Keep the kids entertained this summer – in Southwark

The summer holidays are just a week old – but that may well mean the school-age family members in your household are already getting restless. If you’re worried they’re having too much console and tablet time and need a bit more real world stimulation – then the third and final instalment in our series ‘keep the kids entertained this summer…’ might be just what you need. This time we’re focussing on Southwark – the historic London borough that’s home to our Ossory Road Self Storage facility.

Southwark is one of London’s oldest Boroughs – so there’s plenty going on to keep the kids entertained. And as ever we’ve divided our top picks into indoor and outdoor – so whilst the weather might dictate where you go, it won’t have dictate if you go…

Indoor

Tower Bridge, Museum and Exhibition

By Mark Ahsmann

Landmarks don’t come much more iconic than Tower Bridge – and whilst you may have driven or walked over – have you ever stopped to marvel at the technology involved? When you consider it was built between 1886 & 1894, it really is Victorian engineering at its finest.

As well as being a working bridge, it is home to the Tower Bridge Exhibition – a fantastic attraction allowing visitors to explore the history of the bridge and view other London landmarks from a unique perspective. The recently installed Glass floors across the fourth storey walkways are perfect for the braver visitors to look down, whist budding engineers are sure to find the original steam engines and platform cantilever system fascinating.

If you plan your visit properly – around bridge lifting times – you’ll also be able to see the road platforms being raised. Find out more about Tower Bridge exhibition at towerbridge.org.uk

London Fire Brigade Museum

We all know the Nursery Rhyme ‘London’s Burning’ – but the ‘fetch the engine’ line might be a touch misleading – with Fire Fighting services being provided by a series of ad-hoc private operators, backed by insurance companies. It was not until 1865 that the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act was passed – bringing these services into public administration.

The London Fire Brigade Museum at Winchester House (the control centre for London’s Chief Fire Officers until 1937) on Southwark Bridge Road charts the history of firefighting in the capital from 1866 – including some of the vehicles used by the original Southwark Fire Station in the appliance room.

The George Inn

If you like your lunch in historic surroundings, then Southwark’s National Trust owned George Inn is worth a visit. It’s London’s last Galleried Inn (galleries overlooking a courtyard), and was rebuilt after a fire in 1677.

You’ll find a mouthwatering menu and cask conditioned ales – so it’s great place to stop for lunch if you’re seeing other sights in Southwark.

Outdoor

Winchester Palace

Winchester Palace was built in the 13th Century as the London pad of the Bishops of Winchester (Winchester was the Medieval Capital of England at the time). It was a grand and extensive complex that became a Priory – but was largely destroyed by fire in 1814. What remains is now preserved and managed by English Heritage and is open to the public as an attraction.

The centrepiece is an ornate Rose window, but the ruins also include part of the Brewhouse, Prison and Butchery. If some of the oldest medieval architecture in London is your thing then a drop in to Winchester Palace needs to be on your agenda.

Fitness Training

You don’t need an expensive Gym Membership to stay fit in Southwark. Southwark Borough Council have been busy installing a range of outdoor fitness equipment across the boroughs parks. In Southwark Park you’ll find them located between China Hall Gates and the Cafe gallery.

It’s all designed to be low impact too. So you won’t need any induction course to use it – but they do recommend doing all the usual warm-up and stretches before exercise.

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