London Adventure Walks for Families is a collection of twenty-five "imaginative urban adventures" set in London covering lots of topics the kids learn about at school, such as 'Time and Space' and others that remain eternally appealing such as spies and ice-cream.
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Frances Lincoln (May 2010)
Becky Jones and Clare Lewis are excellent family book authors as they get the balance right between being accessible for the kids and giving extra information to make the parents confident about trying the walks too. (See the list of other books by the same authors at the bottom of the page.)
The authors have three children each and the families have clearly enjoyed testing the walks from the additional illustrations provided by the kids such as a river fish identification guide and a tree leaves identification page which are surprisingly accurate. There are other children's illustrations scattered throughout the book which I have found encouraged children to look at the book more often and to feel more part of the day's planning.
The pocket-sized book has twenty-five themed walks but also plenty of trivia to impress all the family and history to help you learn. It is written with a humorous style that will encourage and inspire you to try another walk, and then another.
And let's just be clear here, you don't need to have children to enjoy these walks. They are not exclusively for children and their parents. It's just a great collection of walks to use as reasons to explore an area in possibly a new way.
Each walk starts and finishes at a tube station so you do not need your own transport at all. Just pop on your comfy walking shoes and off you go.
Each walk has an introduction to the area and its theme called 'The Adventure' that sets the scene. It might give you some history or a fun story to have a reason to try the walk for yourself.
Along with the lovely children's illustrations there is a charming hand-drawn map for each walk, and you also know how long each walk is before setting off. Plus, you won't need a London A-Z as the walking directions are excellent.
Each walk has plenty of extras on the theme such as Spy Jargon on the 'Mission Impossible' walk. And at the end of each walk you'll find most of these pointers:
- Eat me, drink me – yep, tips on where to find refreshments.
- Useful information – handy contact info, websites, etc.
- Further Afield – where else to visit on the theme.
- Books to read – age appropriate so not Brick Lane by Monica Ali for the walk covering that area.
- Did you know? – Really interesting and unusual facts you can impress your friends with.
While each walk is complete on its own it's also good to see cross-referencing to other walks to encourage more days out.
More Than Just Walks
I've mentioned the book has trivia, history and some other extras and it's these that make it really stand out. There are recipes - of course you want to know how to make Paddington Bear's favorite marmalade, and there are great instructions on how to make things such as an Indian Headdress while playing at Peter Pan games in Kensington Gardens. There are also songs to sing along the way and plenty of further games to play at any time listed and explained in the 'Playtime' section. And there's even a 'House Hunting' photographic guide to help you recognise and identify the types of houses in London.
Visit the author's website: www.adventurewalksforfamilies.co.uk