We always used to say, quite assuredly, ‘we’ll never have children while we’re in London’. Yet here we are, living in a maisonette in the capital with an almost three year old and another little one shortly to arrive. I’ve actually found London a great place to have small children and I couldn’t think of a better area to spend my maternity leave. In our part of the leafy West we’re spoilt for parks, independent coffee shops, cinemas for babies to scream in and restaurants for adults to escape to (all too rarely).
So now the rule has changed and we say we’re not going to be here for when Scrip goes to school. Which means we’ve probably got just around a year left. After my fourteen year stay in the capital, that’s a pretty scary prospect. Of course it’s also exciting – we want to go for more green space and fresh air, somewhere at least a bit closer to my beloved Cornwall and somewhere where we’re not faced with a climb upstairs as soon as we get through our front door. Imagine having a proper garden and a bigger kitchen – more room for Scrip (and the littler one) to roam around and get messy.
Faced with the prospect of not living here anymore there are suddenly so many things we realise we haven’t done. So here’s my London family ‘bucket’ list. We might not manage all of these, but we’ll give it a good try:
The Science Museum – Scrip’s been but we haven’t. It’s so hands on – I’d love to explore it with her.
The Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park – there’s really no excuse for this one, it being just a few bus stops away. As soon as the weather gets warmer we’re going there.
One of the City Farms – there are so many in London. For someone keen for Scrip to understand about animals and the role they play in our lives I’ve been a bit slow to take her along to one of these.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo – we’ve been to London Zoo and she seemed to love that (although she was around one at the time) and we’ve been recommended this one. I’m not a massive fan of zoos as a concept but I understand this is a pretty responsible one.
The Imperial War Museum – I’ve been here without Scrip and really enjoyed it – I’d love her to experience it, too.
The theatre – we’ve never been to the theatre together but there are so many great, short children’s plays now. The Lyric will be our first stop.
The London Aquarium – I’ve heard mixed reviews of this London stalwart, but I still think she’d be keen to see all the fish close up, and I’d be interested provided it’s a quieter week day.
I’d love to hear some more suggestions – what’s on your London must-do list?