I am slightly late on writing up this cookie adventure; we actually went on it on the first day of our Easter holidays!
A nanny friend of mine and myself took our little ones aged between 15months and almost 4 years to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. It was a pretty dismal day, but that couldn’t dampen the spirits of us pirates (I would like to point out that they went dressed the part, and even I had my eye patch on), we had a boat to capture.
Depending on which way you go, getting to the Cutty Sark can take a really long time and be a bit of a bore for small children. We would have had to take the tube to Tower Hill and then change for the DLR to Greenwich. But we discovered a whole new way to travelling there – the clippers! We still had to tube it to Embankment but then once we were on the boat we could cruise in pure comfort all the way down to the Cutty Sark, I mean it literally drops you a 100 yards from it. It is by far the best way to travel, it isn’t quick or cheap, but it is comfortable, quiet, you can enjoy the views of London and it even has a Costa Coffee onboard! It is literally an outing in itself; our little ones could relax and play being pirates all the way down the river.
We got to the Cutty Sark just as it opened and already there were lots of school children waiting to go in. So if you do go, try to get there earlier as it fills up quite quickly. At the main desk you can pick up backpacks for little ones of different ages; they even had one for babies, which is very usually. Most places do them for children who are 3 or 5+ years, so big thumbs up to them.
We didn’t spend much time trying to explain what things were, instead we just let them play and explore by themselves. There are lots of hands on exhibits for little ones and even a sweet wooden boat for them to play with. The best part for them was probably the top deck where they could swab the deck, steer the boat and explore the different cabins that people would have had; my youngest charge didn’t like the idea of sharing a room with so many other people!
In my experience the Cutty Sark was a brilliant day out, all the children loved exploring every nook and cranny. The boat has gone under major renovations since a fire a few years ago destroyed part of it, and it looks good. You can grab a cup of tea and something to eat in their cafÃ© underneath the boat! If you don’t want to eat there are plenty of food places just by the dock for the clipper. You are also in the heart of Greenwich with the Navel College and Observatory just around the corner.
For older children there are plenty of activities going on during holidays and weekends, just check their website for more details. There are also audio guides available.
I cannot wait for the summer holidays to start so I can take my eldest charge as well as he would absolutely love it.