The pre-booked attraction for our 3rd day was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. It wasn’t until 1230 which gave us the chance to have a bit of a lie in after all our walking the day before.
I’d done a bit of research on the Oyster Card before going to London and despite excellent advice from Simon I’d decided it still seemed expensive, was going to cost us £20 (4 x £5) to buy and not save us much. Plus we were going to walk everywhere. Basically we* got it all wrong! A very friendly and helpful information guy at Tower Hill took the time to explain the card properly, explain how the £20 was refundable and would save us at least 50% on payg tickets. So carded up and happier to be walking a lot less** we took a wander around the outside of the Tower and down to the Tower Bridge viewpoint before getting the Underground to Baker Street.
*we = me of course 🙈
**we still managed almost 11km of walking despite using the tube quite a bit today.
As we still had some time to spare and I’m a big fan of Elementary I dragged everyone to see 221b Baker Street which isn’t actually 221b Baker Street!
I didn’t really think that they had used the actual address in S7 of Elementary but was still slightly disappointed it didn’t match the show
Then it was back to our favourite thing to do in London – queue. Madame Tussauds was very busy but good queue management and efficient security meant we weren’t waiting too long and it wasn’t jammed once we got inside. I didn’t know what to expect so was surprised by the layout. There were less exhibits than I expected, less older celebrities but overall I was very impressed. All 4 of us really enjoyed the full experience and although the time flew past we felt that we experienced the whole thing. Some of my favourite photos are below but we took a lot throughout the exhibition’s many floors.
My only complaint with the museum was bringing everyone together for the 4D movie show (which was excellent). The queue starts in the Marvel gallery (which means you can’t get space to see the Marvel exhibition unless you wait for everyone to leave as the next queue gathers) and as everyone leaves the movie together the next Star Wars exhibition is jam packed and difficult to view.
After Madame Tussauds we headed to the Science Museum and this is where we (me again!) got it wrong again. We should have eaten before going. There wasn’t anything handy to Madame Tussauds but there was nothing at either Baker Street or South Kensington tube stations and once at the Science Museum, nothing within reasonable distance. Our only option was the Science Museum cafe which wasn’t geared towards kids at all. Far too many silly options of food that can only be described as “notions“. Kids want plain, ordinary and usually deep fried and breaded food. We really struggled to get something plain that the boys (and ourselves) could enjoy and be filled. It was way overpriced too! They would be better with a small entry fee, say £2 each, and charge more reasonable prices for food. They would probably make more profit that way.
The science museum itself was just OK. The ground floor had some interesting displays. The boys particularly enjoyed the space displays and the old stuff – mostly things I remember from my childhood! Upstairs there were galleries about the body, mind, climate and the future. We enjoyed it but it wasn’t gripping. I don’t know what I expected and although we spent about an hour and a half exploring and enjoyed it I don’t see how families can spend the day here as I’ve heard before. I think I expected something more similar to W5 in Belfast. Our experience could have been tainted by tiredness and not being properly fed though?
The really good thing about South Kensington was that the underground took us straight back to Tower Hill with no stops! It was packed and very hot though so we were glad to be released back to the regular air conditioned train to go back to Grays. A trip to the chipper on the way home and normal service was soon resumed.