London and Dublin with a wee one?

After getting such great suggestions from all of you while planning our Germany trip, I thought I'd ask for the same help now that we are planning a few days in London and Dublin.


We have been to London a few times before so we don't have to do all the typical tourist stuff but this is my very first time on the Emerald Isle.

Would love to know your tips/must visit spots/ baby friendly hot spots. Please share!

37 comments:

  1. I don't know how family friendly this is, but you MUST go to Liberty's of London while you are there. It is amazing. My favorite pubs in London are Ye Old Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street and Cittie of Yorke is a beautiful bar with snugs and coal fired stoves to keep you warm! The Tower Bridge is a nifty tourist attraction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So funny you mention this because I was just reading an article about Liberty's and wondered how I missed it on all my prior visits. Its exactly the kind of place I can spend all day in. (One of the benefits of having hit all the big tourist spots before, I can now do whatever I like without the pressure of seeing it all on one trip)

      Delete
  2. Kensington Gardens is so beautiful and I saw many children there during my last visit. Bring a picnic or eat at the café attached to the museum or at the Orangery for a sit-down lunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I always forget about those musuem cafes. Adding that to my list.

      Delete
  3. Do you follow the blog Aspiring Kennedy? If not, definitely check it out. She and her husband and bebe live in London and travel quite a bit. She does posts on the cities she visits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I do follow her on Instagram (cutest family ever!) but I forgot she lives there. Off to check out her tips.

      Delete
  4. We live in London and I agree that Liberty is a lovely place to spend an afternoon. They are welcoming of little ones in the tea room as well. The museums are always worth a visit - the V&A has a good cafe and welcomes littles, as does the Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

    Where will you be staying when you are in London? The tube/underground is manageable with a buggy but some tube stations have a lot of stairs without an escalator or lift, so worth watching out for.

    There are lots of nice cafes and shops around Shoreditch/Commercial St/Redchurch Street/Brick Lane, such as Labout & Wait (traditional household products) etc, lots of places to stop for coffee, brunch etc, if you fancy hipster style London.

    Sadly never been to Ireland so can't give you much help on that front.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel. We will be staying near Convent Garden.

      Delete
  5. I will have a think then, your little one is about 1 isn't she? mine is 17 months old, and we are out and about in London frequently at weekends (we live in Muswell Hill, North London).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She will be about 10 months when we go so she doesn't need any direct entertainment per se (she is too young to appreciate a kids show or musuem) but I don't want to bring her someplace where its not apporpriate. Also would love to know where the best changing tables can be found. A reader suggested department stores in Germany which worked out perfectly but not sure if London stores are as welcoming.

      Delete
    2. I've changed Pip as a baby in Selfridges and Liberty. John Lewis at Oxford Circus has dedicated room for baby with changing mats and feeding room and is handily on the same floor as baby equipment and a cafe with good access next to lifts. Most stores are pretty welcoming I would say, although not all have loos.

      Delete
  6. St. Stephen's Green is a great park in Dublin for a picnic if the weather is cooperating. There are also a handful of museums that are geared toward children and families, while still giving adults information. I think the Viking one is one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dingle in Ireland is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. We had read that it was just as beautiful but not as touristy as the Ring of Kerry, so we went there and it did not disappoint. The town of Dingle is small but cute, lots of Gaelic spoken in that area, Gaelic music in pubs, Gaelic on the radio. But the drive is really what makes it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kerry. Since this is my trip to Ireland and its pretty short we are sticking to Dublin for now. Although I could definitely return for a more proper exploration of the country.

