London in the summer

London in the summer is one of the best places in the world! Scrap that, London any time is one of the best places in the world BUT the warmer weather and the lighter days sure make it a lot better to look at!

With the days getting warmer and this week being half term, I’ve put together a list of some of the great child friendly outdoor places this city has to offer.

1. The Diana Memorial Playground – set in the picturesque Hyde Park, this playground is a must visit on a warm day. It’s got a huge ship cast adrift on a massive sandpit as well as a sensory trail, tee pees and a play area. S is recently into pirates and so this is one place we’ll definitely be visiting this half term. It allows children to explore and follow their imaginations. All aboard?!

2. Bekonscot Model Village – Although we’ve never been here, it’s on my list of places to visit this summer. Only a short train ride from London, Bekonscot Model Village will appeal to all train (and history) lovers. As the name suggests, it’s a model village based on 1930’s England. Travel back in a time warp to see how the people of the time lived and got around.

3. London Zoo – I’m putting this on there because it’s THE London Zoo but I have to say, having been to Taronga Zoo in Sydney and a couple of other’s around the world, London Zoo is overpriced and doesn’t live up to the name. However, it’s lovely in the summer because you don’t just go for the animals, you go for the petting zoo, the water splash area and the scenery. If getting to Whipsnade is easy for you then I’d buy a years pass because not only do you get to visit London Zoo but a pass includes Whipsnade as well (which is meant to be much better). And what’s even better than that apparently is Chester Zoo (it’s on my list!).

4. Southbank –  I absolutely love it down by the river, it’s my favourite part of London. I don’t go there as often as I like but every time I do, I come back loving this city a little bit more. There’s lots to see and do along the river bank but if the weather changes and you need to dart in doors, there’s the London Aquarium, Tate Modern (which offers a range of free activities for families and children) and the Southbank Centre.

5. Regents Park – This is one of our summer favourites. It has a huge playground, massive sandpit and if you’re feeling adventurous you can take your little ones boating on the lake. If you walk along the edge of the park on the outer circle, you may catch glimpses of the giraffes at London Zoo if they’re out.

6. Belmont Farm – We’re heading up to Belmont Farm on Friday so I’ll be able to let you know what I think then but this has come highly recommended. With tractor rides, cow milking, lamb feeding and petting sessions, it’s bound to be an exciting day out.

From Kew Gardens in Richmond to Coram’s Fields near Holborn, London offers so much for kids to see and do but this is a good start.

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Race for life – running to kick cancer in the ass!

Today was a good day! Today, two of my closest friends and I ran race for life in Regents Park, London to raise money for cancer research. We raised over £1200 in 5 days! Really, credit should go to all the people who donated to our cause and so I’d like to say a big public THANK YOU!!

We did a Santa Run in Richmond Park, London back in December and raised over £2,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. So often when people do these charity runs, they are doing it for the charity. And while of course, I’m doing it to raise money for the charity, I’m also doing it for me. Because running and fundraising make me happy. And when we’re happy, we can make others around us happy too. So expect me to be rattling my donation tin at you often!! 🙂

Jokes aside, why was this race important to me? I’ve had three too many people in my life battle cancer. One lost his battle, the second beat cancer and the third is kicking cancer’s ass as I write this. Today I ran for my aunt. Because even when she’s going through something I can’t possibly imagine, she laughs and she jokes and she gives great advice. It can’t be easy and yet she’s so positive. She was my inspiration today.

Here are a few pictures from this morning. And I wouldn’t be English if I didn’t mention the weather!! Not too hot, not too cold…but most importantly, it stayed dry! London you did good!

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Our race for life selfie

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On the official Race for Life 2014 t-shirts 🙂

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My family – my biggest supporters

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With S at the end of the race 🙂

My time was 36 minutes and 55 seconds. I was super pleased because it was approx. 6 minutes off my time since our Santa Run in December.