Children love touring London — Photo courtesy of Matthew Kenwrick Children love touring London. Whatever their age, there is always something to do and see in the capital. This city boasts some of the most interactive and friendly museums in the world, packed to the brim with history, knowledge and artefacts.
Guided walking tours are one way of seeing London, some offer family packages too. The guides might take you around a museum, or past famous monuments and sights in London explaining the history behind each place, and painting a picture of London of that period, from the dirt of Medieval London with its guilds and trade, to the global power of the Tudors, the Elizabethans and the Victorians. That way the past really is brought alive in front of your eyes, and the multicultural city you see today is given a context.
The museum of London is not just for children, but most kids will love it. Inside you can learn how the Romans civilised the city, river and sea trade built it up, and how the Great Fire threatened to burn it down. Inside the Blitz exhibition you'll feel what it was like to live in the Capital during the Second World War, as German rockets and bombs rained down. The museum also brings you right up to date, and it has a sister museum in Docklands to focus more on the Thames, and its links to the sea.
At the tower of London, a riot of history and fun — Photo courtesy of ayesOf course, if you haven't already visited, the Tower of London is a must see, and also brilliant for exposing kids to that gruesome royal history of beheadings, political prisoners, handsome knights, and glistening jewels. In school holidays, the Tower do great interactive days allowing kids to dress up, and joust whilst learning all about the importance of the Tower to the crown and to London itself. Even outside holiday time, the Beefeaters weave a great tale, and make sure children know that if the Ravens ever leave the tower of London, then the city itself will fall, back into the mud of the Thames from whence it came.
In the Natural History and the British museum you get histories of different artifacts The Shakespeare exhibition at the British Museum in winter 2012 is a perfect example of an interactive and brilliant way of telling the nations story through the objects found at historic sites like the Globe Theatre where Shakespeare and his actors once trod the boards.
Inside St Paul's Cathedral, there is plenty of history to discover as children marvel at the grandness, the fact that it stood standing through fire and world wars, and its importance as a symbol for London. If more recent history is your style, then older kids might be interested in the Cabinet War Rooms, near Westminster, they tell the story of Sir Winston Churchill and his leadership during the Second World War. War, and strategy are also explored. Staying on the war theme, the Imperial War Museum, just near Lambeth North is another great place to document military history, and the social and psychological effects of war. This museum runs special programmes and exhibitions to explain the reality of war and its effects to children too, and has a great archive and resources for those studying this topic at school.
Children enjoy London's Parks — Photo courtesy of pauldwaiteOf course Parks, don't on the surface, seem about history at all, but they are a great place for children to run around, and many of them have historic monuments, and even museums inside. The Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, or Kensington Gardens with its statue to Peter Pan and his creator, JM Barrie, to name but a few.