Find the step free, baby-friendly city on your doorstep (and avoid sobbing at the bottom of the escalator at Holborn tube) by Lizzie Catt
‘Let’s meet in town’ – the four little words that will have many new mums diving behind the sofa. But a day out in London doesn’t have to be a chore.
To sling or not to sling
The idea of ‘just’ taking the sling is sorely tempting but a big day out sans buggy is best tried after you’ve become an experienced sling ninja. Carrying the baby, the baby’s kit bag plus your handbag and having nowhere to put any of it down is not much fun, especially when the baby does a huge poo and starts wailing.
Go step free
Taking a buggy on an escalator is easier than you might think. What catches you out is the steps – dodge them by checking out TFL’s step free tube guide (https://content.tfl.gov.uk/avoiding-stairs-tube-guide.pdf). For a joyfully simple experience, stick to stations with lifts: https://content.tfl.gov.uk/step-free-tube-guide-map.pdf.
Where to go
The Riverfront restaurant at the BFI and the cafes of the spacious Royal Festival Hall are welcoming and have great changing facilities. Plus, there’s the pedestrianised river walk, the Jubilee Gardens and nearby Waterloo Station is pretty manageable with a buggy. Win, win, win.
Staff at trendy Caravan are very accommodating towards parents with prams, the food is delicious and Kings Cross Station, 10 minutes walk away, is totally step free. Yay!
Shepherds Bush and Stratford City Loads of places to eat and drink, lots of parking if you can’t face the tube, family rooms with changing and feeding facilities (including a microwave) and even pram hire for a fiver at Shepherds Bush – oh, and they have shops too! Docklands Tom’s Kitchen in Canary Wharf is very baby friendly with lots of space for buggies – and plenty of breastfeeding mums if you’re shy about that! Plus, Canary Wharf station is a breeze on wheels.