Do you have college aged children? Have you thought about including them on a boomer trip to London,? Today, Kristen Drake of 50 Plus Boomer Life, tells us how to visit London with your grownup child.
Harrods Department Store
This Easter, I ventured on an exciting trip with my grown up son, Gabriel. He’s 22 years old and goes to University on the south coast of England. Since I live in Norway, I don’t see him as often as I would like. Therefore, I decided to visit London on a 5-day-trip with my intelligent, funny and charming son!
Prior to leaving, Gabriel and I made an outline for our combo agenda. Gabriel was especially keen on visiting some of the famous London markets, and there was a school assignment to work on that required him to do field research. Also Gabriel was happy to renew his wardrobe at my expense. Me? I had my own “visit London list” of stores and sites that I wanted to see; so, we compromised.
Double decker bus in London
Based on a great tip from the internet, we decided to explore the city using public transportation. Upon arrival, I bought two 7 days Oyster cards valid on all buses and underground. Using the underground gave us a chance to move around efficiently. At the same time, it gave me that great urban feeling. Every big city I visit, I pride myself in mastering the metro system. However, sitting on top of the double decker was my favorite. Gabriel and I could see the city unfold, observe the crazy traffic, watch people, listen to the sounds of the city and talk at the same time—a nice way to keep the conversation going between mother and son.
From our hotel in Kensington, we walked to Hyde Park, passed Royal Albert Hall and visited the famous fashion warehouses Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridge. Such monumental architecture! The interior of Harrods cannot be described in words, it has to be seen in real life. Walking among bags, shoes, clothing and perfume from all the leading fashion brands like Hermes, Prada, Chanel, Dior, Burberry and Mulberry was heaven for me.
Not far away from Harrods, on Regent street, you’ll find fashion brand stores like Barbour, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Jaeger, Aquascutum, Gap and Duchamp. If these brands are not your favorites, Hermes, Bulgari, Chanel, Emporio Armani and Jimmy Choo are located on the adjacent New Bond Street and Oxford Street. Shopping enthusiasts could spend days just exploring this area. It was here that we found the huge M&M store where Gabriel found lots of material for his assignment about marketing towards children.
Gabriel wanted to visit the famous Camden market, so we combined our wishlists to make a full day of it. Starting at Notting Hill, Gabriel and I walked to Portobello where we discovered lots of antiques, high priced brands and tidiness at Portobello Road. Walking the long road is a highly recommended thing to do. At the end of Portobello Road, we caught a bus and sat on the top all the way through Oxford street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and more. We got off at Liverpool station to catch the underground to Camden. At Camden market, it was hectic with displays of leather, tattoos, pipes and bongs and low priced artsy items. Gabriel loved it and I had a delicious Cobb salad at the Diner.
Hanging with my son in London was a success. We managed to catch up and strengthen our relationship. And, we both fell in love with London.
My ”Must do” list for a great mother/grown up son stay in London:
I did a lot of research in order to find the perfect hotel, with the best location and best suited for my budget. You spend quite a few hours in the room and its important that you like the room and are able to relax there. Kensington Close was the perfect hotel for our stay in London.
Research the internet and read boomer blogs on travelling to London. This gives you valuable tips on how to get the most out of your stay in London.
Buy a travellers guide to London and study it. Make an outline of your combo agenda prior to leaving.
Learn the outline of the city before you leave. This gives you an advantage when you move around, saves time and optimizes your flow!
Kristine Drake works as a manager for a large fashion house in the heart of Bergen, Norway. She also writes about the boomer life at 50plusboomerlife. All photos courtesy of Kristine Drake.
Bio: At My Itchy Travel Feet, a Baby Boomer's guide to travel, Donna and Alan Hull promise to provide valuable information to help Baby Boomers plan their next adventure.
Donna, the writer, and Alan, the photographer, travel the world recording their experiences with words, photos and videos. Browse through items about international and domestic destinations. Read lodging and dining reviews. Discover new adventures, whether it’s a luxury cruise or a rough-and-tumble jeep experience. Learn trip planning strategies. Find out about new travel products. The couple may occasionally accept free lodging, food or products, but they make a point to disclose that in their posts.
Their goal: to inspire Boomers to get off the couch and go.