One last hurrah – exploring London Bridge with a toddler
If you’ve seen my Instagram post, you’ll know that after nearly seven years in the capital, Hubby, Hannah and I are waving goodbye to London.
So with just days before we leave, we decided to take one last excursion and explore London Bridge.
Bearing in mind that we have a nearly two-year-old, our jaunts aren’t as carefree and adventurous as they used to be. We have to factor in step-free access on the underground, pit stops for nappy changes and of course, a toddler’s burning desire to run free at intervals.
Also, considering I have a bright-eyed kid that will NOT nap in the pram, there was also the added need to keep her entertained. At. All. Times.
Now I’ve been to London Bridge plenty of times before. But exploring London Bridge with a toddler and a pram is a whole new experience.
However I was keen to see if the neighbourhood was toddler friendly, and I’m glad to report it was, in the most surprising of places.
First stop was the Shard. That’s right, the tall pointy building I’ve visited many a time. But usually my trips to the Shard are for mocktails or nibbles without a small person in sight.
I was interested to see how accommodated we’d feel with our mini in tow.
We booked breakfast at the Aqua Shard, and thankfully at that time, the restaurant was practically empty. This meant I wasn’t too conscious of having a potentially messy, noisy and raucous toddler at the table.
Aqua Shard is somewhat equipped for children. They have high chairs, though they didn’t have kids cutlery. But this wasn’t a huge deal for us as Hannah is quite handy with an adult fork.
There also isn’t a kids breakfast menu (though I wasn’t expecting one), but Hannah had sautéed potatoes, which were dairy free and looked like chips, which was a win for her. I was also relieved to learn that Aqua Shard is a nut-free restaurant.
I opted for the vegetarian English, while hubby treated himself to a lobster benedict, and we swapped our dishes hallway through munching.
After breakfast Hannah was super excited that she had free reign to run around the entire restaurant, which both delighted and perhaps frightened staff (health and safety) in equal measure.
But at no point we’re we made to feel unwelcome with a toddler running around.
So if you have a little one and think that a visit to the Shard is out of the question – think again! It’s totally do-able.
My top tips for visiting the Shard with a toddler…
- Make reservations for breakfast instead of lunch as it’s nice and quiet
- Pack your own cutlery
- Take some entertainment – just in case the view from the 132nd floor isn’t enough to keep your little one’s attention.
Exploring London Bridge with a toddler – a new find
Next on the itinerary was an impromptu trip to the Science Gallery, where they had an exhibition on Dark Matter.
So while it wasn’t exactly something Hannah would go for, she didn’t mind being around the space sounds and neon lights, while hubby and I learned more about the planet.
Of course it would be rude to visit London Bridge and not browse through Borough Market.
For those who don’t know, Borough Market is not your average veg market – there’s artisan chocolate (which I grabbed a bar of. Or two), exotic veg, and lunch options aplenty.
Also if you’re a movie buff, Bridget Jones lived above Borough Market, though I didn’t spot her flat.
As we were stuffed from breakfast, we decided against grabbing food at the market, and instead grabbed lunch from M&S and headed towards our final destination – the Sea Life Centre.
We were initially going to go on the London Eye, but we decided that spending 40 minutes in an enclosed space with a toddler might incite boredom and a possible tantrum.
The Sea Life Centre was the perfect option for Hannah and us grown ups, as she was beyond happy exploring all the different fish that she had so far seen in storybooks. Meanwhile, we had a glimpse of marine life we didn’t know existed.
Now while our pre-Hannah days out would end up with dinner at a restaurant, we were more than ready to get home by 3pm.
While Hannah, who had been awake since 8am, actually slept in her pram on the tube home. This, let me tell you, NEVER happens. So clearly she had a stimulating day.
So overall, I would recommend a visit to London Bridge if you have a young family.
My advice for exploring London Bridge with a toddler would be:
- Avoid rush hour
- Take some reigns with you (Hannah has a backpack with reigns)
- Pack plenty of kid-friendly snacks.
The spending money for this excursion was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
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About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.