Tourist Baby

I’m a Tourist Baby – Baby Friendly London & Kensington Palace

Baby Friendly London - Kensington Palace - places to go with baby and children in London. Reviewed and accessible! baby-brain.co.uk

Baby Friendly London, and tourist adventures! This is also relevant to the wellbeing and mental health page where I discuss various activity ideas for fun times but also to reduce cabin fever and increase mood. Be a tourist in your own town, or actually go somewhere and be a tourist, with or without baby.

Anyway – here’s some things the Little Lovely got up as a Tourist, Baby.

 

 

Kensington Palace, London, England, UK – Website here

 

Age when visited: 7 months, 1 week

 

Baby Friendly London - Kensington Palace - places to go with baby and children in London. Reviewed and accessible! baby-brain.co.uk

What is there to do?

Well, in honour of Price George of Cambridge’s first birthday (2014) we went to the Palace (Kate and Wills have an apartment here)! Well actually, it wasn’t in honour of his birthday, we were just going anyway but when we got there we saw some birthday banners and balloons up for him, as you can see in the pictures above of the Little Lovely outside the Palace gates.
  • Princess Diana’s Dresses: Look back at fashion as worn by HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • Playing with Victorian style toys at Kensington Palace. Baby Friendly London - places to go with baby. Reviewed by baby-brain.co.uk

    Interactive: Baby playing with Victorian era toys at Kensington Palace

    Queen Victoria: Learn about her life and see what kind of toys they had in the nursery! We played with some of them (not the originals, I assume – see picture). I got told off for sitting on the carpet with no shoes on, though. So keep your shoes on. I’ll assume the baby was fine to go shoeless.
  • Other: Explore the gardens and Orangery – Works of art – the Queen’s State Apartments and King’s State Apartments. There is also a shop.

 

The pictures below are of the main entrance room, with LL posing under a picture of Princess Diana, then in the royal nursery playing with some toys, in another room in the palace, and then spark out and tired at the end of a busy day as a tourist, baby.

tourist baby - activity ideas with baby - Kensington Palace London UK. baby-brain.co.ukEating:

There is a cafe in the Orangery and Palace. I went to the Palace cafe and there are highchairs and kid’s meals available, such as children’s sandwich bags. If you want to bring your own food or do a picnic in the park the nearest shops are a bit of a walk away, and the cafe has tourist cafe prices, so stop off at the shops on the way if you prefer this cheaper option!

Baby and Toddler facilities:

There are changing facilities available. I don’t think there were any specific feeding or breastfeeding areas but a friend and I fed in the entrance area on some comfy seats and no one cared.

Accessibility for prams and those less able to use stairs:

There are lifts to most areas. Staff were very helpful and led me through a step-free route to view the fashion and Princess Diana’s dresses with my pram. I don’t know if this was a temporary arrangement or if this route is usually accessible without staff assistance. But either way, the staff were helpful and you could always ask if unsure. The website also writes that:
There is level access from Kensington Gardens to the palace, a lift to all floors and wheelchairs and portable seating to borrow during your visit. We also offer Describer Tours for blind and partially sighted visitors as well as facilitating British Sign Language tours.

In all, a reasonably baby friendly day out, and there’s the gardens/park to explore as well!

 

Baby Friendly London – The London Aquarium

Baby Friendly London. The London Aquarium. Navigating London with babies and toddlers, fun activities and days out reviewed! from Baby-Brain.co.uk

Sightseeing in London with baby, toddler, kids in tow, or just looking for a fun family day out?

 

The London Aquarium is a reasonably baby-friendly place to visit

 

Baby Friendly London. The London Aquarium. Navigating London with babies and toddlers, fun activities, from Baby-Brain.co.uk

View of the London Aquarium from across Westminster bridge (river Thames)

The London Aquarium (website)

County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB

  • **Children under 3 years old go FREE*** (according to their website at the time of writing this – but check before you go for updated information)
  • Nearest stations: London Waterloo and Westminster tube (**step free access at Westminster station** – meaning you can use the lifts to get your buggy up from the train to street level, no need to take steps or escalators).
  • Nearby attractions: London SouthbankThe London Eye (next door), The London Dungeon (next door), the river Thames (opposite), Westminster, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey (where WIlls and Kate got married)… and more (you are basically in the centre of a lot of interesting London sights).

 

Baby Friendly London. The London Aquarium. Navigating London with babies and toddlers, fun activities, from Baby-Brain.co.uk

See the penguins!

What is there to do?

See a range of sea life including the walk-through tunnel with sea life swimming over your head, the large shark tank, stingrays, turtles, jungle themed tanks including a crocodile, and the “Antarctic Ice Adventure” (this includes penguins but I personally wouldn’t call it a giant “adventure” – it’s ice themed and then there is one penguin area, behind glass, which is cool but the space is limited and when we visited there were quite a few people trying to get a look at the penguins).
There is a small area with an assistant where you can look at and touch some non-threatening sea-life. Otherwise, you’re asked not to touch the fish or use flash photography.
There is also a lot about sea life conservation and protecting the seas.

