We spent half term in London in the very pretty Blackheath, just outside Greenwich. There’s loads of things to do in Greenwich and the larger southeast London region for all the family, plus it’s very easy to get into central London for some of the bigger sights too. As I’m fairly familiar with the area I thought I’d go see some lesser-known spots as well as the big hitters. Many of the places we visited were free to get in so your only cost is transport if you get organised with snacks and a picnic lunch.
Down House is the Georgian manor home of Charles Darwin. It’s now managed by English Heritage, and is a top family day out.
We spent the week of October half term in Northumberland. I’ve always wanted to visit this stunning part of the country. I had visions of windswept moors, deserted beaches and castles at every turn, and it didn’t disappoint. We visited as a family of three generations so it was important we did things that catered for all ages. Here’s a round-up of fun things to do in Northumberland with kids.
We visited the Discover Story Centre in Stratford last month. I’d read about it in Little London, a really useful book for any parents who live in or near London, and was curious to visit. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d never heard about anything like it. Little London describes it as ‘a magical place for young kids, gently exploring their imaginations and encouraging them into a lifetime’s love of reading.’
Nothing says summer more than the gentle hum of fat, golden bumblebees and the soothing scent of lavender blooms. Fragrant lavender is in full bloom during July and August, so these are the best months to dig out your camera and get snap happy among the purple blooms. This is the ideal time to capture those summer vibes with a visit to a lavender farm, and if you go yearly, you’ll also collect lifelong memories of the family as they grow.
I’m a massive fan of London. London without kids is fun. London with kids is even better. Anything you fancy doing, London will have it, and a lot of the best activities for kids in London are free too. Because there is such a lot to do, I’ve split this blog post up into themes – so whether you have a dinosaur fan, book worm or outdoor explorer you’ll find the best of London for the family.
What a weekend. I feel like I’ve just come back from a week abroad. We took a spontaneous trip over to the Isle of Wight on Bank Holiday Saturday as the weather was so perfect. We found the perfect Isle of Wight campsite, went orienteering (aka ‘mountain climbing’ according to my son), splashed at the beach, ate ice cream, and went for a bike ride in the New Forest on the way home. I am now completely in love with the Isle of Wight. Why haven’t I been before?
Part of why I set up The Smaller Explorer was to connect with like-minded families. There’s nothing like chatting with others who have managed to do something amazing after having children. It’s so inspiring, and also gives me loads of ideas of what I could do in the future too, and how to do it.
This series hopes to inspire other families who want to get back out there after parenthood, but don’t quite know where to start, or if it’s possible. There was only one lady I could start with – Catherine Edsell. Catherine is an adventurer, expedition leader, PADI divemaster, Reef Check trainer, yoga teacher, FRGS, TED talker, podcaster and mother of two daughters. Phew.
Finding UK adventures and having a go at different challenges when you have young children is not just achievable, it’s great fun and a good bonding experience too.
Here at The Smaller Explorer, we have a BIG family travel bucket list. Some places are listed because of the one-of-a-kind wow factor. Some places would be an eye opener and hugely educational. Some are pure childish escapism. I’ve listed some tour operators that do similar trips, but there’s no reason why you can’t plan and organise it all yourself. In no particular order, because how could you choose?!