During the Easter holiday’s we headed to London for a day out.
We are Merlin Annual Pass holders and I made sure I took our passes with us as there is so much to see and do, especially on the South Bank.
Our first stop was The Shard View for an event to launch the new film Ferdinand to DVD and as it was an early start, it left us with almost a full day to explore London.
From the top of the Shard you can see the London Eye and it didn’t seem like too far to walk, so we decided to make the trek by foot, as I was keen to cross the Millenium Bridge because I say I am going to do it every time we visit London.
I was not disappointed, the London Millennium Footbridge is stunning. The steel suspension bridge is a pedestrian only bridge crossing the River Thames in London, linking St Paul’s Cathedral with the Globe Theatre – London’s only wooden and thatched structure and is perfect for a photo opp.
It was then a 20 minute walk to the London Eye, with scenic views over the River Thames and past the This Morning studios.
The kids were keen to do Shrek’s Adventure first, but being the school holidays it was busy so they were allocating time slots. We booked our slot for 3pm and headed across the pavement to see what the queues were like for the London Eye and managed to walk straight on, thanks to our Premium Merlin Annual Passes.
The Coca-Cola London Eye stands at 135 metres high and is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel.
The London Eye holds 32 capsules and each one holds 6 touch screens, which offer a guide to the capital’s iconic landmarks in several languages and I love that the kids inside all buddied up to point out the sights to each other.
A visit to the London Eye lasts for one rotation, which takes about 30 minutes and on a clear day, it’s possible to see up to 25 miles (40km) away.
Sadly for us, it was drizzling for our visit, but we had good views over Buckingham Palace, Westminster and back towards the Shard from where we had come from.
The kids have a game that they play, called Sweet and Sour, where they wave to people whilst on public transport to see who waves back, and the London Eye was the perfect venue and a few people waved back.
Once we disembarked the London Eye, we headed to the Sea Life Centre where we found they were also operating a time slot system, so decided to pop into McDonald’s for lunch. Big mistake…….if you can eat before you get to South Bank, I would recommend it as it was jam-packed and the queuing system was more like a free-for-all. We then blew off some steam in Jubilee Gardens whilst we waited for our Shrek’s Adventure slot.
I have to say the time slot thing really worked and we were ushered in slightly ahead of time to begin our adventure.
The journey begins when you arrive at the bus station with a destination of Far Far Away. You are then welcomed in by Princess Fiona who gets you into the party spirit before boarding the DreamWorks Tours magical flying 4D bus to Far Far Away – flown by the one and only Donkey.
This is the first time all three kids have been brave enough to wear the 3D glasses and join in and they thoroughly enjoyed meeting Cinderella in Shrek’s swamp, bumping into Puss in Boots, and helping to rescue Pinocchio from the wheel of torture. Sebby even got to help cook up a magic spell with the Muffin Man.
Once the adventure had ended, you get to enter a room and pose with all your favourite Dreamworks characters.
Our Merlin Annual Passes were brilliant to have on our visit to London, but if you are visiting in school holidays I would recommend you book your time slots online before you travel, so you can make a full day of it.
The Merlin Annual Pass allows you entry to the following attractions on the South Bank:
- London Eye
- Shrek’s Adventure
- SEA LIFE London Aquarium
- The London Dungeons
I have promised the kids that on our next visit we will get to Madam Tussauds, which is in Marylebone across the other side of the city.
Have you visited London recently?