Saturday on the Southbank

At the weekend we took an impromptu trip (they are always the best right?) into London. We asked Archie where he wanted to go and he excitedly asked for the aquarium. Fine by us, we have Merlin annual passes for the second year running and found them great value for money last year, especially in the warmer months and thought we would do them again this year before Archie starts at school and really make the most of them. There are numerous attractions included on the Merlin pass, the aquarium being one of them and I have lost count the number of times he has been to the aquarium. We managed a few trips to Legoland last summer, a few rides on the London eye, a trip to Shrek’s adventure when it opened at the end of last year and the SEA LIFE sanctuary at Great Yarmouth when we took a week’s break to Norfolk last summer. It will be nice to tick a few more off the list this year, perhaps a few of those in the North West when we revisit the Lake District in May for my sister’s 30th birthday celebrations and Warwick castle perhaps on our way there or way back from Wales for my Dad’s 65th birthday celebrations in the late summer. More exciting days out to add to the never-ending ‘to visit list’!

Back to our day out, travelling into London is part of the fun with a train mad son, spotting train depots, naming variety of different trains passing us on the way and even the buffers once we have terminated is all part of the experience for him, he truly never tires of trains and the older he gets, the more his language is developing and he is even beginning to educate me on the intricacies of all things train related!

Waiting on the train at our local train station

Upon arriving at Kings Cross, we almost always meander our way down to the Southbank, as long as the weather permits. It’s a nice walk and a good distance, I always enjoy a walk through Covent Garden on our way and along Shaftesbury Avenue before crossing the Thames on the Golden Jubilee bridge onto the Southbank. I must admit our visit to the Aquarium was short, it was packed. Too busy really to enjoy ourselves and take our time. We even skipped the part where you go through the tunnel with the sea life swimming overhead as there was a queue to get through it. Usually we visit on a weekday when I am not at work and I think we will stick to that in the future. Once we came out we took advantage of the London Eye being right next door to the aquarium and plus our passes allow for fast track access so within 15 minutes we were on one of the capsules.

London Eye at dusk
Riding the London Eye
Recognising the landmarks on the London skyline
My boys
Scooting on the Southbank
Lunchtime pitstop
Jacques Rival’s artwork IFO (Identified Flying Object)

On our way home the swing that sits inside Jacques Rival’s artwork, the IFO, was free and we spent a few moments on it before we deemed it too cold to be swinging at 6pm on a cold February evening and headed home. We really are very lucky to be able to make the most of what London has to offer and as much as I enjoy making the most of local activites offered on our doorstep, it is always nice to venture into London. I am looking forward to making the very most of both local and city days out as the days get longer and warmer.



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