Ever Scout by Stacee Adams

Friday, August 26, 2016

Highlights from The Tower and Buckingham Palace

If you follow me on Instagram (@staceetravels) then you know how busy we are! The kids are out of school, its 80 degrees in our flat with 4 people in  750 square feet = that's enough to drive even the most patient, saint-like parents insane! We tend to load up our stroller with snacks and water then head out on an adventure until everyone is worn out! This is our last official week of the kids being out of school and home with me, so we hit up two major sites in London. My plan is to take shorter visits with the boys and once school starts,  I want to go back ALONE to tour nice and slow. :)

The Tower of London

We have a pass to The Tower, so can visit as many times as we like. This was our 3rd time and we managed to climb up all the flights of stairs (and there are a lot of those stairs) in one visit! There are so many gorgeous views of the Tower Bridge from here but I can't say the boys really enjoyed all the exhibits.



Their favorites were the Crown Jewels and the Royal Beasts area. They did like the Wall Walk and enjoyed the White Tower until we were about half way through. When you enter the Tower, turn left into the grassy moat area. This is where the Beef Eater tours start (great for older kids) but its also a great area to let them run loose and get some energy out. I've noticed that the Tower is busier in the mornings (particularly on Monday mornings) but we have gone in the late afternoon and there was no wait for the Crown Jewels.





Their absolute favorite part of the day was visiting the playground that is next to the Tower Hill Tube station. Where else can you play next to a Roman Wall that was built 2000 years ago!! This wall is one of the only remaining pieces of the Roman occupation. The wall once extended for two miles and was 6 to 9 feet thick and 18 feet high in places. It was truly a gorgeous playground with views of the Shard and the Tower of London in the background.



Buckingham Palace

We practically live in Buckingham Palace's shadow. We walk or ride the bus around it most days and Badge has really wanted to go inside since we moved here. The best time to visit the Palace is when the State Rooms are open from late July to early October. The other two sections of the Palace, the Royal Mews and Queen's Gallery, are open year round but I didn't think the kids would find them that entertaining. You can buy various types of tickets for the Palace but we choose to just visit the State Rooms only. You aren't allowed to take photos inside but they do provide a free audio guide that I highly recommend. Make sure you grab headsets for everyone, I didn't think the kids would like listening and realized early on that I should have gotten them each their own guide. Thanks to the amazing Palace staff, the boys got their own headsets and the crisis was adverted! We loved seeing inside the State Rooms but our favorite part was the Family Pavilion and Gardens. The boys colored their own crown, baked a cake for the Queens Birthday and had some fun photo ops.







We sat down for a snack at the Cafe for a very Royal Cappuccino and cake.



I really loved the Gardens and wished they would allow you to walk around more of it- so gorgeous! We also really liked the find and seek activities page for kids.





On your way out of the Palace, you can get your ticket stamped to have unlimited re-entry for a year. I think this is a great options for parents since it allows you to visit again by yourself to take it all in. We skipped most of the Queens Wardrobe exhibit and I'm looking forward to going back to see it soon.

Pro tip: Book just the State Room Tickets* for the earliest time at 9:15am and you'll be one of the first in the palace!
*If you book Royal Day Out Tickets, you'll have to visit the Queen's Gallery first, then have a timed ticket for the State Rooms later in the day, which doesn't give you a lot of flexibility for families.









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