Y is for Yoof and all things Young #atozchallenge

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London is a young person’s city. The age profile is lower than any other part of the UK. It’s full of schools and large cars and undeveloped knees on permanent display. Most of what I’ve visited on this tour so far is anathema to the under teens. Maybe a few places would amuse for a moment or ten but many would receive an eye roll, a ‘whatever’ expression and a well developed sulk. Or was that only my children?

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So for this post I thought I’d offer a few obvious and a few less obvious ideas for youngsters. I’ve avoided sports venue though most do tours if you are so inclined and find the cost of actually attending a game or match or whatever too much. Personally for the cricket nut Lord’s is the best of any…

Anyway, moving on…

Fountains

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Somerset House and King’s Cross are two places, in the summer, where you can run the gauntlet of water torture.

They do get a bit more exciting than this. Honest. They are free, most importantly.

Olympic Park – Now the Queen Elizabeth Park

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Out in east London the park contains the Orbit

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which has the largest helter skelter in it (much to the original designer’s chagrin – Anish Kapoor, eat your heart out – which opens this summer, and acres of parkland where many events, at lot free, take place during the summer months. The park is still being converted away from the Olypmics but even so it is worth a visit.

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If you can’t stand the idea of wandering through the biggest shopping centre in Europe to get there, avoid arriving via Stratford station and catch the tube to West Ham and follow the Greeway in. It’s a 15 minute wander and a much better way to get there. You’ll also pass the viewing pod with the best bacon and egg ciabattas. All free apart from the Ciabattas.

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Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green

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Another tube run to the east, but if you want to engage the children there’s lots to do and I guarantee you’ll find a memory jogger from your own youth.

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At present there’s a stunning and poignant exhibition on forced child migration that took place from the UK to Canada, Australia, NZ and Zimbabwe between the 1890s to the end of the 1960s.

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An appalling stain on the reputations of all countries involved.

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It’s free

Nature

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If you are at King’s Cross already try the pond dipping at Camley Road or the farms at Mudchute (on the DLR) or in Crystal Palace Park.

Dinosaurs

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Of course the Natural History museum caters for these but also Crystal Palace park

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with its full scale Victorian versions.

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This park is glorious, but come by train and stop at the Brown and Green cafe next to the ticket office. Bacon and egg soda bread rolls to challenge the pod ciabattas! Both are free (the parks and museums not the food)

Viscera

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Do your little ones like the grim and the gruesome?

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Well, try the Hunterian museum that is in the Royal College of Surgeons on Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

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The pickled body parts and anatomical freak show will open your eyes. It’s free but it would be tasteless of me to suggest where to head for food after. You’ll probably not want to.

London Docklands Museum

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This is a small gem – again free – nestling in an old building on the edge of Canary Wharf;

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it has the history of London’s docks.

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But it far from dry and dull with imaginative exhibitions and explanations.

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And Canary Wharf is worth a visit for the cluster of buildings and Birleys salt beef cafe (on the Lower ground floor underneath the central tower). Divine.

There are plenty of other places. Most large museums and galleries are free. A lot put on sessions for children especially during the school holidays. Check Time Out and see what’s on. You’ll be amazed. If there’s one place to head for it is

The South Bank

Start at London Bridge

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or the Tower (and cross Tower Bridge) this stretch of the Thames path runs to St Thomas’ Hospital in the west. Variously you will pass (or be within a few minutes of)

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Tower Bridge

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The City Hall

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HMS Belfast

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Borough Market

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best on a Thursday thru Sunday with lots of nibbles to taste and exotic burgers – Ostrich is a fav

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today was a salt beef sarnie

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The Golden Hind,

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Sir Francis Drakes 16th Century ship (a replica)

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Southwark Cathedral

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Winchester palace, in ruins

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The Clink Prison – a Victorian prison

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Vinopolis for the history of wine making

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The Globe theatre, a replica of how Shakespeare would have been originally performed

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Tate Modern

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The underpasses at Southwark Bridge

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and Blackfriars

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Gabriel’s Wharf with its range of cutesy shops and eateries

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The OxO tower

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The National Theatre, the British Film Institute, the Hayward Gallery

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and the skate board park

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The Udderbelly comedy tent

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The London eye – big wheel

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County Hall with

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The London Dungeon

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The Shrek exhibition

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The London Aquarium

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And across Lambeth Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

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The finest of the walks alongside St Thomas’ hospital

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with a touching memorial stone to the victims of BSE – ‘mad cow’ disease.

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And finally the Garden Museum

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And Lambeth Palace, home the the Arch Bis of Canterbury.

It’s a days wander if you call in anywhere.  But it is car free and the best way to dip in and out of London while seeing the skyline and appreciating the extraordinary meander of the Thames as you walk.

There’s an obvious venue I’ve left out. Perfect for all ages. It’s for tomorrow. Anyone care to guess?

 

This is part of the 2016 A to Z Blogging challenge. Please click here to find your way to other participants.

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About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in A to Z blogging challenge, challenge, London, miscellany and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Y is for Yoof and all things Young #atozchallenge

  1. Al Lane says:

    Are we going to the zoo tomorrow?? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Every time I’ve been in that part of London it’s been for work and I’ve had no time to see anything. Feels like you just closed a gap!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BunKaryudo says:

    It seems there’s a lot for young people to do in London. Nowadays, my kids would probably be most interested in the dinosaurs or the London Eye, but when they were younger, it would definitely have been the fountain. Of course, they would have wanted to run through it and get soaked.

    Like

  4. Ritu says:

    So many places to visit!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. esthernewton says:

    Fantastic photos and lots of interesting bits and pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Would it be in Regent’s Park, by any chance?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jan says:

    Wow, a lot of great pictures. I hadn’t thought of London as primarily a young person’s town but when we had a lovely day (after lots of rain) I remember all the young people out on the sidewalks enjoying your version of Happy Hour!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. noelleg44 says:

    I think you nailed this! Even I, a…er,,, mature woman would like to visit some of these places. I know I’ve seen the fountains at Somerset House or King’sCross in some movie or other – an 007? I’ve read some fiction books about the forced migration on the children – Railroad Children? Full of questions today…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. willowdot21 says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lbeth1950 says:

    I prefer children’s venues! They are made for fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ali Isaac says:

    Fabulous post Geoff! You’ve given me plenty of ideas next time I’m down your way with my boys!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Judy Martin says:

    Some wonderful places to visit there Geoff and you took some great photos.
    What I loved about this post too,is that you mentioned good places to eat as well. Very important in my book! 🙂

    Like

  13. AJ.Dixon says:

    I love wandering around London, there’s so much to see and do. A few places you’ve mentioned have slipped under my radar so I believe another visit is needed! Thanks for the great tour!

    Like

  14. roweeee says:

    So many things to do when we finally get there. I hope you have a visitors guide for when all your blogging mates come to town…there’s another book idea for you.
    I’ve walked across London Bridge. Didn’t recognise the rest from my 1992 visit. Our daughter is scared of heights and I am wondering how she would go on the London Eye. I suspect she would have her eyes shut, which defeats the purpose but at least the rest of us would get a turn.

    Like

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