London Sightseeing with a 19-month old

There is so much to do in London with kids, even though navigating the busy underground with a pushchair can seem a little daunting. Sophia’s first London outing was to the London Coffee Festival when she was 7 months old. She dozed for a lot of the day whilst we sipped espressos, also for a lot of the day! Win win for Triple Espresso 2 Go!

When Sophia was 19 months old she and I went for a day trip by ourselves. I took a backpack and her stroller, donned my trainers and walked for miles. With so many green spaces to run around safely in and so much to look at, Sophia was captivated. We took the train, the tube, a bus and watched the boats on the River Thames, which definitely brought her nursery rhymes to life.  Everyone found her full volume rendition of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ hilarious!

Sophia 18 months

Our sightseeing included:

  • The London Eye and Jubilee Gardens (a great space to run around and have a picnic stop)
  • Big Ben and Houses of Parliament (viewpoint from beside Westminster Bridge)
  • Across Westminster Bridge to Big Ben, Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey:
  • A picnic lunch stop in St James’ Park near the duck pond, overlooking Buckingham Palace
  • Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial
  • Along Constitution Hill to Wellington Arch and through Green Park to The Ritz
  • St Pauls’ Cathedral
  • Deliciously Ella’s Pop up Garden near Liverpool Street Station. Deliciously Ella’s recipes help us to eat healthily on the go whilst we travel. Definitely check out her amazing ideas.

When Sophia was 6 months old we went on a daytrip to London with her Granny and saw loads of the main sights along the Southbank, stopping for coffee every half hour and soaking up the sunshine in between the showers. This is the route we took:

Sophia 7 months

We started off along the Southbank, where we (obviously) stopped for our first coffee and Sophia’s first feed, then headed to Tate Modern:

We passed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Golden Hinde II on our way to the Shard:

The sights from the Shard’s viewing platforms:

The fountain area outside More Place (Jeremy’s office) was the perfect spot for a picnic with beautiful views of Tower Bridge:

After our picnic lunch we crossed Tower Bridge and spent the afternoon in the Tower of London where we saw the Crown Jewels (and got told off for taking a photo of them…oops!) and enjoyed the entertainment of the jesters, the Beefeaters and other costumed-characters. We caught a glimpse of a few of the exotic animals that were kept at the Tower of London in the Royal Menagerie. Fascinating!

It was such a great day out and as usual we jam-packed in as much as we could; we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Two other places we took Sophia, on a different day trip (as they are in completely different parts of London) were the Natural History Museum and the Walkie Talkie building’s Sky Garden.

They were well worth doing, both free with plenty to keep kiddies of all ages entertained, even the grown up ones! The views from the Sky Garden are spectacular on a clear day:

London Travel Tips:

1. Use a bike lock for the buggy to lock it to the railings. This came in so handy when we visited the Tower of London where there were no lifts, only steps in places. One of us popped Sophia in the lightweight baby carrier, and the other carried the nappy bag and off we went to see the views from the walls of the Tower! All the more reason not to overload the buggy basket. We swapped throughout the day- quite literally sharing the load!
2. We found that a lightweight rain coats with hoods were more useful than big warm jackets. Even on London’s cold, drizzly days the tube stations and trains get so hot that it can be ‘coats on, coats off’ kind of weather and the last thing you need is to be carrying around a huge coat as well as all of the baby gear.

3. When travelling solo on the tube with a buggy, look for stops on the tube map which have the wheel chair symbol in a blue shaded circle. This means ‘step-free access from street to train’ and will take you directly to your train via the lifts whereas the wheel chair access symbol in a white shaded circle means ‘step-free access from street to platform’, but the platform isn’t specified and you may not be able to reach your train without negotiating some steps.  I tried unsuccessfully to carry Sophia in her stroller down some steps as the lifts were out of order but some kind gentleman came to our rescue and helped me to carry the buggy.

4. Take a lightweight stroller just in case you do have to carry it up or down the stairs by yourself! It only happened to us once.

5. Ask for help. Londoners are a lot more friendly than people may think.

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About tripleespresso2go

Jeremy, Katie and Sophia are a family of three from the UK who have a passion for travel, good coffee, music and photography. They are currently based in Penang, Malaysia. Follow their adventures as they taste the finest coffee and photograph their way around the Asia.