We began our travels in London, a city where we lived for six years from 2002 to 2008 and where our firstborn was born.
We had just six days, so we allowed the children to choose one major excursion each: the Natural History Museum for Louis, Harry Potter World for Lily, and a Cricket World Cup match for Tom. Around that we would fit catch ups with six sets of friends, and the usual sightseeing.
I approached this jam-packed week with some trepidation, knowing it was a big ask for severely jet lagged children. We had accepted invitations to stay with friends, as that would give us time to catch up in the evenings, but I was conscious we are quite a tribe and anxious about visiting with overtired children.
Over the 11 years since we left, our friends had almost all moved out of central London, so this had the added bonus of allowing us to explore gorgeous villages and countryside in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
In my 20-something London days, I ignorantly thought the only reason people moved out to commuter towns was because they couldn’t afford homes in London. That was before I became a country girl myself, so I returned with a whole new appreciation for hedgerows, leafy lanes and cute country towns, all of which proved a much more gentle introduction to England than being propelled straight into Londontown.
The first night we slept 9pm to 6am, so I naively thought we were through the jet lag. Off we went, the boys to Legoland and the girls to Windsor Castle.
Windsor is a working castle, so what you see depends on whether the Queen is in residence, or dignitaries are in town. Our visit took a tour of the state apartments, which are grand and as one would expect, followed by St George’s Chapel, where Harry and Meghan got wed. The Queen’s parents and sister are buried beneath its marble floor, and I couldn’t help wondering how it feels for her to walk those aisles at this time in her life.
Lily made a video sharing some of her day at Windsor Castle so click the link to check that out on the kids’ blog.
Meanwhile Louis, who is almost 7, proved the perfect age for Legoland.
Here’s a video he made about his day.
If you’re visiting Windsor Castle…
Book tickets online in advance and print them out (you need the paper copy). This allows you to skip past the crowds who line up all the way down the high street and sail to the front. We bypassed around 300 m of queue and well over an hour’s waiting this way, possibly more. Well worth it.