We recently took a day out to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden – funny how you can live in a city most of your life and never even go, or know about museums like this. This is a real treasure trove for children of all ages.
You start off with a look at major transport metro systems of the world. There’s interactive maps with film footage from the London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Delhi underground/metro systems. The kids were absolutely enchanted by this, educationally it teaches them about transport in an exciting way – there are several screens showing POV movies on each map.
Then the walkway leads you upstairs for a step back in time where you see how transport in London has evolved, all the way back to the actual horses (well not the horses) and carts to the omnibus, which features a quite comical audio commentary – the humour may be lost on the children. Like any good museum there are lot’s of experiements for the children to understand how evolutions in transport design improved transport, leading all the way from the horse and cart to modern day tubes – the layout of where these experiments are placed was really well thought through.
You then go back downstairs to a collection of old style buses and tubes. I think it’s great that children can actually go inside and wander around in these, going to the top deck of the routemaster buses seems like the only place children will sit still and quietly – go there for a break.
There are mini model buses where the kids can play in, it’s kind of like a simulator where the children can play bus driver. There are steering wheels and a TV screen which relays footage from a camera strapped to the front of a bus, cab, tube train and a boat. The children love sitting and pretending to be the driver, this will keep them occupied for a good twenty minutes or so. Perhaps the smartest thing about this is that it is placed right near the coffee shop – finally somewhere where you can take the kids and enjoy a coffee.
Onwards there are more interactive displays, video walls and floors (see the video above) some really nice vinatage ads which seem like art and more interactive displays.
The staff will give your child a collect the stamp card, there a stamp machines dotted all over the place for your kids to get their card stamped – another nice touch to get the children more involved in the day.
Although I was initially a bit sceptical about going to a museum about transport, I mean let’s be honest it doesn’t sound that appealing to an adult much less a child, but I was pleasently surprised by it, I would definately recommend it as a kids day out. There is a very good babychange facility here and the museum is buggy and wheelchair friendly. If you want to trade your name and address at the ticket desk they will extend your ticket to unlimited entry for a whole year – just so you know beforehand.
London Transport Museum is located in Covent Garden right here
Covent Garden tube station has step free access although I recommend taking the bus and walking from Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Traflagar Square, China town or one of the nearby bus stops – obviously being Covent Garden there’s no shortage of decent places to eat.
Have you been to the London transport museum, share your thoughts, are there any other hidden treasures that you want to share, please use the comment boxes below.