      Delete
  8. My husband used to live in Dublin before we got married. There is buckets of stuff to do in Dublin! If you are only there for a short trip then don't venture too far because you just wont have the time. I will tell you some of the places we liked to spend time.Phoenix Park and Stephen's Green are lovely outdoor spots to relax in, as are the Iveagh Gardens. Dublin Zoo is a great attraction that your little one might enjoy. Then you have Howth pier and Dun Laoighre pier, both lovely for walks and some nice food. You can get to both on public transport very easily. In the city centre you have lots of shopping in and around Grafton St or travel further out of the city to Dundrum Shopping Centre. You could spend the majority of the day there if you liked. I would keep away from Templebar. It's very touristy but not in a good way and is full of pubs and bad restaurants. It can get very rowdy at night. There are lots of great art galleries-National Gallery of Ireland and the Museum of Modern Art, The National History Museum. Trinity College is worth a visit-they have original manuscripts from medieval monasteries on display in the library. County Wicklow is close by and worth a visit if you have the time. It's known as the Garden of Ireland and there are some beautiful walks. Glendalough is a fabulous spot for example but you may need a car to do that. Bray is a nice seaside spot too with good transport links from the city. Our weather has been pretty mild so far with temperatures of around 15°C but its going to get a lot colder soon. Plan for cold weather but wear layers that you can add or take off. The weather here can change several times in a day. And remember to bring or buy an umbrella-there's a reason we're called the Emerald Isle! Although Dublin tends to be dryer than other parts of the country. Enjoy your trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. I don't usually carry an umbrella but it sounds like I need to for this trip. Thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  9. One thing I love to do in Dublin that would be easy with a baby is to take the commuter train (DART) to Sandymount and walk on the strand. If the weather isn't too dreary, that is. Loads of locals walk on the beach there. When the tide is out, there are miles of damp sand with a view of the old power plant. It's cool and I'm sure a baby would like to play and toddle around there. And as Aoife already mentioned, Irish weather can be bright and sunny one minute, torrential downpours the next, and everything in between. Take a rain jacket and be prepared with layers and an umbrella. I've never seen as many kinds of rain as they have in Ireland! Have a backup plan for indoor activities if you get rained out. Also have tea at Bewley's on Grafton St. It may be touristy, but it's a tradition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to suggest sandymount strand myself as that's where my husband used to live! There are nice coffee shops around there too. It's a nice village. Poet Seamus Heaney used to live right on the strand front.

      Delete
    2. Thank you both. So should I assume by this suggestion that you don't think there is enough to do in Dublin center?

      Delete
  10. I'm in England right now. We just finished a walking tour in the Cotswolds and are headed back to London tomorrow. (I'll go to Paris from there, and the hubs is off to India for business. A great thing to do in London is the market in Notting Hill on the week-ends. Also, try a visit to Kensington Palace. Both places should entertain both the adults and the baby.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dublin: Kilmainham Hospital and Gaol, both museums now. Avoca, where you can grab a nice lunch. Gallery of Photography in Temple Bar, which is a decent area to walk around and shop vintage.

    Take some Echinacea with you. That damp chill gets me every time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a fun trip with your daughter! I'm actually headed to London in a couple of weeks myself.

