Six months ago, if you had told me I would take Adam to London for the weekend, I would have thought you were mad. The bustling capital was not somewhere I would have considered suitable for a child with autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. However, one book changed all that. After reviewing the book”A Visit To London For Thomas The Tank Engine,” I started to think why shouldn’t be able to go to London. We have never let Adam’s diagnosis stop him from doing anything. With preparation and planning and 365 Tickets, Adam would be able to see all of the sights that Thomas the Tank Engine could see.
Our London Adventure started very early on a Saturday morning, leaving the house at 5.45am. We got the two hour train to London where Adam spent the majority of the journey discovering the London Underground map.
Once at Liverpool Street Station, we boarded Adam’s first underground train to take us to Covent Garden. Adam had seen a few Youtube videos filmed on the underground but nothing could prepare him for the sounds, smells and the speed of the tube. He took it all in his stride and looked a seasoned traveler. Thankfully, Adam loves escalators. He was thrilled to be riding such huge ones that seemed to go on forever.
As we were in London early, we went for a walk around Covent Garden. Here he could experience the architecture without the crowds and got close to the mirror installation Reflect London by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.
From Covent Garden we walked to Leicester Square to attend the preview of Ice Age: Collision Course. This was to be Adam’s first preview event and he loved meeting Sid and Scrat.
After enjoying the cinema and a quick stop for lunch, we made our way to South Bank. This area of London was particularly busy that weekend. You can read about our adventures at the London Aquarium and London Eye as part of our review for 365 Tickets.
After an exhausting day visiting so many attractions, you would have thought Adam was tired. No! Despite it being 6pm Adam was able to walk along South Bank, taking in the sights of the street performers, skateboarders and the views of the River Thames. We decided to walk to Southwark underground. It was a couple of minutes before we got to the underground that Adam announced he needed the toilet.
We decided to take advantage of this and went to the Nandos restaurant opposite the tube station. Regular readers will know that eating in a restaurant is impossible with Adam. We have only managed it once before whilst celebrating Adams fourth birthday with family. After the success of the day we were feeling brave. Although Adam ate hardly anything, he did remain seated whilst we ate. He was captivated with colouring. This is something we haven’t seen Adam enjoy before.
We eventually got back to our Holiday Inn Express hotel in Croydon at 9pm. Despite being on the go non stop for 16 hours, Adam was still up at 5am the next morning. He was raring to go on more London adventures.
We took the overground train to Victoria and then an underground train to Piccadilly Circus so we could go to the Lyric Theatre to watch The Gruffalo. You can read our review of the brilliant performance here.
After yet another underground ride, we went to the Natural History Museum. By now we were used to queuing and the museum is a popular tourist attraction. Thankfully we opted to join the line that is in front of the museum so Adam could run around the museum grounds and I could take in the view of the magnificent building.
Adam is a huge fan of the cbeebies show Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures which is set in the National History Museum. The purpose of our trip was therefore to see the dinosaurs. We had to explain to Adam several times that Andy wouldn’t be there and we would be seeing dinosaur bones rather than a living dinosaur.
As we walked in he got his first sight of Dippy the Diplodocus. I have fond memories of seeing the bones as a child and even as an adult it looks huge.
First, we explored the mammals section. Adam wanted to stop and point to every single mammal. He couldn’t get over the size of the blue whale in the middle of the room.
Despite it being busy, the Natural History Museum didn’t disappoint. Adam enjoyed the dinosaur exhibition, especially watching the roaring T-Rex. Outside in the Courtyard, Adam discovered yet more pigeons to chase whilst running around the concrete circle, just in front of the Darwin Centre.
Sadly our time had run out and we had to make our way back home. We are looking forward to returning to the Natural History Museum when Adam is a little older to fully experience all that the museum has to offer.
By this point, Adam was beginning to flag. On the way back to Liverpool Street Station we experienced one of Adam’s worst sensory meltdown.
Our London Adventure was an opportunity for us to celebrate just how far Adam has come in the past few months. The weekend away couldn’t have gone any better and he thoroughly enjoyed all the adventures we packed into two days. London was the ideal location for a transport obsessed little boy! He has talked about his visit non stop since returning and we are already planning our next London visit.
We would like to thank 365 Tickets for making our London adventure easy to plan and for the amazing memories we have as a result. I wonder where our next adventure will take us!
Disclaimer: We were asked to review the London Eye and the London Aquarium as part of our 365 Tickets Best of London experience. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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