We love a city break and the UK is filled with some great baby friendly cities! Some of favourite family travel bloggers have picked their favourite cities for family city breaks and have shared other parents to offer top tips, advice and inspiration for other families to take successful UK city break. Continue reading UK City Breaks with babies
Henley upon Thames, mostly known for its regatta is a lovely town just a short train ride from London and is the perfect spot for a family weekend away. So here are my top things to do on a weekend away in Henley with a baby:
Stroll down the Thames
Henley is on the Thames – clues in the name! – and it’s a beautiful place for taking a walk!
If you are walking from the city centre you will pass
Not too be missed in a weekend away in Henley! It tells the story of the Thames, rowing and Henley! And for the little ones there is a lovely wind in the willows exhibition!
For lunch stop at any of the wonderful river side pubs!
If you don’t want to walk or perhaps want to see the Thames from a different perspective then you should take a boat trip ! Hobbs of Henley offer reasonably priced trips on beautiful boats!
It is a beautiful Tudor country house with, in my opinion, even more beautiful grounds! For the little ones, you can go on a hunt for fairy doors. We took our daughter and our niece and nephew who really enjoyed the hunt even though we were somewhat lacking in success!
Have you been to Henley? What would you recommend doing there on a weekend away?
Gin has been the drink du jour for the past few years in London. Served in teacups, jam jars and other weird serving methods, it has been the drink of hipsters and yuppies alike. The craze has not escaped me either and as part of my pre pregnancy birthday celebrations, Wandermust Daddy booked a special evening at the City of London Distillery, or COLD as it otherwise abbreviated.
COLD was opened in 2012 and marked a 200 year absence of Gin distilling within London City limits where previously there had been over a thousand.
During the eighteenth century there was a period known as ‘the gin craze’. When there were gin shops littering virtually every street in London. Most famously, the craze for gin was portrayed in Hogarth’s Beer Street and Gin Lane . The print showed the dangers of drinking gin- suicide, madness and starvation being only a few of the consequences of gin drinking.
There isn’t a gin shop on every corner anymore but the London hasn’t lost it’s taste (hopefully not to the extent shown above) for gin and COLD is bringing back the gin distilling tradition to the City of London.
COLD is tucked away in a basement just off Fleet Street, just below St Bride’s Church in an unassuming building which could be easily missed. When you descent the stairs you are confronted with a large glass wall with the Gin Lab to one side. COLD organises tours of the Gin distillery for Groups where you can distill your own gin but also has a bar for you to enjoy gin tastings and an array of inventive cocktails at the other end of the basement.
There is a sweet spot for visiting Oxford. You want to hit it when the students aren’t there but also avoiding the summer visitors. Therefore September is the perfect time to visit
So what are the best things to do in 48 hours in Oxford?
We started our day with a walk round the covered market. It’s not huge but worth a look. The butchers inside has the worlds oldest ham apparently.
Then we headed to the bodelian library to see the Radcliffe camera. You can also go into the library but babies and libraries don’t usually mix.
One of the things I hadn’t realized about Oxford is that the colleges are open to the public. We stumbled upon New College while wondering around the city and discovered it was open so decided to go in.
Unfortunately the interior of college prohibits photography so I can’t show you how lovely it was. Our particular favorite room was the chapel, the reredos is particularly stunning.
New college is also great for children who will recognize it as the grounds of Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Another thing I hadn’t realized is how extensive the grounds of the colleges are and we were surprised by the beautiful garden and mound in the grounds of new college which are enclosed by the Oxford city wall.
It was a beautiful spot for photos. We enjoyed walking the grounds and taking some family photos.
After a brief stop for lunch we decided to see what other colleges were open and stumbled open Magdelen college.
If we had been impressed by the grounds of New college, then Magdalen really took our breath away. Inside the college, aside from the stunning cloisters and chapel, there was a lovely garden, a view of the river where we spotted some students punting and most surprisingly a deer park.
We took the opportunity to take some lovely family photographs while the grounds were empty before heading buck for the day.
On our second day we continued with our tours of the Oxford Colleges with a visit to Christ College. The most expensive of the colleges and with perhaps the most stunning dining room. This college is great for potter fans as this was used as the hogwarts dining room in Harry Potter and the philosophers stone. Entrance also includes access to the church.
We then spent our afternoon visiting some of the museums of Oxford – worthy of a post themselves The ashmolean has to be a family favorite.
We ended our day with a shopping trip including to a trip to Sanders of Oxford map shop where we bought the below map. It shows pacific currents for the part of our round the world trip we are doing by boat. We couldn’t resist.
Wandermust family top tip for families
Be warned Oxford is very cobbled and our pram took a beating. Baby carriers are probably a good idea here
What are your top tips for visiting Oxford?
Part of #farawayfiles
We had a pretty good idea that my 30th birthday might be our last sans baby! Therefore wandermust daddy organized a day of treats that you can’t do with a baby – the first being a speedboat down the Thames.
We used Thames Rib Company who I would thoroughly recommend
The trip started at embankment and headed westwards towards the Houses of Parliament. We had a great view of the sun setting over Parliament.
The trip then took us past the London Eye , Tate Modern and The Shard.
The trip was accompanied by a guide who pointed out all the main sights of London. Given the age of our group the guide added some saucy humor to the commentary that went down well.
Heading east, we went past the Tower of London and had a great view of traitors gate. A view that many dreaded and never saw again.
Once we had headed back east out of the city the boat was able to open up and get to high speed hitting waves and causing much delight among our group.
As we headed back towards embankment we got the best view of tower bridge I’ve ever seen. Despite being a Londoner and being there for many years I had never actually seen the bridge open. This was a great birthday treat and a highlight of our trip.
This post was done as part of the #citytripping linkup