A Great Fire of London themed day

I was reflecting that it’s been a while since I’ve written about a London day out on the blog.  It used to be the bulk of what I wrote about – we adore living here and love exploring the capital as a family.  But recently, we’ve either been travelling further afield more than normal, or staying super local squeezing in a load of commitments for the kids like birthday parties and playdates. I did, however, enjoy a thoroughly lovely day out in the city with Alex and Sophie recently.

Alex’s termly topic at school has been the Great Fire of London and, true to form, we left it to the very last minute to do his homework – cramming in writing a newspaper article about the Fire, making a London model and preparing fact files about it into the weekend before it was due in.  We’d been given a list of places to try and visit, and with a conveniently timed inset day at school, I dragged Alex and Sophie into the city to try and tick them off. They were pretty reluctant about it, but as soon as we arrived at the first stop – the Monument – we bumped into their best friends from school who were with their mum doing exactly the same thing as us!  Then it was smiles and giggles all round!

Here are my duo carefully reading about the history of Monument:

As their friends had already been up to the top of the Monument before we arrived, Alex and Sophie were keen to get up and down as quickly as possible so they could play with them.  And so, they ran all the way up.

I have no idea where they get their energy – I had to speed up the stairs behind them so they didn’t get too far ahead, and was almost crippled by the top!

As I got my breath back, we took in the amazing views.  It was glorious at the top.  I’ve lived in London for nearly 2 decades now and have never been up there – I never imagined it would be that impressive. But it really was wonderful and I’d highly recommend it.

On the way back down, we went slightly slower as Alex wanted to count the steps – he got within 1 digit of the correct number of steps which I thought was pretty impressive.

Back at ground level, we had to visit Pudding Lane (which was entirely underwhelming!)

Much much more interesting was our visit to All Hallows by the Tower – the oldest church in the City of London.  It survived the Great Fire and was where Samuel Pepys watched the city burn.  Here’s the gang ready to go in and explore:

And getting into the Halloween vibe:

I thought we’d just nip in and get a photo of the Great Fire of London stained glass window for Alex’s homework diary.  But a super friendly guide welcomed us and gave us a treasure hunt to complete around the church – the children had to find all the different lions around the church, in carvings, windows and art.  They absolutely loved it!

Our final stop in our Great Fire of London tour was the street where Samuel Pepys lived – the kids were pretty excited to find a statue of him!

It was such a gorgeous day, we decided to take the river boat part of the way home.  What was potentially a quick box-ticking trip to the city turned out to be a brilliant day out.

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