With Sophie ending the week a bit under the weather, we weren’t sure what to expect from Saturday – so we kept our diaries clear and waited to see what the morning brought. Thankfully, it brought a happy, healthy pair of children – and a dose of sunshine – so we decided on the spur of the moment to explore a part of London we’re not that familiar with: Bloomsbury.
It’s a while since we’ve been on a London adventure – and we started this one in dramatic fashion in the impressive surroundings of the British Museum. The Great Court never fails to impress, and the children were thrilled at the large, open space and wide staircases to explore and run wild in (although not sure running is quite the done thing in the British Museum!)
Sophie wasn’t particularly impressed at being asked to stop running around for a photograph. And how grown up is Alex looking here?!
We decided to check out the Egyptian Gallery as our first foray in the Museum with children. While, of course, impressive and fascinating, I must admit I found it highly stressful as every artefact on display was easily reachable by children and sporting a DO NOT TOUCH sign. So I spent most of the time prevent the children touching ancient pieces! We enjoyed spotting things we recognised in the hieroglyphics before escaping (I promise Alex didn’t actually touch this sarcophagus!)
We quickly gave up trying to view the proper exhibition rooms – they’re just not geared up to inquisitive toddlers – and instead wandered back around the Great Court, loving the vivid colours of the contemporary totem poles on display there.
We didn’t stay long, escaping to the grounds for a quick hotdog stop, before wandering over to a park I’ve wanted to visit for years – Coram’s Fields. A 7 acre park dedicated to children’s play – where adults aren’t permitted unless accompanied by an Under-16, I can’t quite believe we’ve never been before! We thought we’d stay for an hour, but ended up stopping for three!
It felt so safe and secure, that the children were able to roam free, exploring the various playgrounds, sandpits, water play and even mini-farm. They loved their first splash in a waterplay of the year, immediately getting soaked and sandy (the sign of a good day out, I think!)
They slid down countless slides
And climbed and climbed
and dug as if they were back on the beach in Wales! Alex immediately befriended all the children he came across, digging a vast trench around the sand pit with his new playmates:
It was such a wonderful place to spend an afternoon – complete with fabulous ice creams, a relaxed picnic and some time for us grownups to relax on a bench in the sun. And it didn’t cost a penny (well, apart from the ice cream!)
I took the opportunity while the children were contentedly playing to pop round the corner to The Foundling Museum for a few minutes. I’d seen the Museum, which explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery, on a documentary a while back, but never been there before. I’d read they were celebrating the history of The Foundling Hospital Boys’ Band on Saturday with live big band music – and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the colourful deckchairs and bunting – it felt like a very British occasion!
I didn’t have time to pop into the museum, but I’ll be back as it looked fascinating.
When we finally persuaded the children to leave Coram’s Fields, we walked up to St Pancras to catch our train home.
We didn’t get home till 5pm – all completely exhausted but smiling from a wonderful London day together. These are my favourite times in the capital – picking an area and checking out what we find when we get there. Wonder which neighbourhood we’ll try next…