The first weekend of the holidays we set off to London to review the London Pass. I wrote a detailed post about how that pass works here. In a nutshell the advantages are you can save money if you visit at least 3 attractions in a day, you can also be a VIP and skip the queues as there is no need to buy tickets on the day. If you like you can add travel to your pass.
We stayed at The Cavendish Hotel, which was a short walk from so many sights. We decided to walk from the hotel on Jermyn Street, behind Picaddilly Circus, via Trafalgar Square, to pick up our first attraction: City Cruises.
These air conditioned boats are a perfect way to see the city with children, it was a scorching day so we really appreciated skipping the queue with our passes. We saw so many amazing landmarks while sipping a cool drink in the lounge. We watched the bridges sail above our heads, discovered which one was London Bridge, and much to the kids relief could see that it wasn’t falling down.
We learnt many interesting facts from the commentary, including that women in the second world war built Waterloo Bridge. Our next stop, the Tower of London soon came into sight.
My kids at 5 and 7 loved the idea that the jewels were hidden in the tower, that really captured their imagination. My son was so busy plotting and scheming dramatic plans to steal them that he barely registered the queue. There is a lot to explore, more than we had time for before lunch!
We crossed Tower bridge, but you could take in the exhibition which the pass covers. We were too hungry so we had lunch at Strada before taking in HMS Belfast. I will admit I wasn’t keen on this beforehand, but it was fascinating and a great opportunity to talk about war and peace with the kids. Here my daughter waves a finger at the waxwork postmaster for making her jump!
Then it was time to take our City Cruise back to Westminster. But not before we got to see Tower Bridge open. It was wonderful to be on an air conditioned boat and this time to watch the South bank, which was full of neon colour and festivities swing past.
Is the London Pass worthwhile? It really depends what you want to visit and over how long. Not all attractions are covered, but the main ones are.
I am not sure we saved much money on our one day pass, but we did avoid queues, and with the heat and summer crowds that was good. It was a very hot day and my kids are 5 and 7, so we left sightseeing to return to the hotel at 4pm, adults would have probably fitted more in!
A two day pass for an adult is £68, for a child it is £49. So £234 for a family of four for the weekend. You could easily get your money back, by taking a river tour, visiting the Tower, bobbing into Westminster Abbey on day one and chilling out at London Zoo on day two. You would benefit from the lack of queuing and ticket buying on the days too.
I think the savings would really come into their own with a 3 day London Pass (£81/£56) or 6 day pass, (£108/£76).