Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Explore LONDON - The London Duck Tour & Coca Coke The London Eye - Review #SummerHolidays Fun

The school holidays are HERE.  What have you got planned for the summer? Are you coming to LONDON?

I wanted to bring you some of the delights that London has to offer, if you have lived here all your life or you are popping over to London for a day trip.  I planned a tour on The London Duck Tours and a ride on The London Eye

With two bouncing boys, we headed into London on an early Sunday morning.  We found our departure point (close to Westminster Bridge).  To be greeted by an Amphibious Vehicle, that's right you read that correctly.  The vehicle is half boat and half truck, it travels on both land and water.  It's known as DUKW.   Very similar to DUCK.

DUKW stands for the following:
D  - The first year of production code "D" is for 1942
U  - Body style "U" utility truck (amphibious)
K -  Front wheel drive
W - Two rear driving wheels (tandem axle)

These vehicles were invented to carry cargo from ships to the mainland, during the war.  Very successful they were too.  Most of the Ducks have sadly been destroyed over the years, however the few vehicles that are left have been put in to good use.  The London Duck Tour company have a fleet of such vehicles.

I have always wanted to do a tour of London, I thought it would be a great way to learn about this beautiful city I love and adore.  As my sons are so used to travelling on London Transport, I wanted to take them on something different, hoping they would enjoy a new experience.

When they saw our carriage for the next hour (Can be longer depending on traffic), their little faces lite-up.  We found some seats and waited for your host and our journey to begin.

We were greeted by guide a lady called Chris.  I have never been on a tour were the guide was so informative.  Chris had a lovely way about her, she spoke with passion about our route, so fluid about the tour, it was more then just telling use the facts like a robot, she was very interesting to listen too, great story teller.  Our tour was split into sections, land, water, land.  Chris pointed out all the landmarks and told us lovely little anecdotes throughout.  She is a great guide I found her impeccable.  She also ensured we were all kept safe, especially when we had to change vehicles. 

We travelled on Desdemona, however we had to change Ducks for our Thames Cruise to Duck Rosalind who was more sea worthy.  The other Ducks of this glorious team are Mistress Quickly, Beatrice, Titania, Miranda, Elizabeth, Portia.  All of them our named after female Shakespearean characters.

In all honestly my sons had a great time.   However neither of them paid any attention to Chris, they did enjoy seeing the sights and watching people give us attention travelling on the Ducks.  They loved Desdemona being so quirky, when we transferred onto Rosalind to sail on he Thames they both made the biggest WHOOP sounds as we plunged into the Thames.  My youngest become super excited having a euphoric moment he had never came so close to the Thames before.  I would recommend this tour for fun, its quirkiest and something families will remember for a long time to come.  Also children who are doing projects about London will love this too.    

Our next adventure for the day we were going to travel on the London Eye, AKA The Eye.  The Eye is just a 2 minute walk away from where the departure point of The London Duck Tour.  The Queue for The Eye looked long.  However the entire location around London's tallest monument was heaving. 

The London Eye was opened by then The Prime Minister Tony Blair on 31 December 1999 to coincide with The New year Millennium celebrations.  The general public had to wait until 9th March 2000 before they could see the attraction first hand.  The Eye was suppose to be taken down after 5 years, (imagine that it took 7 years to build) however it has become one of London's iconic attractions in the last 15 years, it is London's top paid attraction.  Since when it first opened at least 50 million people have ridden The Eye.  It has a prime location on the Thames, a stones throw away from the Southbank.  Offering the most amazing views across London, if you are lucky enough to ride on a clear day, you can seeing as far as 40km from the top, seeing as far as Windsor Castle.     The architecture is beautiful, it really looks like a giant bicycle wheel, The Wheel is supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike any of the taller wheels, the Eye is described as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the World".
We did not queue for that long, as the full rotation takes only 30 minutes.  The Eye is continuing taking its guests on and off.  The staff were guiding everyone onto the capsules, they were super officiant, it was done in a military style but with all smiles and a warm welcome.

My sons seemed happy.  I explained we were going to see across London all the beautiful city below.  There is kiosk within the queue, I brought the boys a lolly each, as I was not sure how they would react to being so high.  It was a little distraction for them.  I actually had nothing to worry about, The Eye moves 26cm a second, it hardly feels like you are moving.  Both boys were very happy looking around the capsules, peering outside, asking questions and sucking their lollies at the same time.  I started off by showing them the main attractions, where mummy has worked, where Granma and their aunties live.
They loved Big Ben, Liam called it Little Ben. They both found the PWC Embankment Place building fascinating, also the bridges and the rail networks amused them.  I pointed out Buckingham Palace, explaining Her Majesty The Queen wasn't home.

 We all had a great time even thou both experiences are very different.  I found the experiences complimented each other.  Travelling The Duck Tour and then point out the landmarks we had just seen from The London Eye worked will.
The London Duck Tour
The Classic Tour
Children (1-17) £16
Adults £24
Concessions available

The London Eye 
Children (4-15) £17
Adults 16+ £23
Online Discounts and Concessions available

The London Eye is currently being sponsored by Coke Cola over 2 years, however the owners are Merlin Entertainments Group.  Merlin also own; Shrek's Adventure, London Eye River Cruise,  Madame Tussaud's, Sea Life Aquarium London.  It is possible to purchase Attraction Passes and do them all together at a discount.  If you are lucky enough to have a Merlin Pass do not miss these Great London Attractions.

Since doing the tours when we are out in London, if we spot the London Eye my boys stop, stare and point at it and tell everyone they have been at the top. 
Whatever your plans are for the Summer holidays, I hope you have a lovely time.  Thank you kindly for stopping by.  Don't be shy, come and say Hi!

Disclaimer:  This is unsponsored post.

Adult (16+) £23.00 £19.35 15% Child (4-15) £17.00 £13.95 - See more at:
Adult (16+) £23.00 £19.35 15% Child (4-15) £17.00 £13.95 - See more at:
Adult (16+) £23.00 £19.35 15% Child (4-15) £17.00 £13.95 - See more at: