A Perfect Traveller

London with a 12 year old

I live around 250 miles from London, but still manage to visit for pleasure a couple of times a year. Its a place I love to visit, however am not sure I would cope very well living there. But the shows, museums, food, bars and of course shops draw me back again and again. This trip was however different, this year my friend was fetching her 12 year old step daughter.
I don’t have children, I don’t want children and I don’t spend a massive amount of time with children, so wasn’t too sure what to expect. Shopping featured very highly, bars not so much!
Having travelled down to London on the train, I topped up my oyster card and headed across to the London central YHA and checked us in, we had a 4 bed ensuit booked. I can’t recommend this place highly enough, the staff are friendly and helpful, the facilities are spotless. There is no getting away from the fact that it’s a hostel but for me thats part of its charm. I find that lots of people who stay in hostels are freindly and open, I’ve had conversations in hostels that would have never have happened in the lobby of a hotel. This particular hostel is also very family friendly, although most of the patrons are a fairly young crowd, and there is a fully licenced bar, it never felt too rowdy even when we came it at 10pm.
So what does a 12 year old want to do in London? well this one wanted to shop, Libertys, Hamleys, Harrods, this girl has expensive tastes!
I’ll admit that Liberties does usually make my list, they do a great brunch, Harrods I’d visited once just for a look, but I’d never been to Hamleys. For me Harrods is overpriced and pretentious, it’s never going to be somewhere I shop. Hamleys, on the other hand, I can see the attraction. This is the ultimate toy shop, they have almost any toy you can think of and interactive demonstrations where you can try things out ( I was so tempted by the nail art pens). On the top floor, up past the lego royal family, there’s a sweet and cake shop, and a very nice milkshake/ smoothy outlet. The lychee and strawberry smoothy was lovely.