    ReplyDelete
  13. In Dublin, for me, the must see is the Book of Kells and the library at Trinity College. They are both amazing. Dublin is a great city to wander through. It is fascinating how life changes as you cross from one side of the Liffey to the other. Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  14. No. There's lots to do in city centre as well. There are bus tours that take you around to the main sites and you can hop on and hop off at the different stops. Lots of historical landmarks and cultural landmarks as well, the Four Courts, the Dáil where parliament sits. I think you can also get a boat tour of the city on the river Liffey. Plenty to do in the city. Sometimes it can be nice to move outside the city though. Gives you a feel for less touristy spots.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We just moved from Seattle to Dublin this summer with four kids ages 18mo to 8 years old. We have found Dublin to be a friendly and family-friendly city. It's Georgian buildings are not always baby stroller friendly and there is often not a lot of room to maneuver stroller in small shops and restaurants and up and down narrow stairs. If you have a baby carrier, it can be easier. Department stores like Marks and Spenders, Dunnes, and Arnots and shopping center malls like Jervis and St Stephens Green shopping center are your best bet for bathrooms with changing tables. They would also have escalators and lifts if you need them. Tesco (a grocer chain) is your best place for diapers, wipes, baby food, and formula if you need it. There is a large one on the north side of the Liffy in the Jervis shopping center. The small convenience stores like Spar and Centra are all over and will have some small selection of baby items. Keep in mind that the shopping centers, shops, cafes and many restaurants close at around 6pm usually. So, plan ahead because you will not be able to run out to buy diapers or medicine in the evening. If you only have a couple of days in Dublin, I would see Trinity College and the Book of Kells (they have a stairs but there is a hidden lift that will take you from the book display room to the Long room if you need it for a stroller), and then go walk along Grafton Street which is always interesting and usually has lots of street performers. Then walk in St Stephen's Green. (It's all in the same general area). If you have more time in that area, you can check out Kilkenny, a shop feature Irish designers like Orla Kiely, that is located across the street from Trinity College on the south side. Avoca is a lovely shop and has many beautiful things and a lovely cafe and is also off Grafton. Then, if you have second day, walk along the LIffey and check out Temple Bar during the day and then visit Dublinia and Christchurch Cathedral for some Dublin History (there are stairs here too but we did it with a stroller). Then take the Red Luas to the Guinness Brewery for the tour....because it's Guinness and Dublin. There are lots of stairs (7 flights), but I think there is a lift. We found it difficult to dine out in the evening as most of the child friendly cafes and restaurants close at 5-6 and only there are only a few child-friendly restaurants (like TGIFridays) in the tourist areas are open. It can start to get very rowdy near the pubs especially in the Temple Bar and Grafton areas after 6pm. Good luck and have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. Good to know things start getting rowdy so early. That would be a very foreign concept for a New Yorker (the bars don't really get busy here til 11 pm!) Sounds like I should make myself scarce after dark.

      Delete
  16. I forgot to mention that the Dublin Luas trains (light rail for the city) and the Dublin buses are all very easy to use and stroller/child friendly. The baby rides free! And there are stroller/wheel chair spaces so you can sit next to the stroller.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree w/ Aoife and Scruples, there's tons to do in Dublin in the city center. It's a very walkable city. The parks, museums and shopping areas they've recommended are all great. But I always like to get away from the touristy places at least once on a trip, and go do what the locals do. Sandymount strand is my reco for that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just returned from London so check out my most recent post in particular the Columbia Street flower market. I will be posting about more London goodness over the next few days but I highly recommend a stroll through Borough's Market which is where Jamie Oliver buys his veggies, it is amazing. May be I'll post about that soon so you can get an idea. I would also suggest a visit to the Tate Modern Museum to see the Picassco, Gerhardts, Miros, Twombly's and more. You can have high tea on the upper floor. There is so much to do and see and with Baby in tow. Feel free to ask me questions if you want. I have 4 of my own so I know how it is to travel with kids even though I didn't have any with me this trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa. I'm very familiar with Borough Market - I go every time I visit - although its super crowded so I'm not sure how well we will get on with a stroller but I'll be giving it a try none the less (my husbands favorite sandwich in the world is there so there is zero chance we wont be visiting!)

      I don't think I've been to Columbia Road yet (we did try to visit a flower market once but there weren't many flowers so I can't recall which one it was). I just love flower markets! I'll go check out your post to read all about it.

      Delete
    2. You'll need to make an early start for Columbia Road Flower market - it's only open on Sundays and you need to be there at 8/9am - bear in mind that it gets VERY crowded. I went there the day before I gave birth and found the crowds intimidating - it is possible with a buggy but your little one might not enjoy it much. That said, the flowers are nice and the shops lovely.

      Delete
  19. We just did London with our little one and had a ball using all the forms of transport. Double deckers were a must - at the front, up top, meant we could do sightseeing without all the walking (dawdling) and we LOVED the boatride on the Thames to Greenwich. Again, taking in the sights with a happy child enjoying the ride.

    Greenwich was a huge surprise with it's indoor craft and food market, famous pie and mash shop, awesome playground near the observatory and street food market near the pier with the Cutty Sark museum and a fountain the kids play in. You can ride the DLR home from Greenwich and have another fun transport outing.

