I went to explore Greenwich with a toddler. We had a lovely day out. The fun starts with the journey there, with a choice of driverless train or river boat. Then a wide choice of things to do and green spaces to run around. We decided to check out the National Maritime Museum and then walk under the river to Mudchute Farm.
Explore Greenwich with a Toddler: National Maritime Museum
Our first stop was the National Maritime Museum to explore life on the sea. The museum is set in Greenwich Park, a lovely green space for toddlers to stretch their legs. Or to lounge under a tree for a picnic lunch. The museum is free to enter.
There are two galleries aimed at children, the AHOY! and All Hands galleries. We checked out the All Hands gallery first. Although this is aimed at 6-12 year olds, Daisy still enjoyed sitting to do some scribbling for a while.
It was a good idea to have a look at the rest of the museum before heading to the AHOY! gallery, as once there Daisy did not want to leave. This is a great nautical themed play area for kids aged 0-7. There are all sorts of interactive games, such as stoking fires with coal and building a ship. Daisy’s favourite was the fish shop. I think we could still be there rearranging plastic fish… Best of all, it wasn’t that busy even though it was the summer holidays.
Explore Greenwich with a Toddler: Mudchute Farm
I decided it would then be a good time for a walk. If you can tear your toddler away from the AHOY! gallery. We headed off through the foot tunnel under the river to Mudchute Farm. The Greenwich foot tunnel links Cutty Sark to Island Gardens. The tunnel has been open since 1902, replacing a ferry service. To find the entrances, just look for the glazed domes. The tunnel is 370.2 m long and 15.2 m deep – the North tower has 87 steps and the South tower has 100, but don’t worry, there are lifts for buggies / little legs! Fortunately Daisy didn’t discover the great acoustic properties until 3/4 of the way through…
On the other side it is a short walk through the park to Mudchute Farm. I think this is my favourite city farm. The contrast between the green fields, with the tower blocks of Canary Wharf and the planes for City Airport in the background is great. There are a wide range of farm animals here, from ducks and rabbits up to horses and cows. The farm is free to enter, but some of the activities, such as donkey rides, have a small charge. Daisy had a lovely time wandering around the fields, particularly petting some very friendly sheep. And again, it was surprisingly quiet for the summer holidays.
Explore Greenwich with a Toddler: Getting there
Getting to Greenwich is part of the fun. We caught the river bus from central London to get there. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to do some sightseeing, from the Houses of Parliament, via the London Eye, Tate Modern and Tower Bridge, to Greenwich. And all at a reasonable price. On our return we caught the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). These trains are fully automated, controlled by computer, and have no driver. So if you are lucky, you can get a seat right at the front and pretend you are driving. Yep, I’ll never grow out of that one, despite using them daily for several years…