One of the things that I love about London is the way nothing is the same twice; and it doesn’t matter if you’re local, have lived there, visit frequently or are a first timer, you will find something new on every visit. I went on an urban hike a few years ago and discovered a way of looking at London that I perhaps never had when I lived there and now, as a frequent visitor, I do try and engage the philosophy we were taught on the hike – Look up, look down and drink it all in – oh and don’t get on the tube. You would never see a thing travelling from A to B on the underground all day and there is SO much to see, you really shouldn’t miss it. Sometimes, just a simple walk around where you’re staying or have found yourself landed in London is all you need for the most perfect day out!
We took the tube to Sloane Square on Tuesday with our pals from Feed Felix Fast, why? I don’t know… we hadn’t been over to that side of London and Kensington in a while and so we thought why not. And we just walked around in the crisp blue of the day noting the expensive cars, well dressed people and all the glorious hotels in kensington. We decided it would be a very good idea to book one one day and make a weekend of it for Kensington is so vibrant, so full of life and of course its’s home to many a museum. The Science of course and the Natural History as well as the V&A and we are well versed in all of those but also to another museum we hadn’t visited since Florence was a baby, the National Army Museum, and we had to rectify that!.
As we walked in the colour of the area, with beautiful highly Instagrammable doors in every corner, we walked to the National Army Museum (PERFECT for Jimmy who’s decided that he is mega into learning about the army and quite literally won’t take his camo tracksuit off – Let’s just say he blended into the museum VERY well!) and enjoyed the sights on the way!
As we watched the world go by while we wandered – people spotting in Kensington and Chelsea is something else – we took a stroll through the gardens of the Royal Hospital Chelsea – home to the Chelsea Pensioners. I’d forgotten about this place too really, I mean it was in my knowledge bank but never think about a visit yet once there I was so glad that I had. The gardens are beautiful (in summer even better) and how lovely a walk through them in February is, who knew?! They also have a FREE museum all about the Chelsea Hospital and the pensioners which is bijou but VERY interesting!
The National Army Museum is practically next door to the Chelsea Hospital and is also absolutely free to enter while inside it offers a Pandora’s box of information about the British Army. There’s lots of hands on things for the kiddos to do with uniforms to try on and even a soft play play base for little ones (which was busy and fully booked so get there early – tickets for this are £5.75 – it was free the last time we went and good if I remember rightly but it was a long time ago). The kids can have activity back packs to use as they make their way around the exhibitions though we chose just to look and join in with the crafting activities. Quite frankly it was like a gem to have rediscovered this place and we will be back! At the moment there’s a tattoo exhibition which is REALLY worth a look and we recognised one of the subjects as the Chelsea Pensioner that we had chatted to in their museum which was interesting. As well as this there’s lots more galleries and things to see and we enjoyed the parts we made it around!
We had the most delicious day in Kensington without even trying – can you believe that?! And as we walked back into the centre of town (a lovely walk if it’s not raining – it was) we got to see Buckingham Palace and lots of other famous landmarks that a tube journey wouldn’t have afforded us!
So… My advice for an unexpected day out in London is to pick a spot and just stroll through it. And I highly recommend this area in Kensington and Chelsea, especially if you have children!
We finished off the day out by treating the kiddos to a tube ride home (they were very worried we’d make them walk in the rain again) and a smorgasboard of fast food before we got in the car because we’re classy like that – you can take the Rocknrollers to Kensington but…
Our day out was part of a collaboration we have been working on and the spending money was gifted byHotels.com, but all views are my own.