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Things to do in London

Amazing, fun things to do in London, days out in and around London to help keep you and your whole family entertained for hours! Family days out and great places for kids to go in London.

Boot Camp – What Was I Thinking?

When we signed up for a boot camp weekend, did we have 'The X Factor' in mind - celebrities, make up, sparkles and champagne?

Maybe, but the setting of Aylestone Park when it was minus 1 degrees and muddy couldn’t have been further from our dream of a good time!

First Things First...

Still, we were there and if not raring to go -or at least prepared to have a go! That is, until two ‘fitties’ appeared in Lycra and sinews!  There were five of us altogether along with Rob our boot camp commander. I was easily the oldest and least fit.

First things first. Rob called it a warm up and warm up we did - surprisingly quickly! Next, we were off on a 15 to 1 circuit. My comfort zone is whiteboards and lists, so I was lulled into a false sense of security when the whiteboard came out with the list of 15 to 1 different types of exercises. All appeared to be reasonably easy like the ‘get ups’. All you have to do, is get up (again and again and again). With the two fitties off like greased lightning and Emma and Sam not far behind them, I embarked on the challenge. Rob was brilliant, when he saw me struggle, he adapted the exercise. When I skipped bits he turned a blind eye and when I came to a shuddering stop he helped me finish with dignity.

Suddenly, it was mid morning break! Sitting in the car, getting our breath back and refuelling, Emma and I could barely speak. We did manage to convince ourselves we were having a good time though despite being covered in mud.

Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? First Things First...
Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? Running - No Thanks...

Running - No Thanks!

I won’t go into huge detail about the individual exercises we did but I will say that at the beginning, when we had a quick chat with Rob about what why we’d signed up and what we wanted to get out of the weekend, I had mentioned in passing that I didn’t do running! Incredibly - and down to his coaching and encouragement, I found myself not only running on the Sunday morning but enjoying it. Not only did I run on the flat, but uphill as well! (I don’t think I mentioned that Aylestone Park is on the side of Aylestone Hill.)

By the time we’d finished the two days, Emma and I were not only proud of ourselves but proud of each other too and vaguely talked about doing it again! Oh and I learnt that Tabata is not something to eat but the fastest, most effective exercise routine I’ve ever encountered. I wouldn’t mind giving it another go some time! Yep, definitely a different way to spend a weekend in January!

Outdoor Gym

The last thing I would have guessed would be a magnet for us on holiday was the gym on the beach. But, standing on a piece of equipment under a blue sky, exercising and gazing at the sea seemed briefly like a little bit of paradise!

Even when not on holiday, it is easy to go to a local outdoor gym. There are hundreds of local council-funded outdoor gyms that are free-to-use all year round as councils hope it will encourage a healthier community. Some are in beautiful settings too. Many of our Treasure Trails go past them.

Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? Outdoor Gym

Have you tried an outdoor gym? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter or Facebook.

15th March 2019

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Things to do with a 10 Year Old in Camden Market

We met up with friends from France at the weekend. They had come to the UK for their 10 year old's birthday treat!

They had visited Buckingham Palace, St James' Park, Harrods, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey before we met up with them. But Joana loves shopping and as none of the family had been to Camden they thought it would be a fun place to meet up.


Joana led the way through the narrow passages and stalls of the market. Glittery things and pink things caught her eye as she darted from shop to shop. Her holiday money burned holes in her purse.

After lots of deliberation she settled on a Rubiks Cube. She also chose a pencil case emblazoned with "Camden Market" and a shiny London key ring.

Like a jackdaw, she was happy!

Things to do with a 10 Year Old in Camden Market - shopping
Things to do with a 10 Year Old in Camden Market - street art

Street Art

With her money all gone, we spent the next hour or so taking photos of all the weird and wonderful street art.

Joana was especially taken with the 3D models on shop fronts. She loves taking photos and wields her Dad's SLR camera like a pro!

We had taken the Primrose Hill Treasure Trail with us but it was pouring with rain.  We all decided to keep it for another day.

Eating and Drinking

We fortified ourselves with a lunch of traditional fish and chips in Seawise. Pronounced as "delicious"! Then it was back to enjoying the sights and sounds of the market. It can be quite bewildering for a 10 year old, but undaunted, Joana kept going. We were exhausted just keeping an eye on her...

Later on, we had a cup of tea, then Joana had a crepe and we parted. We went to catch the train home but Joana and her parents were off to see the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus. They even went on have supper in Chinatown! A truly memorable birthday weekend.

Things to do with a 10 Year Old in Camden Market- raining
Things to do with a 10 Year Old in Camden Market - Joana

I am not sure I would recommend Camden as the best place in London to entertain a 10 year old, but we did have lots of fun taking photos of her next to some of the street art.

31st January 2018

Posted In: London, Things to do

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