Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Quirky London

A guest post by Sarah from Family Travel Timeswhich is all about holidays and days out, with her two children, aged 12 and 9. www.familytraveltimes.co.uk

I love London – it’s where I grew up, and now where I live with my own family. We really enjoy exploring what London has to offer, from the obvious (the museums, the South Bank, the Houses of Parliament) to the countless hidden gems. London has so much to offer, but sometimes it’s fun to try out something less obvious. Here is our list of five quirky things to do in the capital.

Crack the codes at ClueQuest



Probably our favourite London based activity of the past year
 this involves being locked in a room for an hour and then spending that time trying to solve clues and find codes to get out. We were baffled for some of the time, and needed the verbal clues which are helpfully given to you when the powers-that-be spot you are struggling, but we also managed to work some out ourselves, which was heartwarming. I spent much of the time just laughing at how useless I was at being Sherlock Holmes, but enjoyed it immensely, despite not wanting to see a padlock again for a long, long time. Great fun for any age.


Visit the deer at Richmond Park 
https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that London is just a bustling city. If you head out to Richmond you can see herds of deer, fly a kite or bicycle your way around the largest of the capital's eight Royal Parks, This is the biggest enclosed space in London, and is a European Special Area of Conservation. It’s also a beautiful way to experience the countryside, while still being in the capital.

Try liquid nitrogen Ice-cream 

http://www.familytraveltimes.co.uk/blog/liquidnitrogenicecream/



Camden is the opposite side of London to Richmond (you need to head north rather than south) and absolutely a different experience. It’s full of trendy shops, unusual restaurants and market stalls, and perfect for just mooching about. It also offers the most unusual way of making ice-cream.

Basically the shop is like a chemistry laboratory, taking the basic liquid for the ice-creams and sorbets and adding liquid nitrogen to freeze it quickly. Clouds of steam billow everywhere as the liquid is churned to an ice cream consistency with a mixer in seconds. A great place to visit – and the ice-cream tastes delicious too!




Freak out at the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garrett 
https://www.thegarret.org.uk/

Located right near the Shard, London Bridge and Borough Market (where you can go and get a snack afte
rwards), this is a lovely and unusual museum, hidden in the roof of a church. It contains the country’s only surviving Victorian operating theatre and gives you a terrific insight into those scary days before anaesthetics existed. Try to visit when there is a talk on as they are particularly good, giving you all the gruesome details of what used to happen here.
The building also contains some fascinating old medical implements and an array of herbs which used to be used to treat ailments. The only problem is that it is not easily accessible and must be reached via a small spiral staircase.

Be a part of history at the Ceremony of the Keys at The Tower of London
http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/WhatsOn/theceremonyofthekeys

This is a 700 year old tradition that takes place every night, with the public invited, but only if you apply in advance. It involves the formal locking of all the doors to this beautiful castle (which may not contain a monarch, but still houses the Crown Jewels) and you are allowed to accompany the Chief Yeoman Warder as he does this. Around 40-50 visitors are admitted each night at 9.30pm and at 9.52, the Chief Yeoman Warder appears, holding a lantern and the Queen’s Keys. This is a special thing to witness, a real part of history, even if it’s all over by about 5 past 10!

You can apply online for dates from January 2015, and although most of Jan is full, there are lots of dates available for the rest of the year. Tickets are free, although there is a £1 admin charge.

Hope you enjoy what London has to offer!

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16 comments

  1. I would love to go to the operating theatre museum , I adore quirky London. And being part of the ceremony of Keys wow .

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    1. Yes the operating theatre museum sounds really interesting. How cool would it be to be part of the ceremony of the keys.

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  2. What interesting ideas, never seen any of this before. We're planning our first trip to London with my son during February half term so I'll bookmark this for the trip, thank you.

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    1. Thanks for your comments. Lots of interesting ideas here, I agree.

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  3. great post, i love camden probably one of my favourite spots in london

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  4. There's some great ideas here! I love the sound of the liquid nitrogen ice cream and the thing at the Tower of London. I need to visit there properly.

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    1. London has so much more than the usual attractions, doesn't it?

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  5. Brilliant - I spend a lot of time in London and am always looking for new things to do - these sound amazing.

    #UKBloggers

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    1. I hope you try some of these activities out and report back.

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  6. I love London, I have lived here for over a decade and I always manage to find new things to do and see! :) x

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    1. Have you tried some of these activities Lilinha?

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  7. I love the sound of liquid nitrogen ice cream, there's a place that does it in florida and I can't wait to try it :) x

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    1. I bet it would be an interesting experience.

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    2. That ice-cream is delicious - we'd definitely recommend it. It's fun too!

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  8. Oooh, I love the sound of all of these! Some fab and unusual ideas. x

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