride even if you’re not actually going anywhere in particular.
Maps, routes and prices at Transport for London: www.tfl.gov.uk.