Day tripping…

We spent the weekend visiting my parents as part of the (lengthy and ongoing) celebration of the littlest one’s 4th (!) birthday.

Given they live at the extremes of the London tube network it seemed silly not to take advantage and get ourselves up and out on Saturday for a bit of exploring. We’d also heard that one of the side-effects of the Olympics was a quieter than normal central London – always a bonus when you’re sightseeing with 3 small children!

We made our plans, packed a picnic and off we set…

Lots to see from the tube (which is mostly overground for the journey into London on the District Line.)

Then a short walk through Holborn and Bloomsbury to…

The British Museum!

Having previously visited the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum (conveniently located next to Knit Nation the last two summers 😉 ) we decided to up the cultural stakes this time.

We’d worked up an appetite before we even made it through the door and had to stop for an early picnic…

They obviously sensed that sustenance would be required!

We were guided very helpfully over to the ‘Family Desk’ on entry where we discovered a fabulous choice of ‘backpacks’ which could be borrowed for a small deposit to guide us around a chosen part of the museum with visual and aural aids and puzzles to solve! Fabulous! The boys decided on the Roman back pack (other options included the Egyptians, Dragons and Games) and off we set. We passed some quite famous treasures en route…

The eldest was absolutely fascinated by the Rosetta Stone and how it was key to unravelling the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Parthenon Stones prompted an interesting discussion too…

Seeing the ‘Elgin Marbles’ definitely gave us cause to question just *how* all this ‘treasure’ came to be in a museum in London in the first place and whether it should indeed still be here…

The room of British Roman artifacts was amazing. The older boys set off on their back pack ‘mission’ and worked their way around the exhibits finding particular pieces of mosaic and trying on Roman sandals and listening to audio detailing the various professions that would have existed and how ‘normal’ Romans worked and made their livings. Fascinating!

So many of the Roman treasures were found very near to where we live in East Anglia as well! Seeing the Hoxne Hoard, the Mildenhall treasure and amazing glass finds from Burgh Castle in Yarmouth – all places we know –  made it all the more interesting to the boys I am sure.

We even found a little treasure who’d clearly been inspired by a certain modern day Olympian and was striking a familiar pose 😉

After we’d soaked up the Roman rooms we had the obligatory visit to what was undoubtedly the busiest room in the museum – the Egyptian Mummies.

The boys are big fans of ‘Horrible Histories’ and found the ghoulish nature of these burials irresistible…  there was lots of vocal imagining of the bodies entombed inside these ancient cloth! Even the littlest didn’t seem at all fazed by his proximity to ‘a real live dead person’!

What a great day out! We were back home in time to witness another historic evening from the Olympic stadium, which we’d spied from the train on our way back home. I wonder if any of the ancient statues are posing in a ‘Mobot’ – maybe we’ll have to go back and have another look 😉

 

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