A London museum in school-half term? Sounds about as inviting as spending an hour in the ticket hall at Victoria station during rush hour.
That was certainly the case at the Science Museum last Friday. Hordes of off-duty school pupils and stressed parents made it not a great place to be with a two-year-old toddler. A soft play area, rumoured by other parents to exist, could not be found. The reality was that the museum’s exhibits were much too advanced for a child so young.
Come Saturday morning, however, and a visit to the London Transport Museum could not have been more of a contrast. There, the selection of vintage trains and buses was far more interactive. There were seats to clamber on, buttons to press and wheels to turn.
For children already playing with toy cars, buses and trains at home, or who enjoy travelling on the public transport network, as surely any true London child must get used to, the museum proved a great place to play and explore in safety.
There was also a much more chilled atmosphere, probably a legacy of it charging adults (£17) for admission. That said, though, the Science Museum forces all vistors to pass through a turnstile, where you are guilt-tripped into donating at least £5 a head.
The transport museum also had an excellent cafe, “picnic” grazing area and plenty of space for pram parking. The Science Museum also had a couple of cafes but they were mobbed and the overflow meant you had only stairs to sit on.
The admission to the transport museum allows access for a year. We will definitely return.