London Southbank

I am already behind in writing blog posts, however the days have been fun-filled and I have enjoyed spending time outdoors in the spring sunshine with Reuben and Archie and we are currently enjoying a week at home in Scotland with my parents and sister. Before we came up to Scotland we spent a few days in London in the lovely sunshine and made the most of it by going into central London to meet a friend on the Southbank and to visit London aquarium.

WeVictoria Embankment Gardens love the Southbank and made the most of the nice weather and went in early, coming off at Charing Cross and stopped to explore the Victoria Embankment gardens, which were in full bloom and such a sun trap first thing in the morning. This public park was opened in 1865 and designed by Sir Joseph Bazelgette. Designed to be a welcome retreat from the busy, bustling Embankment it is popular with office workers as a space to relax. The large impressive bedding displays were a source of intrigue to Archie and we spent a good hour spotting bees and butterflies.IMG_8103 In the summer the bandstand has a programme of events and deckchairs are provided for visitors to the garden to enjoy. We will keep this on the list of things to do this summer! We discovered various statues in the park as well as a memorial to the Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

We enjoyed a lovely walk across the IMG_8109Golden Jubilee bridge afterwards, taking in all the sights and sounds. Archie especially loves the boats going under the bridge and the trains that run alongside on the Hungerford bridge. Archie took off once he caught sight of the Jubilee gardens, which are opposite the London Eye and adjacent to the aquarium. The gardens have been there since May 2012 and are looked after by IMG_8120the Jubilee Gardens Trust which promotes unity between neighbouring landowners, local businesses and local community. It consists of a sustainable park with plenty seating, flower beds and a lovely contemporary playground for all ages. He has so much fun here, burning off excess energy whilst Mum sat in the sun. We met up with a friend for lunch on the Southbank before heading into the aquarium for a couple of hours. In January we bought a Merlin annual pass as a combined Christmas and Birthday present from us to Archie, with the premise that we would have plenty enjoyable family days out over the year as opposed to adding to the piles of toys we already have. And it really has been worth it. Keep an eye out for the sale they have on the passes each January as it is well worth considering. This of IMG_6895course means that we can come and go as many times as we like to the aquarium (amongst another 30odd attractions up and down the UK) which is nice. Entry is expensive and we don’t need to worry about making the most of each trip there, we can be led by what Archie wants to look at and let him spend as much or as little time as he wants there. His current favourite is the starfish which you can touch in the rock-pool, he almost runs to get to that bit! We first came to the aquarium for Archie’s 1st birthday, gosh what a difference two years can make.IMG_6885



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