As you know, it was my son’s birthday a few weeks ago and we threw him an Army Themed Party at home for the family.
We also took him up into London the day before so we could visit M&Ms World in Leicester Square and go to Chinatown. We ended up doing a lot of walking that day and showing him the wonderful sites of London.
I’m a born and bred Londoner and I love being able to visit the city. With it being only a 20 minute or so train ride from where we live, there is no excuse not to go every so often!
Our first port of call was the tube after getting the overground train from where we live. Fortunately, the central line wasn’t too packed, which was surprising for a Saturday! But no complaining – packed tubes are the worst! After a couple of changes, we went up the escalators at Leicester Square station to go to M&Ms World.
We decided to get to the store by walking through Chinatown which my boy has never been to before. It was still decorated for Chinese New Year.
Eventually we got to M&Ms World – I wanted to buy some green, cream and brown M&Ms to make the camo mix for his party the next day! He just wanted to buy lots of M&Ms!!
The store was huge, spanning 4 levels with lots of M&Ms merchandise and a whole wall of M&Ms in every colour you can imagine…sadly though, only the two regular types – peanut and chocolate…we want to visit the one in Orlando to see if they sell the other kinds like pretzel and peanut butter!
After spending maybe 40 minutes walking around the store, we came out into Leicester Square and I suggested we take a walk down to Trafalgar Square to show him Nelson’s Column, the fountains and the huge lion sculptures.
A demonstration was taking place beneath the column and we didn’t want to get to close – too many protesters and police for my liking.
The National Gallery stands overlooking the square. I’ve been here before, but thought he would find it too boring!
I remember as a child going up to Trafalgar Square a lot with my grandparents and, with my sister, feeding the pigeons! That’s not allowed any more, and I saw this tourist get told off…eek!
We walked down to the huge lions, but it was crowded with tourists climbing up to have their photo taken – we could have waited our turn, but he didn’t fancy it. My boy can be quite shy at times.
We then crossed the road to walk under Admiralty Arch and then continue down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace. I just love all the history, statues and architecture that is within this great city of London. Makes me proud to be British!
The Mall is looooooong! As we walked down we commented how many people must have been piled into it for the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in 2012.
We saw these statues of King George V and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother)
One side of the road is home to St. James’s Park – another place I remember going to often as a child. I told my two boys about how I used to swing from the railings upside down!
We also saw the guards standing in Stables Yard Road outside Clarence House, which was the former home of the Queen Mother, and is now the London residence for The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.
I’d like to go back in the summer when the guards aren’t wearing their big winter coats and show Liam their red uniforms.
Eventually, Buckingham Palace and the huge Victoria Memorial with its statue of Queen Victoria was coming into sight!
Sadly, there was not to be a changing of the guard on this day. We will have to go back one day.
Hubs pointed out the London Eye behind us – somewhere that both he and I have been, but Liam has yet to experience. There is so much to do in London!
We then decided it was lunch time and started to walk towards St. James’s Park Station to catch a tube back – the long walk had put us off having to walk all the way back again! We saw this London Duck Tours bus/boat hybrid…something to do on another day!
We finally found the station, to discover it was closed as that part of the line was having maintenance work being done on it, so walked towards Westminster – seems our legs and feet weren’t going to be getting the rest!
We saw a lone red telephone box – I love these! They are such a rare sight these days, I remember when they were everywhere! We also saw a double post box, painted gold to honour the triumph of the London 2012 Olympics.
We saw Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben…
A statue of Abe Lincoln and an old man painting the view in front of him…
We then decided to hop on a bus which took us along the Embankment and back to Leicester Square. We got off and the first restaurant we saw was a Garfunkles, knowing that Liam was getting a bit antsy and feeling hungry, I made the executive decision to go in there to have lunch rather than seek anywhere else!
He had a huge burger for his lunch – where he put it, I don’t know!
Hubby had some chicken, as did I.
The last time we went to a Garfunkles (at The O2) we didn’t have the best of dining experiences. Fortunately, this was a lot better!
Liam had pancakes for dessert and I had a waffle…clearly missing Bruges!
By now, it was late afternoon and after our lunch, we crossed the road to catch a bus back to Liverpool Street station to get a train back home.
We were lucky to catch a fast train back, missing out a lot of the stops and were home in next to no time. Had such a brilliant day out, and looking back at these photos as I’ve written this post, I realise we really should do this more often! London has so much to offer!