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June 14, 2021
One of the challenges in our family life that the pandemic has imposed on us is our relationship with loved ones, family, and friends. Like curtailing our movement, limiting face-to-face interaction, and social engagement. They have impacted our relationship, especially with our parents. Since it’s a couple of days till Father’s Day, this is a good chance to bond with your Dad by taking a one-day trip with him in and around London.
Besides honouring Dad and bonding with him and your Mum on this special day, there are other surprising advantages, as you will discover as you read the article.
For a dad who has a strong affinity with breath-taking scenes and landscapes, you’d never go wrong if you take him to the Seven Sisters. If he’s physically fit and the outdoorsy type, he might like the 12-mile trek, which could take 4 to 6 hours.
Or maybe a leisurely walk through the beach along the coastline may be more comfortable and less tiring. Short stops or rests along the way can be refreshing, while imbibing a healthy dose of sunlight. The marvelous scenery and refreshing breeze make this an enjoyable and unforgettable bonding for the family.
You may also start to feel hungry at this point, and would want to have food and then do some shopping. A 35-minute drive to nearby Brighton should take care of both. The small yet bubbly town is packed with independent shops of unique characters, and hidden gems are everywhere!
If your dad loves seafood, then take him to the Salt Room and enjoy a satisfying meal, which bagged the 2017 Sea Fish Restaurant Award. and enjoy a satisfying meal. For a traditional and classic taste, you can check out the Brighton diners’ favourite, The Gingerman. This Michelin recommended restaurant serves modern British & European fusion food, made from the “freshest, highest quality seasonal produce”.
That enjoyable walk along the seashore should give you both some exercise and health benefits. And you two must have worked up an appetite for a snack or two, and maybe little shopping afterwards would be nice.
The best way travel to Seven Sisters is by car. From London it may take 2-2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take the National Express coach or National Rail to Brighton, and then a bus journey to Seven Sisters. Bus 12, 12a, or 12x. Bus 12X, which plies between Brighton and Eastbourne, is in service from Monday to Saturday, and 13X bus is available for a Sunday trip.
Visit the weekend residence of the Queen of England and British Royalty. A dyed-in-the wool British would do that, even at least once in his lifetime.
The Windsor Castle, for more than a millennium, has been the Royal residence of the head of the British monarchy, and has had a profound significance globally. So, it should not be missed.
The opulence and magnificence of its interiors would never fail to astound any visitor. Its first restaurant, Undercroft Café, has been opened early last year. The space it is now occupying used to be a humongous storage room, or undercroft, for barrels of wine and beer. Though its doors are only opened exclusively for visitors, they serve warm food, light sandwiches, and sweet treats.
A cruise ride along the river Thames can either be the start or the culmination of your bonding day with Dad and Mum on Father’s Day. The pier is a short walk from the town center, and the trip will provide you a breath-taking view of the Windsor Castle, Eton College, the Mill House and more! Interesting facts, history, and trivia shared by the guide will surely enrich your knowledge and fascination with these historical building icons.
You can take a train ride from either the Windsor and Eton Central or the Windsor and Eton Riverside. The trip is approximately 10 minutes from the Windsor Castle and vicinity. Regular trains from London Paddington and Waterloo to Windsor are two other options. You get off the train at the Windsor and Eton Central. From there, you can join the crowd for the short walk.
For a dad may appreciates art, culture, and ethnicity, and a dose of adventure and exotic, gourmet food, you could take him to Brick Lane on Father’s Day this June. Your family bonding and gallivanting start right after you alight from the Hoxton station.
Don’t forget to fully charge your camera. You’d want to capture the memories of that day. Especially when strolling along Brick Lane, the colourful, artsy graffiti on building walls and other interesting artistic expressions should not be passed up to photograph.
Not only that, with your camera, shoot any street scene that catches your attention, maybe the flamboyant fashionistas of different nationalities. Then head on to the Up Market for more adventure and ‘discoveries.’
The Old Spitalfields Market is not something to be missed. Enjoy and savour the variety of street foods from all over the world, crafts and art pieces created by art entrepreneurs and small businesses. Your art-forward Dad would surely have a blast seeing all the unique products and vintage objects.
Then it could be time for another break to get some food. Dad, Mum, and you may have worked up enough energy from all that strolling, and checking out things and places. Visit the classically elegant Galvin la Chapelle, a few seconds away from Old Spitalfields Market. It’s a Michelin Star-rated restaurant but with an affordable menu.
Dine in style in an opulent backdrop of French ambience: high walls and ceilings, punctuated by equally tall classic ionic columns, tall, large arched windows, comfy banquet leather-upholstered sofas and dining chairs. For all that oomph and chic, and the dress code: smart casual and avoid shorts & trainers.
If your dad’s palate or food preference leans towards Italian cuisine, take him and Mum to Eataly London, which opened just recently after a long wait and anticipation.
Though the prices are equally high, it’s all worth it as the brand has stores all over the world. Eataly London is actually a massive food market. First to be opened to the public is its market and retail space, takeaway eateries, and the outdoor dining area mentioned above, ‘La Terrazza di Italy.’