 

 

Baby Friendly London. The London Aquarium. Navigating London with babies and toddlers, fun activities, from Baby-Brain.co.uk

What to eat?

Food

We visited as part of a group nursery trip so we were able to use a small group dining room that including little chairs and tables for the children. I don’t know if this is freely available. There were a few snack machines as we went around the aquarium.
  • Outside the acquarium there are many food options. Just next door as you exit the gift shop, without having to go outside the building, there is a McDonalds.
  • If you just pop outside there is a fish and chips place inside “county hall” which I think houses other eating options including – for more information on eating options see this page from trip advisor on local cafes and restaurants.
  • There are also food and drink kiosks outside near the London Eye and by the river Thames with some seating, so you could get a drink and snack and look out at the sights.
I personally went round the corner and had a nice hot chocolate from the Starbucks whilst my Little Lovely slept after his day of running around the aquarium shouting FISH all the time (aged 16 months).

 

Baby and Toddler facilities

Baby Friendly London. The London Aquarium. Navigating London with babies and toddlers, fun activities, from Baby-Brain.co.uk

Watching fish

There are changing facilities and toilets dotted around the route inside the aquarium. I didn’t see any specific bottle warming equipment or breastfeeding areas but there are areas you can sit, for example by some of the large display tanks, if you wanted to feed there.

 

Baby Friendly London. The London Aquarium. Navigating London with babies and toddlers, fun activities, from Baby-Brain.co.uk

Fish!

Accessibility for prams and those less able to use stairs

There were no steps at the main entrance. If you enter from Waterloo bridge there are steps down to the aquarium, London Eye and general riverside walkway area, but there is a step free entrance if you walk around back and come out facing the London Eye. Walk to the left past the Eye and you will be at the aquarium.
There are lifts to all areas inside the aquarium.  I didn’t have to take any stairs with my pram. Most of it seemed to be on one level but I remember at least one lift that replaces one short flight of stairs, and then a lift at the end up to the gift shop.
There were about 3 small steps as I left the building (going past McDonalds), but maybe there is a step free exit point if you ask staff. I bumped the buggy down the 3 or so steps.

 

Baby Friendly London. The London Eye, River Thames. Navigating London with babies and toddlers, fun activities and days out reviewed! from Baby-Brain.co.uk

The London Eye is just “next door” to the Aquarium

 

 

Baby Friendly London – Foyles Bookstore


Baby Friendly London. Places and spaces for baby/toddler to feed, change, stretch, crawl & walk. Our reviews & insightsPlaces to stop off in central London that are baby/toddler friendly!

  • Out and about? Need a place to feed and change?

  • Need a place for baby or toddler to get out of the pram and stretch their legs, run around, have a play?

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Foyles – Bookstore (website)

107 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DT

  • Nearest stations: Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square tube
  • Nearby: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Soho

 

What’s so good about it?

If you need somewhere to stop off, get a coffee, let baby or your toddler toddle about, then this shop has many options. You can look at the books and toys in the children’s section and entertain them for a while, make use of the high chairs in the cafe while you have a refreshing cuppa, and then let them stretch their legs upstairs. Here’s some pictures and further details:

 

  • Good selection of children’s books and book related toys. Children’s area has some bean bags, small tables and chairs to read at

Baby Friendly London. Children's books & toys. Space for baby/toddler to stretch, crawl & walk. Foyles

 

Baby Friendly London. Foyles Bookshop, Children's Books. London & Baby from Baby-Brain.co.uk

Lots of Children’s Books

  • Cafe with highchairs, reasonable selection of food and drinks – Baby and toddler changing facilities on same floor
Baby Friendly London. Foyles Cafe. London & Baby from Baby-Brain.co.uk

Foyles Cafe – lots of tasty food and drinks

  • A good open space up on floor 6.
  • We went up here to let our 13 month old get out of the buggy after a long nap to crawl and toddle around. They use this space for events but events are not a regular occurrence so the space was empty. There is plenty of space up there.
  • As you can see below, especially in the middle picture below, there is a large glass window into the space which overlooks the cafe. Another picture of the fuller space on floor 6 is below
Baby Friendly London. Space for baby/toddler to stretch, crawl & walk. Foyles
The space up on floor 6

upstairs space

  • **update** April 2015 – they now have additional seating for the cafe on this floor. I don’t know if it is temporary or not but there was still space up there to walk/crawl around and look out of the window onto the cafe or out onto the road outside. It was also nice and quiet up there with plenty of table space if you have a few people that need to sit around a table.

 

Baby Friendly London. Foyles Cafe. London & Baby from Baby-Brain.co.uk

Additional table space

  • And how do you get around the shop with a buggy? Why by one of their many, fast, lifts of course

Baby Friendly London. Space for baby/toddler to stretch, crawl & walk. Foyles

 

Safety first: this is obviously a shop and not a children’s play area/provider. Check with staff if you have any safety concerns and always supervise activities closely.

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