The wheels on the bus… and the tram… and the tube…

The London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, is great for kids.
The London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, is great for kids.

I’ve been meaning to write about the London Transport Museum for a while. We’ve been a couple of times and, no doubt, we’ll go again. Because when you pay the (rather pricey) entry fee, you get to return as often as you like for a year, free of charge – as long as you don’t lose your ticket.

Our two visits have been on a Saturday and it gets busy. Oh yes! It gets very busy. So if you go at the weekend, go early or late or take a more abundant supply of tolerance than I’m able to get my hands on.

Of course, there’s a reason it’s busy – it’s really great for young children, especially ones like mine that like nothing better than buses, taxis and tube trains.

When you arrive, call by the buggy park (you can’t miss it) and explore the ground floor, where you’ll find beautiful old buses and trams. You can climb aboard quite a few of them. There’s also a dedicated toddlers’ corner, where little ones can clamber about and try working in the cafe. There’s also a wooden Brio style train set to play with.

Best of all (for my toddler), there’s a chance to DRIVE THE BUS. Yes, drive the bus. Although eventually you do have to allow other children to try out the driver’s seat.

You get to drive the bus!
You get to drive the bus!

On a mezzanine level, there’s an old-style tube you can sit on.

On wards and upstairs to the upper floor where – in another toddler friendly corner – you can have a go at mending a tube train. And, even better, make some tannoy announcements.

I particularly like the old carriage, drawn by pretend horses, that has a slightly sinister man sitting in the back, reading a newspaper. Should you wish to, you can sit alongside him. “Mum, it’s a bit scary.” said my tiny tot companion who, to date, fears nothing (other than a scene in Stickman, when the dog chases our wooden hero).

It’s worth checking the website for other activities, especially during holiday time (although you wouldn’t catch me there during crowd season).

I should also mention that the museum has quite the finest toddler toilet I have ever been in. It’s located on the ground floor, near picnic area, and is about the size of my house. I’m writing this from (fond) memory, but I seem to recall it has a tiny toddler toilet, as well as an adult-sized toilet and a baby-changing area. And you get it all to yourself – until people start knocking on the door, wondering why you’ve been in there so long.

But that could just be me.

What? London Transport Museum.

Where? Covent Garden Piazza.

When? Open daily (Check here)

How much? £17 adult/£14 concessions – gives you unlimited entry for a year. Children go free.

Facilities and access For most of us, getting to the museum involves a tube journey which is always tricky with a pushchair. There are two cafes in the museum, a picnic area, baby changing, toddler loos and a buggy park. There’s also a shop full of toys any toddler would find it hard to resist.

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Author: Aline Reed

I am a freelance copywriter.

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