In partnership with Keetoo
Welcome back! Hands up if, like us you’re in complete denial about how fast this year’s going? 😲 Speaking of which, can you believe it’s the Easter Holidays in two weeks? Apparently, as we get older, time seems to pass more and more quickly because each year is becoming a smaller and smaller percentage of our life so far. So, for instance while each year for Lyall (he’s ten) is a whopping 10% chunk of his life, at the marvellous old age of 50 each year represents just a 2% snippet and therefore whizzes past in a flash. Oh hang on, does that make sense?
Anyway with the Easter holidays fast approaching we wanted to share some more travel ideas with you. This week we’re talking about London again! It’s been some time since we did a London travel feature on here; in fact we last reported on a family trip to London back in June (I know, right - we can’t believe it’s been that long, either) when we managed to enjoy an activity-filled weekend on a tight budget of £150, including transport, food and hotel. Thinking about it that still seems like an extraordinary achievement, particularly when you consider Daddy will very easily part with £150 in Lidl given an hour without the children.
Before I end up going off on a tangent, last weekend we were given the chance to put an innovative mobile travel app to the test. The app’s called Keetoo and it provides discounted access to some of London’s leading attractions and tours. We’ll talk a bit more about the app, how it works and how much stuff costs a bit later.
To put the app through its paces we used it to access two London tour attractions – the Wembley Stadium Tour and The Original London Bus Tour and a meal at The Rainforest Café. Here’s how we got on!
The Wembley Stadium Tour
Arriving at Wembley Park station, the enormous new Wembley Stadium with its impressive arch stands about half a mile away along a modern boulevard of shops and hotels.
We entered the stadium on the upper level, after walking the whole 1km circumference on the wrong level trying to find the way in (idiots!).
At the ticket desk we were decked out with lanyards, a mobile tablet device and headphones for the first section of the tour – an audio-visual guided exhibition about the history of the venue.
You’re advised to take around 20 minutes to navigate the self-guided first part as the main part of the tour starts every half an hour. Naturally, the boys raced around the exhibition in two minutes so we reached the exciting part way too early! While we waited for the tour guide to arrive, there was a replica World Cup trophy to pose with (at least we think it was the World Cup – do let us know if we’re wrong!).
The main tour of the Wembley Stadium was, in a word, spectacular. The tour started in the stands with a 20 minute interactive presentation about the stadium’s architecture and history. The tour continued through private areas of the stadium including the Royal function rooms to the Royal box and then the press briefing room where we were able to sit in the footballers’ chairs at the front and pose for photos.
I don’t want to spoil the grand finale for you – although I’m sure you can guess it probably involves the tunnel to the pitch. It really was quite moving; and that comes from somebody who doesn’t like football (at all!). Highly recommended.
The Original London Tour
We’ve been to London several times (two or three times a month) over the last few years, usually on official blog duty without much time to explore the city. We’ve often seen open-top tour buses drive past, looking very nostalgic and British.
For our second tour of the day we chose a trip around the Marble Arch area on an Original Tour bus. Armed with red, white and blue headsets we set off along Mayfair on the top deck. The sun was shining and the bus was very quiet so we really enjoyed our trip.
The circuit we chose took around 30 minutes and dropped us off near the Victoria bus station. Tickets last a full 24 hours, so if you start the tour around lunch time on a Saturday you can continue to hop on and off the buses through Sunday morning, too.
As a surprise, we realised our Original Tour bus tickets also included unlimited trips on a river cruise! So, from Victoria we took the underground to Westminster pier to take our seats on a big glass-topped boat for a long guided tour down to Tower Bridge. The river cruise was wonderful – we even enjoyed a cold beer from the café on board while the guide pointed out significant buildings and sights. We disembarked at Tower Hill and went for a pub lunch before returning on the boat back to Westminster.
The Rainforest Café
In the evening, to put the proverbial cherry on the top of our day out in London, we treated the boys to dinner at the Rainforest Café in Piccadilly Circus.
It’s an immersive, rainforest theme restaurant complete with trees, animatronic animals, waterfalls and storms. It’s very impressive, if a little dark but never-the-less the kids absolutely LOVED it!
And that brings me onto...
The Keetoo app – how to save money on London attractions
Earlier I mentioned we used a London travel app called Keetoo during our trip to London. It’s an innovative new mobile app that saves rather a lot of money on London tours and attractions.
Here’s how it works. You download the app and sign in. Then, you choose two attractions from their list and pay a single, discounted amount for access to both attractions. The app also provides free food and discounts at restaurants, too.
An adult credit (2 attractions and a restaurant) is £35 and a child is £20, saving up to 50% on the cost of entry without the app!
To get started, we recommend you download the app to browse participating attractions. It’s intuitive and Keetoo tickets from the app are accepted without any fuss at the ticket offices!
Disclaimer time! Here at Daddy & Dad our objective is to provide Lyall and Richard with extraordinary memories and experiences. To achieve this we work with family-friendly brands on sponsored blog content. Our transport and Keetoo credit was #gifted by Keetoo in return for this blog feature. As always with sponsored blog features and reviews we remain completely impartial and the views and opinions expressed belong entirely to us. If you'd like to work with us on a sponsored blog feature for your brand, please do get in touch.