    ReplyDelete
  20. thinking about it, if you can manage it, a baby sling might be better than a buggy for a lot of these places in London if your little one is still small enough to comfortably cart around in a sling/carrier. A buggy is perfectly manageable but you might find it easier?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dublin is a brilliant city, I lived there my whole life but emigrated 6weeks ago, so I still know all the best places!
    There's so much to do: I'd recommend Avoca Cafe and shop for lunch and lovely clothes and home furnishings (the rugs/blankets are so good for winter nights and picnics). Then maybe a walk around Trinity college, I don't know if I'd bother going into the book of kells (long queues and it's hard to see closely). The viking splash tour is really fun, and gives a good overview.
    I'd definitely get the DART or number1 bus (about 15 mins) to Sandymount though, the strand is great to walk on, with a bag of chipper chips from the village (Borzas are one of the best chippers in Dublin, you have to try them!) There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes there (brownes is good and so is Dunne and Crescenzis) as well as charming shops, it's truly a lovely village, well worth a visit. There's so much to do in the city, but this is a really nice visit!
    For toilets, I'd recommend Brown Thomas on Gratfton Street, very fancy and clean with lots of space.
    For dinners and lunches; lemon cafe does great crepes, metro cafe on south william street for coffees and cake (and people watching!), Queen of Tarts is so tasty. For a more formal dinner, Jo Burger is good, green 19 on camden street, Dunne and Crescensi on South Frederick street and maybe the Winding Stair on the quays.
    Some people have said that restaurants close at 6, that's not true, coffee shops and sandwich bars would but you'll have no problems in terms of getting dinners! And generally grocery shops stay open till around 8pm- 10pm. I would go to Temple Bar to soak up the atmosphere, there are lots of independent shops and street performers, but the early evening is the latest I would go with a baby (if you won't be going to the pubs!)
    It's a really great city, you'll have a good time! I can't wait to see the pictures!! I hope this helps

    ReplyDelete
  22. Have a great trip! I'm a Dubliner and have a 2.5 year old.. Dublin is a pretty easy city to be in with a baby- all department stores, galleries/museums, and most large shops have changing tables. Some have feeding areas too- the nicest one of these in the city centre is in the basement of Brown Thomas on Grafton st- nice comfy glider chair to chill out in for a bit. All restaurants have high chairs, and there's no problem bringing small ones to restaurants here- I've eaten happily in Michelin star places with my tot in tow.
    The only thing I found a real pain was getting on a bus with a stroller- it's no problem, but in theory most buses only have space for one (although this is slowly changing) so it means that if there's a buggy already on the bus that they won't let you on. You can fold the buggy and bring it on obviously, but I often found a sling a bit easier. Overall though Dublin is a pretty tiny, and very walkable city- even with a buggy- and other transport, Luas (the tram) and the DART are buggy friendly. Fallon & Byrne (deli/food market/ wine bar) has restaurant on first floor which is nice relaxed place for lunch or dinner and pretty welcoming of babies too.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would say make time for a nice long relaxing tea in London and when you are in Dublin, definitely go to the Trinity College long room (library). It is in the same little tour with the Book of Kells (which was pretty but not mind blowing for me). The long room took my breath away. Of course I love books and libraries so that may be why. :) Go still. Dublin offers free entry to lots of museums and despite the fact that I was there in the summer, it was not overly crowded anywhere we went. I am sure you know London better than I do. I would also check out Aspiring Kennedy for suggestions in London. If you are a Harry Potter fan, going on the studio tour is an absolute must see. It is amazing!!! So cool I literally cried. It just opened a few years ago and is not so well known to us Americans yet. But it takes over 4 hours so it depends on how many other things you want to do. :) Have fun! I love love loved both places and the people there are lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  24. amazing photo of your little girl!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you think. I ♥ comments.

If you are asking a question, please be sure to type in your email address so I can respond directly to you.

Follow @ Instagram

© 2007-2016 Brooklyn Limestone. All Rights Reserved.
Back to Top