On The Right Track: Review of the London Transport Museum
Located right in the heart of Covent Garden, the London Transport Museum is a must visit attraction if you have children who are interested in trains, buses and all forms of transport. Unlike many other popular sites, it’s free for kids and an adult ticket allows you to visit as many times as you want for a whole year, making this a great value for money choice when in the capital!
We first visited the London Transport Museum a few years back with my eldest and he absolutely loved it, so it seemed fitting to go again this summer as a family of four and with our train-loving two-year-old. We wondered if it would be too old for him or he wouldn’t get much out of it but we couldn't be more wrong, from the moment we stepped inside and made our way along the underground inspired hallway up to the main exhibition he was literally jumping with excitement.
The journey starts on the top floor and you make your way down through history from Victorian times and horse-drawn carriages, to trams, the first passenger trains and down to the ground floor with the modern underground, buses and the ever-changing landscape of transport in London. There is a free stamper trail which helps guide you through the story of the Capital’s transport history and both my 7yr old and I really enjoyed searching for each stamper in the different areas of the museum.
What makes this such a fantastic museum is that it has so many interactive displays, you can take a seat on a wooden panelled train or have a go at driving the underground with the underground simulator. Children can also sit behind the wheel of a famous London Bus or scale a spiral staircase of a traditional vintage tram.
As much as the kids enjoyed going from one vehicle to another there is plenty of interesting literature surrounding each display which is very interesting for older children and adults. This museum really aims to preserve the British transport heritage and has made sure to make all the changes as interesting and engaging as possible. We really enjoyed looking at all the 80’s and 90’s underground adverts and posters, with my partner remembering seeing one or two of them himself as a child!
Since our last visit a couple of years ago, the London Transport Museum has expanded its play areas for younger visitors. Called All Aboard, the family play zone is suitable for 0-7yr olds and both of my kids loved exploring this area, having a chance to ride a taxi, bus and become a riverboat nipper captain as well as dress up in different uniforms. Another popular feature was the large wooden train track table which is perfect for toddlers and is located right next to some picnic tables, as well as the lower deck cafe which is great for parents who need a coffee break but want to keep an eye on their children. Other fantastic family features are the free cloakrooms, plenty of baby changing facilities and the whole museum is buggy accessible. The upper deck cafe also has a family-friendly menu including their fun Tube Line Milkshakes.
You can easily spend a couple of fun-filled hours here, we did, in fact during our two-day stay in London we visited the London Transport museum twice as both kids had so much fun and wanted to go back before heading home. We know next time we are in the capital we will be putting our reusable tickets to good use and we highly recommend this attraction if you're looking to get a real feel for what London used to look like many years ago as well as celebrating its iconic underground system and Red London buses.
Find some other great family days out in London to experience, starting with the Dino Snores sleepover at the National History Museum.
And here are the best trails and exhibits for kids in the UK.