London – Royal Style – With Children!

Posted on October 13, 2013

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Fairytales are full of princes and princesses but what’s better than seeing them for real! And you can…London is full of castles and carriages and there are so many wonderful experience to take children to. The history is everywhere you look when you’re in London, so we decided it was high time we went there and lived like a Royal…if only for a weekend!

What we did:

No Royal visit to London would be complete without a trip to Buckingham Palace. My children nearly fell over when I told them that we weren’t just going to peer through the gates at the Queen’s primary residence, we were actually going INSIDE!!  Unfortunately we didn’t bump into Her Majesty this time but it felt so special actually being inside the Palace and in the gardens outside.

The Palace state rooms really are a wonderful experience and definitely something to be able to go back and tell friends at school about! You get to have a real insight into what the palace really looks like on the inside – and it’s beautiful! Unfortunately photos inside aren’t allowed (you’ll have to visit yourself to see!) but you can take some in the gardens.

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They have an audio tour for children which is brilliant as it means you can take things at your own pace, stopping and starting as you like. I would advise leaving at least an hour and a half to really appreciate it. It really was the most amazing experience. We loved relaxing in the gardens afterwards with a hot chocolate, Royal style!

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It’s the perfect place for a wander and unbelievable to be able to stroll around the Queen’s back garden!!

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If you want to add another Palace to the mix, a trip to the Tower of London, the original residence of England’s Kings and Queen’s is another really great trip out. You can read about our visit there HERE.

Then there are the Royal Mews, a chance to see the Queen’s horses up close and personal. It’s a real insight into all of the pomp and splendour and something all ages can get out of the experience – my 2 year old absolutely loved seeing the horses at such close quarters.

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The Mews are within the Palace grounds and you can get to see all of the different carriages the Royal family use…

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as well as the car Kate travelled to *that* wedding in!

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Even the exercise yard was impressive and steeped in history.

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We all really enjoyed the chance to have a really up close look behind the scenes.

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For a chance to stretch little legs the Princess Diana Memorial Playground is fantastic, and I mean really fantastic. This was our first trip here and the fountains, playground and especially the huge pirate ship were brilliant (and we fell in love with the cafe in the middle for a reviving coffee!). I think this has to be up there with the best playgrounds in the world!

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What’s particularly great is there are loads of different zones all based around a Peter Pan theme – from busy, activity filled sand and water play to more melodic and beautiful instruments and from castles to run around the top of to wonderful over-sized wooden story chairs and wigwams. What’s more it’s free to enter – perfect!

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And the Memorial playground is set within Kensington Gardens which are beautiful in themselves with a huge lake filled with swans and ducks and kite flying, bike riding and happy walks a plenty. We loved it here.

For children:

The shops around Mayfair and Kensington are full of the most amazing boutiques and a great way to find something special for your own Prince and Princess.

We love Rachel Riley, the beautiful British brand that really is at the forefront of fantastic childrenswear. With shops in Marylebone and Knightsbridge (and New York!) it is certainly worth the trip and my children thought they were really special browsing the amazing clothes (now if only they had adult sizes!).

Since this is a Royal weekend we couldn’t resist these wonderful outfits from their Heritage range! They even come with their own teddy bears and dolls in matching outfits!

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And with the perfect outfits we found the perfect trip – a ‘Prince and princesses Afternoon Tea‘ which Rubens at the Palace have every day for under 12 year olds (although booking is advised as it gets booked up very quickly). Our 6, 4 and 2 year olds felt so special – an afternoon tea just for them complete with sandwiches and cakes. And instead of tea, there’s hot chocolate and milkshakes on offer here!!

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It was the perfect way to end our very Royal trip to London!

Where to stay:

Well of course it could only be Rubens at the Palace. The closest hotel to Buckingham Palace and the most amazing hotel to stay with children. We certainly felt well looked after and pampered after our stay here and can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’d like to read our full review of the hotel you can do so HERE.

Where to eat:

For a truly British meal you can’t beat Bumpkin. Everything is sourced from British land or seas and the ingredients are positively bursting with freshness.

They have a really lovely courtyard with heaters to sit out and relax in and it was a real retreat from busy city life.

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We visited their Chelsea restaurant and their salads were just popping with beautiful fresh flavours and each of our children ate and ate their macaroni cheese and fish fingers.

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When the deserts arrived it was the most quiet our 2 year old has been in a long time!!

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We had a lovely time and can’t wait to return!

Globalmouse would like to thank the Royal Palace for providing us with a complimentary trip to Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews for the purpose of this review. 

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