This adventuresome Father’s Day outdoor family bonding starts from Cutty Sark DLR station. With a fantastic view of the river Thames, it used to be a hunting park, exactly a fitting past that well finds continuity in the promising adventures, fun activities, and discoveries just a few steps ahead.Pay a visit to the Royal Observatory where the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) was established. You won’t miss it. Just follow the signage for direction. Spend some moments inside the National Maritime Museum. There’s no entrance fee, but be sure to book your visit days before. Considered the world’s largest maritime museum, expect to be enthralled by intriguing and collectable objects on display, and also be inspired by stories of maritime explorations and endeavours.
Next stop is the Greenwich Market which is among the popular tourist destinations in London. With a long history behind it, it is now home to many independent crafts outlets and a diversity of street food stalls. Not far from here is the former British clipper ship which now houses the iconic Cutty Sark. This ship which was built in 1869 was used to transport tea coming from China. An interesting account of its complete history is available here as well. To get inside the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark, you only need to buy a £25 day pass for each.
Up next, experience the thrill of walking beneath the Thames as you get to Millwall, the other side of Greenwich. Yes, it may not be the most pleasant and fanciest walk, but the 3-minute sheer experience of traversing your way through a 1902-built cast-iron tunnel is unique.
Then relax and enjoy some food with Dad and Mum once you’re back in the Cutty Sark. Try out Bill’s restaurant. Then, after a satisfying meal, head out to complete your exploration of Greenwich by visiting north Greenwich.
Complete your Father’s Day outdoor adventure at The O2, located in the Greenwich Peninsula. It’s a huge entertainment arena that consists of an exhibition space, an indoor arena, a music club, a cinema, bars, piazzas, and restaurants. What else could anyone ask for, really!
If you and your dad are physically fit, you may just consider the outdoor climb up to its world-renowned rooftop. You can check out their outlets, and enjoy a drink or two, and a satisfying meal.
For an aerial view of the complex, hop on to a cable car – Emirate London, just outside the O2. Feast your eyes on the beautiful views of the Thames, the London skyline, the Greenwich Peninsula, the Royal Docks and The O2. Enjoying these bird’s eye views of these fabulous places give you a different perspective of them. Ideally, indulge in these activities after dinner. The sunset view from up there in the sky can be an exhilarating, wondrous sight.
The Kew Gardens may just be the nicest place to take your green-thumbed, nature-loving Dad and Mum on Father’s Day. Officially named ‘Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,’ it is the largest botanical garden in the whole world at 132 acres (300 acres), and amongst the most bio-diverse places on Planet Earth. It boasts of an unbelievably tremendous collection, cultivation, preservation, and showcase of a vast range of ‘flora’, both trees and plants, complete with their respective botanical or scientific names.
That vast, and expansive botanical haven boasts a mind-blowing wide range of plants, specialist collections of succulent plants or cacti, herb gardens, greenhouses and shade houses, and plants of different varieties such as exotic, alpine, and tropical.
Tropical plants are exotic-looking, with leaves, flowers, and colours that make them exceptionally eye-catching. Visiting Palm House will present you with a collection of tropical plants you may probably have not seen before. Just as the Palm House building architecture is iconic of the plant collection it holds, viewing them inside would surely delight you and your Dad and Mum.
Next stop is the Princess of Wales Conservatory which maintains a collection of various types of vegetable plants. Near the exit is a lotus pond which is an interesting backdrop for taking photos.
It may be time for lunch, so enjoy some foods at the Orangery. Probably order sandwiches and scones, as a light lunch would not make you sleepy and yet give you enough energy boost to continue with the day’s activities.
It may be early afternoon by now, and it’s time to visit the breathtaking Treetop Walkway. You can access it by taking the stairs, or lift. Once you get to the platform, you’d be mesmerized by the view of tree crowns as you stand on the 18-storey high platform.
Nearby is the Japanese Garden complete with the Karamon gate that is an architectural icon for entrances to Japanese castles. Completing the scene is a Chinese pagoda nearby.
If you try to imagine the expansive size of Kew Gardens, you can’t help but think that there is much more to see and explore. More on that below.
Realistically, it’s humanly impossible to view and enjoy every section of this unique place in just one day! You may even need to linger longer to take in the beauty and wonder of the flora and trees showcased.
So, a single-day visit may not be enough. You may have to tour the place several times, which is not a bad idea. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience carried out in a couple of days.
Then again, new collections may be added. Therefore, nature, plant, and tree lovers would surely have to visit the Kew Gardens every now and then.
‘Kew Gardens’ is an iconic and expansive place in London that getting there is not difficult. By taking the London Underground district line, you get off at Kew Gardens station, and walk a short distance to Victoria Gate. If you prefer a train ride, go to Kew Bridge station to enter through Elizabeth Gate. Boarding Bus 65, 110, 234 and 267 will take you to Kew Gardens’ entrance.
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