London.  The best way to get around London’s monuments, cathedrals, museums, castles, etc was the Hop On/ Hop Off bus tours! Double decker buses with kid-friendly tourist packets, maps, colored pencils, earphones for the audio tour, etc kept the children engaged in the itinerary. Relaxing on the buses and seeing things from the safety of our seats was a bonus because it provided a break from walking among the crowds with kids. You could choose which sightseeing spot you wanted to disembark onto…or you could stay on the bus the whole time! The ferry boat along the River Thames and a stroll along the sidewalks to interact with the street performers was a great way to  decompress from the stimulating museums and cathedrals. FH080003 FH090030


The Original Tour Bus Co. took us by St. James Palace, Buckingham Palace where we saw a crowd gather to see the Queen and Royal Family.  They were  getting ready to  come out onto the balcony to wave to everyone. It was her state-celebrated birthday. It was so exciting because the guards gathered, the band played, the snipers were on the roof….and then she came out in the brightest chartreuse suit and hat which was so incredibly bright and obviously well-made. The latter was noticeable from afar.

The jets flying above us signaled her entrance. I put the zoom on the camera lens to capture the royal family as best I could. I was especially excited about Prince William and Prince Harry who towered above the queen and had such posture and poise. We took a lunch break at Bag O’Nails for the standard fish and chips lunch. It rained on us at the parade after the Queen waved. The airshow of jets overhead was extremely loud and exciting. It left streams of colored smoke in the sky!

the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace
the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace
the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum


hop on/hop off bus tour
hop on/hop off bus tour

Suggested reading: 

  • This is London by Sasek
  • B is for Big Ben by Edwards and Rose
  • A Walk in London by Rubbino

Follow this lesson plan to build trip itineraries with your family:

Travel Lesson Plan: Integrate the Concepts

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